Norman to help develop China’s Olympic golf team
Greg Norman didn’t get to design the golf course for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. But now, through an arrangement with the China Golf Association, he will help shape that country’s golf program in preparation for those games.
Norman, 58, a World Golf Hall of Fame member, will work closely with the CGA in developing a training regimen for junior golf generally in China and for identifying candidates to play on Chinese teams in Rio. With golf now slated to return to the Olympic Games in 2016 for the first time since 1904 in St. Louis, many countries are expected to use the occasion to spawn development of their junior golf programs. The terms of any competition in the Rio Games have yet to be announced – other than it will involve separate men’s and women’s events on a course, as yet unbuilt, to be designed by Gil Hanse.
The CGA is the sole national golf body authorized by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and is part of the All-China Sports Federation. It works with the Chinese Olympic Committee but has broader responsibilities beyond those games to oversee training, tournaments and international events involving all levels of China’s amateur and professional golf.
“I look forward to helping develop the CGA’s training program and playing a mentoring role for the national team,” Norman told Golfweek. “I genuinely believe that China as a nation will continue to grow as a major contributor to the game of golf on a worldwide basis.”
Norman, an Australian known as the "Great White Shark," won 86 worldwide professional tournaments, including 20 on the PGA Tour, notably the 1986 and '93 Open Championships. He will be the exclusive advisory coach to the China National Golf Team. That will include regular visits to the team’s training center in Nanshan in Guangdong province, on the mainland near Hong Kong. He also will be visiting other golf facilities in China where events and training programs are being developed. Norman will be appointing two assistant coaches to oversee everyday training and coordinate with them on everything from golf instruction, mental training, nutrition, course setup and preparing for competition. The hope is to develop a broad-based junior golf program, identify likely elite player candidates, and work with those competitors to help them adjust to the rigors of international play.
Norman has designed five golf courses on a total of three sites in China, but this job is unrelated to any future development.