To the casual viewer, golf and football are two very different sports but despite their differences, professional football players, former and current, use transferable athletic skills as an advantage in their golf game. Josh Jackson is doing just that, he turned down a career in the NFL and has made a name for himself in the sport of golf and as a long driver. The decision to leave football was not easy for Josh, the son of a 14-year NFL All-Pro Offensive lineman.

Josh started his college career playing Division 1 football like his dad, but decided to transfer to Kentucky State University, where he was able to play football and golf collegiately.  After college, when Josh was shifting his focus from football to golf, he still reflected on to those experiences from his childhood he would never forget. “It was amazing being on the sidelines for my dad’s career in the NFL. Being around guys who were dominating the league at the time, like Junior Seau and Jerome Bettis, was a surreal experience.” Josh was able to take life lessons from teammates of his father, who were the best in the league at their positions for many years. 

Even though Josh had spent much of his time on the sidelines of NFL practices and games watching guys get hurt every day, he was still not prepared for his first real injury. In 2014, Josh Suffered a patella rupture that put his new-born golf career on pause. This injury forced Josh to undergo surgery and not swing a club for more than two years. The patience and process of recovery was a new challenge. “Everything was different back then; they did not pay as much attention to injuries. It was more of a tape it up and go back out there dynamic. I had no idea how difficult the recovery would be.” Finally, as Josh felt back to his old self in 2017, he decided to pursue a new style of golf for him, the sport of Long Drive.

Four years after the surgery and now fully recovered from the injury, Josh added 17MPH to his Clubhead speed and began competing on the World Long Drive Tour. This was his first taste of the competitive Long Drive Tour, and he instantly knew this would be his future. “My first event was in Mesquite, and it lit my fire. I’m a pretty competitive dude, who hates losing, so after that event I knew I wanted to keep improving my game and establish myself here on this tour.” Along with competing in other golf events around the country, Josh’s ball speed and club speed continued to rise with the new focus on long driving. “My numbers just kept improving as I really started to focus on Long Drive and play more and more.”

Josh Jackson’s 2023 season has been building momentum. With Josh’s body finally feeling 100%  he is looking to make waves this season after advancing to the round of 32 in the second event of the year in Hobe Sound, Florida and narrowly missing out on the round of 32 in Mesquite II after a playoff for the final spot. When he is not competing, Josh Jackson spends his time passing on knowledge of the sport and fitness tips to the next generation. His website, JoshJacksonGolf.com , gives his fans, followers, and young golfers a way to keep up with his weekly routine and prepare for World Long Drive. Look for Josh on the WLD tour, as he is a player bound to make his presence felt.