Ed Moses is trying to become the next high profile, two-sport athlete.
The gold and silver medal-winning swimmer of the 2000 Summer Olympics will attempt to make it to the PGA Tour when he tackles Qualifying School this fall.
The 28-year-old native of Virginia won a gold medal as a member of the U.S. 400-meter medley relay team and a silver in the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2000 Games. He put a number of other medals around his neck during his competitive swimming career that ended after the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2004, setting numerous national and world records along the way.
Moses swam for the University of Virginia and was an NCAA champ in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke, notching world records in both events. He graduated from UV in 2005 with a degree in sports medicine and has worked as an assistant coach at the school.
These days, Moses spends pretty much all of his time outside the pool, working out and refining his rapidly improving golf game. A relative newcomer to the sport, Moses has attacked golf with the same fervor with which he went after the finish line as a swimmer. In two and a half years, he has approached the level of a scratch golfer and believes it’s only a matter of time before he can play for some big-time money.
“All I do these days is work out and play golf,” Moses said at a recent charity tournament in Connecticut. “I have done some commentary for swimming meets and I give clinics and talk to kids about the sport and life. But golf is what I do now. I’m serious about it, that’s why I play on the Celebrity Tour.”
Moses, who now lives in Orlando, Florida and is one of the more accomplished players on the Celebrity Tour, is a member of Bay Hill Country Club, Arnold Palmer’s famed headquarters. In fact, one of Moses’ most memorable moments on a golf course came with The King nearby.
“I shot a 64 from the member’s tees at Bay Hill and Arnie was in the group behind us. Arnie knew what I had done and he gave me a thumbs up after we finished. That was special to have him acknowledge what I had done.”
Moses, who enjoys public speaking and simply hanging out with family and friends, works at the game five to six hours a day. He is being coached by Kevin Smeltz, a teacher at the David Leadbetter Academy.
“I love the game and love being outside,” said Moses. “The similarity between swimming and golf is that they are both results-based and individual. You can be as good as you want to be.”
Moses has had the pleasure of playing with Tiger Woods and said he picked up something from watching the world’s number one player up close.
“The thing about Tiger is that he has gears. Tiger believes he is the best and can beat all other golfers, and he’s been that way since he was a kid. If he is 10 shots behind, he still believes he can win. He has that uncanny ability to believe so strongly in himself.”
It is obvious watching from Moses play golf that he has a strong drive to be the best player he can be. After all, he didn’t win a gold and silver medal at the very highest level of swimming without having an enormous amount of dedication, willpower and confidence in his ability.
“I know I’m going to make it on tour, no matter how long it takes. One of the reasons I play the Celebrity Players Tour is to play good golf courses and against good competition.”
Perhaps fairly soon, the level of competition Ed Moses will be facing on a golf course will become much higher.