Project Barkley

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Project Barkley

March 25, 2009

Golf Digest Teaching Professional Hank Haney retools retired NBA star Charles Barkley's swing for the Golf Channel reality show Project Barkley.Golf Digest Teaching Professional Hank Haney retools retired NBA star Charles Barkley's swing for the Golf Channel reality show Project Barkley.

Barkley tests clubs under Haney's--and the camera's--watchful eye at the Nike tech facility outside Fort Worth, Texas.Barkley tests clubs under Haney's--and the camera's--watchful eye at the Nike tech facility outside Fort Worth, Texas.

Part of Haney's prescription is for Barkley to hit a sequence of 50 balls in a row, without pausing, to produce a smoother, yip-free downswing.Part of Haney's prescription is for Barkley to hit a sequence of 50 balls in a row, without pausing, to produce a smoother, yip-free downswing.

Despite Barkley's full-swing problems, he has a sparkling short game, hitting bunker shots and putts like 5-handicap.Despite Barkley's full-swing problems, he has a sparkling short game, hitting bunker shots and putts like 5-handicap.

Checking out a custom club order from another prominent Nike signee--Michael Jordan.Checking out a custom club order from another prominent Nike signee--Michael Jordan.

Barkley changed out all of his irons and woods for new Nike models, but he kept his trusty 10-year-old putter.Barkley changed out all of his irons and woods for new Nike models, but he kept his trusty 10-year-old putter.

Back at Haney's teaching center outside Dallas, Barkley works on a flatter takeaway.Back at Haney's teaching center outside Dallas, Barkley works on a flatter takeaway.

Haney changed the position of Barkley's club at the top of the backswing by almost two feet, which helped him sequence his downswing.Haney changed the position of Barkley's club at the top of the backswing by almost two feet, which helped him sequence his downswing.

The first real test? Taking the rebuilt swing out to the course. Haney and Barkley played nine holes at Vaquero. Barkley saw some glimmers of full-swing hope: A couple of pars to finish the round.The first real test? Taking the rebuilt swing out to the course. Haney and Barkley played nine holes at Vaquero. Barkley saw some glimmers of full-swing hope: A couple of pars to finish the round.

Before teeing off at Vaquero, Barkley got an impromptu roasting from George Lopez, hockey star Brett Hull and David Feherty.Before teeing off at Vaquero, Barkley got an impromptu roasting from George Lopez, hockey star Brett Hull and David Feherty.

Back at the teaching center in Dallas after the round, Barkley tries to iron out some of the hiccups.Back at the teaching center in Dallas after the round, Barkley tries to iron out some of the hiccups.

Haney's goal? To have Barkley breaking 80 at the Lake Tahoe celebrity event this summer.Haney's goal? To have Barkley breaking 80 at the Lake Tahoe celebrity event this summer.

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