Wells Fargo Championship – Of “Mice” and men, and money games in Quail Hollow Club for the remaining 51 weeks of the Year

By Fly Pin High |
May 4, 2023

CHARLOTTE (N.C.) — Just like the first rule in Fight Club: you do not talk about money games at Quail Hole Club. It wasn’t an easy story to tell, but some people dared to speak up.

The club is also home to a lively membership, including Webb Simpson, Harold Varner III, and Johnson Wagner. This is not Whisper Rock, Arizona where a large field of professionals the size of an LIV event usually plays in the club championship. Instead, it’s a club with 15-20 handicappers that enjoy friendly bets. When several notable groups play, it’s safe to say that there is money on the line every time the ball is in flight.

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Wagner, a participant who keeps track of everyone’s scores, said, “It is a group that enjoys playing golf, gambling and drinking beer after the game.”

The original game of Quail Hollow was the Mo’s, or the Morons. Johnny Harris and his silver haired friends formed the Mo’s. This gave rise to the Mits, or the Morons in training. The Mice is another popular game that was created during the global pandemic. It stands for Morons in Constant Evolution. Calder 32 is another name for them, and refers to their creator, Will Calder. Calder was bored during COVID-19, so he decided to create a new game. He soon discovered that the Apple iPhone only allowed 32 numbers in a group text.

The Mice, ranging in age from 26 to 50, began playing four or five times per week. Everyone was racing their ball on separate carts. Even though most of them are back at work, they always have four or five groups playing on Saturday morning and Friday afternoon.

Simpson occasionally joins the Mice, but doesn’t do it regularly. Wagner stated that “he’s still focused” on winning golf events.

Varner joined LIV Golf in the past year and says that he is a member of all groups. He will give his partner a bear hug when they get a four-for-three. The Mice’s usual game is net double-bestball, and each group chooses their own side action.

Wagner stated on the Subpar Podcast that he is a hammer-only player. If you don’t like to play, I won’t play with you.

Calder, a 18 handicap, was receiving 22 strokes per round from Wagner, a 3-time Tour winner who has been a member of Quail since the last 12 years. He describes Wagner as always taking everyone’s money even though he had a bad case of shanks in the summer. Wagner tries to maintain the fairness of handicaps. Wagner’s face is on a T-shirt that sells at the club. It is a Smokey the Bear knockoff with the words “Only You Can Prevent Sandbagging.” He once lost so much money to Clay Adams, the local beer distributor that he wore a Budweiser cap as payment. Wagner, 42, is now more interested in TV than competition and his handicap went from +5.5 to +2.7.

He said, “I am finding my sweet spot.”

What’s the easiest way to make money at a club? Taylor Zarzour is Wagner’s favorite foil, the jack of all trades host for Sirius XM PGA Tour Network.

Wagner stated on Subpar, “He has the biggest vanity handicap I have ever seen.” “He’s easy cash.”

Zarzour said that he might have changed his tune since the last couple of times we played, but it’s okay, I need some more shots.

Zarzour said that aside from the obvious rule not to talk to reporters, their game has only one rule: Play fast! They’re usually done in three hours, and then they head back to the grill in the stately clubhouse in a white, Southern-style building. Hats are removed as per an unwritten rule, and the transfusions begin.

Quail Hollow will close for the summer after the Wells Fargo Championship to fix the bunkers, adjust the tees and change the turf on the greens in preparation for the 2025 PGA Championship. So 24 Mice will be heading to Bandon Dunes, Oregon, for a golfing boondoggle. You can expect to see enough money change hands that some people may go home C.O.D.

Zarzour: “I’ve met 10-12 of my closest and most trusted friends through this group.”

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