Meeting major stars is a big deal. Even for someone like Charles Barkley. The NBA All-Star turned-analyst joined GOLF’s Subpar podcast with hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz last week to talk about his own golf game, betting with Michael Jordan on the golf course and more. He also talked about his first time meeting two of golf’s biggest stars: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
As for meeting Woods, Barkley said he watched him when he played in the Phoenix Open, but didn’t know him or speak to him. A year or two later Barkley was in the process of organizing his golf tournament for his alma mater, Auburn, at Grand Cypress in Orlando.
During a party at Planet Hollywood that was tied to the event, Barkley received an unexpected message.
“Somebody calls somebody, says ‘Hey, Tiger Woods lives up the street. He wants to come to the party,'” Barkley recalled. “I’m like, Is that a stupid question. Of course he can come to the party! I think this was like when he first went pro. Honestly it was crazy because he shows up and everyone was like going crazy. He was awesome. And then my tournament was the next day, so he comes and socializes and we all have a great time and sit around and after he says, ‘How long you guys going to be in town?’ That was a Sunday night … we were going to play golf Monday and then leave. And we’re like, ‘What you got in mind?’ He says, ‘If you guys hang around we can play golf.’ Oh, yeah, hell yeah we gonna stay here and play golf with you.”
Barkley said he ended up staying and playing golf with Woods on Tuesday and Wednesday.
As for meeting Mickelson, that happened through Mickelson’s wife, Amy, who Barkley says “is the sweetest lady ever. She was so awesome. She’s one of the nicest women I have ever met.”
Barkley said he was talking to her one day and she mentioned her boyfriend.
“She says, ‘Hey Phil,’ like she had called him or something, and I’m like, What’s his last name?” Barkley said. “She’s like, ‘He plays golf.’ So what’s his last name? She says it’s Mickelson. I said, Wait, your boyfriend is Phil Mickelson? Oh hell no Amy, I got to play with that dude. Phil’s still in college at the time but I keep up with college sports too. And obviously being in Arizona they were giving him a lot of love that he deserved, and I’m like, Amy, you know I like you, but I need to play golf with Phil Mickelson. And he was awesome. And he’s crazy. I have never seen a guy try more trick shots than that dude.”
Barkley will get a chance to spend more time with both golfers this weekend. He’s one of the analysts for Sunday’s match that has Woods and Peyton Manning teaming up against Mickelson and Tom Brady. You can watch Barkley’s complete Subpar appearance below.