SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Their husbands are playing at Riviera Country Club, which once boasted the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Glen Campbell, Gregory Peck, Dean Martin and Peter Falk as members. Three movies were filmed there, as well, including "Follow the Sun" which chronicled the life Ben Hogan, a four-time winner at the legendary course.
So it was only fitting that the PGA TOUR Wives Association brought a little bit of Hollywood glamour to their 25th anniversary celebration at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel on Monday night. Only, instead of a red carpet, theirs' was pink, and the pros who traded polos shirts for suits and ties sometimes looked a little nonplussed as they posed for photos with their bedazzled brides.
The event, which was made possible by a variety of sponsors, most notably the Northern Trust Open which hosts the PGA TOUR this week, had a dual purpose. The festivities also served as the official launch of the book "Beyond the Fairways and Greens: A Look Inside The Lives of PGA TOUR Families” and the proceeds of the coffee table book will go to support the charities the PTWA supports.
"This is a very emotional night," Amy Wilson, the president of the PTWA, said, as the guests arrived. "To see all my friends and family on TOUR as they come into this party to celebrate 25 years of women being out on the road with with their husbands -- this is our legacy. It's very special to be able to be here and be part of this anniversary."
Wilson, who is the wife of four-time PGA TOUR champion Mark Wilson, first floated the idea of doing the book back in 2009 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the organization that started with a golf tournament where the wives played and their husbands caddied and now assists charities throughout the United States. At the time, the thought was to do a second volume of "Taste of the TOUR," a collection of recipes that was published a decade ago.
But that book was essentially self-published and the wives often found themselves trying to sell copies at tournament sites or back home in the respective cities where their families lived. The PTWA wanted this "Beyond the Fairways and Greens," which went on sale Tuesday, to reach a mass audience, and when the initial run of 20,000 books sells approximately $250,000 will have been raised.
"We are looking to shoot the moon," said DeAnna Pettersson, one of the two co-chairs for the book project. "We want to raise as much money as we can so that we can continue to do the work that we have for the last 24 years -- but take it to an even bigger level and make the longer-term commitments to different charities and organizations.
"We just want to be able to give back as much as possible to all the communities where the TOUR plays."
Pettersson and Kelly Bettencourt were charged with shepherding the book from conception to Monday night's reality. Business and marketing plans were put together and the duo started shopping the book to various publishing houses, at first with limited success.
"People kept saying, 'Why do we want to publish your cookbook? It's just another cookbook,'" Bettencourt recalled. "So our minds started turning a little bit. ... Our members were submitting recipes and little stories that went with the recipes and as we started reading those we thought, 'OK, is there something to this?'
"We should be telling these stories that nobody else knows and the families of PGA TOUR players can provide -- a glimpse inside their lives."
So about a year into the process, the book took a major turn. The PTWA recruited long-time golf writer, Melanie Hauser, to author some of the longer features. The wives and executive director Sara Moores wrote other articles themselves, as well as supplied behind-the-scenes photographs from family albums.
Mark Wilson was probably closer to the project than anyone besides Carl Pettersson or Matt Bettencourt. He was impressed by the scope of the book and the way the wives handled every blip on the radar screen.
"There was just a lot of thinking on their feet," Mark Wilson said. "They had to overcome a lot of obstacles. A lot of things didn't go as they expected. None of them had ever written a book. So to see it all come together like this is really something.
"It's a beautifully-done book. It has a lot of cool stories and recipes -- a little bit of everything. It's a taste of TOUR players' lives as a family on the road and that's really what we think of ourselves as."
Pettersson said the publisher originally told them that the process of putting the book together was like "birthing a baby ... and I thought, this woman is crazy. When was the last time she had a baby?" But Pettersson eventually realized the woman was right.
"There are those moments like, ok, just keep pushing through and you're like, I don't know how much longer I can do this, but at the end there's this super amazing product that you're extremely proud of," Pettersson said. "It's that moment that every parent has when you're glowing and gleaming with happiness -- that's what we have now."
Bettencourt said she was "blown away" by the final product.
"I can't believe we all put this together as volunteers over the two-and-a-half years and it turned out to be such a beautiful book," she said.