Apr

12

Greg NormanGreg Norman was a guest on Fast Money on CNBC today and he gave an interesting perspective about his company and how it relates to the economy. Greg Norman is as tenacious a businessman and head of a diverse company today, as he was when he played golf on the PGA tour and around the world. He once held the world's #1 ranking for 331 weeks and won over 88 tournaments worldwide as well as two major championships. He does not play as often as he once did but still manages to be competitive on the Champions Tour, placing in the top five in recent major championships. He has recently divorced in a private and, by some accounts expensive, divorce and has become engaged to Chris Evert, former world's number #1 ranked tennis player.

It is notable that his company can be perceived as economically sensitive and a good indicator because of the lines that they serve. His company services the high-end market most notably clothing, golf course design, real estate development and fine wines. His turf business was the turf of choice for Superbowls XXXIII in Miami and XXXV in Tampa as well as Turner Field in Atlanta.

He mentioned that golf course expansion in the United States has effectively come to a standstill. Golf courses are closing  at roughly the same rate as they are being built. This is a trend that began several years ago. Rounds of golf have effectively been flat. There are approximately 27 million people who play golf annually in the U.S. This number has also been flat. He attributes this to the decline in the residential real estate market where a golf course is the centerpiece of a development community and in light of the softness these past few years.

He also went on to say that where the United States market has been challenging – eighty-five percent of the profits for his company have come from overseas.

With respect to golf course design, they are actively working in Vietnam, particularly in and around Saigon.

Other areas that look promising are South America — Brazil and Argentina – and there is great zeal for the game there. South Africa has not been as well received due to demographics. Looking forward, India is a country that they are excited about and positioning themselves for to be actively involved in.


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