Greg Norman, Verizon are betting big on new golf technology
Greg Norman, the Australian golf legend — aka The Shark — is very bullish on the future of golf in spite of the $70 billion industry’s challenges.
He’s about to announce a big investment with Verizon in New York next month that he says will be a game-changer for golf, and bring innovation and technology to the game. The aim is to grow the game and attract new and younger players.
Norman and business partner David Chessler are investing “tens of millions of dollars” with Verizon into a new golf technology. “This generation loves to be connected and entertained 24/7. We are looking at how to keep the 6.3 million golfers between the ages of 18 and 34 interested in the sport, and how do we attract new golfers to the game. We’re going to be taking people to the future of the sport.”
According to the National Golf Foundation, 2.5 million people tried golf for the first time last year, more than any other year — including the 2.4 million in 2000, at the peak of Tiger Woods’ popularity. And the seeming lack of superstars since Tiger’s demise doesn’t have him worried.
He says there isn’t just one amazing golfer right now — there are many. “Any of the guys in the top 10 can all play at that level — Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson.
“We have this huge group of young incredible golfers all competing at a really high level, and it’s very exciting for the sport.”
Norman has a new golf course — ‘Cathedral Lodge, due to open this month in Melbourne, Australia — that was privately commissioned by David Evans, an investment banker.
Norman hopes this course will be lauded as the best in his portfolio of more than 100 courses and take the “Best New Course” title.
Norman is gearing up for the inaugural Mateship Charity Golf Tournament near Washington, DC on Friday that will mark a 100 year-alliance between Australia and the United States in support of American Australian veterans’ scholarship fund.
Norman and the honorable Joe Hockey, Australian ambassador to the US will host the event.