Charles Barkley Reveals His Respect for Gary Player With a Nelson Mandela Anecdote: ‘It Was One of the Greatest Things of My Life’

Published 01/11/2022, 12:09 PM EST


Former NBA star Charles Barkley is an avid golf fan. Notably, he has been playing golf regularly since his retirement and is famous for having an unorthodox swing. In fact, he has even competed with professional golfers at charity and pro-am events and has impressed everyone with his game. However, his golf swing was slightly unconventional, which garnered some unwanted attention.  

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Speaking of his time on the course, Charles recently revealed an anecdote involving golf legend Gary Player and we can’t get over it.  

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Charles Barkley reveals his playing experience with Gary Player

Back in the day, Charles Barkley wanted to meet the legendary South African and Jack Nicklaus. “I really wanted to meet Gary Player, and I got a chance to play golf with Mr. Player,” he said. Charles also revealed that he always called them Mr. Player and Mr. Nicklaus, and not Gary or Jack. 

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To his surprise, he once found out that Gary Player wanted to play golf with him. “It was one of the greatest things of my life,” said Charles. He even revealed that Gary told him about the time he was with Nelson Mandela once. “Hey, stop right there,” said Barkley“That was like those are heroes to me. And like, you know, Mr. Player, he just can’t say, Hey, I was hanging out with Nelson Mandela one day and just keep going on to the next thing.” 

THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS – MAY 04: Golfing legend Gary Player waves as he is introduced during the ‘3M Greats of Golf’ at the Insperity Invitational at The Woodlands Country Club on May 04, 2019 in The Woodlands, Texas. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Evidently, Charles Barkley is a huge fan of Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus. He also revealed that he recently met Mr. Nicklaus and claimed it was the best thing that ever happened to him.

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Furthermore, Gary Player and Charles Barkley met and had a round of golf for the first time in October 2020. Notably, Charles Barkley wore the iconic black outfit identical to the legend Gary Player.  

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Amey Kulkarni

659 articles

Amey Kulkarni is a Golf writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in mass media from HR College, Mumbai. Before joining EssentiallySports he used to write articles on Golf and Cricket on his personal blog cricgolf.

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