Barack Obama zings Steph Curry’s golf game after losing The Match

Steph Curry

Steph Curry hits his tee shot on the 8th hole during The Match: Champions for Change.

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They started out by exchanging pleasantries. Steph Curry was hosting a video chat with former President Barack Obama over Instagram on Wednesday to discuss Obama’s new memoir, and they joked about how neither could fully grasp the technology. “I think it’s fair to say that I had a lot of help,” Obama said. They talked Thanksgiving dinner. “Ayesha threw down. It was amazing,” Curry said of his wife, Ayesha Curry.

And then?

“And then I got on a plane that night to head down to Tucson to participate in The Match,” Curry said. 

“I wasn’t really going to bring that up,” Obama said. 

Seems as if when you lose a golf match, and you lose it on television, and you lose it to Charles Barkley, who, saying it politely, is not exactly known for his golf, the jabs come from all over, even from the former holder of the highest office in the land. Five days earlier, Curry and partner Peyton Manning lost 4 and 3 to Barkley and partner Phil Mickelson in The Match: Champions for Change. 

“I had to bring it up because I know we’ve played golf plenty of time before,” Curry said. “I know we’ve been on the same team once. We’ve been on opposite teams. I think I played a lot better when I was with you than I did with Peyton. Let’s just put it that way.”

Curry, who plays for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, was listed during the broadcast as a +1 handicap, while Manning, a former NFL quarterback, was shown as a 5. Mickelson, a five-time major winner, was a +5. Barkley? The basketball legend was down as a 25. 

“So, the question is, I assume it wasn’t Chuck that was intimidating in that situation?” Obama asked. 

“Nah. The only thing Chuck did, he played dumb leading up to The Match talking about, you know, his swing and all this stuff,” Curry said. “And I saw his swing on the range right before, and I knew we were in trouble at that point.” 

Curry and Manning won the first hole. Barkley and Mickelson won the next four. The format was modified alternate-shot match play, where each player hit a tee shot, the best one was chosen, and the shot alternating then began. 

Or, as Obama more simply put, it wasn’t all up to Barkley.

“Listen, I watched a little bit of it. And for those who are following us right now, Steph is an unbelievable golfer, much better golfer than I am,” Obama said. “But …

“There’s always a but,” Curry said. 

“The but is that if you play against a Hall of Fame professional golfer, all Chuck had to do was get it in some grass, and he will get the next shot on the green,” Obama said. “It didn’t really matter where it was. And Chuck was a better putter than I expected.” 

“That is for sure,” Curry said. “If it was anywhere around the green he exactly knew what to do.”

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at