Michael Jordan is an immortal part of the GOATs of the basketball world. While he has been running his private Golf Course for years now, he has the reputation for being quite fearsome.
Jordan’s course, which is also known as “SlaughterhouseXXIII,” is built in such a way that it gives Jordan a strong advantage in applying his specific playstyle. The course is home built, and Jordan often competes with other players for real prize money.
Not only the Slaughterhouse23 players work through the challenging course, but compete against the intimidating presence of Jordan while playing golf, so you can imagine that the pressure would have to be incredibly high.
Harold Varner III, the golf prodigy who’s a PGA pro sponsored by Jordan Brand, revealed on Golf.com’s podcast Subpar that his friend was petrified while playing against the GOAT of NBA, Michael Jordan himself. While Varner had planned to get lunch at the club, Jordan wanted to see him about a match. “MJ is like, ‘You got your clubs, and you got some money?” to which Varner replied “You pay me so I got both!“
When Varner had joined Jordan for a game, he asked whether his friend could play with them, to which Jordan agreed. He revealed that his friend, Will, started to mentally deteriorate pretty quickly after playing against Michael Jordan himself.
Will is playing nervous. He’s freaking out. This is a grown man. He’s 27 years old. We go down to the second tee, and MJ’s like ‘There’s not going to be any free rolls out here. Same bet, $100 with you. And Will, I think he s— his pants. He literally couldn’t breathe. He was like, ‘Do you understand that I’m playing with the GOAT?’ I’m like, ‘I totally do, and you’re going to pay him $100 if you don’t play well.’ So he gets up there, hits a good drive at No. 2, and he has 70 yards, and I bet you he hit it 20 yards. Twenty yards.
As per Varner, Will is a great golfer, but pressure of going against Michael Jordan really ruined his game. He later reveals that after Will used the fitness-tracker to check his heartbeat, it had gone up to 159 beats per minute, which is just like after running a sprint. Perhaps it’s the stress of competing with a bonafide talent that still has what it takes to make or break someone in a game of golf.[Via]