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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on July 19, 2000. All rights
The PGA’s Biggest Green
If you thought Princeton was star-struck when the
Einstein movie, "I.Q.," came to town a few years ago, what
do you make of the hoopla surrounding the arrival of the senior PGA
stars for the Instinet Classic tournament at Jasna Polana.
Retailers are moving their golf togs front and center, newspapers
are rolling out "special" sections, hotels are packed with
visitors, and businesses are inviting special clients to corporate
receptions and outings connected with the tournament.
The lesson is that after the 18th green comes the 19th hole, and after
that comes the real green: a special relationship between the game
of golf and the corporate world that continues to grow. As veteran
Trenton Times sports columnist Harvey Yavener points out, even the
Senior PGA tour, consisting of golfers 50 and older, draws record
crowds and increasingly lucrative purses.
And at the Instinet fans will be able to see in person one of the
men most responsible for the emergence of golf as the Corporate Game:
Arnold Palmer. At Jasna Polana the 70-year-old Palmer will be playing
in his 1,000th professional event, dating back to the late 1950s when
he rose to the top of the professional ranks and was discovered by
one of the first and still one of the most influential sports
Cleveland attorney Mark McCormick. Long before Michael Jordan,
figured out how to turn a professional athlete into a national brand,
and he began with golfers, specifically Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
The lesson of Palmer and Nicklaus was never lost on Princeton book
producer John Montelone
book packagers and literary agents, located at Research Park. As
notes, being a good or even great golfer is not enough to forge a
profitable enterprise off the course. Agents or book packagers want
to see some staying power. They don’t want to invest time and money
in the publishing equivalent of a one-night stand, says Monteleone.
And you need more than one good idea to interest a publisher; you
need three ideas. They want to "build a brand around you,"
In addition to looking for experts that can do more than one book,
Monteleone also hopes to find someone "who would see himself as
the product," he says. A writer has branded himself well when
his name take priority. "A good example is our latest book by
golf pro Hank Haney, and Hank Haney’s name is three or four times
larger than the title of the book on the cover," says Monteleone.
Monteleone’s specialty is golf, an ever-popular subject
because 2 million of the nation’s 26 million golfers are new to the
sport every year, and the group as a whole boasts sparkling
But among his general title packaging jobs are a young adults’ sports
encyclopedia for Grolier, and "Speaking Freely," a heavy
tome on the derivation and social history of words (Oxford, 1997,
470 pages, $39.95).
And the lesson of golf can be applied to other fields, as well.
watched a growing phenomena permeate the self-help sector of book
publishing — the rise and dominance of gurus, from all
as authors," says Monteleone. Even Tom Peters, the hotshot
consultant who launched a guru career seven years ago with "In
Search of Excellence" is trumpeting this in another new book.
He calls it "building the brand called YOU."
Monteleone grew up in Hopewell, where his father owned the gas
station that was filmed in the movie IQ. A standout athlete at Seton
Hall, Class of 1964, he played minor league baseball for three years
for the Yankees and the Senators. After baseball he earned his
degree in journalism from Columbia, and spent the next dozen years
writing sports books on contract and doing book packaging at a time
when packagers were more rare than they are now. He founded his own
firm in 1983, and it has packaged books on most of the major sports,
some general reference works, and some children’s books.
"As book packagers we think of an idea, put together the writers
and the creative people to do it, sell it as a package to the
and share ownership," says Monteleone.
He cites "The 10 Absolutes of Great Golf," a book he is doing
with Gary Smith
Scotland. "We tell the client how to make it work. Gary had these
ideas kicking around in his teaching, but now he has synthesizes the
minimum requirements to have a great golf game."
"But some of the golf pros already have an idea or a writer, so
we started a literary agency to complement our packaging, the Sports
Literary Agency. We help them put the proposal together, but we don’t
own the work." Mountain Lion was the agent for Todd Sones, who
wrote "Lights-Out Putting," (a term that means, when a golfer
is hot with his putts, he is turning off the lights on the other
Sometimes the book propels the career, as with Mike McGetrick
book "The Scrambler’s Dozen: the 12 shots every golf needs to
score like the pros." After the book came out, McGetrick began
getting calls to teach Scrambler’s Dozen clinics. "With a book,
your lecture fees go up, because people think you are credentialed.
Then you need to maintain your profile with one or two follow-up
At branding’s best, it moves beyond best-selling books into equipment
and other products. Hank Haney
four among golf teachers nationally, and he has created a Play America
package that golf centers sell to beginning golfer: a series of six
lessons plus equipment, so that at each lesson the novice gets a new
club, and at the end has a set of beginner’s clubs. Other
for golf, are the branded videos, schools, and advanced training aids.
Mountain Lion is well stocked with golf gurus but will consider
in other areas. "If someone sent us something that made sense
and was well written, we would consider it. We can certainly see a
project that has promise if it is presented to us," says
As for the as-told-to writer, the professional writer who works with
a celebrity to write a book and gets his or her name in small print,
Monteleone has a stable of several dozen freelancers. "We turn
up writers through referrals, our best way of getting writers we can
trust," he says.
Monteleone offers this test of whether you are a good candidate to
author a book. Rate yourself on a scale of one to five, five meaning
that you agree totally with the statement, one meaning that you do
not agree at all. How true are these statements?
you wish to publish.
among your peers.
to the targeted reader.
apart from the publisher’s sphere of contacts.
for writing a book, says Monteleone. If you can’t honestly get that
score, tuck your manuscript back into the drawer.
