Former World No.1 golfer Greg Norman has always been way ahead of his time. Decades before social media and the cult of the ‘personal brand’, the brash Australian called himself ‘The Great White Shark’ and began building a business empire in the midst of his competitive pomp.
Brand Shark took off and today, the Greg Norman Company is so vast it can be viewed from space. Probably.
But one of Greg’s ideas didn’t take flight. In the mid-1990s, he proposed the novel concept of bringing together professional golf’s disparate parts and packaging them up neatly under the banner of a World Golf Tour. It was supposed to be golf’s answer to tennis’s ATP.
Professional golf may be a global game, but it’s also all over the map in a less advantageous way. Tournament golf is played in every corner of the globe, featuring four majors (the most prestigious events), four World Golf Championships, and a myriad of other events played across multiple tours.
The US-based PGA Tour is the clear powerhouse of the game, with the lesser European Tour operating a global schedule and enjoying more fleeting periods of success on the calendar, especially when visiting the Middle East in the early part of the year. But there are only so many top players to go around, and the reality is that the best of the best only convene around eight times a year.