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Business Edge for Wednesday May 23 2001

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GOLF MONEY FEST: The U.S. Golf Association Foundation gave away more than $1.9 million in grants at its just-completed spring meeting in Colorado Springs, Colo. The 90 grants, given under the foundations For The Good of the Game program, will support course access, golf curriculum development, and related initiatives.
 
The Good of the Game program offers support non-profit organizations that share the belief that participating in the game of golf can enhance people's lives, said a USGA statement. Thats consistent with a recent sea change in golf-related charity, which seems to have broadened its goals to include not just play, but loftier objectives off the course. Witness the First Tee programs Coloring Lives theme from its November 2000 meeting. In many quarters, golf charity nowadays seeks to improve the quality of participants lives and characters.
 
Various First Tee chapters were among the grant recipients this year. The foundation has given grants to 46 First Tee chapters in recent years, accounting for more than $7.8 million since 1997.
 
LEFT SIDERS, UNITE: Left-handed golfers have long had to deal with limited equipment offerings. The callous business excuse often heard is that the lefty market isnt big enough to support the expense of serving it. But one company is determined to buck that longstanding trend.
 
Cleveland Golf is devoting a portion of its website, www.Clevelandgolf.com, to golfers of the left handed persuasion, said a company statement.
 
I want lefties of the golfing world to be able to look at images of their own golf clubs, said Greg Hopkins, president and chief operating officer of Cleveland. 'These clubs are not simply mirror images of the right handed versions. It takes the eye of a lefty in the design process to make them look just right.'
 
Left-handed PGA Tour pro Steve Flesch works with Cleveland; he is said to be one of only six left-handed players on tour. Others include Phil Mickelson (who wears Lefty, his nickname, as a badge of pride) and Mike Weir.
 
'Manufacturers have historically treated us like second-class citizens. Flesch said. Well, not any more.
 
Little-known fact: Titleist and FootJoy Worldwide chief Wally Uihlein plays from the left side.