Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Charles Barkley's golf swing lacks in grace and decency but the gallery loves him for it

His golf swing has been described as an assault on trees and spectators. And that was after widely publicized lessons.  

Yet you have to admit that even with his bizarre method, which fully lacks in any sort of technique control, Charles Barkley is the hands-down favorite to watch among the gallery at the American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe.
Barkley's one handed swing always draws a crowd. 
“There are worse things to suck at in life than golf,” Barkley once quipped. 

Wise words for a man, with a resume that includes NBA Hall of Famer, TNT basketball analyst, weight loss pitchman, SNL host, Hank Haney poster child, humanitarian, wildly popular every man and political commentator.

But good golfer he is not. Not even close. And Sir Charles will likely prove it again at the 24th American Century Championship July 16-21 at Edgewood Tahoe. 

He'll join an all-star list of players including Olympic Gold Medal swimmer Michael Phelps, John Elway, Aaron Rodgers, Bode Miller, Chipper Jones, Ray Romano, Larry the Cable Guy, Jerry Rice, Brian Urlacher and J.R. Smith. Televised on NBC Sports, the 54-hole event includes a purse of $600,000.

Though his swing may resemble a helicopter going down, Sir Charles, an elder statesman of the American Century Championship, annually attracts some of the largest fan galleries. 

The Pied Piper of personality is one of the most ingratiating celebrities every year. He talks with the gallery, offers philosophical insights and frank opinions, takes pictures with kids, signs autographs and talks to the media all while bemoaning errant shots.

Often the last place finisher at the tournament over the years, Barkley outperformed Javier Colon and Brandi Chastain at the 2012 tournament. He is listed at 500-1 in the Harrah’s Tahoe Sports Book.

Sir Charles has managed to turn shaky golf into a comedic art form and does it with a heart of gold. Behind the scenes, Barkley has become an ambassador for Tahoe South, helping aid victims of the 2007 Angora Fire with $190,000 in donations and treating 100 firefighters and their families to dinner.

Celebrity sightings, parties and superstar entertainment are on tap for South Lake Tahoe during the week-long festivities. The tournament has been played at Edgewood Tahoe’s 6,707-yard lakeside course since its launch in 1990.

Advance tickets are available online at Discount tickets are also being sold at 127 Raley's, Nob Hill and Bel Air grocery store locations throughout Northern California and Nevada. During the tournament, tickets are available daily at the gate. 

Daily passes are $15 for the Lake Tahoe Celebrity-Amateur on Tuesday, July 16; practice round on Wednesday, July 17; and the American Century Celebrity-Amateur on Thursday, July 18; and $25 for each tournament round, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A Patron Badge Season Pass, good for admission all six days, are $60. Kids 10 and under are free when accompanied with a paid adult. 

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