Cam Smith Signing For LIV Was 'The Best Thing That Happened To Us' - Norman

Greg Norman says he let Cameron Smith make his own mind up and was delighted when he signed for LIV Golf

Greg Norman and Cameron Smith of LIV Golf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Greg Norman says he used a hands-off approach to lure Cameron Smith to LIV Golf, saying his fellow Australian made his own decision in becoming “the best thing that happened” to the Saudi-backed new golf tour.

As the LIV Golf League heads Down Under to Adelaide, Smith will be the star attraction, and Noman has been speaking about how he managed to pull off his signing.

The likes of Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson were frontrunners in signing for LIV, but capturing Smith was a huge boost for Norman’s new enterprise when he joined in 2022.

Fresh off staring down Rory McIlroy to win the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, Smith had risen to number two in the world and his stock could hardly have been higher.

So, capturing the 29-year-old Queenslander at that moment in time was massive for LIV Golf, but Norman insists he never gave him the hard sell – instead just presenting him with the opportunity and leaving him to make his own choice.

“I have a lot of respect for all these guys making the decision they made,” said Norman, per “They made the decision on the presentation that we gave them, the offer we gave them, you respect them for doing that.

“I respect anybody for making the decision when they know the facts.

“When I started talking to Cam, I didn’t want to push it. These guys have got to find their own way, knowing what is out there. To get from the offer, to signing it, to get to that point, you’ve got to go through a lot.

“It’s no different to when I signed on as CEO. So when I did the presentation to Cam I sat back and let it go and I didn’t I push it at all.

“We had a couple of conversations. And then when the time came, he was ready. He found the way he found the way down that path of the journey he wanted to do.

“When he came on board. It was like “oh my gosh”, the best thing that happened to us to be honest with you.”

Greg Norman and Cameron Smith at LIV Golf

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Of course, the reported $140m offered to Smith may have been somewhat of a deciding factor, but the huge wealth available has never been something Norman has shied away from.

“Generational wealth is there to be had,” Norman said. “We are giving them the opportunity to look into the future instead of month by month, year by year, on the PGA Tour and where they see my schedule is like ‘I‘m going to play this, 23 or 24 tournaments, oh, that same old grind again’.

“Now these captains like Cam are working out how to maximise their value through generational wealth. We see it there.

“I was in Miami at a conference two days ago there was one guy very bullish on buying one of the teams. He said I want to buy one of your teams, I said not for sale, call me in two years.

“That’s where you go. Oh my gosh, these are so lucky to have that future laying out in front of them.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.