It’s good to be king.
Or the GOAT (greatest of all time).
Michael Jordan, owner of six NBA titles and a spectacular golf course, has earned the right to make his own rules – and MJ’s competitive nature led to a specific course design.
PGA Tour pro Rickie Fowler told Golf.com that Jordan’s exclusive golf club, The Grove XXIII, is tailored cleverly to allow for non-PGA stars to compete with the best.
Fowler said long hitters – you know, the best golfers in the world – must hit their drives into narrower fairways than the more conventional players, such as Jordan.
The fairways are much wider for the shorter hitters and thus, one advantage for the pros is eliminated – unless they go high-risk, high-reward to hit the narrow swath of grass and stay clear of the nasty rough.
Fowler spoke during a Golf.com podcast about why pros call the course “Slaughterhouse XXIII.”
“The shorter you hit it, the wider it is,” Fowler told Golf.com. “He can basically hit driver on all the par 4, par 5s. And if I want to hit driver, I have to kind of put it into a bit of a tighter spot. I can obviously play back if I want, but that becomes a little bit of a disadvantage, especially if it’s a hole where he’s getting a stroke on.”
Sounds like there is frequently some good-natured wagering?
“The tees and pins are done every day, so the golf course can play as long as you want, but they set the back tees at roughly 7,000 or 7,100 yards, and MJ just plays the back tees.”
Jordan opened the club in Hobe Sound, Fla., in fall 2019, and Fowler is one of the fewer than 100 members, a number intentionally kept low to enhance the club’s exclusive nature.