If there’s one thing we know about Michael Jordan, it’s that he likes to win. At everything. Whether it’s NBA titles or MVP awards or cards or dice or whatever, MJ has never made it a secret that he’s going to do whatever it takes to win. And that apparently also includes designing a golf course to give himself an advantage over professionals in those big-money games he likes to play on the links.
PGA Tour star Rickie Fowler is one of the most notable members of Jordan’s highly exclusive club in Florida, The Grove XXIII, and recently spoke on the advantage MJ gave himself when helping put together the course pros are calling “Slaughterhouse XXIII.”
Michael Jordan opened The Grove XXIII in 2019
Michael Jordan has long been hooked on the game of golf so it was only a matter of time before the six-time NBA champion opened his own club, which he did in the fall of 2019 near his home in Hobe Sound, Florida.
Obviously named for Jordan’s famous No. 23, The Grove XXIII offers an 18-hole championship course, a world-class practice facility, and a state-of-the-art clubhouse that spans approximately 15,000 square feet, not to mention drones that bring food and drinks to those lucky enough to get in.
Jordan brought in renowned course designer Bobby Weed to shape The Grove XXIII, which sits on a former citrus grove and features incredible double-helix routing, which allows golfers to play four different nine plus nine combinations while also offering three-to-six-hole loops for those short on time…or those who might need to play some extra holes in a money game.
The club is so exclusive that Phil Mickelson even had to wait to become a member
For those interested in becoming a member at The Grove XXIII, don’t hold your breath.
One of the reasons Michael Jordan built the course in the first place was that he was unhappy with the pace of play at Jack Nicklaus’ Bear’s Club, which obviously becomes an issue when a course is crowded. So Jordan decided that he was going to limit membership at his club so he wouldn’t have to deal with that problem.
But let’s get real here. It’s highly likely that Jordan wanted his place to stand out. You know how Augusta National, the home of The Masters, is famous for its exclusivity? Well, The Grove XXIII is just like that as it has less than 100 members at the moment, one of whom is five-time major champion Phil Mickelson. But even Lefty got wait-listed by MJ, which is just an incredible power move.
Now, members really aren’t supposed to chat about what happens at Michael Jordan’s place…you know, kinda like Fight Club…but Rickie Fowler recently offered a little insight into The Grove XXIII and essentially accused MJ of having the course designed to fit his game.
Rickie Fowler says Michael Jordan had The Grove XXIII designed to give him an advantage over professionals
One of the most notable members of The Grove XXIII is five-time PGA Tour winner Rickie Fowler, who recently offered up some insight about the course and the advantages MJ has when playing against professionals like himself.
In an interview with Golf.com, Fowler essentially accused Jordan of having the course designed to punish longer hitters as the fairways get much narrower beyond where MJ typically hits his drives, which puts Fowler in a tough spot when he’s already giving the five-time NBA champ 10 strokes to start.
“The shorter you hit it, the wider it is. 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.
“If I’m giving him a shot, I can’t then play from the same spot he is when he’s laying zero. I’m not sure the last time it broke 70, but he can shoot anywhere from 71 to 74.
“If he’s shooting 77 and he’s got a double in there, I got to shoot 65 to get to 18!”Rickie Fowler on playing The Grove XXIII with Michael Jordan
See? Michael Jordan will go to any length (or lack thereof in this case) to give himself an advantage.