Greg Norman Golf Course Design has quickly established itself as one of the most prominent 'celebrity' design firms in the game, and has a growing portfolio of courses in all corners of the globe. In 2015 they opened their 100th golf course, the relocated Eastern Golf Club in Melbourne. Like other big ‘signature’ firms, much of the GNGCD design work is carried out on the ground by various design associates. For years the company had two design offices operating remotely of each other, but in mid-2010 it closed the Australian office to centralize operations. Clients in the Asia Pacific region are now serviced by Greg Norman’s North American team, based in Florida.
Norman’s American office has been responsible for some good golf at places like The Medalist (originally co-designed by Pete Dye but personally reworked by Norman) and Doonbeg in Ireland, which occupies some of the most attractive dunes in golf but has recently been redesigned by Martin Hawtree. The Australian office’s best were National Moonah in Victoria, Ellerston in New South Wales, The Grand in Queensland and Nirwana Bali in Indonesia. Other solid courses included The Vintage, Pelican Waters and the Norman Course at Mission Hills in China.
The suitability of the Greg Norman brand for your project depends on many factors that should be carefully considered – including how important the quality of the final golf course is to the overall project, as well as the celebrity value of the company involved. The various factors, along with the clear marketing advantages and brand saturation issues that exist with the Greg Norman name, may be discussed at any time with the Global Golf Group.
Disappointingly, the recent ReBranding of the Greg Norman Company has coincided with a new three-tier pricing structure for Greg Norman Golf Course Design – along similar lines to the offerings of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tony Jacklin and others. Clients can choose from the curiously named Eco Signature Design option or either a Signature Design or a GNGCD Design. One assumes that the involvement of Greg Norman himself, as well as the seniority of the design associate involved in the project, depends on the package selected. This is not a model for design that our industry should support. Greg Norman Golf Course Design’s commitment to a project should be complete, regardless of the size of the signature fee paid. Such a pricing structure makes it much harder to recommend this company for important work, and reinforces a popular belief within the industry that signature designers are more interested in accumulating clients than producing exceptional work.
For an independent appraisal of Greg Norman Golf Course Design’s portfolio, or for general design advice, please contact the Global Golf Group