Newsmakers of the month: Greg & Toini Norman
The Great White Shark has been lurking within the news cycle his entire career, but this past month he – and his mother Toini [pictured] – entered a new realm.
At a star-studded opening of the redesigned Pelican Waters course on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, a world-first Greg Norman-designed mini-golf course was unveiled, adding a new family-friendly element to the revitalised golf precinct.
A state-of-the-art coaching facility led by PGA Coach of the Year Grant Field provides game-improvement opportunities for all standards of golfers, while the clubhouse will become the central hub of the Palm Lake Resort Pelican Waters development.
After first opening in 2001, the works undertaken in the past three years included five new holes and Norman was thrilled to have his mother hit the first ceremonial tee shot.
“I know it’ll go straight – maybe not so far, but I know it’ll go straight. She hasn’t missed a fairway since she was 41,” Norman said via video message as three-time club champion Toini was awarded Lifetime Ambassadorship of the club.
“After three years of patience, yes, you’ve got five new holes. Yes, you’ve got a new mini-course. Yes, you’ve got a new short course. And yes, you have a tremendous facility. Go and enjoy what Greg Norman Golf Course Design has done – make many birdies, and more pars.”
Adam Scott: Failed to extend his streak of qualifying for the FedEx Cup Playoffs every year since their inception in 2007. Only the top 70 players qualified for the playoffs, Scott finishing 72nd after a tie for sixth at the Wyndham Championship.
Minnippi Golf and Range: Brisbane’s newest public golf course announced its official opening date of September 2. Designed by Pacific Coast Design, the course has no sand bunkers and can be played in three, six, nine and 18-hole configurations.
Greg Blewett: The former Australian Test cricketer is the latest to host a Webex Players Series event, Blewett the ambassador for the inaugural TPS South Australia at Willunga Golf Club from October 19-22.
Harrison Crowe and Jack Buchanan: The Aussie amateurs were integral in Asia-Pacific retaining the Bonallack Trophy against Europe, Buchanan collecting four points as the Asia-Pacific team won 17-15.
Golf Australia: The game’s governing body here unveiled a new logo developed by SE Creative in conjunction with FutureBrand, the central platform of ‘Go Play’ encouraging Australians to play and enjoy golf in their own way.
Joseph Buttress: The West Australian advanced to the final 16 of the US Junior Amateur in South Carolina before going down to New Zealand’s Joseph Bai, 2&1.
Lincoln Morgan: Jed’s younger brother but an accomplished golfer in his own right, Morgan secured his first international win by one stroke at the Singapore Open Amateur Championship.
Skye Lampton: Winner of the 2022 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Championship, the Darwin Golf Club amateur was named Sportsperson of the Year at the NAIDOC Gala Awards.
HE DID WHAT?
Travis Smyth took 150 shots in his major championship debut but one in particular earned him a place in Royal Liverpool folklore. Dubbed ‘Little Eye’, the par-3 17th made its debut at the 2023 Open Championship and conjured a mixture of scores, including a solitary ace by the 28-year-old New South Welshman in the second round. “It was just the perfect distance, perfect wind and the club,” Smyth said of his “punchy 9-iron” to the 120-metre flag. “Everything just kind of came together, and it was a moment I’ll never forget.”
Smyth: BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images