JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Rashean Mathis isn’t completely sure what he’s going to be doing with the next part of his life now that he has retired from professional football, but he does know that golf is going to be a big part of it.
Mathis, who signed a one-day contract and retired as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Wednesday afternoon, said he has been working almost daily at a golf academy at a Jacksonville-area course with the hope that he’ll one day be good enough to play professionally.
"Right now it’s family and church, and my family has given me a little way to make golf something that I focus on," Mathis said. "I want to see how good I can get at golf.
"… I’m a competitor so I just can’t sit in the house all day. It’s a good way for me to get out of the house and compete."
Mathis said he previously got his handicap down to a 4, but that was before he had any professional instruction. He’s not sure where he stands now because he has been revamping his swing at the Tom Burnett Golf Academy at St. Johns Golf and Country Club in St. Augustine, Florida.
"I’ve been at this academy for a month now and they kind of broke me down to build me up," Mathis said. “… I never picked up a club during a season and I can get myself down in single digits. So to do it year round I’m kind of anxious to see where it goes."
Mathis, who played 10 seasons with the Jaguars and the last three with the Detroit Lions, said he’s thinking bigger than playing on the unofficial celebrity golf tour, which has its premiere event, the American Century Celebrity Golf Classic, in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, in July.
"Celebrity tour, I think I could have done that without coaching," Mathis said. "I think I was that good already. I’m trying to blow past that so that’s not really my aim. Celebrities are good but they’re celebrities swinging a golf club. I’m trying to be a golfer swinging a golf club. That’s kind of my drive."
Mathis, who owns the Jaguars record with 30 career interceptions, turns 36 in August so he has a while to attempt to play on the PGA Champions Tour. He’s not even thinking about the PGA Tour, either.
"That’s their job and they’ve been doing it for a long time," Mathis said. "I want to see how good I can get. You can’t lie in golf so if I can’t go shoot under par on any golf course that I play then I know I’m not good enough at it."