NEW JOB FITS EXEC TO A TEE

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Golf rules when it comes to automotive sponsorships, and retired Oldsmobile staffer Chuck Strong hopes to get a piece of the action.

So when Strong retired as a manager of the Southeast Region in December, he teamed up with son Steve, who founded On-Course Marketing in 1998, a firm in Alpharetta, Ga., that sells a golf rules guide to automakers and dealers.

Strong, who helped negotiate some of Oldsmobile's deals with the Professional Golfers Association, sees promise for the fledgling company. "Golf is the most heavily sponsored event by automakers," he says.

"A lot of people give away golf balls at events, but they are lost," says Strong, who spent 35 years with Oldsmobile. "And I think the companies are looking for more clever giveaways to keep their names in front of customers, particularly women."

According to the IEG Sponsorship Report, auto companies spent $35 million on golf sponsorships last year, the most heavily sponsored events by automakers. GM spent $21 million of that money.

Strong's niche: The rules are long-lasting, and "a lot of people do not know the rules of golf," says Strong. On-Course sold 50,000 packets last year, he said.

The cost of the standard guide ranges from $1.75 each for orders of more than 5,000 to $3 each for quantities under 250. The minimum order is 100. Costs of

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