Golf nut Johnny Manziel reveals the most money he’s ever played for on the golf course

Johnny Manziel has turned into a big golf fan and an even better player.

Has Johnny Football become Johnny — Golf? OK, so the latter doesn’t necessarily roll off the tongue as eloquently as the former. Still, Manziel has become quite the golfer.

The former Heisman Trophy winner joined GOLF’s Subpar hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz this week to discuss his overnight rise to fame as a college quarterback at Texas A&M, what went wrong in his time with the Cleveland Browns and, of course, his love for the game of golf.

But Manziel wasn’t always a big golfer. He said his dad got him into the game when he was about 5 years old, and it was easy to play since he lived on a golf course.

“He says, ‘You can’t go hang out with your friends in different neighborhoods or go be a hoodlum around the streets, but you can take the golf cart anytime you want, go grab a bag of balls and go wear yourself out anytime,'” Maziel said. “So that’s kind of how I grew up — hated it.”

Manziel said he was playing baseball at the time and that football was just coming into his life, so golf was just something his dad taught him to do on the side. But after his rookie season in Cleveland, Manziel moved from downtown closer to a golf course and “fell in love with it again.” He had memberships to two courses, would squeeze in practice time or rounds whenever he could and played often with then-Cleveland Cavaliers star J.R. Smith.

Now, out of pro football and living in the Phoenix area, Manziel said he plays at least four times a week. Stoltz asked Manziel the most money he’s ever played for on the course.

“Probably like a hundred grand,” Manziel said. “We do like, more group things, right. So you get 5 on 5, 10 on 10, whatever it is, and you kind of pull it all together. I go out to Midland [in west Texas] every now and then and play against a nice group of dudes. Listen, golf is a little different out there. They hit these little worm-burners that just run forever. And you look and they make birdie at the end of the hole and you’re kind of like, What the heck? What is this?”

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“They own every oil well you drive by and they just like to have a good time,” Manziel continued. “And it gets to the point where it’s kind of just like, let it ride. At the end of the day I doubt you can sweep me all the way through; I doubt I can sweep you all the way through. We’ll meet somewhere in the middle and figure it out.”

Manziel says he’s a 2-handicap, although GOLF’s Subpar hosts were quick to tell him it should be closer to scratch. The 27-year-old says golf has turned into an escape for him, and he’s hoping to keep getting better.

“It’s a chance for me to go out and compete,” he said. “I have no one to be mad at but myself at the end of the day, other than me, and I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m grinding it, but I’ve definitely taken it from like a 6-7 handicap to getting it to where I feel like I’m supposed to go out and shoot around par every day.”

You can watch the entire Subpar episode with Manziel below.

Josh Berhow Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at