An open challenge to Michael Phelps

This is going to be fun.

Goal: Take on Michael Phelps in 18 holes of golf in the late summer of 2013.

Why Michael?: He has announced that he is seriously pursuing golf, has struck a club deal with Ping and has been working with Hank Haney on The Haney Project this year so should be a formidable opponent and a fun challenge for us both. A long term challenge like this is a wonderful way to stay engaged and sharpen your skills. I see it like a Rocky versus Drago type match. Pretty sure in Rocky in this one.

Here’s how it works. First step is to write up the challenge and post it on the Internet via the blog (which we’re doing right now).

Second step is to start tweeting and FB posting to spread the word.

Third step: contact people who work with Michael, whether the producer of The Haney Project or Michael’s swimming coach (who I met while presenting at Chicago Ideas Week last October).

Fourth step: write about it fairly regularly on the blog until it becomes a reality.

Spread the word and let’s make this happen. Dan Plan takes on Michael Phelps summer 2013.

I’m tempted to ask what people think the outcome will be, but will keep that question for a future blog.

Just landed in San Jose, have a connection long enough to write this blog and am about to take off again. Will be in Southern California today until next Monday. Meeting with Titleist tomorrow and am excited!

  • Charlie

    What’s in it for Michael?

  • Pete

    Fifth Step: Profit

  • Marco

    What’s in it for Dan beside a lot of PR for Phelps with writiing about it in all social networks? I don’t think that all this work will pay off. And one round of golf is not worth it. May be I’m mistaken and Dan’s popularity will increase dramatically after that match, but I doubt it.

  • zhao

    Come on!

  • Brian Kuehn

    Maybe you need to re-think this idea, Dan. Your goal is to make the PGA Tour through 10,000 hours of focused practice. Trying to bait Michael Phelps into a golf match is going to take time and energy away from your primary goal. Certainly, if you succeed in having a match with a famous person, be it Michael Phelps or another celebrity like Donald Trump, your notoriety will increase. You risk, however, creating a side show atmosphere around your project. Once you start down that road many people are going to conclude that this project is less about testing a theory and more about publicity and money.

  • thedanplan

    I hadn’t thought about what’s in it for either of us, really. To me, it’s a fun challenge between two people who take golf seriously and are trying their hardest to improve. If Michael is true about what he says as his goals he should be a formidable opponent come late summer. I don’t think this will take away from my focus as it is something to train for and to prepare for and will only take one day to actually do. In my mind it will be like any tournament, just a bit more public and playing under the pressure of cameras is something to work on and improve. No extrinsic reason, just a challenge.

    Thank you all for the comments and let’s make this happen!

  • J.C.

    Good for you, best of luck.

    In terms of the posts about profit do you really think Dan should ignore making money? He quit his JOB. His goal is also not to play the US Amateur. It’s to play on the PGA tour. Why? Money is likely part of the equation. What’s wrong with that? If he makes the cut and wins a check you probably want him to donate the money to the charity of your choice.

    Competing against Michael in a match to raise money for charity would be a bit more on-point and more effective. Saying he should ignore ultimately making money is naive.

  • Steven Haase

    I think this is a great idea and it gives Michael a chance to measure his skill level agains Joe Nobuddy who was never a big athlete. If Dan wins then of course there is more press for dan- which is a good thing.!

  • Other Dan

    Practicing is important, but at times having a goal can keep from getting stale. As soon as I saw what Michael was doing I thought a match would be fun.

  • Charlie

    I agree that it’s a really good idea for Dan, but I wonder why Michael would be interested. It seems like there’s a sizable downside — losing to “Joe Nobody.” If you were Michael Phelps, would you want to play against someone who has been practicing 30 hours a week for 3 years? Presumably MP can play in any pro-am he’d like, at any PGA Tournament, for the next couple of years, and if he wanted to raise money for charity he could play any number of celebrities, from Tony Romo to Bill Clinton, from Justin Timberlake to Catherine Zeta-Jones…

    As a Fan of Dan, I say Go for it! Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and all that. But it’s a long shot.

  • William Evan

    Hmm, I see this site has added half naked Filipino woman advertisements.

  • davidshiking

    The adds you see are a result of YOUR OWN browsing history. Checking out some Filipino porn huh William? Perhaps a mail order bride in your near future? I kid I kid..

  • QuietJim

    My ad is to take swimming lessons in Teaneck New Jersey. Not Likely

  • davidshiking

    Google is moving towards AI and is smarter than all of us. You may not know it yet, but you do want swimming lessons in Teaneck New Jersey. :)

  • thedanplan

    My ad is for tee times in San Diego and to add 40 yards to my driver. I’ll take both of those.

  • Richard Chen

    While waiting for these matches to be setup, take the time to master playing the par-fives. The top players are under par on the par-5 holes of a round rather than being over par on these holes in a round.

    Beginners have trouble on par-5 holes, as these holes present them with more opportunities to screw up. The top players take advantage of par-5 holes, as these holes present them with more strokes to save by either getting on in two, or getting within a chip, or short pitch in two.

    If the golf course is empty like during late afternoons, (when there is not enough daylight left to complete a round starting on the first tee,) pick a short par-five, and hit a dozen shots off the tee hard but with accuracy, and play those in play to getting on in two, or close enough to the green for chips, or short pitches. By such concentrated practice on a short par-5 hole, there can be developed a mastery of playing short par-5 holes both physically and mentally, specially mentally.

    This type of practice can be applied to longer, and to the longest par-5 holes, once the short par-5 hole is mastered. It may not be possible to consistently reach these longer par-5 holes in two, specially without favorable wind, and roll. This forces the development of superior chipping, and pitching abilities by such means as developing the ability to get the clubface as square a possible at impact. The squareness of the clubface at impact for pitches can be developed by developing the ability to feel and to mentally “visualize” the clubface angle at impact. In short shots such a putting, chipping, and pitching, the clubface angle rather than clubhead swing path is the primary factor determining the direction of the ball.

    Once the par-5′s are mastered both physically and mentally by concentrated practicing of the par-5 holes, it will be possible to go consistently and routinely under par over these par-5 holes in a round. This ability will take scores to another low level towards scratch or better.

  • davidshiking

    Yup, mine are for GolfNow and Stoic Merino Long Underwear bottoms. It has me pegged.

  • jimmy

    Haaaaa haaaa, love it William, we all surf for porn but we also all know that ads are generated by our views, mine if for golf club repair, could easily be for some hot young blondes but I wouldn’t be blaming Dan

  • thedanplan

    The ads are a bit big brother esque. Mine today is for a Mazda 3 Skyactiv fuel efficient car which I’ve never looked up or emailed about, but it is the car that I rented while in Southern Calofornia. Strange.

  • davidshiking

    Google knows you rented that car, and I’m not joking. :)

  • Dan Plan’s Brother

    I’m not sure who’ll be the best golfer, but if someone hits a ball in the lake, there’s no doubt in my mind who will win the race to retrieve it. Good luck bro!

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  • Ben

    I love this idea. I hope Mr. Phelps hears about this and takes Mr. McLaughlin up on his gracious offer. May the best man win! ;)