Shark shuts Australian office, opens in China

SYDNEY: Australia’s richest sportsman Greg Norman has closed his only Australian office as he pursues golfing business interests in China, reports said here yesterday.

Greg Norman Golf Course Design shut their Sydney office in recent weeks, with at least three staff made redundant, the Daily Telegraph said.

The Telegraph said the design company have opened a new sales and marketing office in Beijing, signalling Asia as their key area of growth.

The office closure comes a year after Norman’s chief Australian course architect for 22 years, Bob Harrison, parted ways with the two-time major winning golfer.

A company spokesman told the Telegraph that Norman’s main golf course architects will now be based in the company’s West Palm Beach headquarters in Florida.

Norman’s spokesman, Bart Collins, told the newspaper that the company had “retrenched two or three executives” in Sydney.

“But we still have people who are full-time employees of us in Australia, who work from home right now,” he said

Despite no longer playing golf regularly on the circuit, Norman remains Australia’s highest-earning sportsman, with a business magazine recently estimating that he earned US$12mil last year, largely because of his success in golf course design.

First established in 1987, Greg Norman Golf Course Design have completed more than 70 golf courses on six continents.

Norman, 55, formerly ranked number one in the world, won the British Open in 1986 and 1993.

The company was unavailable for comment Wednesday.— AFP

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