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Greg Norman Launches Golf Academy In Myrtle Beach

08/23/2010

First it was a pair of golf courses, then a fine-dining restaurant, and now Greg Norman has come back to Myrtle Beach to launch a golf academy.

The Shark, as is he affectionately known, returned to Barefoot Resort & Golf on Thursday to introduce the Greg Norman Champion’s Golf Academy. The academy’s headquarters will be located at Barefoot Resort, which is also home to the highly acclaimed
Norman Course and Greg Norman’s Australian Grille.

"Myrtle Beach is a great place," Norman said. "I was involved in golf course design and construction here at
Barefoot Resort, I have a restaurant right across the [Intracoastal Waterway], so it's a perfect location for me.”
 

The Norman brand, which includes course design, apparel and wine, is one of the strongest in the golf industry, and the expectations for the Greg Norman Champion Golf Academy are just as high.

“When your name is on the door, the only thing you can do is put your blood, sweat and tears into it,” Norman said.

The Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy will provide instruction to golfers at every stage of their amateur and professional careers. The Academy will offer a comprehensive development platform for players, incorporating fitness training, sports psychology and instruction using bio-mechanics and cutting edge technology.

There will be one-, two- and three-day golf schools for adults and summer camps for juniors as well, allowing the academy to reach a broad range of players. The Greg Norman Golf Academy will differentiate itself through its work with high level amateur and professional players.

The academy will include a 10-month high school program that provides intensive training – both physical and mental - to the most talented junior players in the U.S. and abroad with a goal of producing collegiate and professional golfers. Kids attending the academy will receive their formal education at Lowcountry Day Prep.

“We are kicking this off in the right place,” Norman said. “Our growth forecast is very good. We want to make sure we position our academy in the right locations to expand the game of golf at the grass roots level and also reach out to the better players as they go up (the professional ladder).”

Norman also plans to have academy sites in the Bahamas, Mexico and the West Coast.

A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Norman has 91 international victories, including a pair of British Open titles, and he sat for an hour-long interview with the Golf Channel as part of the announcement. Norman covered off on a variety of topics, including the game’s latest controversy, the two-stroke penalty Myrtle Beach resident Dustin Johnson incurred at the PGA Championship.

“It’s sad, obviously, for Dustin,” said Norman, who noted that he was disqualified for an inadvertent rules violation while leading an event after 54 holes. “But I think at the end of the day, the right ruling went down. The rules of golf are the rules of golf. We all sign off on those when we decide to be golfers. You can’t change them in any situation.”

Norman said he has called Johnson.

“I feel for Dustin,” he said. “I’ve been in similar situations (but) not to that degree. It’s always a great feeling when a player reaches out to another player when he is going through adversity. I like Dustin. He’s great for the game of golf. He’s got a great demeanor about him and his attitude is fantastic. I don’t care if you are the president of the United States or Dustin Johnson, it nice to have that support from others. “

Norman also weighed in on the Ryder Cup, predicting a European victory. He opined that US leader Corey Pavin almost has to select Tiger Woods with a captain’s pick, though he hedged his bet. In response to whether he thought Woods would get his swing straightened our prior to the Ryder Cup, Norman wasn’t optimistic.

He feels Woods will rebound, but it will take time. Norman said Woods’ swing in 2000, when he won the first three legs of the Tiger Slam, was the best he has ever seen, but the problems Woods has right now have been several years in the making, hence there likely won’t a quick fix. 

Norman also weighed in on the state of golf, noting that the growth of the game has stagnated in the United States but is at the front end of a boom in Asia. While the evolution will take time, Norman predicted players from the Eastern Hemisphere will eventually end American and European dominance of the game.



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