Charles Barkley is one of the greatest power forwards to ever play in the NBA. At his peak, he was as athletically gifted as any big man and dominated despite not having the height of a traditional big — there’s a reason one of the main comparisons people have had for Zion Williamson has been “Charles Barkley, but bouncier.”
It’s important to remember that Barkley was once an elite athlete, because it can be easy to forget now that he’s the recipient of fat jokes from Shaq on the Inside the NBA desk and the only time we see him really doing any athletic ventures it’s hacking the ball around the golf course.
On Monday morning, the NBA on TNT’s Twitter account posted a video of Barkley playing a round of golf in Atlanta, and they cruelly put a shot tracer on him to show his ball sailing into the woods. The famous hitch in his swing only shows up on the last, as it’s not as prominent or there at all when he’s not playing in tournaments in front of galleries, but the results are still pretty terrible.
I love that the lone positive highlight is Chuck managing to punch out from a ditch in the trees, and the rest of the clips are him spraying shots all over the course. ProTracer/TopTracer/Trackman has become one of the best parts of golf broadcasts, because you can see the incredible trajectory and movement players can create to shape shots, but it’s at its best when put on a terrible shot.
Chuck gives us a lot of those here, and it’s a relatable video for many that have tried their hand at golf to disastrous results. It’s somewhat inspirational how Barkley continues to play golf and try to figure it out even though he’s clearly not very good at it, simply because he enjoys the game.