With Jake in the hunt at the US Open, I thought I’d dig up a piece I wrote about him last year. After the Altamira, Jacobsen came by our table and asked how our round with Stuart Appleby went. I found Jacobsen charming and forthcoming — he was very interested in how Appleby dealt with a corporate outing. Anyway, it is good to see Jacobsen playing well, even if he’s as much a businessman as a golfer these days.
Jacobsen makes charity his business: Players earn fees of up to US$150,000 to join the hackers
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
When Peter Jacobsen tees it up at the Altamira Charity Classic next week in Woodbridge, Ont., he’ll be involved in more than just another golf game.
That’s because helping organize charity fundraisers and tournaments is simply part of an evolving business that Jacobsen started 15 years ago. It has grown to include television programs, stops on the Champions Tour and lots of face time with the game’s most outgoing personality.
“Peter is a very multi-faceted person – what you see is what you get,” says Ed Ellis, president of Peter Jacobsen Productions. “He’s very energetic and very organized. He also doesn’t sleep much, which doesn’t hurt.”
In 1989, in the midst of a good – but not great – career that included seven PGA Tour wins, Jacobsen decided to start his own business. Apparently tour golf wasn’t enough to keep him occupied.
His interest was in starting a tournament in his hometown of Portland, Ore. Rather than simply find some sponsors and turn the tournament over to professional managers, Jacobsen set up his own company to manage the event.
Since setting up the organization, PJP has had a hand in such diverse enterprises as running a CFL football game in Portland and creating a television program featuring a guitar-playing Jacobsen for the Golf Channel.
“Anything we can do with sports that will entertain people, we’ll consider,” Ellis says.
A big part of the business has been arranging to get PGA Tour players to join in charity and corporate outings. Jacobsen has developed a reputation as a businessman and golfer who only involves himself with the best and most organized events, Ellis says.
That means he is able to attract a variety of tour stars to hit it around over five hours with a bunch of golfers who are more comfortable in the office than on the fairway.
Last year he brought Vijay Singh to the Altamira outing, a player not normally considered one of the PGA Tour’s more personable individuals.
This year, PGA Championship winner Shawn Micheel, Stuart Appleby and perennial favourite Craig Stadler will hit it with the hacks. The players draw fans to the event, and ticket and corporate sales have helped raise $4.5-million for a variety of charities over the 10-year history of the Altamira.
But don’t think these guys are offering their time simply because they consider Jacobsen a nice person or because they are enamoured of the causes supported by Altamira.
Rather, they are well paid, with fees ranging from US$3,500 to $150,000, depending on the individual.
“Some players don’t like to do corporate events, so they hike up their rates,” says Ellis.
While many of the fans who attend the Altamira event at the Board of Trade Golf and Country Clubnext Monday will want to see the top-ranked Appleby up close, others will want to see Jacobsen, whose affability and generally relaxed nature make him a continued favourite of fans.
“Because of his reputation and personality, a lot of people and companies want Peter involved,” Ellis explains. “But he doesn’t necessarily come with the package.”
So what’s Jacobsen, now 50 and teeing it up on the Champions Tour, have to say about all of this? Hard to say – reviving his playing schedule after hip surgery and running his business apparently kept him from returning calls.
One thing is for certain — it is the first time the cat has ever caught Peter Jacobsen’s tongue, something that will surely change when he hits the fairways next week.