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Greg Norman CEO, LIV Golf

SAUDI ARABIA - Sports

Greg Norman

CEO, LIV Golf

Bio

Gregory John Norman spent 331 weeks as the world number one golfer in the 1980s and 1990s. He won 89 professional tournaments, including 20 PGA Tour tournaments and two majors: The Open Championship in 1986 and 1993. Norman also earned 30 top-10 finishes and was the runner-up eight times in majors throughout his career. His business interests began during his playing career. He is the Chairman & CEO of the Greg Norman Company, a global corporation with a portfolio of companies in fields including apparel, interior design, real estate, wine production, private equity, and golf course design. In 2021, he was named CEO of LIV Golf Investments, a start-up company financed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. The LIV Golf Invitational Series of golf tournaments began in 2022.

“Golf brings FDI, infrastructure financing, governments, and private enterprises working together through PPPs.”
LIV Golf is playing an important role in innovating and revolutionizing the game of golf while simultaneously growing the fan base around the world and giving more people opportunities.
What is LIV Golf’s background and mandate?

LIV represents a history lesson in what has and hasn’t happened in golf. Honestly, golf must adapt. I have been involved with the game of golf for 40-plus years, and it has not adapted at the professional level. There is only one premier institution for players: the PGA Tour; however, if you are a global player, as I have been for 40 years, you see the opportunities outside of the US, be they in the Middle East, East Asia, Mexico, or Europe. As I traveled the world, I realized there would be a huge opportunity down the line because only one institution controlled every single aspect of the industry. Over a period of time, I became a sponge of information for CEOs, TV executives, sponsors and other players. During that process, I started my own company and developed my shark brand, established for over 25 years now. Part of my company is my golf course design business. It is a window into the true ability of what golf can do for education, economics, tourism, and governments across the board. Golf brings FDI, infrastructure financing, governments, and private enterprises working together through PPPs. When LIV approached me in February 2021, its business model intrigued me. It was evident that a visionary was involved in the business: Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan. The reason why he is so astute is that he identified virgin space in the game of golf that the PGA Tour never recognized. I have enjoyed the journey to date because we are innovating and revolutionizing. That is our mandate: we are growing the fan base around the world. Players see the opportunity that we are giving them as free agents. They can play with LIV, play with the PGA Tour, play on the Japanese tour, the European tour, the Australian tour, and more. I am extremely proud of the fact that we have this opportunity and are ahead of everyone else. The investment provided by PIF has certainly changed the world of golf.

Being such an icon of the sport and as CEO, you carry the standard for LIV Golf. What do you hope your legacy will be for the sport as a whole?

My legacy is not what I did on the golf course; my legacy will be what I will do for LIV, the players of LIV, and fans of golf, growing the game on a global basis. Our Impact & Sustainability program, which will be fully launched in 2023, will be impressive because of its global reach. That will be something that I am extremely proud of. I will not let down the 100-plus people working for LIV today. Our business model has stood the stress test from the best institutions in the world, and the response has been extremely positive and encouraging; however, the journey has only just begun. Our first 12 months was incredibly impressive in terms of getting us to where we are today; we are in a place where we have truly embedded ourselves on the world golf platform in the ecosystem. But the next two years or so will see much more hard work, because now we have to build out the franchises. We have to keep building the product and showcase to the world and the fans that we are reaching a new demographic. We have done that in 24 rounds of golf. We have done a phenomenal job, but we have a great deal of work ahead of us. Where we will be in two years’ time is the most important question. We need to batten down the hatches, stay focused on all our initiatives, and work as a team across the board. In terms of our internal organization, that is one thing that I am extremely proud of.

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