Charles Barkley and Phil Mickelson will take on Peyton Manning and Steph Curry in The Match: Champions for Change this Friday, Nov. 27 at 3 p.m. on TNT. Barkley will officially exit the broadcasting booth -- something he clearly loves -- to enter another of his beloved arenas: the golf course.
However, the phrase "don't follow your heart" might be applicable here as Barkley's much-maligned swing has taken a beating over years of public play in charity events. Even his opponent, Curry, is ribbing him about a move at the ball that seems fake until you realize that it's not.
This compilation -- and there are many on YouTube -- probably best highlights how unique (to put it kindly) Barkley's swing actually is.
It's certainly getting better, however. He told Golf Digest recently that he has dedicated himself to improving, and it has shown.
"I have put the effort in, I put the work in, and I'm hoping I just can handle it under the pressure," he told Digest. "Let me just say this: I'm not bragging about it, but nobody has worked harder than me to be better at golf. I have hit balls five hours a day for the last six months. I just really wanted to get better at golf."
Even in a clip following The Match II in May when he played a hole alongside Justin Thomas, Barkley was serviceable. The big question will be whether his hitch (I guess we're calling that a hitch) will return when the red light flips on.
The format for this match is modified alternate show, so Mickelson will have to rely on Barkley to actually hit some shots for their team to win. But regardless of how he plays, Barkley will shine in the talking department, which is what these events are actually about. If he hits it well, that's just a bonus -- one that I'm sure Mickelson would appreciate.