On the Lip with Charles Barkley

By: Elisa Gaudet

“Mirror Mirror on the wall . . .”

Throughout time, truly great athletes from every sport have had signature moves that set them apart, ones that children emulate growing up and that millions dream about possessing for even a moment. Jordan’s “air” dunk, Marino’s quick release, Dr. J’s free throw-line slam, Ali’s shuffle, “Bend it like Beckham’s” free kick, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s sky hook, Jimmy Connor’s two-handed backhand.

Most athletes want to be admired and recognized for their physical qualities and attributes. Although Charles Barkley is a well-regarded NBA player and outspoken TV personality, in the golf world he’s known for a swing that makes teaching gurus and PGA Tour buddies – including Tiger Woods – cringe.

Barkley, a 20 handicap, now claims to have retired from golf. This comes after a disappointing performance in a recent celebrity tournament where he was beat by . . . a girl. “If you can’t beat a girl and you can’t beat a smart kid you have to give up,” said Barkley.

Encouraged by fellow pro basketball player, Andrew Tony, Charles started playing when he was 25 years old. “One of the great things about golf is you have alone time away from people and you can call penalties on yourself,” said the player known as ‘The Round Mound of Rebound.’

With Barkley, what you see is what you get, and his colorful commentary never ceases. While at the PGA Championship, I was suddenly caught in a friendly crossfire: imagine something between Pat Buchanan and Jerry Springer. From the balcony of Balustrol’s clubhouse, Barkley, the self-appointed fashion policeman, shouts out to the even more colorful fashionista, “Mr. Style” Marty Hackle.

“Hey man – you can’t ever wear that outfit again, ever. It’s too much,” Barkley said. “There is one thing everyone does, everyone, everyday, no matter who you are and that is they look in the mirror. Man did you look in the mirror?”

Marty’s rebuttal, in a much quieter tone due to Charles size: “Have you looked at your swing in the mirror?”

Photo credits by Steve Elkington

Elisa Gaudet brings a wealth of entertainment and golf experience to Cybergolf. Elisa has spent the past several years in the golf industry in the U.S., Latin America and Spain. She worked for the PGA Tour and the Tour de las Americas before founding Executive Golf International, a golf marketing company that works with clients to develop strategies using golf as the medium. Often referred to as the Maria Bartiromo (a business analyst for CNBC) of golf, Elisa says: “Golf, as a marketing tool, has been around for years. It’s amazing how many new ways companies can align their brand with the golf market to reach their target audience. Our goal is to create alliances and establish cross-border relations.” Elisa also worked in the entertainment industry for over 10 years, including five in Los Angeles as a model and actress. She can be seen at many celebrity golf events and often gets the inside scoop from PGA Tour players. For more information about Elisa, visit her websites at www.onthelip.com or Executive Golf International www.execgolfintl.com.