19 Things You Didn't Know About Greg Norman

How well do you know the two-time Champion Golfer of the Year?

Norman hits an iron shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Get to know the former world number one, Greg Norman, here.

Norman and Couples at the Presidents Cup

Greg Norman and Fred Couples captain their sides at the 2011 Presidents Cup.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Gregory John Norman was born 10th February 1955 in Mount Isa, Queensland.

2. Playing rugby and Aussie Rules football while growing up, he became hooked on golf at age 15 after serving as a caddie for his mother. 

3. After learning the game through Jack Nicklaus’ book, Golf My Way, Norman amazingly became a scratch golfer after just 18 months.

4. At the age of 19, Norman received media attention at the Queensland Open, with The Canberra Times reporting that "the young amateur Greg Norman" was one shot off the lead after the first round.

5. Working as a trainee in the Royal Queensland Golf Club, he turned professional in 1976, claiming his first victory at the West Lakes Classic when he was just 21-years-old.

Norman hits a tee shot

Norman during the 1979 Open Championship.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

6. Norman has a passion for wine and actually founded Greg Norman Estates in 1996. Currently, there are 10 varietals from Australia, California and New Zealand.

7. Throughout his career, Norman has held the world number one spot for a mammoth 331-weeks, that's just over six years.

8. His nickname is the 'Great White Shark’ which he picked up at the 1981 Masters whilst introducing himself to the Press. Norman, who led the event after the second day, was a relatively unknown player at the time but, when asked where he was from, he said "I grew up in Queensland, Australia. I grew up on the Great Barrier Reef. I’ve dived with sharks. And that was what I just did as a kid." The next day, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had the 'Great White Shark' in their headline.

9. The Australian has won two Major championships, claiming the 1986 and 1993 Open Championship. At his 1986 victory, Norman shot a second round of 63 on Friday at Turnberry. Only 15 players broke par in the second round, with Tom Watson describing Norman's feat as "the greatest round ever played in a tournament in which I was a competitor."

Norman kisses the Claret Jug

Norman kisses the Claret Jug after his 1986 triumph.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

10. His initial ambition was to become a pilot in the Australian Air Force.

11. In 1986, Norman held the lead for all four Majors through 54 holes. At the Masters, he began the final round with a one-stroke lead, but missed a par putt at the last to force a playoff with Jack Nicklaus. At the US Open, he faltered on the final day, finishing with a final round 75, placing him six strokes behind the winner, Raymond Floyd. Winning the 1986 Open Championship, he was again in contention at the PGA Championship, but shot a final-round 76 to finish 2 strokes behind the eventual winner, Bob Tway.

12. In November 2010, Norman married interior designer, Kirsten Kutner. The couple married on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, with Greg Jr (his son) as his best man.

13. Norman released his autobiography, titled The Way of the Shark, in 2006.

14. He is a five-time recipient of the Byron Nelson Award, a three-time Vardon Trophy winner, three-time Arnold Palmer Award winner, the 1995 PGA Tour Player of the Year, and is the first player in Tour history to surpass $10 million in career earnings.

15. He was one of Olympic torch bearers at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

16. Norman's most infamous moment in his professional career came at the 1996 Masters Tournament. Going into the final day, Norman held a six-stroke lead. However, he would go on to shoot a 78 whilst eventual winner, Nick Faldo, would shoot a 67.

17. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001.

18. Norman founded the Greg Norman Company (originally known as Great White Shark Enterprises (GWSE) in 1993. The company reports hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue annually. The brands include golf course design, clothing, wine, real estate, food and dining, as well as multiple other ventures.

19. Norman is currently the CEO of LIV Golf Investments. In 2022, they announced that along with the Asian Tour, they would be introducing 'The International Series' for 2022/23, which features 10 tournaments across Asia and Europe.

Matt Cradock
Matt Cradock

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.