Legend Norman driving golf development Inner
Sanctum: Vieät Nam was voted the best golfing destination in Asia by Golf World Travel Awards. Could you tell us about your plans for this year as Vieät Nam Tourism Ambassador?
I wasn't surprised at all to see Vieät Nam voted best golf destination in Asia. The country has some of the most diverse topography and coastline I've ever seen, and the pristine sites that developers have access to are producing some of the best courses in the world today. When you combine a high caliber of golf with history, culture, great people and amazing food it makes for a truly special destination - and that's exactly what you have here in Vieät Nam. Some of the world's most unique resorts exist here now and there are many more to come because of the tremendous amount of growth potential. I've been working very closely with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism over the last year or so to develop a plan for creating more exposure and visibility for these properties and various locations throughout the country and I firmly believe Vieät Nam will ultimately emerge as one of the world's premiere
I will definitely be playing golf in Vieät Nam during my trips there this year, but no plans to play anywhere else in Asia as of yet.
Inner Sanctum: The tourism authorities and professionals of ten Southeast Asian countries are meeting in World Heritage site at Haï Long Bay to map out latest tourism trends for the group this year in a few days, what's your message to the event? (This edition comes out on Jan 13, the meeting shall last from Jan 14-18)
I was very impressed when I heard the theme for the ASEAN Tourism Forum this year - "The Power of One" - and I applaud the members for recognizing that there is strength in numbers. The fact that the forum has returned to Vieät Nam after nine years is certainly a sign of the times and it will be an excellent opportunity for Vieät Nam to further solidify its standing among the ASEAN alliance.
Inner Sanctum: Having been named "The Great White Shark", how do you think it has affected your life and career?
There's no doubt that I was very fortunate to have been named the great white shark early in my career and have the opportunity to create such a recognizable logo, but it was actually a perfect fit in many ways. A great white shark never stops moving and is always pressing forward, which is also how I live my life both on and off the golf course.
Inner Sanctum: After a long time playing golf, then designing new golf courses around the world, do you have some of your favourites? If you are going to play golf all year round, do you have a designated place for each month?
Some of my favourite courses are in the sand belt region of Melbourne Australia. Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath are literally one with the surrounding landscape and topography and I played them a lot when I was younger, so they really stuck in my mind. I'm a big fan of Alister MacKenzie's work and his approach to golf course design definitely served as my inspiration when I decided to start my own design business in 1987.
If I had my choice of locations to play worldwide throughout the year I would say Australia, Vieät Nam, Great Britain and Ireland, the United States, and Mexico. VNS