Australian Greg Norman dominated the golf world for much of the 1980s and early 1990s with his aggressive game and charismatic demeanor. Labeled the “Great White Shark” by a newspaper columnist during the 1981 Masters, he is one of the most recognizable sports figures whose professional career produced 86 international victories, including two British Opens.
He topped the World Ranking for a total of six years and he represented his country in three Presidents Cups. For his countless accomplishments, Norman garnered the highest percentage of votes of anyone who has been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame via the PGA TOUR Ballot, with 82 percent.
Norman was born in Mt. Isa, Queensland, Australia, Feb. 10, 1955. At 15, he tagged along with his mother, Toini, to Virginia G.C. where she was club champion. He quickly grew attached to the game. Norman’s first taste of golf instruction came from Jack Nicklaus’ book, Golf My Way. After turning pro in 1976, Norman’s highflying lifestyle today is a far cry from his humble beginning as a $28-a-week assistant at Royal Queensland.
Norman won 20 times on the PGA Tour and was the first to surpass $10 million in career earnings. He won three Arnold Palmer Awards as the tour’s leading money winner (1986, 1990 and 1995) and three Vardon Trophies (1988, 1989 and 1994). He was PGA TOUR Player of the Year in 1995. But despite his numerous wins, Norman is frequently remembered for his historic losses. He is the only player to have lost all four majors in playoffs.