Johnny Manziel Says He's Shifting Focus to Becoming a Pro Golfer: 'I'm Giving Myself 12 Years'

The former Cleveland Browns quarterback said he'll give himself a large window to break into the sport

Photo: David Richard/AP

Former NFL player Johnny Manziel is hoping for a fresh start to his career — and this time, he's turning to the golf course.

The 28-year-old, who was briefly the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns after winning the Heisman Trophy in 2012, recently said that he's now focused on building himself an illustrious golf career.

"I'm giving myself 12 years to try to play professional golf," Manziel said on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast. "I'm going to grind this out and see how good I can get and see if I can't enter in some tournaments, and see if I can't try and go play professional golf eventually."

"I think it is a very uphill battle, but that's what I'm setting for my goals," he added. "I have 12 years to try and make a PGA Tour event."

Manziel's change of sport isn't completely random — the former Texas A&M star has recently shared posts from his golf outings on his Instagram page.

Scott Boehm/AP

According to Golf Digest, Manziel also played golf during his childhood, often taking trips to Hollytree Country Club in Tyler, Texas, before taking up baseball and football.

"My dad taught me, but really it was one of those things where I was able to learn on my own," he told the outlet in 2014. "Until I turned 14 or 15, I gripped it like a baseball bat. My dad always tried to get me to use the normal overlap or interlock grip, but I just never liked them. I had TaylorMade oversize irons with graphite shafts that were extremely flexible."

"When it got to where I was hitting my 7-iron 10 to 15 yards farther than my dad, he decided it was time for me to get steel shafts," he continued. "That's when I began to learn how to draw the ball, how to hit a fade, learned how to play golf."

Manziel most recently appeared as quarterback of The Zappers in a game for the Fan Controlled Football League earlier this year. The league allows fans to select starting line-ups and call plays in real-time.

The appearance came nearly a year after Manziel said he was moving on from his football hopes.

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"I can honestly say I'm happy and I'm doing the right things to try and put a smile on my face every day, and that means more to me than going out and grinding on a football field," he the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal in June 2020.

After being drafted by the Browns in the 2014 NFL Draft, Manziel was released just two years later. In 2018, Manziel revealed to ABC News that he suffers from depression and was taking medication for bipolar disorder during his time with the franchise.

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