Gregory John Norman also known as ‘The Great White Shark’ was the top golfer of the 1980s and 90s. Along with 85 wins in international tournaments to his name, Norman also emerged as a successful entrepreneur.
Norman was born on 10th February 1955 in Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia. He received his initial schooling from Townsville Grammar School in Townsville and then attended Aspley State High School in Brisbane. He was very keen about sports since his childhood. He played cricket and rugby and also enjoyed surfing. Norman’s mother was an occasional golf player so golf was nothing new for him. He started at the age of 15 as his mother’s caddy and in just two years he had mastered the game. He played at scratch and took part in amateur tournaments throughout Australia while preparing to become an Aussie PGA professional. Norman became a professional when he was 21. He won his first game in 1976 at Westlakes Classic that took place in Australia. The next year he participated in the European Tour and won the 1977 Martini international.
His list of professional triumphs is huge. He had an aggressive style and a courteous attitude. He remained the number 1 ranked golf player of the world for 331 weeks during the 1980s and 1990s. He was the first player to earn one million dollars not once but four times. That’s not all; he also earned more than $10 million in 1996 at the PGA Tour and three years later his earnings exceeded $12 million. He won atleast one tournament every year from 1976 to 1990. Norman has received almost sixty international titles that include twenty PGA Tour and seventeen European Tour successes. He has also been a winner of the British Open twice; he defeated Gordon Brand in 1986 and Nick Faldo in 1993. Greg Norman received the Arnold Palmer Awards in 1986, 1990 and 1995 and the Vardon Trophies in 1988, 1989 and 1994. He was the PGA Tour Player of the Year in 1995. In 2001, he was inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame. Norman was named BBC Sports Overseas Personality of the Year in 1986 and then again in 1993.
Norman is also the most efficacious off-course entrepreneur. He established his own golf course design in 1987 which he named the ‘Greg Norman Golf Course Design’. This company has made over 70 golf courses all over the world. This was one of the many upcoming business ventures by him. He founded a winemaking company named the Greg Norman Estates Wine. His very first wine called the Cabernet Merlot blend got rave reviews and the Wine Spectator magazine selected it as one of the 100 best wines of 1999. The Shark was just as successful a businessman as he was a golfer. His company Greg Norman Estates Wine was acclaimed by several enthusiasts and he has many loyal drinkers of his wines. He is also the owner of the Great White Shark Enterprises which is a multi-national corporation with interests mainly in golf and golf lifestyle. Currently he resides in Florida with his wife Laura and two children.