Golf Inc.’s Most Powerful People In Golf

by Jeff Skinner

Every golfer is always looking for a little more power and that’s not just on the course.  The power players in golf are constantly planning their next move to become most influential person in the game.  Golf Inc.com has released their ranking of “The Most Powerful People in Golf.”

Now Golf Inc. has a different view of the “power players” in the game.  Unlike a many publications that are concerned with television ratings, Q-ratings and popular opinion they focus on the business of golf and their ranking reflects that philosophy.

Certainly, there are names that will be familiar to golf fans but only two PGA Tour players make the list (Tiger & Rory) and the list is populated with faces most golf fans won’t recognize.  But if you play the game, seriously or just occasionally, you’ve been affected by the work of these heavy hitters.

Their number one guy, for the second consecutive year, is the CEO of Troon Golf, Dana Garmany.  Troon Golf operates over 210 high end golf courses and many of his courses appear on many of the “Best Courses List.”

Coming in second place is the Golden Bear and his Nicklaus Companies.  If you think Jack Nicklaus spends all his time playing tennis and watching his grand kids, think again.  He has 19 courses open in China, 12 in development and 10 on the drawing board.  He has 45 projects underway across 24 countries and many ongoing deals off the course as well.

Number six on the list is Donald Trump and he brings his comb-over and his own special brand of promotion to the game.  Like him or hate him, or both…Trump is a major player in the business of golf.  During a down period he was one of the few buying and investing in courses.  His Trump International Golf Links in Scotland received more ink than any course in history and that was before a ball was struck on the seaside links.  He has gotten cozy with his neighbors in New Jersey, The USGA and landed the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open at his Bedminster course.

Tiger Woods comes in at 24 and Rory McIlroy at 30 so that tells you that this list is more concerned with the deal makers and not the par breakers.  Tim Finchem, Peter Dawson, Mike Davis, George O’Grady and Joe Steranka all represent the “governing bodies” of the game and the tours but the vast majority of the players on this list are involved in the real business of managing corporations throughout the golf industry.

It is an interesting read but bear in mind that this isn’t The Golf Channel, Golf Digest or Golf Magazine.  This is a golf industry journal concerned with the business of the game.


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