Featured Golf News
Greg Norman & Son Arrive in Pebble Beach
Editor's Note: Greg Norman and his son Gregory are in Pebble Beach for this week's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Norman's appearance in the tournament will be his first since 1992. But the two-time British Open champion wanted to play this year because his college-age son asked him to. "I said, 'I'm not sure I can get in, let alone get us in,' " Norman said.
The Normans are hoping to get close to what multiple-major winner Tom Watson and his son Michael achieved last year. The Watsons were in contention for the pro-am before finishing second as a team. The elder Norman has enjoyed some success in the Pro-Am format: his last time in the AT&T, Norman won the pro-am with longtime friend Kerry Packer, a prominent businessman from Australia. He said that victory, even though he didn't contend individually in the professional portion of the event, was extremely important to him and to Packer, who died in 2005. "He was the wealthiest man in Australia and he said his greatest success was winning here," Norman said. "So, yeah, it meant a lot."
After suffering from some burnout by playing too much golf, the 22-year-old Gregory Norman devoted his off-hours to surfing and kite-boarding. But he's now thinking about a career in golf after finishing his degree at the University of Miami. With a name like Norman that would be a logical expectation. He also knows it comes with some pressure because of his father's success. "Oh, yeah, there will always be that luggage on my back," he said. "But I respect what he's done."
On Tuesday afternoon after a practice round at Pebble Beach, the Normans sat down with the media for an extensive interview session. Here's what they had to say.
MODERATOR: We welcome Greg and Gregory Norman to the media center today. Thank you for spending a few minutes with us. You guys had your first practice round today. Greg, you're making your first appearance on the PGA Tour this year. Why don't you give us some general thoughts on that and the year ahead.
GREG NORMAN: Well, first of all, it's great to be back. I haven't played this event since 1992, and I can say that the golf course is by far the best I've ever seen it. The changes, which I hadn't played all of them, the changes they've made have made this golf course a better golf course. I've always felt Pebble Beach had probably 12 or 14 fabulous holes and there were always four iffy holes, but the with the redo of it and the way they've set it up is just absolutely magnificent. As for playing in the event, obviously I'm very proud to be able to come out here and play with my son Gregory. He's the one who asked me if we could get in. I said, "Gregory, I don't know if I can get in, let alone get both of us in." All I did as made a couple of phone calls and fortunately we are here. So from my perspective, I'm probably going tore more nervous playing with him than he will be playing with me, so we're looking forward to a fun three days, hopefully four days.
Q. Greg, you talk about your expectations. Is it unrealistic to make the cut? I mean, what's a realistic goal for you right now?
GREG NORMAN: Winning. How about that? To be honest with you, I haven't done a lot of practice. I practiced getting ready for the end of last year when we played the Father-Son and I went down to South Africa and I played the Merrill Lynch Shootout. I'm very happy with the way my game was coming together in the latter stages, especially South Africa. I was very disappointed I actually didn't win that tournament. I had a chance all the way through. And then I really didn't play until ten days ago, seven days ago I started practicing again. And now today I probably hit the ball the same way as I was in South Africa. So another two days before -- well, one day, actually one day's practice and tomorrow. I'd like to go out there and just play well. Whether you make the cut or not, I can't answer that question. I enjoy the golf courses, and if I just get myself at a nice, even keel, who knows who will happen?
Q. Gregory, a question for you. Have you played Pebble Beach today before today?
GREGORY NORMAN: I've never gotten to play it before. I walked it back in '92 but I can hardly remember that. It's pretty amazing coming here and playing with him.
Q. As a player, because you're quite an accomplished player, son of an accomplished dad, what did you think of the golf course? Is it a golf course that suits your game that you're playing right now?
GREGORY NORMAN: Oh, yeah. Visually it's so spectacular but also an incredibly hard golf course. The greens are running fast. You've got to be precise with your tee shots. Yeah, it's very amazing coming here playing with him.
