In an age of prodigious scholarships and shrewd strategic thinking, professional golfers make it a point to be in business outside of their sport, while showbiz stalwarts and superstar athletes like Steph Curry, Peyton Manning and Andy Roddick discover that the smart money is in golf itself. In our Golf & Business package (which you can also find in the January/February 2022 issue of GOLF Magazine), we’ll get into their portfolios.
Part 1: Why Abraham Ancer and Mark Wahlberg teamed up in the tequila business
Part 2: Bubba Watson the businessman looks a lot like Bubba the golfer
Part 3: How rising clothing brand Johnnie-O caused a stir on the golf course
Imagine that you are the general manager of a modest liquor store in suburban Indianapolis. The phone rings, with a familiar voice on the line. He wants to talk about inventory.
“Hello, this is Peyton Manning.”
This is the current plot twist in The Little Course That Could. If you’ve heard of Sweetens Cove – a flat nine-hole public course in south Pittsburg, Tennessee – you’ve heard of how it was remodeled a few years ago by cult architect Rob Collins, gained a loyal following and brightened up the game of golf a bit along the way.
But you may have missed the final chapter in which an investment group, led by tennis star Andy Roddick, came to turn passion into financial stability. Oh, and Mr. Manning too. Yes, that’s definitely him on the horn, hoping you’ll consider stocking Sweetens Cove Bourbon in your store. Squire recently named it the best “celebrity liquor”.
“Peyton just randomly got a list of numbers and cold called them – it’s one of my favorite sites,” Roddick laughs. Since Sweetens’ inception in 2014, golfers have left bourbon shots for bands behind, paying it forward. Now, the course’s bespoke blend is available in 10 states. It’s part of a larger vision. Creative thinking has also added to the golf experience, which now includes double-pin greens, a 20,000 square foot putting course, and periodic “Friday Night Lights” after dark outings. Clearly, these investors are not looking for a quick payday. They keep the ingrained vision of the place alive – and crave small wins along the way.
“Peyton throws a TD and wants to know what to lead the next series,” Roddick said. “We’re all very competitive and want to make this stuff great.”