By Anita Draycott
When the Shark does something he does it right. Greg Norman’s far-flung accomplishments and entrepreneurial interests encompass eighty-six International and PGA Tour victories, worldwide real estate and golf course development and design and a line of apparel. But the game of golf also took Greg Norman around the world and those travels ignited his passion for wine and a sense of culinary adventure that he has always enjoyed sharing.
At Greg Norman’s Australian Grille at Barefoot Landing in north Myrtle Beach, you can sink your teeth into Norman’s Signature Wagyu Beef Wellington and wash it down with a glass of his award-winning Shiraz. It’s probably as close as you’ll come to schmoozing with the Shark.
The Grille, divided into several sections that include a deck and outdoor fireplace overlooking the Barefoot Marina, a commodious sports pub, candle-lit dining room, private function room and open kitchen, succeeds in creating an elegant and cozy ambiance. A portrait of Norman hangs over the entrance and there is a small boutique selling his line of golf apparel and accessories, but the Grille is far from a memorabilia-crammed shrine to the Shark. Instead the focus, as per Norman’s directive, is on the quality of food and presentation.
The eclectic décor fuses rich Mediterranean colours and wrought iron work with Aboriginal art and scenes from the Aussie Outback. Somehow the Grille’s atmosphere and menu manage to be both sophisticated and casual, making it the ideal spot for ravenous golfers arriving straight from the eighteen hole or a romantic tryst.
Not so long ago Myrtle Beach was the place where four golf-deprived guys headed for a week of thirty-six holes a day, a fridge full of beer and some cheap pub grub. Establishments such as Norman’s Australian Grille, opened in 1999 and already a recipient of seven Wine Spectator Awards, have elevated Myrtle’s gastronomic scene. The cellar houses the entire portfolio of eleven Greg Norman Estate wines—Chardonnays, Cabernet/Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Shiraz/Cabernet, Zinfandel and Sparkling from both his Australian and Californian vineyards.
You’ll find a good selection of pastas, poultry and fish on the menu, but the majority of carnivores rave about the wood-grilled classics such as the bone-in rib eye Cowboy cut, Greg Norman’s Premium strip loin au plover and his Signature marbled Wagyu brand.
“As a young man I grew up around cattle stations in Australia’s north. I worked on one of those stations—mustering cattle and rounding up strays,” says Norman, who partnered with AAco, Australia’s leading beef producer to create his line of prime cuts that are sold to fine restaurants worldwide. AAco provides DNA tracking on every cut they sell—an indicator of their pride in the way the bovines are raised and fed.
At Greg Norman’s Australian Grille you can have your shrimps tossed on the barbie and wash them down with an amber rinse or savour the upper crust of Down Under gastronomy. The choice is yours mate.