Golf Inc - Fall 2010 - (Page 32)
It was a tough year, and not just for Tiger Woods. Golf course owners saw course revenue struggle. Banks were forced to take over assets. And it seemed like the tours and tournament organizers kept losing sponsors. Development, which was already at a standstill in the United States, slowed across the globe. It seemed the developers moving forward were the billionaires with enough cash to not worry about ﬁnancing. Our 2010 list of the Most Powerful People in Golf is a reﬂection of all the strife and change. Golf course owners, for the most part, lost ground. Management companies gained contracts even if revenue was not as good. Architects saw their power wane as work dried up. But a new group of billionaire developers entered the list, many from outside the United States. Without question, golf as a business is less U.S.-centric than ever before. While the bulk of power is still in the United States and United Kingdom, other places will soon have a seat at the table — as
32 Golf Inc. Fall 2010
In a year of turmoil, a host of new power brokers are reshaping the golf landscape. Our annual power list reflects the significant change afoot with the balance of power shifting overseas.
evidenced by some of the new arrivals on our list. In fact, this is the most internationally diverse power list to date. The world is opening up to golf, and new players like David Chu, Samih Sawiris and Dieter Klostermann are emerging and gaining power. And that means that old players are falling away. This is the ﬁrst time since we started the Most Powerful ranking in 1999 that the top executive from American Golf is not represented. In that premiere ranking, Bob Dedman, Jr., who then ran ClubCorp, and David Price, then leader at American Golf, shared the top spot. The two companies have both been through tough times and ownership change since then. But while Eric Affeldt has re-energized ClubCorp to regain the top spot, American Golf has slowly drifted off the list and out of the leadership ranks in the industry. While there are nine who have withstood the test of time and have been on the list since 2001, there are also nine new people on the list this year. Without question, it is a time of unprecedented change. To identify our list of the Most Powerful People in Golf, we kept this deﬁnition in mind: the power to impact golf courses through wisdom, prestige, wealth, ability or position. Our reporting staff gathered information on the top candidates that were then ranked by our editors. We did not always agree. In fact, one editor felt Donald Trump should be in the top ﬁve, and one felt he should not be on the list at all. The ﬁnal ranking does not reﬂect any one editor’s views, but is a compilation of all of us. And as editor Robert Vasilak said, “Looking at the industry right now, I feel that, on the one hand, parts are unquestionably dying. While on the other hand, most observers believe there’s great potential in its future. There are many new frontiers that will be explored over the next decade.” We feel these are the 35 leaders who have the greatest opportunity to lead golf into the next decade. We hope they seize the opportunity and bring about the change necessary for a revival.
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