GREG NORMAN is widely known as the “Great White Shark” and has won more than 90 golf tournaments worldwide, including two Open Championships. He holds the distinction of defending his #1 position in the world golf rankings for 331 weeks. In 2001, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame with a higher percentage of votes than any other inductee in history. He currently serves as chairman and CEO of the Greg Norman Company, which has a diverse portfolio of well-established companies, including lifestyle-driven consumer products, golf course design, and asset-based debt lending. His philanthropic efforts have quietly raised more than $12 million for charities including CureSearch for Children’s Cancer and the Environmental Institute for Golf, which promotes sustainability and environmental responsibility.
What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are books that have greatly influenced your life?
The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss, On China by Henry Kissinger.
The Way of the Shark as it provides a very open and honest view on the transitions that have taken place in my life. Part two coming soon . . .
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say?
“Your dreams are the blueprint to reality.”
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
Investing in Cobra back in the early ’90s. My $1.8 million investment earned me $40 million after the company was bought by Acushnet. I rolled that money back into my business. The decision was a no-brainer for three reasons:
- My investment got me 12 percent of Cobra and the allocation of my investment was put to R&D. During this era, Callaway was the first to go to market with an oversize driver but neglected to follow up on oversize irons. We/Cobra decided to attack this virgin market immediately by producing oversize irons for men and women, and we catered for the senior player, which had been left neglected. This decision was a solid rocket booster for Cobra’s massive growth in the marketplace.
- I was to remain an endorsed player representing Cobra for years to come, receiving an annual payment that would quickly recoup my initial investment. So, my ROI was always guaranteed, leaving me with 12 percent of a company that had hyper growth.
- I was the #1 player in the world during these halcyon times—a global player. So, fortunately for us, I was a needle-mover in regards to exposure in a sport that was booming in the ’80s, hence product promotion and awareness.
What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
I brush my teeth standing on one leg, alternating each time. It is great for your legs, core, and stabilization!
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
Traveling to Bhutan in December 2016 and discovering Buddhism, which is more than a religion. It’s rather a way of life that is so rewarding.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
“It cannot be done.”
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
First, I yell “FUCK!” as loud as I can! Then, I compartmentalize and DIN and DIP (“do it now” and “do it proper”).
I also go to the gym to disappear into my alone time, to allow myself to self- analyze and decompress by removing the stress of the moment and day.
When I am on my ranch, long trail rides on my horse, Duke, are also very cathartic, as nature is a great therapist.