There's a very interesting article on businessweek.com about the ins-and-outs of being a financial backer for a professional golfer: the pros and cons to both the backers and the golfers.
Finding groups of financial backers is how many young golfers get started in their pro careers, first raising enough money to head out on a mini-tour with the hope of then earning enough to move up to the next level. Usually it involves selling shares in a golfer. Say 20 people buy a share at $2,000 each - that's $40,000 of seed money for a young golfer.
There are many excellent prospects among Texas golfers, guys and gals who could have a future in professional golf if they get the right opportunity. There are mini-tours in Texas such as the Tight Lies Tour, National Golf Tour and Texas Professional Golf Tour, not to mention better known tours such as the Hooters Tour and Canadian Tour around North America. Golfers such as Ryan Palmer and Jimmy Walker are among the recent graduates of such tours who are now on the PGA Tour.
So what should you do if you ever have the opportunity to invest in a professional golfer? Be cautious, and read the fine print. And that goes double for the golfer who is considering selling shares in his future. The Business Week article provides many great examples of sponsorship deals - both ones that worked, and ones that didn't.
(Hat tip to Golf Blogger for finding this article.)