Donald Trump once wrote an unintentionally hilarious Golf Digest essay on Greg Norman

Greg Norman and Donald Trump at a July 2022 LIV Golf event.

When golf fans think about the year 2000, it’s almost always in the context of Tiger Woods and the record display of dominance he put forth winning three of the year’s four majors.

Obviously now Tiger is viewed as the consensus greatest to ever play, but in the July 2000 issue of Golf Digest (as unearthed by Matt Considine), he came in at #12 all-time in a piece ranking the game’s fifty best players. That was a spread in which other golfers, athletes, and celebrities contributed essays about the ranked players.

Honestly, given Woods at the point that magazine was going out had probably only won two majors (he won his third and fourth in June and July of that year), it was a pretty prescient ranking. Even if it feels low in retrospect.

But this piece isn’t a “with the benefit of hindsight” look back at how accurate Golf Digest‘s list turned out. No, we’re here instead because one Mr. Gregory J. Norman made the list at #22. Norman is currently the CEO of LIV Golf, and is so widely reviled by most in the game that conflict-averse Tiger Woods himself went on the record this week saying “Greg Norman has to go.” (And, indeed, Norman is rumored to be on the way out of his current gig.)

It’s telling that even back in 2000, the most prominent person willing to go to bat for Norman was not a fellow player or even fellow athlete. No, instead that honor was handled by one Mr. Donald J. Trump (seen at right above with Norman at a LIV Golf event this July), who delivered words that you’d recognize were his even all the way back in the year 2000.

The whole thing feels like excellent parody, but there might not be a better and more revealing quote than when Trump gets into the haters and losers sixteen years before he essentially became the most powerful person in the world on the back of similar bullshit.

“Greg can be controversial, but people who profess to have a problem with Greg are just jealous. He looks better than they do, he plays better than they do, and he’s a better businessman. When you have attributes other people don’t have, jealousy is a very common reaction.”

Twenty-two years later, Trump’s love of Norman finally came full circle back to what Trump loves most: benefiting himself. Greg Norman is still the CEO of LIV Golf (he might be on the way out) and Trump-owned properties hosted two of the breakaway tour’s inaugural season events in 2022. More are surely to follow in the coming years.

It’s wild to look back decades and see so many seeds planted. And it’s not the only essay to inspire that kind of “wait what???” reaction; check out who wrote Nick Faldo’s entry:

What a time capsule.

[h/t Matt Considine; photo from The (Bergen) Record, via USA Today Sports]


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Donald Trump once wrote an unintentionally hilarious Golf Digest essay on Greg Norman