Greg Norman – TPC Sugarloaf Architect
During his prolific 30-plus year-career as a touring professional, Australian Greg Norman distinguished himself as one of the best players in the history of the game. He learned to play golf at the age of 16 while caddying for his mother, and two years later had become a scratch golfer. It took just four tournaments for Norman to win his first professional title, eventually amassing 20 PGA TOUR, including two majors, and more than 69 international tournaments; spending 331 consecutive weeks as the number one player in the world; and becoming the first player to surpass the $12 million mark in PGA TOUR career earnings.
Selected as Captain of the International team competing in the prestigious 2009 Presidents Cup, Norman’s experience playing many of the world’s greatest golf courses spawned his interest in golf course design and led to the establishment of Greg Norman Golf Course Design (GNGCD) in 1987. Since that time, GNGCD has designed more than 70 distinct golf courses on six continents, many of which have hosted sanctioned events on the PGA TOUR, Nationwide, European and Australian Tours. While each project is unique, Norman strives to create courses that are efficient, environmentally sensitive, sustainable, blend naturally with their surroundings, and provide a playable and memorable experience.
During construction of TPC Sugarloaf, Norman’s first course in the U.S., he made more than 30 visits to the site to ensure every detail met his exacting expectations. The design of the course – not to mention the significant acclaim that has followed since its opening in 1997 – speaks for itself. Most important to Norman was the preservation of the green sites, which include sizeable putting surfaces measuring approximately 6,000 square feet, and runoff areas that penalize poor approach shots – a feature that makes great championship courses like TPC Sawgrass and Augusta National so difficult, and yet so revered.
“The final walk-through of the property told us we had something special,” said Norman. “It’s a magnificent property…the undulations, streams, and the pines, the feel of the terrain reminded me very much of Augusta. The land flowed. And the corridors were just there, which was probably the most important element we wanted to accomplish.”