By now, we should know that golfer Greg Norman never does things quietly. He talked about buying his own 737 before settling for a mere Gulfstream. An oenophile, he became a vintner, establishing Norman Estates at two southern Australia vineyards. He liked Ferraris, so he bought seven. It shouldn't be surprising, then, that after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on June 28 to repair a torn labrum in his right hip, Norman posted a video of himself being sliced and diced on his Web site, shark.com, the very next morning. "The original plan was to do it live," says Mike O'Bryon, executive editor of the site. "But Greg wanted it to be an educational experience for his fans, so we figured a condensed version would be more compelling."
What the Great White Web site produced is a detailed 2�-minute film, the kind you might see in a high school science class—only this time the patient is not John Doe. The production employs the doctors' view through the arthroscope, close-up shots of probing and cutting, and wide views of the operating room with the unconscious Norman lying on the operating table. Surgeons Richard Hawkins and Marc Philippon were interviewed after the 40-minute procedure, offering post-op insights such as Philippon's "We were able to perform a complete debridement [trimming] of the torn portion of the labrum.... Greg will immediately experience a relief from pain." O'Bryon and staff then worked through the night to produce a tidy package accessible through the link "Inside the Operating Theatre with Greg Norman" on the home page. (To whet fans' appetites, on June 27 the site had posted video of Norman's 1998 shoulder surgery.) In the first 36 hours after the hip-surgery video appeared, shark.com received 600 E-mails about it.
The site, which already has a section on preventive sports medicine, plans to show other sports-related surgeries, but shark.com, not surprisingly, goes heaviest on links and lifestyle material, such as a three-part series on putters called "Fiddling with Flatsticks." Upcoming features include digital photos of Norman's recent six-day, six-stop business trip around the world; Web-cam footage showing construction of Norman's 212-foot expedition yacht in Perth, Australia; and coverage of Norman's scheduled run across the Sydney Harbor Bridge with the Olympic torch during September's opening ceremonies.
Meanwhile, how's the patient doing? Predictably, the Shark has progressed faster than normal. Just three weeks after going under the knife, he was hitting balls and planning to enter the PGA Championship, which begins on Aug. 17. Details, of course, will appear on shark.com.