PGA TOUR Wives book a labor of love
February 12, 2013
By Doug Milne, PGA TOUR staff
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla.- If executed right, a golf shot from a PGA TOUR professional is designed to look as if it was just meant to be. The swing is seamless, fluid and actually looks downright easy. The result is what we remember.
Before any result, however, there’s a process. There’s wind to consider, clubs to choose, galleries to contend with and demons to rid from the mind.
The same can be said for a book. A nice, glossy finished product is often of the assumption that it was always like that. There was never that coming-to-be process. The PGA TOUR Wives Association, though, will halt that notion dead in its tracks.
By now, “Beyond Fairways and Greens: A Look inside the Lives of PGA TOUR Families” has made its way onto book shelves and online stores. With the promotion, media coverage and word-of-mouth hype, most know what the book is about. But what many don’t know is just how the book came about.
It was neither easy nor quick. It had its share of roadblocks, headaches and nightmarish-long hours. The reason for the book – to raise money for needy children and families, trumped every speed bump. Quitting was not an option.
Several years ago, Kelly Bettencourt, wife of PGA TOUR player Matt, was elected as VP of Fundraising for the PGA TOUR Wives Association (PTWA). Her first big undertaking was to flush out the idea of producing a follow-up book to “A Taste of the TOUR,” a cookbook created by the TOUR wives a decade earlier. The goal of the second edition, it was decided, was to have it coincide with the Association’s 25th anniversary.
“There was no way I wasn't going to make this book happen for the PTWA,” remembered Bettencourt. “I knew I couldn't do it on my own, so I recruited DeAnna Pettersson (wife of TOUR member Carl).
As fate would have it, DeAnna came bearing gifts. Pettersson had recently finished assembling a cookbook for her grandmother, from which she took and donated 20 recipes to the Association’s new endeavor.
“And so the journey began,” said Bettencourt.
Quickly, the idea for a cookbook morphed into something much more. Put together a group of impassioned women and the result turns magical. Together, the Association decided to pursue a coffee table book, complete with personal stories, photos and recipes from PGA TOUR families.
“Our supporters and sponsors welcomed the idea, but I don’t think they realized the caliber and sophistication we were striving for (with the book),” said Stacy Hoffman, wife of TOUR player Charley. “People thought it was a good idea, but also thought we were going to put together a little dinky book in one of our living rooms.”
“As we started the process of shopping our book to publishing houses, the question asked many times was ‘what makes your book different,” said DeAnna Pettersson. “So, I thought, ‘Here we sit, an amazingly talented and well educated group of women who are doing unbelievable good works throughout the country and all we're selling is recipes? We can do better than that!’ So, the wheels of change began to turn. What we could bring to the table that no one else could are the stories behind the scenes. And so, we did.”
None of the TOUR wives had experience with publishing and didn't realize the difficulty in getting picked up by a publisher, thus the ensuing frustration. “It was hard to get turned,” Bettencourt said. “We believed in the book and the vision and thought everyone else should, too.”
The task of collecting stories, photos and recipes from the membership by deadline proved dubious. “We worked on all that while traveling, supporting our husbands, taking care of our children, and living all across the country,” Bettencourt said. “But everyone pulled together and we have 134 families featured in the book.”
Recently, while making Charley’s grandfather’s famous pancakes, it was realized that a key ingredient was missing in the book. Buyers of the book’s first pressing may very well see a hand-written note to add a cup of flour to the famed flap jacks.
“Beyond the Fairways and Greens” is available for purchase via www.pgatourwives.org and www.butlerbooks.com and will go on sale in bookstores on February 12. The book retails for $50, with net proceeds benefiting PTWA-designated charities.
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