Pro golfer Michele Redman’s eagle eye for finance [classic article]

Michele Redman started out as a tennis prodigy, but by 11, she switched to golf. Her father was a golf-playing car salesman and her mother was a secretary; they joined a local country club to foster her talent. She became the 1983 Ohio State Junior champion. In 1986, she was a quarterfinalist in the U.S. Women’s Amateur and that same year finished as second low amateur in the U.S. Women’s Open.

She played collegiate golf at Indiana University, majoring in public finance and management. At Indiana, she won four college tournaments, twice was named an All-American and four times earned All-Big Ten Conference honors. In addition, she was the Big Ten Conference champion in 1987. In 1999, she crossed the $1 million milestone in career earnings.

Michele Redman has two LPGA wins to her name: the 1997 JAL Big Apple Classic and 2000 First Union Betsy King Classic.

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Her year’s earnings are $552,317.00, and her career earnings are $2,372,301, ranking her 38th on the LPGA career-money list. She is currently ranked ninth in the world golf rankings. In 2000, she finished 10th on 2000 LPGA year-end money list. This year alone, she has traveled the world, playing for such tournaments as Welch’s/Circle K championship, Kraft-Nabisco championship, the Chick-fil-A championship, the Kellogg-Keebler Classic, the Evian Masters and the U.S. Women’s Open.

Redman represents Target, DSW Shoe Warehouse and GlaxoSmithKline.

Bankrate: How long do you spend working on golf every day?

Michele Redman: On the road, I spend eight to 10 hours playing golf. Every couple of days, I may play for just three or four.

Bankrate: What other physical training do you do?

Michele Redman: I work out, lifting weights, three to four times a week, one to two times a week if I’m traveling.

Bankrate: Are you good at any other sports?

Michele Redman: I’m good at Ping-Pong and pool; I don’t really play tennis anymore. I’m good at anything that requires hand-eye coordination. I stay away from a lot of sports, like volleyball, to avoid injuries.

Bankrate: Do you feel that there are unfair pressures on women athletes to not just be athletes, but also sex symbols?

Michele Redman: No. We do work at our appearance, though. It helps us. They say that we’re more approachable, more fan-friendly than the men.

Bankrate: Is there a market for a senior LPGA?

Michele Redman: Yeah, there is. They had three events in 2002 and they’re planning six for 2003.

Bankrate: You secured sponsorships with corporations all by yourself. How did you approach the companies? How did you pick the companies to work with, image-wise?

Michele Redman: I was just lucky; I met the corporate sponsors at a tournament. I have been fortunate that they were good companies. I always want the deal to be beneficial to both sides.

Bankrate: How has that changed since you are represented now?

Michele Redman: I couldn’t have gotten the DSW deal without an agent. It’s nice to have help in scheduling.

Bankrate: Golfers only make money when they are sponsored or when they win. Is that a lot of pressure on you?

Michele Redman: It is — golf is unique in that way. You earn what you are paid, so I think the fans respect you more.

Bankrate: How do you decide when to sit out a tournament?

Michele Redman: I try to play for three or four weeks, then take a week off. I take off one or two weeks in the summer. Listen, I’ve been playing since I was 11, so you know when you have to take the time off.

Bankrate: How long do you want to play golf?

Michele Redman: As long as I’m in good shape and I’m competitive. That’s important to me, that I’m still competitive.

Bankrate: If you couldn’t play golf, what would you do?

Michele Redman: I would do sales or coach collegiate golf. I’d really like to do that. With my degree in public finance and management, it’s useful for almost anything.

Bankrate: There are lots of marketing items associated with golf: apparel, equipment, course design. What things are oversaturated and where is there growth potential?

Michele Redman: Clubs are over saturated, because they’re expensive and they can only do so much. There is a market for introductory lessons that are less expensive.

Bankrate: Do you manage your own money?

Michele Redman: No, but I do my own expenses and account balancing.

Bankrate: What investments do you have?

Michele Redman: Bonds and stocks, mutual funds. I have a house in Minneapolis.

Bankrate: What’s a good investment for a golfer to make: joining a country club, equipment, lessons?

Michele Redman: Woods — make sure you have the right shaft.

Bankrate: What’s a waste of money for a golfer?

Michele Redman: Some of those things you see on the infomercials that people stay up all night to watch, the “golf aids.” Tapes can get overdone. Everyone has his or her own idea of golf. You need to stick to one idea. One way of instruction is better than several.

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