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Johnny Manziel confirms plan to be professional golfer on social media

Dec 20, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) warms up before the start of a game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Football taking his talents from the gridiron to the golf links? According to Johnny Manziel himself, that’s the plan after a failed career in the NFL.

Although he’s playing right now in the Fan Controlled Football league, Manziel recently confirmed he’s fully intent on fulfilling his dream to be a professional golfer.

Johnny Manziel references Happy Gilmore in affirming pro golf pursuit

The 28-year-old former NFL draft bust of the Cleveland Browns and Heisman Trophy winner at Texas A&M answered to the parody Twitter user Shooter McGavin, of Happy Gilmore Hollywood fame, to wittily reply and confirm he’s chasing greatness on the golf course:

This comes after Manziel said he’s aiming to play a PGA Tour event by the time he’s 40, per TheScore’s Caitlyn Holroyd:

“I’m giving myself 12 years to try to play professional golf. I’m gonna 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 go play professional golf eventually. I think it is a very uphill battle, but that’s what I’m setting for my goals.”

Johnny Manziel on aspiring to be a professional golfer

According to Golf Digest, Manziel is a “0 to 1 handicap” and has been an avid golfer even before and while he was enjoying his heyday as a college football superstar. There’s no question Manziel is an excellent athlete, but he didn’t have the desire or fierce work ethic to succeed as an NFL franchise quarterback.

Perhaps this new sports arena will be where Manziel can thrive.

Assessing Johnny Manziel’s chances of success in golf

Feb 2, 2017; Katy, TX, USA; Sherry Collins, of Waco, Texas and former Texas A&M quarterback and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel have fun talking with each other as Manziel walked out for a portrait session inside Stadium Signatures inside the Katy Mills Mall. Collins was first in line and waited 3 hours to get a picture taken with Manziel and an autograph. Hundreds of Texas A&M fans and alumni paid $99 to have their picture taken with Manziel or the $99 allowed them to get one item autographed by Manziel who is still loved in the state of Texas for many. Mandatory Credit: Eric Seals-USA TODAY Sports

Given the fact that he’s proven himself to be a scratch golfer even when football was his primary athletic focus, Manziel obviously has a lot of golfing talent. Whether or not he can discipline himself enough to grind away for hours on the driving range and fine-tune his short game enough to compete at the highest level is the greater question.

If Manziel is passionate enough about golf to legitimately pursue it as a professional, don’t count him out.

As much skill as JFF seems to possess as a golfer, the game is even more of a mental battle than it is physical.

Now, given his history of substance abuse and admitted diagnosis of bipolar disorder, Manziel will have needed to do a lot of work on himself to get to a point where he can hold up under pressure. Otherwise, he won’t progress very far in the golfing ranks.

Where the former signal-caller does have advantages are his celebrity status and past demonstration of mental fortitude. We’ve seen athletes like Stephen Curry and Jerry Rice gain exemptions into professional golf tournaments over others who spend their careers grinding away on mini tours. Something similar could be in store for Manziel once he’s ready to take on such an opportunity.

As for the mental aspect of golf, think about how much scrutiny and how bright the spotlight was for Manziel when he was at Texas A&M. There’s arguably never been a bigger star in college football history, and while that ultimately led to him buckling and flaming out at the NFL level, his capacity to handle all that and still dominate the SEC is quite an achievement.

The timeline of more than a decade Manziel has given himself to be a legitimate pro golfer at least demonstrates he’s realistic about how difficult this journey will be. Given his unique past, provided he can put some of his demons behind him and dedicate himself fully to golf, look for Manziel to at least make some headway in this pursuit in the next few years.