Q. Greg, talk about how incredibly difficult it is to try to balance being a professional golfer and all your interests outside of golf and in the golf business. It's almost impossible to try to handle both. Has that kind of been one of the reasons you've gone one direction and maybe not towards golf a little bit, or maybe just kind of expand on that a little bit.
GREG NORMAN: Well, I was always heading this direction that I am in now. I had no desire to go out there and play on a regular basis on the Senior Tour. I always knew I was going to play a few tournaments a year, six to eight tournaments, just to keep my appetite whetted in a lot of ways. I gave up the fact that -- not wanting to go out there and practice for ten hours a day, six hours a day, whatever it takes, or whatever it took me to keep to a level and maintain that level, I didn't have any desire to do that anymore. I am very fortunate I have other places to go and take my mind and take my activities and take my business interests. So I knew when I was going to turn around 50 -- 48, 50, somewhere around that age, that I was going to channel all my energies in another direction. When I come out here and play, obviously I still get excited. I wouldn't be out practicing ten days before the tournament if I didn't want to do well. So I think that's still a good indicator about my intensity and wanting to do well on the golf course during regular tournament play.
Q. Your last time here was when you won the Pro-Am with Kerry?
GREG NORMAN: That's correct, yeah, '92 or '93, something like that.
Q. Who's the more competitive of the two, and how do you guys play along with each other? Do you talk much? I was following you for several holes and it didn't look like you do a lot of dialogue. What's your bedside manner, so to speak?
GREGORY NORMAN: I'm always trying to put one up on him, and he's always trying to put one up on me. No, we just have a good time out there. We do talk. We do have a good time. We do laugh. He gives me a lot of tips how to play the golf course, how to play shots, put your weight here on a downslope. I'm always trying to get one up on him.
GREG NORMAN: I think the secret is this is a new environment for Gregory to come out and experience what tournament play is really like, even though they're playing the forward tees. And there's times when you've got to let them go on your own, like today, for example. It's a good experience for him. He's got to try to figure out the golf course for himself. Like Gregory said, I'm going to tell him where to go and where not to go, of course, but he's got to feel for himself. That's the quickest way to learn how to pick up the golf course because you don't want to overload him. I'd hate to overload him now with advice and information because the whole process now is to get comfortable, get the feel for it. It's a different world out there, when you get a lot of people around you and you've got those bleachers and a different atmosphere and the expectations are different, so you try to be low-key as much as you can.
Q. I know this is not the first time you've played together and it won't be your last, but how special is it?
GREG NORMAN: Well, from my perspective it's extremely special. When we played the Father-Son I was very nervous for him, and that was the most nervous I had ever been on the golf course. I never really carried a lot of nerves for himself individually. When I played I got excited but I wasn't nervous. But when I played with him in the Father-Son and we were doing well and we had a chance to win, you know, I was getting -- willing him to hit good shots and making sure that he felt comfortable and made sure that he was in his own space and in a nice, relaxed manner, and that's tough to do. You can't do it. As much as you want to will somebody to do well, you can't do it.
GREGORY NORMAN: I think I was more nervous than him, a little bit. This is something special coming out here and playing with him. Who else would get an opportunity to do this without being someone? I'm just his son; I'm not a celebrity. And to be able to come out here and play this is just a dream, really.
Q. Gregory, if you would, could you give us some of your golf résumé, per se?
GREGORY NORMAN: I played all through high school, took a break. I didn't play at all through college until this last year getting ready for the Father-Son. I didn't really care much about golf. I did it because I had to do a sport in high school. I did my own thing. I surfed, I kite boarded. But getting ready for the Father-Son sparked an interest in me, and I can't get rid of it now. I'm stuck with it.
Q. Greg, you've spoken before about your golf injuries due somewhat to learning the Jack Nicklaus, a little steeper swing when you were young. What influence have you had on his golf swing, on your son's golf swing, and have you tried to guide him in a different way?
