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Norman offered job as Fox golf analyst

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The Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” (for reasons beyond my understanding) often grabs a lot of attention and interest. Well, the world of golf may soon have its own Shark weeks and, more importantly, Shark weekends.

Greg Norman has been approached to lead some of Fox Sports’ recently acquired rights to the United States Golf Association‘s array of championships.

While Fox Sports will become the United States Golf Association’s “principal domestic media partner,” covering the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open Championships along with its national amateur championships, it is unclear how large a role Norman could play in the network’s golf coverage due to his already numerous business ventures. It seems as if the U.S. Open is the key role Norman would anchor.

The network begins broadcasting the U.S. Open in 2015, so there is time for Norman to negotiate the terms.

Norman would be another highly recognizable name that Fox could boast in its sports coverage, which will soon also feature Fox Sports 1 — a channel launching on Aug. 17 as a competitor to ESPN with a range of offerings including live sports, sports news, analysis and additional daily programming.

The network has already added former athletes such as Andy Roddick, Gary Payton and Donovan McNabb to serve as Fox Sports Live (a SportsCenter style show) analysts. Norman’s potential gig, however, would mostly likely be a grander stage, leading analysis for the network’s golf coverage that will feature major championship golf for the first time. The agreement between Fox Sports and the USGA runs through 2026.

So, how would Norman do with the job?

We know he’s not shy about his opinions, a trait shared with current U.S. Open analyst Johnny Miller. Recently, Norman has become newsworthy when he’s chiming in on an issue, such as Tiger Woods’ drop at the Masters or golf’s anti-doping procedures, both coming this spring. Other opinions voiced by Norman in the not-so-distant past include that Woods was “intimidated” by McIlroy, and criticism of Fred Couples’ President’s Cup pick of Woods in 2011.

Nonetheless, Norman is a historic name in the game of golf: former world No. 1 for 331 weeks, a 20-time PGA Tour winner, a two-time British Open champion and a 2001 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee. He’s experienced the highs and lows in major championship golf. He fired a final-round 64 to claim his second British Open title, while his heartbreaking losses at majors are well documented, including a trio of disappearing third-round leads in 1986.

While he may provide unfiltered comments on the game and its players at times, through his career he was one of those players under criticism and in the spotlight. He’s been there before and could provide a strong analysis of what players are thinking, feeling and experiencing down the stretch of a major championship weekend.

“Fox shares our vision to seek fresh thinking and innovative ideas to deliver championship golf,” USGA President Glen D. Nager stated in the USGA and Fox’s initial announcement.

As a golfer-turned-businessman, Norman could be a strong contributor to the “fresh thinking” the partnership is looking for.

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GolfWRX fan turned GolfWRX contributor. Sports fan, golf enthusiast. Looking to provide a variety of content to GolfWRX.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. gmoney

    Aug 19, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Great he can talk about how great he is……..

  2. Pingback: Fore Friday: Dufner's Major Win, Fox Catches The Shark and The Caddie Run Gets Axed - Breaking Eighty

  3. jack

    Aug 14, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    there goes the neighborhood

  4. tallPK

    Aug 14, 2013 at 7:40 am

    The blunder from down under… first of all the fact that FOX is going to broadcast this sucks. Just watching baseball and all of the unnecessary sound effects they add to graphics is ridicules. FOX = Seinfeld reruns and I’m happy with that. Secondly, Greg Norman can’t give an unbiased opinion. Specifically about Tiger – he hates him. FOX and Norman… dumb and dumber

  5. Michael

    Aug 12, 2013 at 10:22 am

    NOT A FAN OF NORMAN AT ALL

  6. Klaus

    Aug 12, 2013 at 1:23 am

    I think I’m fine with everybody who is NOT Johnny Miller

  7. john

    Aug 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm

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This episode covers a huge variety of topics from what was found in winners bags at the U.S. Open and on the LPGA Tour.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

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Opinion & Analysis

The original 0311

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In the first episode of “The Disruptors,” GolfWRX’s new video series with PXG, Johnny Wunder sits down with company founder Bob Parsons for an in-depth talk about Parsons’ background and got into the golf equipment business.

