Date: November 14, 2006
Author: Luke Buttigieg

Shark backs changes

By Luke Buttigieg, Sportal Five-time MFS Australian Open champion Greg Norman has given this year&aposs fan-driven initiatives the thumbs up. Speaking on Tuesday at Royal Sydney, Norman said he can only see good things happening in the event which will include twilight play with some of the leading players on Thursday and Friday, followed by musical acts to entertain those who have stayed later in the day, special zones for fans to watch the action more closely than usual and autograph areas where the fans can catch up with their favourite players. “You&aposve got to look what they did at the US Open tennis,” Norman said. “They changed the format to try and include and make it an entertainment event at a major event. Why not?” “You&aposve got to understand that you&aposve got thousands and thousands of people who follow the sport, whatever sport it is, and you&aposve got to be able to entertain them.” “The more people we can get coming through the gate here, even if it&aposs not to watch the players but to enjoy other things, it means we&aposre doing the right thing about promoting the game.” Norman is also keen to see more players wired up in future so that the fans can get an even better perspective of exactly what goes on out on the course, having previously been involved in experiments with the concept. “I love it,” he said. “I remember playing when the spectators were allowed to walk down the fairways. I love that, I love the interaction of the spectators. I love the fact that the players should be miked. Why not?” “I mean you&aposve got to pick the right players, you couldn&apost give it to John Daly, but those are the type of things that you&aposve got to bring TV to the people and into their laps and you&aposve got to bring them through the TV screen onto the golf course.” “I&aposve been a staunch proponent of that with the PGA Tour for 25 years, mike me up. I don&apost mind being miked. Make sure that the people enjoy to hear the commentary that I have with the Tony Navarro or a Steve Williams. That&aposs what golf&aposs all about.”