Saturday, July 16, 2011

Barkley Finds Someone He Can Beat at American Century Championship.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

South Shore, Lake Tahoe, Nev. – Golf instructor Hank Haney had his hands full on Saturday trying to help Charles Barkley and Jimmer Fredette at the same time during the second round of the American Century Championship. The two worst golfers in the celebrity field were paired together for their adventure at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, and Barkley was swinging at the ball with his eyes closed.

“I’m trying to trick myself,” admitted Barkley, who hit some wonderful tee shots with his eyes closed on the practice range before his round.

Barkley’s struggles with the game of golf have been well documented, and the pronounced hitch in his downswing is as imitated among recreational golfers as Tiger Woods’ fist pump. Barkley’s attempt to improve was the subject of Golf Channel’s “Hank Haney Project.”

Well, Haney may have another “project.” Barkley might just be better than Fredette, who struggled with his chip shots from 50 yards-and-in. Barkley has more trouble off the tee.

“It’s a dream come true to play with Charles,” said a smiling Fredette, the sharp-shooting BYU graduate who was recently acquired by the Sacramento Kings of the NBA. “I loved watching him play. He played so hard and had such determination.”

Fredette’s best hole on Saturday was a bogey on the par-3 12th. He stopped his 5-iron approach 10 feet above the hole, but three-putted to tie Barkley, who one-putted after a chip from across the cart path and through a stand of pine trees.

“You don’t have no short game like mine, so don’t be trying any of those shots,” Barkley heckled Fredette after leaving himself a 5-footer for bogey.

Two holes later Barkley lined up, closed his eyes, and launched his tee ball 310 yards to the right rough, leaving him just 90 yards to the green. It was good enough for his second of three bogeys on his first nine holes.

“It takes a special athlete to hit a golf ball with his eyes closed,” Barkley joked to his new friend Jimmer.

By Craig Smith, former director of media relations for the U.S. Golf Association.

1 comment:

Chickpro said...

...actually, swinging with your eyes closed is a great kinesthetic drill often used by instructors dealing with students who assume golf is "hand-eye" coordination. Sports like hockey, baseball, tennis or cricket require hand-eye coordination because the player, instrument and implement are all moving, plus you can SEE the target (other player, outfield or goal). The player has to use an aggressive hit to change the direction of whatever they are striking in order to send it to the target...however - Golf is a passive-positional sport and requires that the player lets the club swing, versus trying to hit the ball. This happens when your POSITIONS are good at address, backswing, impact and finish. The stationary ball simply gets in the way of a great swing (not hit). By the way, it is well documented that blind people can golf, with the aid of a caddie who can help them with their ALIGNMENT - the only fundamental element that requires sight. Tell Charles to keep practicing with his eyes closed - enough repetition of the drill and something positive might just happen. Best regards, Joanne Anderson - Bachelor of Physical Education-Kinesiology and Teaching Professional, Turnberry Golf Club, Brampton ON Canada (and former caddie for the Celebrity Golf Association having caddied at Edgewood's tourney for Steve Gatlin in 1994 and the 3 Chrysler Celebrity Classics held in the Greater Toronto Area in 1993, 1994, and 1995)

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