Greg Norman on the 2021 Masters, Overcoming Covid-19 and More

Greg Norman on the 2021 Masters, Overcoming Covid-19 and More

Both on the golf course and in the business world, Greg Norman lives up to his nickname––The Shark.

During his Hall of Fame golf career, the blond-haired Australian racked up 91 professional wins including two British Open Championships and 20 PGA Tour wins. In the 1980s and 90s, Norman spent 331 weeks atop the Official World Golf Rankings. Nowadays, Norman scores victories in the boardroom and serves as the CEO of the Greg Norman Company––involved in various fields including apparel, real estate and golf course design.

However, this weekend’s Masters Tournament will mark a new venture for Norman––Lead Analyst for Sirius XM’s radio broadcast of the Masters. Men’s Journal recently caught up with “The Shark” to get his thoughts on 2021 Masters, how he overcame a serious bout with Covid-19 and the new supplement that has boosted his performance in the gym.

Serving as Lead Analyst for Sirius XM will be new experience for you at the 2021 Masters. Talk about how this opportunity came about and what you’re expecting?  

I have a relationship with Sirius XM and do a radio show with them that has gone very well. Once Sirius became the exclusive radio of the Masters, they approached me to see if I was interested, because of my history. Whether you win at Augusta or don’t win at Augusta, I have a history there from an emotional standpoint, from a playability standpoint, from a course record standpoint; the only thing I haven’t got there is a Green Jacket.

But I didn’t make an immediate decision. I had to think about it because I’ve never done radio before. I had to do my due diligence to understand what’s necessary, but it was an honor that they asked me. But I don’t know what to expect, to be honest with you. I’m stepping into a dark room and don’t know where I’m going to stub my toe.

What are you expecting from this year’s Masters? Any players to watch?

I’m an open book, quite honestly. There’s a lot of great talent out there at the moment and there’s a lot of interesting subplots and storylines behind-the-scenes that’ll take place. The guys that are struggling with a week to go [until the Masters start], probably will not be finding their game as quickly as they think, it just doesn’t happen that way.

A lot of it is going to depend on the weather. It has been very cold in Augusta recently, so what’s going to happen with the grass? Is it going to stay moist? Is it going to play hard? You won’t know until the tournament starts, but Augusta is a completely different golf course when it plays hard and fast, compared to when it’s cold, wet and windy.

Talk about the mental aspect of playing in the Masters and how pro golfers stay in the moment?

It’s the same as any other golf tournament you play. You stay in the moment and don’t focus on what event you’re playing in. You just focus on your game and how you’re going to apply the best of your ability to give yourself a chance to win the tournament. It doesn’t make any difference; every player wants to win every tournament they tee it up in.

Phelan M Ebenhack/AP/Shutterstock

Whether it’s the Masters, The Players Championship or the Dell World Match Play––every player wants to win. When it comes down the stretch to the last six holes or nine holes, they’re not thinking about winning or losing the Masters, they think about how to play the next shot. And if it turns out they win and they get the Green Jacket on their shoulder or pick up the trophy––that’s what they trained for.

Speaking of training, you recently partnered with Novex Biotech and have talked about the positive impact their supplements have had on you. What boost were you looking for and did it work?

I’m not the type of guy who just takes a bunch of different vitamins or supplements. But I was looking for something else and this conversation with Novex started up. I started taking their supplements in October/November and it’s helped me big time in the gym.

When I took their Oxydrene supplement before my workout routine, I could actually feel the difference in my oxygen level and my performance level in the gym. My recovery time between reps was really quick. And with GF-9, I think from an overall wellness standpoint, I definitely noticed that as well.

I’m also sleeping way better. I used to be a five-hour guy, but for example, last night I slept for seven hours, 46 minutes. I have an Oura Ring (sleep tracker) that I got when I started taking GF-9, just to see what would happen. And it’s amazing, the consistency in my sleep has gotten so much better. My REM sleep is deeper, and I’ll fall asleep in sometimes one to three minutes. So that’s a testament to working your ass off all day and getting physically exhausted, but also the fact that my body is in a good place.

The benefits of the Novex supplements were a pleasant surprise and it’s really increased my enthusiasm to be more involved with health and wellness, and as the CEO of my body.

You just mentioned that you’re the CEO of your own body and health. What can other people learn from adopting that mindset?

You’ve got to be aware of your body and what you put into it, as well as get out of it. I think a lot of people are extremely lazy and whatever they can find, they shove it in their mouth. They don’t understand the consequences of what’s going in.

It’s like being the CEO of a company, your inflows need to be better than your outflows. At the end of the day, you’ve got to manage the whole process.

Late last year, your health was put to the test during a rough bout with Covid-19 following the PNC Father Son Golf Tournament in December. What was that experience like?

Going through 2020, we all kept hearing about Covid-19. But until you actually have it, you don’t realize what happens in the transformation because it is different. It’s a different virus than you’ve ever had.

For two weeks, it was crazy. I was driving back from the PNC on December 20 and was in a world of hurt. I didn’t know what I had but I knew I had severe aches and pains in my scapulas all the way down to my L4 and L5 vertebrae, which I’d never experienced before. When I got home, I started quarantining myself. By the time Christmas Day arrived, I got in my car and drove to the ER because I was in so much hurt and I just needed to know what the hell was going on.

Fortunately, I didn’t have any pre-existing conditions and my health was obviously a big benefactor for me getting through it the way I did. But it wasn’t easy because you’ve got to do it on your own, you’re isolated and you’ve just got to grin and bear it. Every day was a different experience.

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