Some golf swings are so bad, they even look painful. Charles Barkley’s discombobulated golf swing has been a source of ridicule and derisive internet memes for well over a decade.
But the TNT analyst is now chuckling alongside his harshest social media critics. Sir Charles is cashing in on his infamous ungainly swing to promote AleveX, a topical pain reliever from the makers of Aleve.
While a newly released digital commercial pokes fun at Barkley’s chronic on-course woes, the 58-year-old has made dramatic strides with his golf game of late and has actually ridden himself of the pronounced glitchy action that has wreaked havoc on his scorecard for so many years. Under the tutelage of golf instructor Stan Utley, the NBA Hall of Famer’s spasmodic mid-swing hitch is no more and he’s currently playing the best golf of his life.
“I’m shooting in the mid-80s. For me, improving my swing was something I wanted to do for myself,” Barkley explains.
“It didn’t have anything to do with what was being said about me on the internet, I don’t care about that. In working with Stan, he helped make a few refinements that changed my swing and changed how I performed on the course,” he adds.
Two time PGA Tour winner and Twitter swing roast master extraordinaire Max Homa who stars alongside Barkley in the ad, pithily commenting on his awfulness, has been gobsmacked by Barkley’s transformation.
“Stan has done a great job and Charles’ swing looks really solid now! It’s smooth and has some rhythm which is a big improvement. It also looks like a lot more fun now,” he says.
Of course Homa describes Barkley’s storied golf swing of yore, before the Utley makeover, in far less flattering terms.
“It’s rare to be able to actually see someone thinking as they perform an athletic movement, but we could all see his brain and body arguing as he brought the club to the ball,” Homa explains.
Emboldened by the strides he’s made, Barkley even went so far as to wager $100,000 on himself to finish in the Top 70 at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament this past weekend in Nevada. The 5-to-1 odds prop bet at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill would have paid out $500,000 but Barkley fell short, finishing T-76 in the 87-player field. The result though was still proof in the pudding that the Round Mound of Rebound has leveled up. Barkley typically finishes in the absolute dregs of the leaderboard—he was at the bottom of the heap in 2017 and second last in 2018 and 2020.
“With my improving game, my best golf is definitely ahead of me. Not sure if I’d tell you to put money on where I’ll finish just yet but you never know,” Barkley says.
Barkley and Homa are joining forces to find the worst golf swing in America. The sweepstakes winner will score Aleve swag and have the privilege of being personally roasted by Chuck and Max via video chat.
Sandbaggers beware: Aleve has picked the right men for the job. You’ve got a pro golfer with a penchant for hilarious and incisive pro bono amateur swing analysis and a trash talking basketball legend who previously held the title that is up for grabs.
“I have seen a ton of good swings now, many of them bad, so I believe I will be able to catch the ones that truly stand out,” Homa explains.
“We’ll take a look at their form, mechanics, aim, distance, all that good stuff and formulate a plan of attack. But, it’s all in good fun,” Barkley adds.