In 2019, Michael Jordan opened a pristine — and, of course, exclusive — golf course named Grove XXIII in Hobe Sound, Fla.
Since its completion, the course has become colloquially known as "Slaughterhouse 23" because of Jordan's habit of inviting PGA Tour golfers to its grounds and besting them.
To hear those that have visited tell it, no player is safe from Jordan's still-fiery competitive streak, or the effect that facing him carries. In fact, on one occasion, Jordan made a former Division I golfer nearly "s--- his pants" during a round.
That quote comes from Harold Varner III, who relayed the story of his second visit to the Slaughterhouse in a recent appearance on GOLF's "Subpar" podcast, hosted by Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz.
Varner is just the second golfer to sign with Jordan Brand, so his relationship with Jordan dates back some time. The outing came about in impromptu fashion, with Jordan approaching Varner in the middle of eating lunch with his friend, Will.
"MJ's like, 'You got your clubs, and you got some money?'" Varner said on the podcast. "I'm like, 'Well you pay me, so I got both!'"
After asking if Will, who golfed at Auburn, could join, the three took the course for 18 holes. Varner said things devolved for his friend quickly.
"We go to tee off, we go down (hole) 1, and Will's just playing like he's nervous, he's freaking out," Varner said. "This is a grown man, he's 27 years old!"
And there were grown-man stakes to boot. Varner said Jordan roped each into a $100 bet as they approached the second tee, sending Will into a tailspin.
"I think he s--- his pants on the second," Varner said. "He literally couldn't breathe. He's like, 'Do you understand I'm playing with the GOAT?' I said, 'I totally do, and you're gonna pay him 100 bucks if you don't play well.'
"So he gets up there, and he goes, he hits a good drive down No. 2, and then he has 70 yards (to the pin) and I bet you he hit 20 yards. 20 yards... I'm wondering what's going on. Like, this is like a complete choke."
But the story doesn't end there. A postgame check of Will's WHOOP fitness wrist-strap revealed that his heart rate elevated to 159 bpm during the round.
"How about that? That's like running a sprint," Varner chided. "I knew he was nervous, but didn't know he might pass out."
Even in his retirement days, that's the GOAT effect. And no golfer — professional, college star or amateur — is safe.