Is there more to life than golf? Greg Norman has always believed so. Unlike the single-minded Nick Faldo, with whom his career is so often compared, Australia's Great White Shark could never be accused of failing to spread his net as far and wide as possible. According to his critics, it's Norman's many and varied off-course distractions that are the primary reason why he has just two Major titles to his name. Although the remarkable golfing deeds of Spaniard Seve Ballesteros and Faldo, his two fiercest rivals dating back to the mid-1970s, are seemingly in serious decline, they can look back upon five and six Major successes respectively. Given that triumphs in the four Major championships are the barometer by which golfing greatness is measured, Norman, whose Major misfortunes are well documented, appears certain to be remembered as one of the game's under-achievers. While Faldo and Ballesteros were compiling victories in the British Open and US Masters, Norman has frequently been portrayed as being more interested in flaunting his fast cars and large houses and building a burgeoning business empire. Last week, Norman was in the news again as he launched a new website. 'This is not a fan site, it is not a golf site, it is a lifestyle site. This is just a natural extension of where my business is going. If I'm not involved with the Internet, then the whole world is passing me by,' said Norman, forever wishing to be at the cutting edge. To those who have read Lauren St John's latest book, Greg Norman: The Biography , the Shark's latest venture will come as no surprise. Indeed, St John provides a fascinating insight into the complex character of the man who, until the arrival of Tiger Woods, had been golf's most marketable individual for more than a decade. With extensive quotes from his family members, fellow professionals, caddies and the various business managers who have worked for him, St John details the highs and lows of Norman's golfing life. More than that, she assesses, in particular, the impact upon him of the devastating losses to Fuzzy Zoeller (1984 US Open), Jack Nicklaus (1986 US Masters), Bob Tway (1986 US PGA Championship), Larry Mize (1987 US Masters), Mark Calcavecchia (1989 British Open), Paul Azinger (1993 US PGA Championship), and Nick Faldo (1996 US Masters). Interestingly, there are also numerous references in the book to Norman's appearances in the Hong Kong Open, a tournament he won twice on his way up golf's ladder, in 1979 and 1983. According to the author, Norman's chances of victory in 1979 were almost derailed on Hong Kong's snarled roads. He'd allowed an hour to reach Fanling from his downtown hotel. It took him double that time to get there. Arriving at the club with five minutes to spare, Norman raced to the first tee, where he was paired with overnight leader Lu Liang-huan. Overcoming a pro-Lu gallery and a three-stroke deficit, he snared a birdie putt at the last to secure his success and collect the US$20,000 first prize - the biggest cheque of his career to that point. Four years later when he won again, the tournament was notable for the fact that it was reduced to 36 holes because of incessant rain. Norman, the book says, 'whiled away a rain-out by hitting balls out of his hotel window into the harbour far below'. That Norman did not return to defend his crown in 1980 was reportedly, at the time, because of his growing worldwide commitments. However, St John reveals that the real reason was a dispute between his then manager, James Marshall, and tournament sponsors, Cathay Pacific. Writes St John: 'Marshall claims it was due to Norman rather than him, and that, after a 'dust-up with Cathay Pacific, Norman almost became persona non grata' in the region.' Conspicuous by its absence in the biography is mention of the escapade in 1985 when Norman should have been disqualified for failing to sign his scorecard. While he maintained it was an oversight on his part, it's an open secret that he simply did not wish to be playing golf, in Hong Kong or anywhere, at the time. However, as a result of his association with Cathay (an acute embarrassment to Qantas, who also had a sponsorship deal with him), Norman was contractually obligated to at least turn up. Fearful of losing their main drawcard, Open organisers, the Hong Kong Golf Association (HKGA), handed Norman a reprieve he did not want and he duly completed 72 holes. For their troubles, the HKGA were later censured by the Royal and Ancient for 'ignoring the Rules of Golf' and allowing Norman to continue in the event. Meanwhile, Norman's churlish, off-hand behaviour that week did nothing to endear himself to Hong Kong golf galleries. Those with long memories still have neither forgotten nor forgiven. Norman has not played in Hong Kong since.