Friday, November 20, 2009

Golf course designing keeps Greg Norman busy worldwide

Despite what he achieved at the Open last year - third place at the age of 53 - Greg Norman is much busier as a golf designer than a golf player right now.
Recent shoulder surgery is keeping the former world No 1 out of action but that has not stopped him travelling to the United Arab Emirates this week, with the inaugural Dubai World Championship being played on Norman's Earth course - making it 14 of his lay-outs that have now staged tournaments. Another, he hopes, will be the Olympics in Brazil in 2016, when golf makes its first appearance on the medal programme since 1904.
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"Fortunately for me I have a couple of projects going down there and one of the developers is very much involved with the Olympic movement. Fate fell in our lap, but whether we get the nod to be the golf course for it, I don't know," said Norman. "We will see how it plays out. There is a scramble. Whether it's (Jack) Nicklaus or Ernie Els or (Nick) Faldo, everybody would like to be that golf course, that's for sure."
He added: "Everybody has just got to sit back and wait and see what happens. We are in the design phase right now and I would say we will probably know in the next couple of years.
"We'll start construction in the next year.
"For golf to get in the Olympics was the best thing that could ever happen to international golf. It's a huge shot in the arm for countries like China, South America, India, the Asian countries.
"Just talk about China. Three million golfers by 2020 and there will be more there than in the United States if it keeps growing the way it's going to grow."



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