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Brent Kelley

Tour Expenses, and the Financial Backers Question

By May 21, 2005

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What are the collective expenses that a professional golfer incurs on tour? And if a young golfer tries to sell shares in his or her future to financial backers, is such an arrangement a good idea for those prospective backers - or the golfer?

Those questions are examined in a very interesting article on businessweek.com. Here's an answer to the first question:

According to Business Week, "(while) it costs a minimum of $150,000 a year to play the PGA Tour, $100,000 for the Champions Tour, $75,000 for the LPGA Tour (where players often stay in private homes), and $55,000 for the Nationwide Tour, on the Hooters Tour, it's considerably less. A season consists of about 22 events primarily in the Southeast, with entry fees of $850 per week. Figure the total expense - travel, meals, motels, caddies - for a 22-week season at $35,000. This is staying at Motel 6, not the Ritz, by the way, and eating at, well, Hooters."

The focus of the article is on the practice of young golfers selling shares in themselves to a group of financial backers. That group is often made up of family and friends, but sometimes it consists merely of investors hoping to turn a profit. The results can vary widely for both the investors and the golfers themselves.

Business Week cites several examples, ranging from Joe Ogilvie to Arnold Palmer, to illustrate both the good and the bad possibilities. It's a good read - check it out.

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