Greg Norman reportedly snubbed again years after ‘slap in the face’

Years after an ugly break-up, Greg Norman’s uneasy relationship with Medalist Golf Club is again in the spotlight after reports he was snubbed by the very place he helped build.

The fairways in Florida are playing host to some rare live sporting action this weekend as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson square off in The Match alongside NFL legends Tom Brady and Peyton Manning to raise money for coronavirus relief efforts.

Norman founded Medalist and designed the course with Pete Dye in 1995 but that didn’t earn him a return ticket to Hobe Sound, which now counts Woods and other golf stars like Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among its members.

According to Eamon Lynch of Golfweek, Norman was offered a TV gig this weekend by media company Turner Sports, who are broadcasting The Match. The Aussie legend was reportedly keen to accept but didn’t get the chance. Instead, American pro Justin Thomas will hold a microphone and Norman will be nowhere to be seen.

Speaking to Golfweek, the president of the Medalist board, Kevin Quigley, denied asking Norman be left off the broadcast team but referenced the bad blood between the golfer and the club to question why The Shark would even want to return to the place he abandoned more than seven years ago in a fit of rage.

“I don’t know why he would want to be involved,” Quigley said. “His opinion of the golf course was so low that I don’t know why he would want to go on television and be a commentator to a product that he doesn’t approve of.

“I’ve never heard him make a complimentary comment about the golf course, but I don’t communicate with him regularly.”

WHY ALL THE BAD BLOOD?

Norman was at war with Medalist.Source:Herald Sun

Norman and Dye co-designed the course at Medalist and the two-time major winner was the face of the club when it opened in 1995.

But things turned ugly in 2012. The board wanted to tweak some aspects of the course and instead of turning to Norman, commissioned architect Bobby Weed to take the lead.

Norman offered for his company to do the work for free but still Medalist management wanted Weed. At the time the Aussie called it a “slap in the face”.

“It’s the end of a legacy by the board doing what the board is doing now. It hurts a lot to tell the truth. It’s a shame,” Norman wrote in an email to journalist Tim Rosaforte.

In a letter to then-president De Mudd, who assumed the job in 2010, Norman accused him of compromising the integrity of the original design “without consultation or discussion” with him or Dye.

In December 2012 Norman demanded his and Dye’s names stop being used in association with the club. He even reportedly took away a stuffed shark that was mounted above a bar, such was his disapproval at how he had been treated.

In April the following year, Norman again vented his rage at Medalist decision-makers.

“Obviously, they didn’t want me there,” he told Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. “The president of the golf club would say one thing and nothing would happen.

“I was told a few white lies. Actually, they weren’t white lies, they were lies. At the end of the day, I’m not going to walk into a locker room where I feel like I’m getting stabbed in the back.”

Years after their bitter falling out, Norman still wasn’t prepared to forgive and forget. In a Q&A on his website in 2016, after De Mudd and Medalist had cut ties, Norman said he was “happy that De Mudd got kicked out” and revealed there was a “clash of personalities” between the pair, accusing the boss of trying to “de-Norman and de-Dye” the club.

The spat and Norman’s subsequent split with Medalist came four years after he resigned as president in 2008. There were reports at the time some members of the prestigious club were upset with the 65-year-old’s constant tinkering of the course, and suggestions he too often made captain’s calls without consulting members.

Norman no longer hits balls at the club he founded.Source:News Corp Australia

‘PITIFUL ATTEMPT TO LOOK LIKE THE VICTIM’

Some believe Norman grossly overreacted and simply threw the toys out of the cot when Medalist contracted Weed, even though the former World No. 1 was reportedly told he could submit a proposal for his company to make the desired changes to the course.

“He didn’t like the idea that anyone else was touching the golf course,” Quigley told Golfweek. “He had a hissy fit when it was changed. He had an opportunity. He chose not to participate.”

American baseball legend Jim Kaat was another who wasn’t willing to show Norman any sympathy.

The athlete-turned-broadcaster, who knew Norman and was a member at Medalist from 1995 to 2008, told the Naples Daily News in 2013 Norman’s version of events was “a pitiful attempt by Greg to make himself look like a victim”.

“It wasn’t right for somebody to get by with telling the story he told,” Kaat said.

Ironically, while Norman was upset at the prospect of the course being altered by someone other than him, that was the very reason Kaat – and others – were angry with the Aussie icon, unhappy he was regularly changing too much of Dye’s original design.

“He de-Dyed it,” Kaat said. “Greg would go out and make changes without consulting with the members.

“It was as if he was using the course as his personal laboratory. You’d show up one year and a couple of holes would be different. After a while, it wasn’t the same course anymore.”

The Shark’s story didn’t wash with everybody.Source:Getty Images

Source: Read Full Article