Greg Norman made a name for himself playing golf and then used it to parlay into a business career. Norman has been involved in many different ventures, including once upon a time having a stake in Cobra Golf before it was sold to Fortune Brands (FO: NYSE). Until last year at Royal Birkdale when he turned temporarily back the hands of time, his playing career was essentially dormant as most of his time was devoted to his various business interests. But his experience playing golf has taught him many things that he has used in the board room towards directing the companies he oversees.
“My business is like any business. You have to make adjustments,” Norman explained. “If you become reactionary to a situation you're probably in a bad state. If you're proactive to it and you know you've prepared yourself for moments like this -- nobody can really pick when a recession is going to hit, nobody really knows to the magnitude of what it is, but if you have a good business model and you have the flexibility and adaptability to work with that you can get yourself through it,” he continued.
“I've had to make changes. I've unfortunately had to lay off people, which is not a good feeling,” he revealed. “It's the first time in my entire life, in my short business life of nearly 20 years that I've had to do that, because of the golf course design business. America is absolutely dead, and it doesn't look like it's going to come back for quite a while, to tell you the truth. This is in golf course design I'm talking about.
“We see, in our business, the rest of the world leading the come back from the recession before the United States. I think the United States has got a lot of understanding of regulations that are being put in place by President Obama. Those regulations are different than what we had before. It's kind of like the free market enterprise that it used to be. Entrepreneurs had a great way in the United States, and now there's a few more encumbrances on us to really go. So we have to understand those as we go forward. And some of them are still being written. And it will probably take ten years to really understand them once they get into maturity and then try to figure out what's going on. It's not good out there, especially in the United States. But in our world and the world of sport I think we're very lucky to be in the position we are in. I feel for everybody in this world with the recession, where every one of us has been affected to some degree. It's one of those things, we have to suck it up and go forward with it. ”