You don’t become Michael Jordan-or Tiger Woods or Mozart, for that matter-without a good dose of obsession. In his heyday, Jordan lived with the basketball in his hands, and that was also why he excelled. He stopped pulling almost only to do physical training in the gym.
Now that he no longer plays basketball, where has all thatobsession gone? In golf, it’s obvious!
The eternal struggle between basketball and golf
Although it was basketball that earned him fame, Michael Jordan has always been an eclectic athlete. As a young boy he tried several sports before finding the right one for him, including baseball and American football. Basketball was only the third choice, and it turned out to be the right one, considering how the story turned out.
What about golf?
Michael Jordan came to know golf late, when he was already well on his way to becoming a legend. It was 1984 and Jordan had not yet entered the NBA, although he would do so shortly thereafter. His college roommate, Buzz Peterson, was friends with young golf promise Davis Love III. The latter proposed that they try playing together, and Buzz turned the proposal over to his friend Michael, who agreed.
That afternoon at Finley Golf Club was just the beginning. Jordan began by hitting the ball a couple of times, just to keep his friends happy. He thus discovered that the undertaking was much more arduous than it first seemed. He made up his mind: he got a set of used irons and began to frequent the golf course regularly. The rules began to make sense, his scores improved.
It is said that during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Jordan was doing two things between games: training for the next challenge; playing golf. His retirement from basketball in 2003 put an end to the competition between the two sports, voting him permanently to golf.
“He plays golf more than I do,” Professional’s word.
Sportsmen, the real ones, the ones who reach great heights and become immortal, are obsessive. Michael Jordan was obsessive in basketball and he is obsessive now in golf. The Internet abounds with amusing anecdotes about his relationship with sports, often peppered with a not-so-healthy love of betting.
Perhaps the most interesting testimony on the subject comes to us from young Professional Dominic Bozzelli, who had the opportunity to play golf with the old champion several times. According to the golfer, the two have played at least a hundred rounds together in recent years; it took a pandemic to put a stop to Jordan.
To quote Bozzelli: Jordan “plays all the time. He plays golf more than I do.” Coming from someone who plays golf professionally, that is no small thing. The Professional adds, “when you play with him, it feels like you are going to work.”
Exaggerated claims? Perhaps, but Michael Jordan’s own words seem to confirm them. In an interview with Marvin R. Shanken, Jordan says he plays golf almost every day and always plays at least 36 holes.
The Grove XXIII, or the inevitable end for this story
All this passion could only end one way: in March 2020, Michael Jordan opened The Grove XXIII, or his golf course. The name comes from the orchard that once stood on the land, while the design is inspired by Shinnecock Hills.
Needless to say, the camp is super exclusive and visiting it will be a privilege for anyone who gets the chance. The released photos show a true green paradise, a vast expanse of grass interspersed with water and trees that promises hours of fun as well as many challenges.
How to expect anything different from Michael Jordan?