'Created a rift': Greg Norman opens up on secret family heartache

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Greg Norman, pictured here in action at the PNC Championship in Florida in 2020.
Greg Norman in action at the PNC Championship in Florida in 2020. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Greg Norman has revealed the "rift" that his decision to become a professional golfer created with his father.

The Aussie golf legend opened up on his relationship with his 94-year-old father Mervyn on the 'Four Courses' podcast last week.

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The 66-year-old revealed that Mervyn told him he'd never make it as a professional golfer, instead advising Norman to pursue a career in business.

“My dad never thought I’d be the golfer I became,” Norman said.

“He wanted me to be either in his engineering business or be a scholar or go on and do something else in the business world.

“We had a little bit of angst about it all when I told him - ‘Hey, I’m going to turn professional and I’m going to be an assistant pro and in three years’ time I’m going to play the tour.

“He’s looking at me like, ‘Are you crazy, you’re not good enough to do that, nobody in our family has been a professional sportsman or woman’.”

Norman said the pair fell out for a period when he decided golf was his desired path.

“I walked away from a career. My father wasn’t impressed,” Norman said previously.

“He didn’t know whether I’d be any good at the game of golf. Nobody did. They just had to accept it. They could see my commitment was second to none.

“It created a rift between my dad and myself. There’s no question about it.

“My dad was a professional. He had his own business and he was hoping I would go into the business. Follow in his footsteps, which every father would want.

“At the end of the day, we kind of separated a little bit. It just created a little bit of tension in there. Now it’s totally different.”

Greg Norman and wife Kirsten Kutner, pictured here at OMEGA House in 2012.
Greg Norman and wife Kirsten Kutner at OMEGA House in 2012. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

Greg Norman to scale back $400m business empire

Norman moved into the business world after retiring from golf and now owns 13 businesses in course design, apparel, hospitality and real estate.

However the former World No.1 revealed on the same podcast that he's scaling things back and aims to sell more than half of them.

“As you progressively get gracefully older you find an interesting balance in yourself," he said.

"The materialistic things you liked 25 years ago, you go ‘why did I even have those then?’

“It was ego, it was a statement because look what I can do, I’ve got this.

“You look at it today and (think) less is more, I don’t need that, I don’t need this. It’s amazing … you actually sit back and realise that I don’t need another X millions of dollars.”

Norman has sold two of the properties he owns with wife Kirsten Kutner in recent weeks, with a desire to eventually return home to Australia.

Norman and Kutner have parted ways with their $77 million Florida home, as well as a $52 million ranch in Colorado.

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