Growing up in the game, my favorite player was Greg Norman. I loved every victory (of which there were just not enough), and agonized over every impossible-to-imagine defeat, but more importantly, I was left with admiration for the man: I have never seen anyone handle so many heartbreaking setbacks with such class and dignity. I think the sporting world would have completely understood if, at some point, Greg wandered away from public life into the Australian Outback, never to be see again. But he didn’t. Instead, he kept coming back for more. In 2008, he was a 53-year-old part-time golfer playing for funsies in the Open Championship while on his honeymoon…and led the damn tournament after 54 holes! He ended up finishing 3rd, behind Padraig Harrington and Ian Poulter. Through all of these experiences, Greg Norman has continually taught me by example how to lose gracefully, and in golf, you’re going to lose a lot more than you win.
Greg doesn’t play competitively anymore; at 59 years old, he’s too busy designing courses, making good wine, punching sharks in the nose, boxing kangaroos, and counting his money. He has been doing his own yard work, too, but after nearly cutting off his left hand with a chainsaw the other day while pruning trees on his property in South Florida, that may end now.
I want to lead all Golfing Fanatics in wishing the Great White Shark a speedy recovery, and easier-to-use yard equipment. Greg, you have a lot of money: stimulate the South Florida economy by outsourcing your heavy yard work!
Born and raised on the stretch of Interstate 4 that connects Tampa Bay to Disney World, Scott Fields grew up around Central Florida golf courses. A former competitive player and University of Florida alum, he now lives with his wife and two sons in the North Dallas/Fort Worth area, where he still enjoys an occasional round (with cigar and beer) when it’s not college football season. He is even more passionate about the game now than he ever was. Check out more about Scott on his blog Grits and Golf.