GREG NORMAN: Oh, absolutely. Now technique is different. We call it posting up. Nowadays you see all the great players, they spin out on their left side and their left leg is straighter. In our old days we had the reverse C. We put all that pressure on our back. Yes, we hit the ball harder in those days, but it wasn't as technically correct as what it is today. If I had to go back and redo it again I would be swinging, like posting up, I'd get more power out of it. I think that's why I hit the ball a little bit further nowadays than what I did in my younger days, because my technique is a little bit different. I'm not as steep, as you say. I have my hands very, very high at the top of my swing, which obviously with the technology and the golf ball we used in those days, higher spin rate, the ball flew higher.
So what I try and teach Gregory now is controlling your trajectory of your golf ball with the rotation of your body, and that's what all great players do, from Tiger Woods all the way down. That's why he -- under pressure, if you have your little muscles take over chipping or pitching the ball, if you don't have good rotation with the trunk, you're not going to hit a good shot. I see that happen a lot of times with good young players nowadays, and that's what I try and get Gregory to work on is trunk rotation, and the plane of that club will just take care of itself.
Q. Now that you're completely hooked on golf, talk about sticking with it, and is there any aspiration to try to make this your profession at this point?
GREGORY NORMAN: I've got two more semesters of college left, and after I'm done with that I'm going to play amateur golf, see how that goes. Take some time, really focus on golf. And if I get to that point, then yes, I'd love to. But that's a hard road to go down, too. I've seen what he had to go through and I see what everyone else has to go through. I would love to do that, but you never know. I'm going to put all my heart into it, and we'll see how it goes from there.
Q. For both of you guys, can you talk a little bit about the interaction -- you talked before about trying not to overload him when he got hooked on golf. Were you the guy helping him, and how did that play out? Sometimes the last person you want to hear anything from is your parents even if they're right. You know how the father-son thing is. Did you consider having somebody else work with him? Or just talk about working on his game and how you guys made that work.
GREG NORMAN: Yeah, I talked to Gregory about that. I suggested he go and find somebody in the South Florida area, whether it's David Leadbetter or Jim McLean or somebody he feels comfortable with because sometimes I don't see the forest because of the trees, either. I don't want him to get so stuck with my ideas. And I think somebody giving him something else, a little technique or a little different pointer, will help him out big time. We've talked a little bit about that, and he's very happy to do that. I'm not the be all and end all of golf instructors, I just know how to get the job done. What I want him to learn is to feel. If you make a mistake on the golf course, how do you make the adjustment? You make the adjustment because you know what's wrong with your technique, and that's the best way to learn as far as I'm concerned. Greg can answer this question, too.
GREGORY NORMAN: I've watched him for 22 years, and I find that my best way to learn is to watch him and try to imitate what he does. But yes, I would like to get a coach, I would like to get serious into it. I know he can't be there all the time. I'm down in Miami five days out of the week. That's the perfect time to go to a coach and fine-tune my game. But other than that, when we go out to the golf course, go into the back, we just fire a shot, we go over how to do it, especially the short game. Picking his brain on the short game is probably one of the best things I could do, because his game is the best.
Q. What is your favorite highlight of your dad's career? What's the one maybe that you've watched over and over and over again that you just love?
GREGORY NORMAN: All the majors, you know? Being there for -- remembering the British Open was one of my favorites, remembering The Masters and remembering the PGA. Every one of his golf tournaments I've been to. But it comes back to the Open, definitely.
Q. What's the greatest piece of advice he's ever given you, either on the course or off, in life?
GREGORY NORMAN: You're going to do things bad, you've just got to learn how to let it go. It's going to just drag you down.
GREG NORMAN: I don't think I focused on that specific approach to it, but I think what Gregory says, he probably learns by watching like a lot of other people learn by the way I handled those situations, even today. They still talk about it. It's probably 13 years on, 14 years on, whatever it is. It's interesting how it's still a part of people's lives the way it is. I've always been a big believer it's how you lose a tournament and how you carry yourself that is more important than how you win a tournament. When you win, people expect you to win, expect you to be a certain way. When you get in the habit of winning, you react a certain way.
