In the Rough: The Business Game of Golf

In the Rough: The Business Game of Golf

In the Rough: The Business Game of Golf

In the Rough: The Business Game of Golf


There has never been a book about the inner workings of the golf business or its leading players from an insider's point of view. In the Rough reads like a novel, but it could also be required reading in a business school. This book takes the reader on a ride through the author's unusual professional career and what he discovered in the most revealing settings and scenes of the golf industry at its awkward and colorful best. Most of the events and incidents appearing here are firsthand accounts portraying a host of famous and colorful characters in both golf and the business world.

The central characters in this book are Ben Hogan, one of the five best players of all time and a highly successful golf-equipment executive; Deane Beman, a star amateur and successful professional golfer who became the commissioner and invented the modern-day PGA Tour; and Minoru Isutani, a wealthy Japanese entrepreneur who is probably best known for having lost $350 million on the purchase and sale of Pebble Beach. Some of the other costars include Jack Nicklaus, Karsten Solheim (Ping Golf Company), Greg Norman, and Ely Callaway--all names you have seen etched on a wood, an iron, or a putter, among other places.


For more than three decades, David Hueber was at the forefront of golf’s greatest period of growth. He had a front-seat view and a hands-on role in four significant golf organizations from the 1980s through the turn of the century.

While at the PGA Tour, he was the point man in building the tour’s new business relationship with the Professional Golf Association (PGA) of America. As the chief executive officer of the National Golf Foundation (NGF), he turned that organization into a credible and capable research company and industry advocate. And, as CEO of the Ben Hogan Company, he doubled that company’s sales and initiated the sponsorship of the Ben Hogan Tour, now known as the Tour. He also served as CEO of Ben Hogan Properties, which owned and operated Pebble Beach, as well as CEO of Cosmo World Group, the Japanese conglomerate that owned and operated golf companies and high-end golf courses and resorts.

In this book are many stories and an insider’s vivid view of David’s time as an executive from key vantage points in the golf world; so, what you’ll find here is very interesting stuff because he had the extraordinary opportunity to know and work with some of the most influential and memorable people during golf’s greatest period of growth.

While at the PGA Tour, David worked on the business side to grow the game and professional golf and played a valuable role in laying the foundation for the commercial success that the PGA Tour enjoys today. Following his stint with the tour, David moved on to resurrect the NGF from near bankruptcy and give it new life as a vibrant and effective research and promotional organization to stimulate the supply and demand for the game. Back then, golf was in the doldrums and was considered by many to be a dying sport. As the NGF CEO, he founded the biennial Golf Summits—the first time the golf industry ever assembled to assess the state of the game.

The first Golf Summit was held in 1986 at Westchester Country Club and turned out to be a pivotal point for the US golf industry. David then hired the highly regarded consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, to help analyze the NGF research and to develop a Strategic Plan for the Growth of the Game that would be presented at the 1988 Golf Summit. The NGF research revealed that the game was stagnating as defined by the number of golfers and rounds played. However, the NGF saw an opportunity to grow the game and the golf industry because the baby boomer population segment had a large number of golfers, and it was expected that as they aged, they would have the time . . .

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