The mental skills of a great putter, as defined by
Sones, might be compared to the mindset of a good executive or
a good salesperson. Sones is ranked as one of the top 100 teaching
professionals in Golf Magazine, and with David DeNunzio
"Lights-Out Putting: a mind, body, and soul approach to Golf’s
Game Within the Game" (Contemporary Books, 2000, 146 pages plus
appendix and index, $22.95). The author’s agent was John Monteleone’s
Research Park-based firm, Mountain Lion Inc.
Sones lists "The Great Eight" mental skills for putters, and
each one has obvious parallels to sales and/or management.
"Great putters believe they’re great," writes Sones.
cocky — and I mean that with the greatest respect. Average or
poor putters don’t view themselves as great. They view themselves
as average or poor putters."
"The reason why most amateurs have such low putting self-esteem
is that they focus solely on the putts they miss during a typical
round. You must learn to shift your focus — and memory —
the many putts you make, not the ones that lip out or go screaming
past the hole."
"Great putters, in addition to believing they’re great, enjoy
the task of putting. They’re up to the many challenges of rolling
the ball into the hole. Gary Player
course), during the Tour’s Florida swing, often said how he loved
to putt on the slow, grainy greens of the South. When the Tour
north, Player would change gears and rank slick, bent-grass greens
as the best surfaces to putt on. When confronted with the fact that
he couldn’t possibly love both extremes, Player simply responded that
he loved to putt on all greens, `especially those I have to play on
The other mental skills in The Great Eight:
control) and internal (learned and developed from the inside).
into action without hesitation.
the target even before the putter is put into motion, not worrying
about the mechanics.
rather than judge them.
avoid failure, which is perfectly okay in my book. Become aware of
where it originates and replace it with positive emotion. Distracting
yourself out of fear is one of the goals of the preputt routine.
not the most effort. They don’t tie themselves in knots by trying
days and bad days. Remember, negative reactions reinforce the notion
of being a poor putter, which explains how a bad day often becomes
a prolonged slump.
Golfing is one of the Princeton area’s favorite sports,
and women are taking part just as they are in every other aspect of
corporate life, says Beverly Lynch
former president of the YWCA of Trenton board. She invites golfers
to the YWCA’s first annual golf outing, Monday, July 24, at Mercer
Oaks, at 9 a.m.
Shotgun start is at 10 a.m., and lunch will be served on the course.
An awards reception will be at 4 p.m. Cost: $100, or $25 for reception
only. Foursomes can register for $375, and even at this date some
sponsorship opportunities are still available. To sponsor a tee or
a hole costs $75. Make checks payable to YWCA of Trenton and sent
to Beverly Lynch, 212 West State Street, Trenton 08608. For
The more typical awards will be for closest to the pin, largest drive,
and best foursome, but there will also be an award for the most honest
"Golfers play for the fun, pleasure, and challenge of the
Lynch says. "We thought it would be very appropriate to organize
a golf outing for the fun of it, and to fundraise for the YWCA of
Trenton’s worthy projects and programs.
"The Little Book of Golf Slang: from fried eggs to frog
hairs, words to help you pass as a golfer," is a Mountain Lion book
written by Randy Voorhees and published in 1997 by Andrews McNeel
(137 pages, $7.95). With this book anybody can "talk the
But if you do not play golf at all, if you are not even a hacker or
a duffer, don’t try to cozy up to a golf-playing client by tossing
terms around. That will go over about as well as an elephant’s ass.
and stinky." Usually applied to a popped-up drive that is higher than
it is long. An elephant’s ass might also prompt a comment such as,
"Except for distance and direction," that was a good show.
around it created on impact. Too many fried eggs will make you lose
your appetite for the game.
Also known as the collar or the fringe.
his first attempt. No score is official for any round in which you
take a mulligan — a concept most of America’s golfers seem to
have a hard time understanding.
similar distances from the cup, one will say "Your `putt is good
if mine is good.’ Used mostly by amateur players who fear short putts.
so that the shot has no spin and does not achieve the desired
still okay. Not to be confused with a Roseanne, which is very
fat and not okay.
PGA Tour. Coined by golfing legend Lee Trevino.
fall apart. For duffers, this process often begins at the first tee.
With reference to the pros, usually applied to a golfer who is leading
a tournament but has begun to give away shots as his game
Greg Norman has leaked more oil than the Exxon Valdez.
go in the hole.
Here’s one more vote for live operators versus punching
buttons on a telephone. Golfers from Middlesex County will now use
the same tee-time reservation system — the Golf Network —
as those from Mercer County. Based in Ocean, this company shuns
menus and offers live operators, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,
Live operators, says Richard Pucci, generate a greater level
of confidence in the integrity of the reservation system. Pucci is
executive director of the Middlesex County Improvement Authority,
which operates Meadows at Middlesex (formerly Princeton Meadows),
Tamarack, and Raritan Landing. "It also has a much greater
to handle a large number of calls at once, cutting waiting times to
Signing up on the Internet at www.golf-network.com is another option,
but the Network’s contract with Middlesex County is so new that the
all of the web pages for Middlesex courses are not yet hotlinked to
the tee-time reservation page.
Golfers can use the same account number for both counties. Middlesex
County registration costs $30 for the year for county residents, and
$60 for non-county residents, and for this the golfers get reduced
greens fees. Mercer County registration costs $22 for county
which includes reduced greens fees, and $30 for outsiders, but that
does not include reduced fees. For Middlesex information, call
Vitale at 609-655-5141. For Mercer information, call John
Those who also join the Golf Network ($50 per year) can book tee times
on public courses almost anywhere in the country. Pick your course,
get your time.
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