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The Bob I know

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I’ll start by saying this: Bob Parsons has a stigma attached to him. With every move he makes or idea he pushes, many people think: Rich guy. No perspective. Who does he think he is?

I also need to say this (whether you believe it or not): This is not a puff piece. This is my honest perspective as I have experienced. Until 30 days ago, I didn’t have one PXG club in my bag and have never been given favor from PXG to “make them look good.”

OK, that’s out of the way, so you know what isn’t the motivation here. The motivation is to describe my relationship with Bob, so the golf community knows exactly who he is, why he is so important, and why we don’t want him to ever go away.

I first met Bob Parsons on December 11th, 2007 on the set of the first commercial I ever booked as an actor. It was for GoDaddy.com, and it was a Super Bowl ad that was later banned and became a “cult classic” for years to come. On the set of that commercial, Bob showed up before principal photography began and walked up to every person on that set (100 people) and personally introduced himself and thanked them for the hard work. When I met and I told him my name, he said in a way only Bob can, “Johnny Wunder!? I’ll never forget that name, that’s a no brainer.”

Fast forward to March of 2018 and PXG’s initial launch of the GEN2 irons. Before our interview was set up, I was reintroduced to him, and he said “Johnny Wunder!? THE Johnny Wunder? I know that name. We have met. I never forget a name.” I explained how we met and he started to laugh, “I may forget a face, Johnny, but I’d never forget a name like that.”

Since then, I have interviewed Bob four times and been his guest during product launches. NOBODY does hospitality like Bob. NOBODY. You are inside the bubble, and you are well taken care of but also respected to the utmost degree. He understands the job we in the media have and will give you everything he can to make the experience worthwhile. Yes, Bob has a larger-than-life on-camera persona. It’s big, funny, gregarious, and to some, intimidating. Bob off camera is a bit of a different thing. He’s a thoughtful, quiet man that will ask about your kids far before he asks what you think about his products.

I recall a morning he called me personally to ask me a question, it was a Saturday, if memory serves, and when I picked up the phone and realized it was him, I had to kind of laugh. Not at him but at his first few comments

  1. Apologized for interrupting my family’s Saturday morning
  2. Asked how my family was doing and if the kids were fans of golf
  3. Asked how I was doing beyond work and what I was planning for the rest of the year

These were real questions from a man that REALLY cares. Care is the key word here. I’ll get to that in a moment. After the call was done, he thanked me and wanted to make sure I told my wife that he apologized for stealing me away (if only for a few minutes) from my family on a Saturday morning.

This is not Bob selling me. This is Bob.

The message here is that Bob cares, immensely, about improving the conditions of those he can. Yes his clubs are expensive. Get past that. Yes he has a ton of cash. Get past that. Yes his persona is BIG. Get past that. He spun the industry on its head by introducing and selling clubs that were “too expensive.” “He will never make it” was something I hear a lot. Well that idea is now put to bed as PXG, leading with its strong chin, made it OK to spend a lot of money on golf clubs. He paved the way for bespoke companies like Artisan, Tyson Lamb, National Custom Works to charge premium prices for custom gear. I think any gearhead on GolfWRX could find a way to be thankful for that one…just for the Instagram pictures alone.

The interview accompanying this article will give you just a glimpse as to who Bob really is. He came from nothing. He built this. He dug it outta the dirt. He is the American Dream walking and talking. No one gave him anything. In this day and age, I honor that narrative. I respect the hell out of it, and I want my kids to see men and woman like this.

It’s the real “meat on the table” that Bob has. You can’t learn this in school, you have to learn it by trying and failing A LOT. PXG is something he built. He didn’t hire smart people to do his bidding, he hired smart people to learn from and get in the mud with. PXG clubs are the product of that collaboration. PXG clubs are not Bob, but they are a symbol of how much this guy cares about doing things differently. He’s a disruptor. He cares. That’s all that matters.

I hope you see what I see. Enjoy the interview.

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