But when you lose a couple and lose a couple in a bad way, it's how you react and how you handle it. That to me is what sport is all about. It's like watching the New England Patriots get beat when 72 percent of the people thought they'd win. How did they handle themselves? They handled themselves with grace. Every interview was handled with grace. Every sport should be represented that way, and golf is no different. That was just my bailiwick in a lot of ways. I thought that was such an important part of it. In answer to your question, one of my great memories of Gregory is the PGA Championship at Inverness when I missed the putt and Gregory picks up -- I can't remember how old he was, but he picked up a blade of grass and he just threw it down because he was so mad my putt didn't go in the hole. That's an image I have of him today, of his intensity of wanting me to do well. I think, like when we go out there and play this week, that intensity is going to be there.
Q. Greg, how big a part does the Pro-Am play in your week this week? I know last time you didn't do that well individually but you won the Pro-Am. How do you balance that and how important is it to do well in the Pro-Am?
GREG NORMAN: It's interesting for me because when I play here, I've always played with one of my best friends, like Kerry Packer was one of my best friends out in Australia, who's since passed away. Kerry made the comment to me, he is one of the most successful businessmen, or was one of the successful businessmen in Australia, was the richest man in Australia, but to him to win this tournament was the greatest accomplishment in his career. When you can be a part of that for an individual who -- that was the one time only he will ever have a shot at it in life, and now that he has passed away -- and just before he did, he always talked about this victory, and it meant so much to him. Every year he gave a donation back to the charity here because it meant so much to him. You guys wouldn't know that, but it was such a powerful impact on his life. So for me to be part of it was just special.
And same with Gregory, to be part of it. I really don't care about my end result, I care about how the team ends up being because if I start playing well as an individual, great. Then the team will be sucked along with it, and I think that's the most important thing for me because I haven't played in a lot of Pro-Am events, only the Wednesdays before tournaments. But when you get a chance to play with your son or when you play with one of your best friends, it's a very, very unique experience.
Q. Does one of you guys remember how much you won by last time?
GREG NORMAN: Yeah, we won by six shots. We ran away with it.
Q. Being an Australian native, how do you explain just the quality of play from such a small population as kind of a sportsman's trend in that country?
GREG NORMAN: I think we are a sporting nation, number one. I think our golf courses, number two, are probably superior than most other countries in the world, concentration-wise, whether you live in Perth, whether you live in Adelaide or Melbourne or Sydney or Brisbane, we have some great, high, high-caliber, tough, tough golf courses you can grow up on, and they're very accessible to the younger generation. And then obviously your peers before, your generations before you that stimulate you to do well. We have always been that way, fortunately. Golf is no different than tennis, no different than cricket, no different than rugby. It's always had this vortex effect where people get sucked into whatever is the sporting success of our nation. Golf has always been that way. I've been a part of it, and now we're seeing a new wave of younger generation players come through, and I'm going to be excited to see how they play, too.
Q. Speaking of that, what would you think of the concept for the Ryder Cup if as they use all the European countries for the European team, what if they included the Australians on the American Ryder Cup side?
GREG NORMAN: That will never happen (laughter). I can just put it to you as simply as that. It shouldn't ever happen, either. The United States is a powerhouse in their own. They don't need another country to support them. You can understand it with the UK against the United States. The United States is always going to overpower them. Yes, there might have been one or two years where there was a different result than expected. But to balance out the Ryder Cup and considering the growth of golf through Europe, it was the right decision to make in that regard, and I think at the end of the day we all agree the Ryder Cup is really exciting now because it's a very good balance of victories either way. Australia doesn't need to be -- we have The Presidents Cup. The Presidents Cup seems like it's a fairly successful event, and so we'll let those two stand on their own two feet.
