Never mind Shark Week on Discovery Channel. We’re in the midst of Shark Week on GOLF.com, a celebration of the Aussie sporting icon-turned-entrepreneur.
As his famous moniker suggests, Greg Norman is forever moving forward, propelled by his global business interests, a new gig in the tower for Fox Sports -- and a boundless appetite for luxury items. Yachts, jets, seaside mansions, ranches, bronze busts. Norman can’t be stopped. But can he be emulated? Won’t be easy, or cheap. But it’s worth a shot. Here are 11 ways to put some Shark in your life.
1. RING YOUR REALTOR
In case you couldn’t tell from his 75-square-mile ranch in Colorado, or his $65 million Hobe Sound, Fla., spread, Norman is really, REALLY into real estate. Southern Cross Developments, one of an untold number of Norman’s business ventures, has high-end residential projects in Dubai, Vietnam and beyond. The exact size and value of the Shark’s portfolio is hard to pinpoint, in part because it’s always shifting. Just last summer, he listed a property in Boca Raton, Fla., for $25 million, even as he went about building on it. His plans called for a mansion with seven bedrooms and 19 bathrooms, because, well, golfers always need more space to take relief.
2. STOP FLYING COMMERCIAL
Since turning pro in 1976, Norman has logged more than eight million air miles -- not all of them in economy class. His Gulfstream G550 is the seventh jet he’s owned in the last 15 years. If you want one of your own, you’re looking at an outlay of about $33 million. While you’re at it, you should also pick up a Bell 407 helicopter, the kind that Norman has. You could get a bird just like it for about $2.6 million. But that’s not counting what you’d have to pay the pilot. The Shark, of course, flies his chopper himself.
3. START YOUR OWN WINE LABEL
Crikey, mate, that’s a crackin’ cabernet. Through partnerships with wineries in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and California, the Shark produces a range of reds and whites under the private label, Greg Norman Estates. Isn’t it time you did the same? E.C. Kraus, a national supplier of home winemaking supplies, sells starter kits for $100-$200, replete with all the tools you need to make your first five-gallon batch. You’ll still need to buy the fruit, which ranges wildly on price depending on the vineyard. If you don’t mind drinking swill, you could go as low as about $1 per bottle. Just be warned: The wine might have an unpleasant, oaky finish, like a drive sliced deep into the trees.
4. BUY A YACHT—BUT NOT JUST ANY YACHT
Over the years, Norman has owned a veritable armada of sport-fishing vessels and pleasure cruisers. His largest seafaring acquisition came in 1995, when he took possession of a 228-foot custom-built yacht called Aussie Rules. Its amenities included a private theater, a dining room suited to the Sun King and onboard diving equipment for 30 people, along with a decompression chamber. The yacht no longer belongs to Norman; he sold it in 2004 for a reported $77 million. But don’t think he couldn’t buy another if he wanted. Bottom line: If you want to travel the seas like this Shark, you’re going to need a bigger boat.
5. JOIN A CLUB, OR THREE DOZEN CLUBS
Though he misses out on an annual invite to Augusta, Norman hardly lacks for golf course access. According to Norman’s spokesperson, he is either a member or an honorary member at some 40 private clubs around the world, but he considers the Medalist, in Hobe Sound, Fla., and Royal Melbourne his home tracks here and abroad. You’ll need to be well connected to join either of those clubs, but if your goal is simply being able to tell people you play at the Medalist, here’s a far more obtainable alternative: lay down $825 and join the Medalist Golf Club in Marshall, Mich (above).
6. ARM UP
An avid hunter and gun collector, the Shark is loaded for more than just deer. His private arsenal could outfit a small militia. Its centerpiece is a Barrett .50 MBG Rifle, a semi-automatic weapon that the U.S. Marines used in operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The basic model goes for about $12,000, but we know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who could probably get you one for less.
7. LOOK THE PART
Bleach-blond hair-coloring job at a high-end salon: $150. Blue-tinted contact lenses: $50. Straw hat with Shark emblem: $34.99. Being mistaken at a distance for Greg Norman: priceless.
8. SOUND THE PART
Part of the Shark’s swagger owes to that Down Under accent, which lends a kind of rugged heft to everything he says. You know, that distinctive Aussie lilt that lends a hint of up-talk to declarative statements, and adds a nasal twang to certain vowel sounds, turning a word like “way” into something more like “why.” Accents are like golf swings: the younger you learn them, the more natural they seem. But it’s never too late. In fact, it’s easier than ever, what with language-focused websites like speakmoreclearly.com, which offers lessons on how to speak Australian, starting at $69.99. Talk, it turns out, is relatively cheap.
9. COMMISSION A LIKENESS OF YOURSELF
Aside from North Korean despots, not many people bother having bronze statues cast in their own likeness. But Norman’s not an Aussie Kim Jong Il. It was the Shark’s wife, Kirsten, who commissioned the bust that sent social media a-twitter last month as a gift to her hubby on his 60th birthday. How much did she spend? Don’t ask David Phelps, the Oklahoma-based artist who shaped the statue. He’s not saying. Nor is he all that eager to make a bust of you. “Doing a bid is a pretty involved process,” Phelps told GOLF.com, “and I’d rather not even go down that road.” Good thing he’s not the only guy who works with bronze. Stan Watts of Atlas Bronze Casting in Kearns, Utah, handles all kinds of custom pieces. Depending on the size and detail of the work, Watt says, you’re looking at a starting price of $5,000. “But it can get higher, up around 30 to 35 thousand.”
10. OFFER TO BUY HIM OUT
Norman’s net worth has been estimated at $400 million, which sounds slightly low in this age of excess, given that his umbrella company, Great White Shark Enterprises, is a multinational outfit with a hand in everything from golf apparel and architecture to real estate, wine and Wagyu beef. But, really, does the figure even matter? Once you’ve socked away such extravagant wealth, other motivating factors come into play that money alone can’t begin to measure. Ego. Self-worth. Dread of boredom. Here’s our best guess: You could offer him a billion, two billion, more. If it meant his stepping aside, the Shark wouldn’t bite.
11. CAN’T BEAT HIM? JOIN HIM
Later this summer, Norman will participate in the Necker Open Pro Am, a lavish event held at Richard Branson’s private island. Spots in the junket are selling for a cool $80,000, but if it gives you a chance to glean wisdom from the Shark himself, call it money well spent.