With 106 tracks to his credit, Greg Norman has assembled an impressive body of work as a golf course architect. Determining which are the best of that rather extensive bunch, however, is no easy task, given the whims of personal preference. So, we took an alternative approach by asking Norman and two of his longtime design associates – Jason McCoy and Danny Fore – to name five of his most significant creations and the reasons why.
Ellerston (Australia): Norman designed this ultra-private track in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales for his friend and business mentor, the late media magnate Kerry Packer. It opened in 2001 and those individuals who secured rare invitations to play that track raved about the layout. Their accolades did a lot to bolster Norman’s reputation as a course designer, especially in his native land.
Cathedral Lodge (Australia): This track outside Melbourne only recently came on line, yet it already is regarded as the Augusta National of Australia for its exclusivity and also its conditioning. Once again, Norman was working for a good mate, in this case investment banker David Evans, who once had run the iconic Essendon Australian Rules Football Club. The Shark routed several of the holes in and around a ridge than runs through a canyon and by the Goulburn River, with several of them framed by the Cathedral Mountains in the background. Architecture critics have lauded this design as well and praised it for taking high-end golf in Australia to the next level.
Medalist (Jupiter, Fla.): This club was established in 1995, with the course Norman designed with Pete Dye the centerpiece of what has become a hangout for PGA Tour players. It is significant for the collaboration that occurred between a pair of World Golf Hall of Famers in Norman and Dye, and also for Medalist being the Aussie’s first U.S. course built under the auspices of Greg Norman Course Design.
TPC Sugarloaf – Tournament Course (Duluth, Ga.): Norman produced three separate nine-hole courses at this complex outside Atlanta in what was his first solo effort in the United States. Shortly after opening, the so-called Tournament Course began playing host to a PGA Tour event that initially was called the BellSouth Classic (and later the AT&T Classic). It was staged there from 1997 to 2008. In 2013, TPC Sugarloaf became the site of the Mitsubishi Electric Classic on the PGA Tour Champions. McCoy says that all the television exposure has helped Norman’s design business to grow in the States.
Jumeirah Golf Estates (Dubai, United Arab Emirates): The Shark crafted the Earth and Fire layouts in the late 1990s at this luxury golf community, with the Earth coming to serve as the site for the annual DP World Tour Championship, which is the European Tour’s season-ending event and the culmination of the Race to Dubai. In addition to elevating the overall profile of Norman’s design business – and the repute of the courses it creates – they also have boosted the Middle East as an increasingly prosperous place for his operations.
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