Q. You were the one who basically put into a lot of people's minds the idea of a World Tour. I know they sort of shoved it out of the way, and all of a sudden in the last five or six years we don't have a World Tour, we have World Golf Championships. And in a way it's a legacy of yours. What do you think of that whole business? And are you sort of happy it came into being?
GREG NORMAN: What do I think about which, the whole business of World Golf Championships?
GREG NORMAN: Present-day? I'm very disappointed in the way it is nowadays. Because my whole concept was to share golf on a global basis. Golf is a truly international game. We've been represented by great players by just about every continent on this planet. So I always wanted to make sure that the general public, the other golfers, the other 24 million golfers, had an opportunity to see the best players in certain locations around the world. And nowadays is seems like it's come back into the United States unfortunately, and that's why I congratulate the new tournament in Dubai in a lot of ways. There's a new emphasis and a new direction with the PGA on the European Tour where they actually start thinking about doing a global approach to the global game to have an ultimate goal, which is the Road to Dubai. Somebody else is picking up on the idea because I think the PGA Tour has kind of pulled back into being introverted into the United States.
From my perspective, I was very disappointed with it, obviously. I felt that the whole concept was a fair concept. It obviously was or it wouldn't have been picked up and run with on another level. But at the end of the day, my priority is all about the game of golf. That was my priority from the getgo, and hopefully we'll be able to get a true World Tour one day because we can share. Players still go to Dubai, players still go to South Africa and play. We do play all over the world. So it does fit, it really does. And now you see the United States Tour have got a condensed schedule. They finish in September now. So there's plenty of room to make it work. There's plenty of room to share the wealth around the world, and we're seeing that wealth getting picked up obviously in Dubai, a $10 million tournament.
Q. There was always an Australian, South African, now all of a sudden the U.S. Tour is in effect a World Tour with 15, 17, I can't remember how many Australians, Asians, a lot of Japanese, and of course some South Africans. All of a sudden golf has become a focus, Padraig Harrington, and they're playing over here as well as on their own Tours?
GREG NORMAN: Well, the reason why they're here is because you're playing for a lot of money, no question. Steve Elkington and I were talking about that out there on the practice round today, that he said, I can probably go out there and make $3, $4 million a year now because of the amount of money. He said, "Can you believe it? I've won $500,000 in the last three weeks, and I haven't won a golf tournament." In our days when we grew up you had to win three or four golf tournaments to win $500,000. Well, it was $125,000 a pop. So when you're an independent contractor, you have the right to go and chase your dream the best you can where you think you can make the most amount of money because that's what professionalism is all about. You've got to go after where you feel like you can do the best for yourself, for your bank account and for your future.
The United States, credit Tim Finchem, he did go out there and he did attract them here by jumping up the prize money. But at the same time it's kind of hurt a lot of the other Tours, as well, because the best players, the main players, have been here. I know in Australia we hurt big-time because the players don't go back down there and play on a regular basis, so you're not going to get the sponsorship. You don't get the main players playing week in and week out, so we got hurt down there. If I had to do it over again, if I knew the money was here, I'd be here in the United States, too. But I think it's the responsibility of all of us, and I don't think just the players but the administration and everybody, to try and share the wealth of this great game on a global basis by allowing the players -- and the players are allowed to go play because we're independent contractors, but at the same time try and help stimulate the other Tours and make sure they keep going.
Q. I can remember when you came over and the U.S. Tour was looking for a new personality. Jack was sort of (inaudible) and Watson was going, and all of a sudden the media, Golf Digest particularly, built you up. The money wasn't that big. You came over here really to accomplish something, didn't you?
GREG NORMAN: Yeah, I came here because I knew this was where the best players were, week in and week out. I had honed my game playing in Japan and playing in Europe, and I wasn't going to make my commitment here until I knew my game was ready to take on these guys. So my attitude was different. I just wanted to beat the best. And to be the best you had to beat the best. So that was my process to go through. And like anything, if you win golf tournaments, you kind of get all the fruits coming on your plate anyway. Tiger Woods, it doesn't matter, take the money away, it's all relevant. My era, I was making a lot of money in my era, too. Everybody would say, look how much money he's making. Well, you know what, it's the same nowadays. Everyone says, Tiger, look how much he's making. But it's relative.
