Your game… your way.
For nearly 30 years, that was Greg Norman’s approach on the course. The mindset made him unique and helped produce more than 90 career wins while creating one of the better-known brands in sports.
On Wednesday, the Greg Norman Company announced the launch of “Shark Experience,” a new golf technology—a teched-up golf cart—that Norman hopes will revolutionize the on-course experience for golfers.
Norman’s company has partnered with Verizon, Club Car and GPSI, a leader in golf GPS technology to produce golf cart equipped with an HD-touchscreen that streams music, live sports and highlights, premium videos and golf tips from the Shark himself.
I recently had a chance to test-drive the carts on the course. It marked the first time I had ever teed it up with my own walk-up song (Luke Bryan’s “Kick the Dust Up”). I was also able to easily get my yardages while watching highlights and analysis from the weekend’s Penn State-Ohio State football game.
The cart itself is just like any other, until you look up. The HD-screen is loaded with options. CNN headlines, ESPN sports radio, even cooking programming is all your fingertips, which helped keep my mind off the tee shot I just hooked into a palm tree.
“Golfers have had little bits and pieces of this available to them with their iPhone, earbuds and bluetooth speakers. Now it’s all integrated into one,” Norman said. “They now have all of this technology brought into one place, in a golf cart.”
The carts will be equipped with specially designed speakers that will allow golfers to hear music, news and sports without disturbing other golfers who may be nearby. The speakers, which took months to design, are angled so that the bulk of the sound is directed at the driver and passenger in the cart.
Along with the entertainment features, the carts will have food and beverage options, shot tracer and eventually hole in one technology that will give golfers an opportunity to win prizes if they record a hole in one.
Norman cites what he calls the “Top Golf movement,” the driving range company that has gained more than 11 million customers, as inspiration for his latest venture.
“We’ve taken Top Golf from the driving range to the golf cart. We have everything they have, but now you’re on green grass,” he says.
Along with generating excitement from golfers like myself who enjoy listening to music and keeping up with the latest sports headlines, the cart has caught the attention of some of the game’s power players.
In a statement PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said, “It has the potential to greatly innovate the golf course experience and bring more and different players to the game.”
Norman says the carts are useable for all generations of players and that they will be available to private, resort and municipal courses, with the opportunity for those courses to partner in revenue-sharing.
He says he likes to use the carts to check the stock market and follow news headlines while also blaring some of his favorite tunes.
“If I’m playing golf in the Bahamas, I put on some Bob Marley or Jimmy Buffett,” he says. “If I’m in a concentrated mode, I may put on some soft jazz. Just to keep me in the nice quiet space.”
Shark Experience is currently in a pilot testing phase and will preview at the 2018 PGA Show in January. The company plans to roll out the technology to select golf courses in the U.S. throughout 2018.