Charles Barkley has one of the most recognizable swings in all of golf, but it’s mostly for all the wrong reasons.
Over the course of the last two years, SwingU Master Faculty member Stan Utley has been helping the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member who credits Utley with uncluttering his mind.
Barkley and Utley met at an Elevate Phoenix event in 2017, and while he made strides from 2017 to 2018, another year later, Barkley’s swing appeared night-and-day different from the infamous hitch swing that plagued him for more than a decade.
“Stan Utley’s my teacher,” Barkley said at November’s Elevate Phoenix charity event, which benefits at-risk youth in the city where Barkley played for the Suns from 1992-1996. “He’s been working with me since I met him here two years ago.”
Utley, who has coached major champions and Tour winners, has widely been considered one of the best teachers on the planet since he gave up playing competitively in the early 2000s.
A winner on the PGA and Web.com Tours, Utley had a chance meeting with Jay Haas during a tournament in South Carolina, which launched him into the next phase of his career as a noted short-game instructor.
Find out what Charles Barkley did to fix his swing and how Charles supports Phoenix urban youth tonight at 7pm ET on @GolfChannel! #learningcenter @TomLehman13 @stanutley @SchwabCupFinale @elevatephoenix @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/RFq8NVVNtc
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) November 13, 2019
Over the course of the next two decades, Utley built out his stable of top players and has been a mainstay on Golf Magazine and Golf Digest’s top teachers’ lists.
Based out of Grayhawk Golf Club’s Grayhawk Learning Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, Utley’s relationship with Lehman led him to participate in the major champion’s annual fundraising event for Elevate Phoenix where he met Barkley.
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Fun time working with my friend, Chuck yesterday. Cool to see his hard work pay off! Struggling to hit an iron? Focus on making a shorter swing and use your wrists to move the club head in the downswing. #pga #pgatour #golf #golfswing #nba #pingtour #footjoy #charlesbarkley #stanutley
“Everybody knows he pulls the handle, and holds on, then stops and flips,” Utley said succinctly describing Barkley’s previously-bizarre swing. “I literally did nothing other than get him to realize that the golf club has some levering action at the wrist. And when he pulls and stops with his old swing, he levers the club backward on the downswing.
“On the downswing, the club should be unlevering, but as soon as he realized he could use his wrists to throw the head of the club earlier, it got better.”
“He kind of unclutters my mind,” Barkley said of Utley. “I’ve had like 100 teachers, and all of them are talking to me at the same time. Now, I only listen to one teacher. Golf is a lot more fun when you listen to one teacher instead of a hundred.”
Utley’s direct and confident instruction comes from years of experience both playing and coaching at the highest level, and it’s proven to work as evidenced by his work with not only Barkley but the top players in the game.
Now, you can learn from Utley as well thanks to his Stan Utley App Academy, which brings Utley’s teachings directly to your smartphone.
Featuring an academy forum where Stan shares VIP content as well as an organized library of 75 tips, drills and lessons that Stan shares with his professional students, the Academy app will have you playing your best golf right away.