Greg Norman has penned a stirring tribute to his father Merv Norman, who has died aged 95.
The elder Norman was recognized by his son as a ‘patriarch’ who pushed him to heights he didn’t believe possible.
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“When you lose that person, they are gone until you meet them again in a higher place,” Greg wrote on Instagram in a touching tribute to his father.
“Dad, you were always there for me, drove me to be who I am, gave me the genes, mind, heart, soul and strength to achieve things I never expected myself and few have ever achieved.
“I have you in every way.”
Merv Norman is survived by his wife of 72 years, Toni, as well as Norman, his daughter Janis, as well as his grandchildren.
Norman opened up about his relationship with Merv in April last year, revealing his decision to pursue a professional golf career was looked down upon by his father when he broke the news.
Merv had hoped his son would go into the family business, with Greg describing how he made his decision caused a rift between the pair for some time.
The pair patched things up as the years went on, with Norman attributing his incredible success on the golf course, in which he won 20 PGA events, two of them majors, to his father’s influence.
“You were our patriarch,” Norman continued in his Instagram post.
“We will meet again for me to fill you in with my final chapters of my life. I love you and miss you already.”
The elder Norman was also given a fitting tribute by Norman’s son, Greg Norman Jr, who described his grandfather as a ‘brilliant man’, who was as ‘strong as you were intelligent’.
You gave us an amazing foundation on how to live our lives,” Norman Jr wrote.
“95-years-young. You will be missed dearly. Love you.”
Greg Norman’s turbulent relationship with father, Merv
Norman has previously discussed how he and Merv had a falling out for some time over his decision to pursue golf as a career.
The 67-year-old revealed that Merv told him he’d never make it as a professional golfer, instead advising Norman to pursue a career in business.
“My dad never thought I’d be the golfer I became,” Norman said.
“He wanted me to be either in his engineering business or be a scholar or go on and do something else in the business world.
“We had a little bit of angst about it all when I told him – ‘Hey, I’m going to turn professional and I’m going to be an assistant pro and in three years’ time I’m going to play the tour .
“He’s looking at me like, ‘Are you crazy, you’re not good enough to do that, nobody in our family has been a professional sportsman or woman’.”
Norman said the pair fell out for a period when he decided golf was his desired path.
“I walked away from a career. My father wasn’t impressed,” Norman said previously.
“He didn’t know whether I’d be any good at the game of golf. Nobody did. They just had to accept it. They could see my commitment was second to none.
“It created a rift between my father and myself. There’s no question about it.
“My dad was a professional. He had his own business and he was hoping I would go into the business. Follow in his footsteps, which every father would want.
“At the end of the day, we kind of separated a little bit. It just created a little bit of tension there. Now it’s totally different.”
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