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If you can’t beat them, then join them might be one way to explain Greg Norman’s decision to join forces with TaylorMade. The man who has a financial stake in MacGregor Golf is known for many things but perhaps more so for the business empire he has amassed. First and foremost, the Great White Shark is a businessman, who has managed to build an impressive array of products and services off of his playing career. So in an effort of fair and balanced reporting, Norman’s decision to switch equipment allegiances from a business he has an ownership position in to another that he
doesn’t may be as simply as economically
driven. Either way, at age 54 its doubtful
Norman will figure prominently in his new
equipment company of choice much beyond
next week’s Masters since its unlikely he
intends to play much after that. The Aussie
qualified for one more go around the famed
Augusta National venue by his renaissance
performance last summer at Royal Birkdale in
the Open Championship.
It was there where Norman provided drama
that captured the attention of the golf world.
"It started with the TP ball, which I played at
the Open Championship last year," said
Norman. "I'm pleased that the discussions have evolved to the extent that I am now a member of the TaylorMade Staff. TaylorMade's approach to the game and equipment design is very similar to my own. In my opinion TaylorMade is at the very forefront of golf equipment and ball technology." Keep in mind he is now paid to say those kind of things.
It was back in 2004 when Norman was moved to associate himself with MacGregor Golf. "I have joined MacGregor's Tour Staff because I see something unique in the Company — a culture of innovation that this industry has not seen in some time," Norman said in November of 2004. "MacGregor's products symbolize superior craftsmanship and advanced technology.” In October of 2007, MacGregor Golf announced that it has completed a financial recapitalization led by three of its existing investors: Sankaty Advisors, LLC, an affiliate of Bain Capital, LLC, Greg Norman, and the Gordon P. Getty Family Trust. “This recapitalization positions MacGregor for sustained growth,” said Norman, who was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors at the time of the announcement. It was stated he would play an active role in the company’s development and marketing. “This is a very positive step for the company, and I look forward to helping unlock the true brand value that is embedded within MacGregor and Greg Norman Collection, and to achieving their full potential,” he stated. It now appears that the value he alluded to is located with TaylorMade’s check book as Norman’s actions indicate they have better products compared to the technology and innovation found with his previous clubs.
While the world has changed considerably since Norman’s remarkable performance at last year’s Open Championship his involvement with MacGregor and even the sustainability of the company itself is unclear. But for the Hall of Famer its apparent he has decided to cut bait and move to different waters at least when it comes to his tools of the trade.