NBA legend Michael Jordan has clearly earned his reputation as one of the very best basketball players to ever set foot on the court. When it comes to golf, however, he apparently needs a bit of help gaining the upper hand on professionals.
That’s why several design elements of the course at his golf club — The Grove XXIII — is so important.
What makes it different
In sports, as in life, it’s important to understand your weaknesses and accentuate your strengths. And when Jordan was sizing up better golfers that he might play against at his club, he knew what would give him a clear advantage.
Pro golfer Rickie Fowler shared the details in a recent interview, noting that the fairways on the course are designed so that those who have longer drives will end up in a notoriously narrow fairway — if they’re lucky enough to stay out of the rough.
Meanwhile, golfers like Jordan, who don’t drive the ball as far, have a much wider fairway to aim for. As Fowler explained: “The shorter you hit it, the wider it is.”
That gives the club’s owner a serious edge over Fowler and other professional golfers who play against him for money on the exclusive course.
More than just the fairway
Legendary designer Bobby Weed was responsible for creating the challenging course and those who have played it say there are multiple elements that make it so tricky.
In addition to the narrowing fairway, the course makes use of South Florida’s frequently shifting wind patterns to keep golfers on their toes when predicting where the ball will land.
Some pro golfers have found a bright spot in playing against Jordan, though. According to Dustin Johnson’s trainer, talking trash while at The Grove XXIII makes him a bigger psychological threat against competitors.