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In this golf game, it matters who goes first


When the Value Trends Funds began selling its new mutual fund the first week of January, fund officials claimed it was the first no-load mutual fund to invest in the golf industry.

That is true, but it is not the first golf mutual fund ever. A Vero Beach, Fla. registered investment adviser opened a similar fund called The Golf Fund on the same day. That fund is being sub-advised by Wallington Asset Management of Indianapolis, Ind. and sold through brokers.

In recent articles in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times about the opening of the Value Trends Links Fund, the principals of the two funds each claimed their funds opened first.

Jeffrey Provence, portfolio manager of the Value Trends Links Fund, initially said that his fund was the only golf fund open to investors. But, Michael Williams, principal of The Golf Fund, said he believed that his fund had opened to investors a few days before the Value Trends fund. As it turns out, both funds say they opened to investors on the same day, Jan. 4.

"It's competition. It's good to have some competition," Williams said.