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Jim Williams: Michael Phelps trades in Olympic pools for golf courses on TV show

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Sports,Golf,Jim Williams

You are Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time. You won 22 medals in the pool as the greatest swimmer ever to hit the water. So what's next?

In the case of the Baltimore-born Phelps, it's becoming a better golfer and allowing the world to follow your every move on the course. He stars in the fourth season of "The Haney Project" on the Golf Channel, which kicks off Monday at 9 p.m. Phelps will get some serious teaching from famed golf instructor Hank Haney.

During a conference call, Phelps spoke about the series as well as other topics. He was very loose, and it was clear he wants to get better at golf and have fun doing it.

Was it tough to learn to play golf with cameras recording your every move?

Phelps » "At first I was a little nervous. I don't get afraid to hit the camera if it's stuck in front of me, but the first couple times, we've had some close calls. There were close encounters throughout the show where we have almost taken a couple of the crew members out or multiple crew members out in one shot. So that's the thing. I think it's just going to be great for everybody to be able to watch and enjoy the show."

What do you hope to learn?

Phelps » "I'm learning something different every day about the sport, and you know, it's a tough sport, it's a very challenging sport and it is the most humbling sport. I'm used to being able to pick up something and just play. I don't want to say most sports come naturally to me, but I will say that golf has really tested me thus far."

Why should golf and sports fans watch?

Phelps » "It's probably going to be one of the funniest seasons you've ever seen of 'The Haney Project.' With the experiences that we have, with the friends that I have on the show, I don't want to give too much away, but I guarantee you we will have you laughing each part of the show, every single episode you ever watch. You may be crying because you're laughing so hard."

Examiner columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @wordmandc.

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