Welcome to The Fringe, Back9Network's daily feature created to keep you up to date on the best stories happening in golf, social media and pop culture.
Paul Azinger Offers Charles Barkley Lessons
Many have tried but no one has yet succeeded in fixing the train wreck that is Charles Barkley's golf swing. Even legendary instructor Hank Haney couldn't get to the bottom Sir Charles' devastatingly bad golf swing. Now, you can add former PGA Champion Paul Azinger to the list of people willing to try:
Dear Charles Barkley Plz come to FI and I will give you a free golf lesson If you aren't fixed in 20 min, you can shave my head!
— Paul Azinger (@PaulAzinger) July 21, 2014
Azinger offered up his help after Barkley had yet another "turrible" week at the American Century Championship in Tahoe. According to Colt Knost, it looks like Barkley is interested:
— Colt Knost (@ColtKnost) July 22, 2014
After his round, Barkley opened up about his swing and the frustration of not being as good at golf as he'd like to be.
Oddly enough, after playing and dominating in the NBA for the better part of two decades, Barkley chalks his struggles up to not being able to play golf in front of a crowd.
"It's just pressure. I choke like a dog," Barkley told the Golf Channel during a rain delay at last week's tournament. "There's worse things in life than sucking at golf."
His swing looks good on the range but the poor guy can't bring it to the course. No offense to Paul Azinger and Hank Haney, but Barkley's issues seem more like a job for noted sports psychologist Bob Rotella.
"No one wants to suck at anything in life," Barkley said. "I'm not going to lose sleep over playing bad golf, but I'd like to get better."
If this lesson comes to fruition, lets hope it's all taped -- the lesson and the inevitable head shaving.
Graeme McDowell Gives Impromptu Lesson at the Range
Graeme McDowell is one of the marquee names on the PGA Tour and one of the many stars of the game lurking around the Orlando, Fla., area -- literally.
This week at Golf.com, it's G-Mac week and the 2010 U.S. Open champion has taken over its YouTube account and is surprising unsuspecting folks at the driving range, helping them with their swings and giving away some swag:
Can you imagine? You're hanging out at the driving range on your day off or after work, grinding it out, trying to find the key that's going to take your game to the next level, and all of a sudden you're getting tips from a major champion. That's got to be the coolest thing in the world. I also imagine this doesn't ever happen in Montana or Maine -- this seems like something exclusive to Florida or California.
Either way, it's cool to see McDowell hanging out at the range and lending a helping hand. It's nice -- comforting, even -- to know that at any time, a major champion could be lurking behind that bush waiting to help you out.
Ray Allen Dresses Up During Trip to China
Back9Network's Ray Allen has been enjoying himself this offseason while he tries to decide whether to hang up the J's or to lace 'em up for another year in the NBA. Along with spending plenty of time on the links, Allen has also been traveling. He's spent the last week or so in China, documenting his journey all the way on Instagram.
As you might imagine, it's made for some pretty awesome pics. This one, however, may be the best:
"This Chinese general would've been a beast back in the day if he had Jays on his feet. Lol"
Allen dressed as an ancient Chinese archer during an appearance on a local TV show, where he was supposed to shoot an apple off of a basketball using a bow and arrow -- hence the outfit.
Allen is in China as part of a promotional trip for Nike and has been making appearances all over the country in the last week. For more great shots of Allen's trip, check out his Instagram page and, if you can speak Chinese or are just interested in watching the full video, click here.
Hopefully it won't be too long before Allen decides where he'll be playing next year so he can go back to shooting jumpers -- not apples.
Related Link: LeBron James & Teammates Support Ray Allen Golf Classic
In Case You Missed It
Lydia Dough: Golf's 17-Year-Old Millionaire
At just 17 years old, Lydia Ko is the youngest millionaire on the LPGA Tour, ever. Four professional wins and more than $1 million in earnings is an accomplishment most teenagers (and adults, for that matter) can only dream of.
Ko received a hefty paycheck of $210,000 on Sunday after winning the Marathon Classic. When asked about the money in a press conference Sunday, Ko joked, “Pretty sure that goes into my mom's account or something.” Read More
Open Championship Reflections: The State of Golf Is Strong
The record books will tell us that Rory McIlroy won the 2014 Open Championship at Hoylake by just two shots. Anybody who believes that the 25-year-old Irishman did anything other than stroll to his third major victory knows little about golf. He was in control of the final round from the moment he holed that birdie putt on the first hole to extend his overnight lead to seven shots. Read More
Out Of Bounds
Unless you're a baseball nerd like me, you probably don't remember Wily Mo Pena, and that's OK. I'm not sure Wily Mo Pena expects you to remember Wily Mo Pena. That being said, he did something pretty memorable at the Japanese League All-Star Game this week and it's been spreading around the Internet like wildfire.
Pena spent parts of seven seasons in the majors with the Reds, Nationals, Red Sox, Diamondbacks and Mariners. Despite having all the power in the world (as you'll soon see) he couldn't hold on to a career in the States. He joined the Japanese leagues, where American slugging busts like Tuffy Rhodes (yes, that Tuffy Rhodes) go and become Greek gods of the long ball.
Pena has done just that in his time in the Far East, hitting majestic home runs that would probably be orbiting Earth were it not for the ceiling of the Tokyo Dome. In this video, I have no idea what the announcers are saying (nor do I know why they have a kid's picture in Pena's lower third, or what "super baseball" is) and odds are, neither will you. But that doesn't matter -- the long ball is a universal language:
Related Link: Rory McIlroy Gets Booed by Liverpool (F.C.) Fans
Other Hot Links:
- Will Rory McIlroy Win 18 Majors? Padraig Harrington Says Yes
- World’s Most Expensive Golf Vacation Costs $400,000
- Lydia Dough: Golf's 17-Year-Old Millionaire
- Rory McIlroy Joins 9 Others With 3 Legs of Career Grand Slam
- Charles Barkley's New Swing Isn't Turrible, Still Finishes Dead Last
- Hockey Star Tyler Seguin Allows Tee Shot Off His Nether Region