MARC Leishman is tapping into the commercial nous of one of golf's most successful player-turned-businessmen in a bid to shore up his interests in retirement.
The Warrnambool golfer, who started beer brand Leishman Lager in 2019 just months after launching the Begin Again Foundation with wife Audrey, revealed he'd recently chatted business with Aussie legend Greg Norman.
Norman, a former world number one, boasts a multi-million dollar golf merchandise label and is understood to have given Leishman a few pearls of wisdom at the 2020 QBE Shootout in Florida.
"Obviously he's been very successful so I picked his brain a little bit on a few different things," Leishman told Golf Australia.
"What he said made a lot of sense. I knew why he was successful already but now that I've spoken to him a bit about it, I understand how he's gone about it and why he is as successful as he is.
Coming into my late 30s, you start thinking about that. You don't know how long you're going to be able to play golf for and you want to be able to do something afterwards.- Marc Leishman
"As an elite athlete you're always looking to learn and get better. It's not just on the golf course. It's as a person, as a businessman, as a dad, everything."
The 38-year-old, who told The Standard this past year he hoped to spend at least another 10 seasons on the USPGA Tour, said his age meant he was naturally thinking ahead.
"Coming into my late 30s, you start thinking about that. You don't know how long you're going to be able to play golf for and you want to be able to do something afterwards.
"I'm just doing stuff that I enjoy. Everything I do, I enjoy. I don't do anything that seems like a chore which is a good thing.
"I've been really lucky with my golf that I've been successful. I probably don't have to do any of that other stuff but I'm always thinking ahead.
"When I do finish playing golf - hopefully it's not for another 15 years - but when I do I want to have something to keep striving towards and keep getting better and keep improving.
"I don't want to be sitting around and not having a whole lot to do. I need a purpose."
Leishman said his conversation with Norman - a player he idolised as a child - wasn't in an effort to mimic the 66-year-old's success but more to siphon out general advice.
The ever-humble talent said his success off the course, both commercially and philanthropically, was down to those around him.
He said the foundation's success, which was after Audrey beat a near-fatal case of sepsis in 2015, was down to her. The foundation's mission is to save lives through sepsis and toxic shock syndrome education and awareness, provide financial assistance to survivors and families and support communities during times of crisis. "The beer's a lot of fun," Leishman said.
"Just going and spending some time with the boys and something that I can do when golf's done.
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"It started out just as a one-month beer for our foundation here in Virginia Beach.
"It's expanded throughout Virginia, we're in Florida as well, and then obviously we started the Leishman Lager in Australia.
"That's gone Australia wide already. Anywhere in Australia that you want to get the beer, you can get it. If golf clubs want it, we have reps that they can get it from.
"We're either at or over 300 venues now in Australia and we're looking to expand that." On the course, Leishman has enjoyed a strong start to the 2021-22 campaign. He has two top-10 finishes - a tied-for-third finish at the Shriners Children's Open in October and a tied-for-fourth outing at the Fortinet Championship in September. He will play at the Houston Open from Thursday night ADST. Leishman will tee off at 12.35am.
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