NBA all-star turned television analyst Charles Barkley, infamous in the golf world for his, uh, unique approach, still has some adjustments to make after a dismal last place finish at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe last weekend. Not even a new, one-handed golf swing was enough to help Charles Barkley get out of the cellar.
Charles Barkley’s hitch swing became a viral sensation on YouTube in 2007, though he had been struggling with the hitch since 1995. His abrupt stop mid-swing, followed by a wrist-driven follow through, had golf fans everywhere chuckling, but Barkley isn’t amused.
Back in 2008, Barkley teamed up with Hank Haney, who was still Tiger Woods' swing coach at the time, for the Golf Channel's "The Haney Project: Charles Barkley," which left Barkley capable of making a fluid swing at a range, but when he stepped on the course following the clinic, that all disappeared.
It’s not as if Barkley lacks the drive to succeed. Even Haney noted Barkley’s desire to get better, and Barkley has told the media on more than one occasion that he isn’t just playing horribly for the publicity. In fact, in the early 1990s, Barkley sported a 10 handicap, and consistently shot in the 80s.
As long as Barkley keeps trying to reinvent his swing, the golf community should continue to admire his dedication…but it's likely they'll need to suppress laughter as they do so.