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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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Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: The best drill in golf (throwing the club)

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If you are struggling with weight shift, clearing your hips, or have issues freeing up your golf swing, then what you want to do is start chucking that golf club. No joke! In this podcast, we will explain how to properly throw the golf club from a safe area and the results will be absolutely transformational.

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

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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Opinion & Analysis

Ways to Win: A New No. 1 – How Justin Thomas overcame a poor putting performance

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In the final tuneup before the PGA Championship in San Francisco, many of the world’s best teed it up at Memphis’ TPC Southwind in the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational. The final day showcased a stacked leaderboard and plenty of volatility, but in the end, it was Justin Thomas who came from four back to win for the third time this year. This was a quick bounceback after a letdown at The Memorial just a few weeks ago. Winning on the PGA Tour certainly takes stellar play and, typically, a little luck like Thomas’ pulled drive on 15 that skirted off a cart path, over a bridge and into prime position for a late birdie. Had that tee ball found the hazard instead, this article would likely be about Brooks Koepka and his late charge.

Golf is a game of misses and taking advantage of good breaks. That is not to take away from JT’s week of stellar ball striking. He finished the week first in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green and second in Strokes Gained Approach. That’s no surprise for the new number one in the world. What is surprising is how poorly Thomas putted throughout the week. It is extremely rare for a PGA Tour winner to lose strokes to the field with the putter, but that is exactly what Thomas did.

In Ways to Win, it is rare that we highlight Short Game as a differentiating factor for winners. That is typically because to excel in the short game, one has to miss quite a few greens. When you miss greens, it’s hard to score. However, Justin Thomas was able to consistently get himself out of difficult situations, minimize damage, and turn bogeys into pars throughout his four rounds.

If you want to be an elite player, you can’t do it with your short game alone. It sure comes in handy on those off days, though. Just how good was Thomas’ short game? He finished fourth for the week in Strokes Gained Around the Green and got up and down inside 75 yards more than 80 percent of the time (including several clutch up and downs late on Sunday). His touch was particularly crucial, given that his putter wasn’t really cooperating.

Again, it is very rare for a PGA Tour winner to lose strokes with the flatstick. Typically the winner is the best putter out of the best ball strikers, but not so this week. Thomas only three-putted twice for the week. However, he lost strokes to the field from three out of nine distance buckets that we analyzed using V1 Game’s putting breakdown.

In four other buckets, he was almost “net zero” in strokes gained with the putter. He only gained strokes with the putter from inside six feet. Making short putts is certainly a big key to golfing success. That is why short misses are highlighted in V1 Game’s post-round analysis: missing short putts is a quick way to compound errors. Thomas is not an elite putter by any means, but he is typically solid in the clutch.

V1 Game makes it easy to keep track of personal bests and track progress in a tournament. Any stat that the PGA Tour gives can be recreated with V1 Game. Here are some quick stats for Thomas’ week using V1 Game’s Personal Bests feature:

Total Score: 267
Best Round: 65
Worst Round: 70
Longest Drive: 347 yds
Longest Holeout: 28 ft
Most consecutive holes without a bogey: 24
Scrambling Streak: 9 in a row
Holes without a 3 putt: 20
Most birdies in a round: 6

Thomas certainly played well when it mattered, resisting the urge to look at a scoreboard throughout the final round and focusing on the job at hand. His patience paid off with his 13th victory in a young career. Short game play is a fantastic equalizer and a great tool for any golfer’s bag. However, Thomas really separates himself with ball striking.

The best way to improve your short game is to miss fewer greens, like JT. For most amateurs, short game practice should focus on eliminating mistakes, such as “two-chips” when you do miss the green. Once you can consistently get on the green and have a putt to get up and down, focus should shift to the long game. Tee to Green play is where the game’s best separate themselves from the weekend warriors.

V1 Game can help you with each of these items.

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On Spec

On Spec: Talking Kirkland wedge, LPGA Tour, and teased irons from TaylorMade & Mizuno

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In this episode of On Spec, host Ryan talks about the recently discovered Kirkland Signature wedges on the USGA Conforming list, as well as what recently spotted TaylorMade and Mizuno irons may have in store
Also with the LPGA Tour back in action, Ryan also discussed why it is a good idea to check out how LPGA players gap their bags compared to players on the PGA Tour.

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

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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