Gregory John Norman is a professional golfer and businessman from Australia. He has won over 85 international competitions, including two ‘The Open Championships,’ despite his late debut into the sport. He holds the record of being the world’s number one golfer for 331 weeks in a row. His energetic golfing style, athletic build, and blond hair, along with the local coastal animal of his birthplace, the shark, earned him the moniker “The Great White Shark.” He’s a prolific world-class entrepreneur known for his zeal and fire in the boardroom as well as his golfing prowess. Great White Shark Enterprises, his business venture, is a multinational organization with a varied portfolio that includes event management.
Childhood and Adolescence
Merv Norman and Toini Norman welcomed him into the world on February 10, 1955, in Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia. His father worked in the electrical engineering field. In 1964, he enrolled at the ‘Townsville Grammar School’ in Townsville, Queensland’s north-eastern coastal metropolis. Later, he attended the ‘Aspley State High School’ on Brisbane’s north side.
In his younger years, he used to play cricket, Australian Rules football, and rugby. Greg’s mother, Toini, was an excellent golfer, and he frequently caddied for her. This sparked his interest in golf, and he began playing when he was around 15 years old. He is a natural lefty, yet he plays golf with his right hand. He went from a 27 handicap to a scratch handicap in roughly 18 months.
Career of Greg Norman
Around 1975, he began working as an assistant professional at Sydney’s ‘Beverley Park Golf Club’ under Australian golf coach Billy McWilliam. With weekly wages of A$38, he began his professional career as a trainee in the pro shop of the ‘Royal Queensland Golf Club’ under world famous golf teacher Charlie Earp. His outstanding performance quickly established him as a tournament player, and his first victory came in 1976 at Adelaide’s ‘The Grange Golf Club’ in the ‘West Lakes Classic’ golf tournament.
He won his first European event on June 11, 1977, in the ‘Martini International,’ a men’s professional golf tournament held at the ‘Blairgowrie Club’ in Scotland. On May 28, 1979, and May 17, 1981, he won two more ‘Martini International’ golf events. In 1980, he won the ‘French Open,’ the ‘Australian Open,’ the ‘Suntory World Match Play Championship,’ and the ‘Scandinavian Enterprise Open,’ among others. With several more victories under his belt, he went on to become the leading money winner in the 1982 ‘European Tour.’
Despite making his debut appearance on the ‘PGA Tour’ in 1983, he did not win until the ‘Kemper Open’ in June 1984. Following that, he suffered a string of close losses in major tournaments, with his second victory of the year coming in July at the ‘Canadian Open.’
Among the ‘PGA Tour’ events in 1986, he won the ‘Kemper Open’ and the ‘Panasonic Las Vegas Invitational.’ In the same year, he won four Australian events, putting him at the top of the ‘Australian Order of Merit’ for the sixth time. In 1978, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1986, and 1988, he received the ‘Australian Order of Merit’ six times.
He is most known for the ‘Norman Slam,’ which took place in 1986. He led all four men’s major golf competitions that year, playing in the final groups of the ‘Masters Tournament,’ ‘U.S. Open,’ ‘The Open Championship,’ and ‘The PGA Championship.’ Despite having a chance to make history by being the first player to win the ‘Grand Slam’ in a single season, Norman could only win ‘The Open Championship’ at Turnberry.
The ‘Dunlop Masters,’ which he won twice on May 31, 1981 and June 13, 1982; the ‘Paco Rabanne Open de France,’ which he won on May 11, 1980; the ‘Scandinavian Enterprise Open,’ which he won on July 6, 1980; the ‘Panasonic European Open,’ which he won on September 14, 1986; and the ‘Lancia Italian Open,’ which he won on May 22, 1988, are among his other ‘
Norman won the ‘The Crowns’ in 1989 and the ‘Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters’ in 1993 on the ‘Japan Golf Tour.’
In the early 1990s, when his career was stagnating and even declining, he sought advice from Butch Harmon, a former American golfer and well-known golf coach. It assisted him in resolving certain issues that had crept into his swing.
He won his second ‘The Open Championship’ in 1993, this time at the Royal St George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent, England. After winning the ‘Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf’ in January 1997, he earned his greatest winning check to date, totaling one million dollars. ‘The Players Championship’ (March 27, 1994); the ‘Canon Greater Hartford Open’ (June 25, 1995); the ‘Doral-Ryder Open’ (March 3, 1996); the ‘FedEx St. Jude Classic’ (June 29, 1997); and the ‘NEC World Series of Golf’ (June 29, 1998) are among his previous ‘PGA Tour’ victories (August 24, 1997).
In 1989, 1990, and 1994, he won the Vardon Trophy. At Australia’s ‘Royal Melbourne Golf Club,’ Norman and Tiger Woods played an exciting match in the 1998 ‘Presidents Cup,’ with Tiger Woods eventually winning 1-up. Though the match had little impact on the eventual result, which saw the ‘International Team’ defeat the ‘U.S. Team,’ golf fans were treated to a one-on-one contest between the world’s past and current number one players. It is the ‘International Team’s’ solitary victory in ‘President Cup’ matches to this day.
In 2001, he stunned the world by defeating Tiger Woods, Jesper Parnevik, and Colin Montgomerie in the ‘Skins Game.’ He also took home the entire one-million-dollar award. ‘The Way of the Shark,’ his autobiography, was released in 2006. For the ‘Fox Sports’ coverage of the ‘USGA’ championships that began in 2015, he remained a co-commentator with Joe Buck.
With headquarters in Sydney and Florida, he is a successful entrepreneur with his multi-national organization, ‘Great White Shark Enterprise.’ Greg Norman Golf Course Design, which he started in 1987, is regarded as one of the world’s leading golf course designers and architects.
‘Southern Cross Developments International,’ ‘Medallist Developments,’ ‘GSH Investments,’ ‘Greg Norman Estates (wineries),’ ‘Turf Company,’ and ‘Greg Norman Australian Prime’ are among his other businesses under the banner of ‘Great White Shark Enterprises.’
Personal History and Legacy
He married Laura Andrassy, an American flight attendant, on July 1, 1981, but the pair divorced in November 2009. Gregory and Morgan Leigh are their two children.
He married American tennis star Chris Evert on June 28, 2008, but they divorced on December 8, 2009.
On November 6, 2010, he married Kirsten Kutner, an interior designer.
Work in the Humanitarian Sector
He is involved in a number of charitable endeavors, including the ‘CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation.’
Estimated Net Worth
Greg Norman is an entrepreneur and professional golfer from Australia with a net worth of $400 million. Greg Norman has been the world’s number one golfer on multiple occasions, holding the distinction for nearly 300 weeks in total. Norman, dubbed the “great white shark,” has nearly 90 tournament victories to his credit.