|home | subscribe | contact us | advertise with us | feature editorial guidelines | research editorial guidelines | gcsaa.org|
Swimming with the Shark
I’ve been working for GCM since before I graduated from college. In that time, I’ve interviewed quite a few big names, from Yogi Berra to Samuel L. Jackson, George H. W. Bush to Alice Cooper.
I read this recently somewhere, and I’ll “borrow” it for this column — interviewing celebrities does not make me cool. But it might mean I have a couple of cool stories.
Hopefully, this month’s cover story, “A Shark’s tale,” qualifies as one of those cool stories.
Chasing Greg Norman, the 2008 Old Tom Morris Award winner, around the country for an interview is not an easy feat. Just like a real shark, Norman does not like to sit still. I eventually caught up with the hall of fame golfer on two occasions — once, briefly, at a golf course construction site in Independence, Mo., and once, for a one-on-one interview at the Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla.
Norman was genuinely interested in our talk and gave me a lot of great material, much of which I wasn’t able to squeeze into this story. If you’re interested in what didn’t make the magazine, stop in at the GCM blog (www.gcm.typepad.com) for the entire transcript of the interview.
Doing interviews leading up to the story, a lot of my sources told me, “Greg Norman, he’s a regular guy.” After meeting him, my impression was… he is not a normal guy.
He has the combination of an athlete’s ability, a CEO’s mind and the drive of a man obsessed. He has charm and charisma, but I felt he also had the killer instinct of a Fortune 500 executive.
A best friend on the back nine, a ruthless killer in the boardroom.
I try to learn something for myself when I do these stories. When I did my “breaking bad habits” story for GCM a few months ago, I took some of my sources’ advice and I lost 20 pounds.
What did I learn from Norman? Was it DIN and DIP?
It was that some people possess an otherworldly drive to succeed. And some people, even after they do something amazing, like lead their industry for six years (Norman led the money list for over 300 weeks), are still not satisfied and want to do more.
What did I do after my interview with Norman concluded? I felt pretty good about myself, felt like I just had a mild victory — so I went to the beach.
What did Norman do? He went on to the next thing to conquer.