Norman breaking new grounds – literally

Posted on 02 May 2012 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Greg Norman returned to his roots, sort of, and hopes to give the city of Pompano Beach a “memorable” golf course.

Norman, 57, the former World No. 1 ranked player who had 20 wins on the PGA Tour, two British Open titles and 80 wins worldwide, was on hand at the Pompano Beach Municipal Golf Course on April 26 for the groundbreaking ceremony of his redesign. This will create a signature course bearing his name.

Redesign of the Pines Course at the Pompano Beach Municipal Golf Course is Norman’s first work on a public course, which is where his career got started in his native Australia.

“My golf career started on a public golf course and I wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t have the access to public facilities,” Norman said. “With that being said, the game of golf can only be started and promoted and grown through public facilities.”

The Greg Norman Golf Course Design company was established in 1987, has opened 74 courses worldwide and has an additional 39 projects in various stages of development. The project began April 2 and the former Pines course is scheduled to reopen on Nov. 16. Norman’s group was the low bidder.

He said the course would be accessible by all walks of players.

“It will be for someone who can hit the ball 40 yards in the air or 300 yards in the air,” Norman said. “They made a big move, a courageous move and I think, from an overall economic side of things, it will be one of the cheapest moves they would have done, in the long period of time. They will see that.”

Bob Loring, head golf professional at Pompano Beach Municipal Golf Course, looked around at the gathering on-hand for the ground breaking and smiled.

“I have been in the golf business for 26 years and this is the most exciting thing that has happened to me as a golf professional,” Loring said. “To have Greg Norman and a Greg Norman Signature Golf Course is just great!”

Dr. Richard Porraro, 75, a member of the Pompano Golf Advisory Board, said because the current course has good soil, it would save on the overall cost.

“It’s an unbelievable day,” Porraro said. “I have been a resident of this city for 48 years and played this course when I was a kid. To think that we would have a signature golf course and the first in the man’s portfolio is phenomenal.”

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