Q. Do you think that's more because they're all here or the fact that there's so many global players who have come here that it's hard to distinguish between a World Golf Championships and a Wachovia or Memorial or what have you?
GREG NORMAN: Well, think it's very difficult to distinguish which ones are what except for the title, WGC. In fact, I truly believe if they had stayed on a global schedule, I don't know how many World Golf Championships there are, eight, four?
GREG NORMAN: Three, okay. We're including the majors, right? So there's eight total that guys play in. If 50 percent of those eight were spread around the world in strategic locations and shared, then I think that would have been the best thing for it. So the players are going to stay here and the players are going to go. The players are going to go to Dubai for $10 million, that's for sure. You know if you put the money up somewhere, the players will go. So the money came into the United States, the venues came into the United States. I don't know whether that was a network deal or a sponsorship deal or whatever it was, but to me it would have been better if 50 percent of the tournaments were shared globally.
Q. If You were 20-something coming out of Australia, a young player, would you have taken the same route you did back in the late '70s, early '80s?
GREG NORMAN: I'd come straight here. I mean, I'd come straight -- I wouldn't go to Europe because you come in here and even if you didn't play well you're going to make a lot of money, simple as that. And that's security. The security blanket that that gives you puts you in a little bit of a complacent mode, too, when you're finishing 10th or 15th or whatever it is and you walk off at the end of the year and you've made a couple million bucks and you say that's pretty good. $2 million is a lot of money. I don't know if anybody had heard. So again, it's all relative when you think about it. So from my perspective, I would have come right here because all the best players are here on a global basis anyway. The Australians are here, the South Africans are here, the Japanese are here, the Europeans are here. I would have shot straight over here for sure.
Q. Can you talk about Aaron Baddeley, how a lot of the Australian golfers when you ask them who motivated them as a kid watching, it was obviously you. Has it ever dawned on you what kind of impact you've made in the game of golf with those professionals that are now playing that watched you on TV when they were kids?
GREG NORMAN: I think you should always pinch yourself and think about that because it's important that you have an effect on the game. If you put yourself in a certain position, whether you're the No. 1 player in the world or you represent your country in a certain way, you have a tremendous responsibility to -- first to your country and then to try to promote the game of golf in that country. When I look back on it, yes, it's great to see the wave of it. Whether I was just 1 percent part of somebody's success, that's great. That means what I did on the golf course was the correct thing and it rubbed off on somebody to be successful. I hope every young Australian to come out of my country does better off the golf course and on the golf course than I did because they're utilizing and learning from somebody ahead of them to be better at what they do. And that's what the art of life and growing up and being better is.
It's like watching these young kids watch Tiger. You know, watch Tiger. Take even 1 percent of what he's doing and put it in your game and figure out how can I get better because he's doing so well and utilize somebody else's success. I always grew up and thought if you want to be successful, hang around successful people. That success will rub off. In some way, shape or form it'll always rub off, and that's been one of my mottos in life and I've done it and it's worked for me, and if I can do it for somebody else, great.
Q. That sounds like a very daunting legacy your dad is just talking about here. If you choose and if you do go into this as a career, you realize that that's something that you'll always be compared to. Is that daunting for you? And how do you manage to deal with what the shadow of your father will always present? And lastly, does he always make you wear Shark uniforms?
GREGORY NORMAN: That's my choice, supporting the big man.
GREG NORMAN: He gets paid a lot of money to wear those, but he's an amateur, so -
GREGORY NORMAN: No, I don't.
Q. You know what I'm saying. People are always going to say, there's Greg, Jr., and the comparison is going to be following you no matter where you go.
