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SUBPAR FOR THE GOLDEN BEAR

JACK NICKLAUS HAS BEEN A better golfer than businessman. His company, Golden Bear Golf, is down 29% from its offering price of 16 when it went public last August. The company, which operates practice centers and markets golfing gear, lost 60 cents per share last year and 29 cents in 1997's first quarter. Golden Bear mainly blames its slump on the 11 properties it bought in 1996, which have taken longer and cost more to revamp than projected.

The 57-year-old golf legend, who owns 55% of Golden Bear, is unveiling a marketing plan to help him get out of the rough. A former American Express pitchman, he'll soon be seen in ads pushing a special Nicklaus Visa card that lets you enter a monthly sweepstakes. Grand prize? A round of golf with Nicklaus himself. Cardholders who shell out a $35 annual fee can join an affinity program that awards one point on every dollar charged. Enough points get you golf lessons or clubs.

Merrill Lynch analyst Hayley Kissell doubts such alliances will have much impact on the bottom line. What else do you have in your bag, Jack?

EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT
Lisa Sanders


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Updated July 17, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1997, Bloomberg L.P.
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