The Loop

You probably don't know who the most powerful person in golf is (sorry Donald, it's not you)

October 13, 2014

Golf Inc. magazine has come out with its annual ranking of "The Most Powerful People In Golf", which, it should be noted, will not be confused with a ranking of the most famous people in golf.


For instance, you probably know Donald Trump, No. 2 on the list, but you might not know the name Eric Affeldt. He's the CEO of ClubCorp, which went public a year ago and acquired 54 courses through its $265 million purchase of Sequoia Golf. According to Golf Inc., he's the only person in golf more powerful than The Donald.

The list goes on fluctuating between unquestioned A-listers (No. 4 Jack Nicklaus; No. 5.Tim Finchem) and names that might only be recognizable to golf industry insiders (No. 3 Dana Garmany, CEO of Troon Golf; No. 6 Peter Hill, CEO and Chairman of Billy Casper Golf). Which makes sense: Golf Inc. is a quarterly publication that covers "the latest trends in the development, sales and management of golf courses." So these are men -- and all 30 spots on the list are men, for what that's worth -- who are shaping the game in both obvious and subtle ways.

In addition to Finchem, other key figures in golf's governing bodies are also represented on the list: the USGA's Mike Davis (seventh), the R&A's Peter Dawson (13th), outgoing PGA of America president Ted Bishop (22nd) and European Tour CEO George O'Grady (23rd).

There's only one person representing the golf media on the list (Golf Channel president Mike McCarley is 16th), one architect (Olympic course designer Gil Hanse, 20th), and just two active players: Rory McIlroy is 19th and Tiger Woods, who was 17th a year ago, has dropped to 29th.