GREGORY NORMAN: Absolutely it's daunting. That's probably one of the reasons I didn't play golf. I played in high school but I backed away, did my own thing, found my own sport. I excelled in my sport, but now I'm coming back to it because I love the fact of what my dad has done. I think it's in my heart. But yes, going out there and being on the golf course I'm going to have that luggage on my back, but it's something you've got to deal with and push out of your mind and go play golf and enjoy playing golf but also appreciate and respect what my father has done in the past because he did something not many people have ever done. Yeah, that will always be on my back and I'll always respect it.
GREG NORMAN: It's like when we go out and play, just have fun playing. I always say to Gregory, you'll beat me, but I'm not going to let you beat me. That's the interesting part, too, when you play. How do you -- how much do you really push and push and push? I've been a big believer of don't push too hard, let them feel for themselves when they're getting on the golf course. You can't let somebody beat you by taking a 6 at the last hole and letting you win. That's not fair on them. It's a fine line to building up confidence and tearing down confidence, too.
Q. In a sport where we've seen Arnie and Jack struggle with it, you've done a very nice job retiring from tournament golf. Do you think that's created any kind of a model for someone like a Phil Mickelson and a Tiger, the ones that are really successful and don't need to play golf when they're no longer in their prime? Do you think they'll be able to look at what you've done?
GREG NORMAN: I would say yes because I've watched what these guys are doing off the golf course and I read about it a little bit and they seem to be gravitating at a younger age than what I did into golf course design and into business and acquisitions and stuff like that, investments. So I would say there's a very good chance of that. I mean, how much is enough to retire, anyway, victory-wise or -- not monetarily, but victory-wise, how much is enough to keep spurring you on? That's where you get to a point where only you're the only that can tell you when you wake up in the morning where you say that fire in my belly is not the same as it was last month.
I think the opportunities out there on a global basis are far greater nowadays than what it was when Jack grew up and Arnold grew up. Your well of opportunities to me is a greater well to go to. See, I'm an international player, so I still do all of my business, about 80 percent of my business nowadays, on a global basis, so I keep chasing the growth of the game. You know, I talk to business people and say the game of golf is really an economic indicator. When we go with my company, people are now seeking out advice on where we are right now, what countries we're going into, fund managers. People are looking for investments into real estate opportunity because we're the first ones that get the phone call. When somebody wants to build a golf course and put an amenity on $500 million development, we're the first ones.
So we get all these calls coming in, and people are starting to now pick up on, okay, now we start seeing these opportunities in Vietnam or Argentina or Brazil, places that people never even thought about. So the investment dollar now has taken a different turn, and I think it's really, like I said, golf courses are the economic indicators through golf course design.
Q. Are you aware that the course you designed in Livermore is actually played the toughest course for the Nationwide Tour last year for the event over there? And then I'd like some comments, I think it's turning ten this year, and it seems like a lot of new golf courses come in and then go through some period of redesign. There's been no redesign at all on that, and is that something you're aware of?
GREG NORMAN: That must mean I did a pretty good job the first time around.
Q. That's what I was thinking.
GREG NORMAN: Well, I didn't realize it played the toughest on the Nationwide Tour. I didn't realize that. But I can understand it because the golf course is a very difficult golf course. I mean, unique in a lot of ways, because I didn't use a whole lot of rough. I used the vineyards to be the rough area, and the terrain was just magnificent for a golf course. So really I just figured out the layout and Mother Nature did the rest. Demanding, yes. It's not an overly long golf course. If my memory is right it's maybe 7,250 or 7,300 yards, something like that. But it's nice to know that actually because I know the Nationwide Tour is a very, very competitive Tour. So if these guys are having a hard time around there, that's a credit to the golf course.
Q. I just wanted to know if there was a single reason or a combination of reasons or just the way your career was going that it's been that you stopped playing or did not come back to Pebble after 1992.
GREG NORMAN: I don't know the reason why, to tell you the truth. I think the U.S. Open was out here in 2000, wasn't it? I don't know why. Just one of those things in sporting life, I guess.
MODERATOR: Thank you.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.