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In The Green How golfer Fred Funk manages the $3 million business he has become.
By Ed Welles

(FORTUNE Small Business) – Fred Funk may not be the best-known golfer on the PGA Tour, but he is one of the most consistent. Since 1990 he has played more tournaments than any of his peers, and last year he led them in driving accuracy. "I hit a lot of fairways, play a lot of tournaments, and I'm old," says Funk, 47, in describing what distinguishes him from fellow tour pros. Funk's sustained practice of his craft brought him $2.14 million in tournament winnings last year (placing him 27th on the PGA money list) and about $750,000 in endorsements. Think of him as the CEO of Funk Inc.

Like many professionals--from solo doctors and lawyers to bounty hunters--Funk is his own small business. But managing his $3 million in revenue falls primarily to a small team that includes his agent, Richard Whelton; his CPA, Dave Barley; and Funk's wife, Sharon, who doubles as his travel manager and sometime sports psychologist. To break even, Funk needs to gross about $500,000 a year. That figure covers his professional and personal expenses, plus taxes. (He also paid nearly $700,000 in taxes in 2003.) Put another way, Funk generates a net after-tax margin of 60%--making him a very profitable enterprise.

Funk's biggest expense is travel. He plays as many as 35 tournaments a year, hopping between them and his home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., in a Learjet in which he owns a 50% share. He pegs the annual cost of the plane's operation at $150,000 and other travel expenses at nearly $100,000. Besides caddy Mark Long, Funk's wife and two small children go along, with Sharon schooling the children in transit. Funk views this arrangement as a form of marriage insurance.

His next biggest expense is Long, who makes more than $200,000 a year. Funk pays his agent another $90,000. Three major sponsors pay Funk to plaster their logos on his bag, hat, shoes, ball, glove, and sleeve. There's a fourth that wants to own another prime piece of real estate: his shirt pocket. Funk would like to push his endorsement income to more than $1 million. But still, he adds, "I don't want to look like a Winston Cup car going down the fairway."