Michael Jordan’s ultra-exclusive The Grove XXIII private golf club in Martin County, Florida is all the talk with their drone food and beverage delivery gimmick. Certainly the Bobby Weed design is a lot of fun to play and the greens are true. And it’s my understanding the course can be played backwards, forwards and sideways with its double-helix routing, which is dazzling, but I’m out on the drone. In fact, I’m outraged.
I can’t decide what’s worse – a drone replacing the beloved cart girl or the fact that people are gushing over the damn thing. It’s heartbreaking that MJ swapped the soothing purr of the gas-powered beverage cart for the surly buzz of a drone. And it’s depressing that a basket on a rope dismissed the sweet smiling face of the all-American cart girl. Especially on the rounds where your game’s gone to hell and you’re chain-smoking beers — is there anything better than Peggy pulling up with that ice slushing in the coolers and announcing, “Can I get y’all anything!?”
For the gals getting up there in age that have put 60,000 or 70,000 miles on their 14 horsepower 429 cc with electronic fuel injection Club Car beverage carts – it’s bad enough they have to deal with age discrimination, but now this? Ever notice how the greats in the game magically appear just as you’re taking the last sip from the last beer in your cooler? That’s anticipation that can’t be taught and there sure as hell ain’t no damn drone that can do it! In reverse fashion and against the grain, a seasoned cart girl can handle a beverage cart like Dale Earnhardt as she laps the golf course at a track record pace. All the while, honoring the game of golf by easing off the gas at the perfect, precise moment for backswings.
I’m certain the good folks at The Grove XXIII would love to have me come out, photograph the golf course and write beautiful words about my experiences there. Of course, I would love it – one of the best days of my life was in the the fifth grade in 1989 when I got Air Jordan IV’s. And like it was yesterday, I can remember MJ hitting that jumper on Bryon Russell from the elbow to win No. 6. However, what he’s doing to the beverage cart industry is wrong and I feel obligated to speak up. It’s the right thing to do and therefore, I cannot accept any future invitations to play at The Grove XXIII.