Greg Norman is one of the most famous faces in golf. Originally hailing from Australia, he is most famous for his string of wins during the 80s and 90s that netted him a place in the World Golf Hall of Fame. Over the course of his 33-year career, he has 91 international tournament wins under his belt, which is a huge accomplishment for any professional athlete.
During and after his playing career, Norman had participated in philanthropic and entrepreneurial endeavors. He recently announced a new business venture that involves equipping golf carts with some interesting accessories.
As a nod to his nickname, “The Great White Shark,” the Greg Norman Company recently unveiled the “Shark Experience,” a connected golf cart that will become available to the public in 2018.
Greg Norman’s new cart includes a lot of upgrades and additions. During the design phase, some accessories, like custom seats, were always going to be part of the Shark Machine. However, he wanted much more.
1. Audiophile Speaker Technology
Having music systems in golf carts isn’t a new concept, but the Shark Experience really knows how to do it right. Just to have a powerful, high-fidelity sound was not the issue, here. While you might enjoy golfing to Beethoven, or even Led Zeppelin, stray sounds wafting over the course can easily become an annoyance and an unwanted distraction to fellow golfers.
The Shark Experience implemented directional speakers that make for great listening for the driver and passenger in the cart but are designed in a way that the sound level drops off rapidly as you move further away from the cart.
2. 10″ High Definition Touchscreen
If you’ve ever tried to see the screen on your cell phone on a bright course, you know how challenging it can be. The Shark Experience touchscreen is mounted just under the roof of the cart, providing maximum shading even on the sunniest days. The location makes it easy to use the touchscreen and operate the various features and controls.
The Shark Experience cart keeps you connected. You can receive up-to-the-minute stock reports, sports scores, news, and the latest tweets. It can also access high-quality music from Slacker Radio on demand. You’ll have no problem getting as much or as little of the outside world as you like streaming into your cart.
3. GPS Technology
Something that can really make a difference in your game on an unfamiliar course is the integrated GPS. Even at its lowest range of resolution, the GPS system can identify your location on the course within 16 feet. However, out in the open on the fairway – where you most typically find yourself on a golf course – the resolution focuses in on your position to within a few inches.
The Shark Experience GPS allows you to accurately visualize what awaits you on the course ahead. You’ll always know which hole you’re playing, and you’ll also be able to identify the hazards, such as sand traps and water features, along with other geographic points of interest on the virtual display.
4. Helpful Hints from Greg Norman
How would you feel about taking the ninety-time winner of golf’s biggest and most historic tournaments along with you in the golf cart to provide you with a few pointers? Greg Norman has played all the courses where his company plans to deploy the Shark Experience. He knows where all the hazards are, and he knows which clubs are likely the best to use at any point in the course.
The Shark Experience features audio and screen tips delivered directly from Norman’s expertise for each hole. Receive expert hints on each hole from one of the sport’s greatest legends. Norman’s professional advice is also accessible via the touch screen with tips and tricks handy for each hole. If you need advice on how to chip out of a bunker or avoid a water hazard, access the expert advice via the touchscreen.
5. Creative and Appropriate Business Partnerships
Norman selected each course that is participating in the venture. The company chose Verizon as its provider of internet connectivity to the souped-up carts. With Verizon providing the reliable Wi-Fi signal, golfers can choose to stream live videos of sporting events and keep up to date on breaking news and sports information.
Connectivity means golfers don’t even have to wait for the hospitality cart to visit when ordering a round while on the course. Orders for beverages and snacks can be entered directly into the Shark Experience interface, and they will be delivered or ready for pickup at the turnaround.
Players will love the automated scorekeeping system, including the hole-in-one notification to the clubhouse. Norman is committed to changing the game of golf while upholding traditions.
Because the idea around the Shark Experience is for you to customize the golf cart platform in a way to give you as much or as little as you like, the cost of these rentals is tiered. In addition to the base price for the cart rental, you will have your choice of adding on extras for just a few dollars more.
One of the major challenges the PGA and professional golfers like Norman are always trying to solve is how to grow the game. Attracting millennials and younger players is essential to keeping a large fan base and creating a successful future.
Norman and his innovative, connected golf cart aim to emulate the success that the Topgolf driving ranges have had in the younger demographic. Investments in golf innovation have drawn an estimated 11 million new golfers to the game. The key to successfully growing the game is to attract new players and make golf more interactive and fun without leaving behind hundreds of years of tradition. Successfully melding the two together is a careful balancing act which will be watched closely by all the private courses and the PGA.
The 2018 PGA Show in January will feature the Greg Norman Shark Experience, followed by an announcement on the series of courses (including Tiburón Golf Club and The Westin Kierland Golf Club) where the new cart of the future will be featured. Jay Monahan, the PGA TOUR Commissioner, heralded the introduction of this program as one that will help draw new golf enthusiasts to the game in greater numbers.