10-The hole where everything went wrong for Charles Barkley at Petey the Pirate’s Miniature Golf Course in Atlanta, Georgia. Charles was in town for his niece’s fourth birthday party at Adventure Park. After devouring 4 pieces of a double decker funfetti cake, Charles decided to put his skills to the test in a round of miniature golf with his nieces. Barkley started off keeping pace with the field parring the first 7 holes. After a birdie on the eighth and a bogey on the ninth, Barkley remained even for the day. As they approached the next hole, an enormous rain cloud drifted overhead. The tenth hole at Petey’s course, fittingly named Whirling Wind Escape, is the hardest hole on the course.
Whirling Wind Escape is a par 3, 41’ long hole lined with a dirty dark green rug over a floor of concrete. A massive bunker hugs the left-hand side of the course right off the tee box. Once beyond the bunker, the hole takes a sharp 90-degree left-hand turn where a water hazard creeps along the right side of the hole waiting to swallow up multi-colored golf balls. If a player survives the hazard, they come face-to-face with the most diabolical structure that Petey’s course has to offer, the petrifying 5’ Windmill. The tenth hole windmill has been known to transform a fun day of mini-golf with the family into an all-out melee laced with profanity. If you can somehow make it through the massive structure, players will need to putt up a small incline into the hole.
As Barkley approached the tenth tee box, light rain drops started to fall onto the course. He dropped the ball on the tee box, stopped it from bouncing with his foot, and analyzed his approach to the hole. Barkley confidently lined up his putt. He pulled the putter back gently and then struck the ball. A slight pull on the tee shot and the orange ball struck down in the bunker. By rule, Barkley had to take a drop.Shaking off the bad first shot, Barkley was determined to make up for it. His next shot went screaming off the side rail and directly into the water hazard.Now, noticeably frustrated, Barkley watched his niece putt her pink ball right past him. Sitting at 5 with what seemed like a colossal windmill between himself and the hole Barkley became distracted by his niece. “Uncle Chucky, you can just take a 5 and pick your ball up,” she said in what can only be described as a mocking tone. “Stop that Darshayla! Uncle Chucky don’t take no stroke limit,” Barkley responded. Barkley stared down the windmill and putt his ball directly into one of the windmill blades. His ball recoiled back almost exactly where he was standing. Furious now, Barkley whacked his ball, again and again, the ball smacked into the windmill blade. As this was happening, the rain kept falling and the dark green rug was now drenched. Barkley’s next putt looked true, heading towards the windmill opening, but abruptly came to a dead stop. Barkley had not accounted for the rain-soaked rug and his ball sat just outside the windmill, now on his 8th stroke. The next putt finally made it through and Barkley let out an audible sigh of relief. On the other side of the gigantic structure, Barkley found his ball 3 feet from the hole. With rain cascading off of the brim of his hat, Barkley approached his ball and putt. The orange ball traveled up the slight incline, headed towards the hole and at the last second hit the lip and ended inches from the cup. Barkley tapped in for a 10. Barkley finished the round 14-over par in sole possession of last place.
“I cannot believe I lost to my 7-year-old niece. My performance was just turrible,” Barkley said almost on cue in the post-round interview. This was a crushing performance we here at SportsStarch won’t soon forget.