Barkley Tees Off, Takes Out Spectator With Slice

Taking a break from his “Inside The NBA” duties, Charles Barkley decided to hit the links Thursday - the golf links, although I’m sure Chuck would have preferred the sausage kind. Barkley took part in the Regions Charity Classic, which makes some sense, since Sir Charles’ infamous swing could use all the charity it can get.

Charles Barkley golf divot

(Just your average Charles Barkley tee shot)

Even though he’s been working on his game with famed golf instructor Hank Haney (check local listings), it’s evident that the Round Mound of Rebound could use a couple more TV seasons to sharpen his skills.

Barkley’s bad golf can certainly be amusing to those watching, but it can also be very dangerous to anyone in Charles’ immediate vicinity. Unless you head out to the course hoping you’ll be hit in the neck.

(With video after the jump.)

Jon Solomon of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS explains that’s just what happened to Tommy Parrish, one of the spectators gathered around the sixth hole as Barkley was set to tee off. Parrish was keeping an eye on his grandson, making sure the youngster wouldn’t be struck by an off-course ball. But Grandpa Tommy should have been watching out for himself, as Chuck’s opening shot nailed Parrish in the back of the neck.

Here’s some Zapruder-esque video of the neck-smacking slice:

Ouch. But Tommy took it all in stride, explaining that you can’t believe everything you see on TV:

“I’ve been watching his show and thought his golf game had improved a little bit,” Parrish said as he applied ice. “But it hasn’t.”

Charles said later about the sixth hole smack, “That was unfortunate, I hit plenty of people.” But Barkley apologized for bonking the innocent bystander, and even signed the wayward ball for the bruised Parrish.

Seems like a pretty painful way just to get someone’s autograph.