All Change At The Top
HOW THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS SHIFTED IN TWO YEARS
Change is the key theme of the 2017 Power List. When we compiled our last list in 2015, the people at the top had been in their posts for many years. Tim Finchem was in his 21st year as ommissioner of the PGA Tour, George O’Grady was leading the European Tour as he had done since 2005 and Peter Dawson was atop the R&A. Each has now left the stage.
Tiger Woods was for so long the most dominant individual in golf. Now he’s a shadow of the player he once was and his influence has waned to the extent that Nike has left the golf equipment business that was all but created to leverage his fame and market power. Coming the other way though is Bob Parsons, who enters the fray with PXG to much hype.
Fame is another source of influence. Golf has brought players such as Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth global recognition. This power will only increase as the way we watch golf changes and the importance of social media increases. Some players have more followers than TV stations have viewers. This is player power at its most striking, but it’s not new. The sad death of Arnold Palmer in 2016 is a reminder of how enduring golfing fame can be. Arnie used his celebrity to earn millions of dollars, but he also helped define the values which are at the heart of golf’s appeal. Let’s hope the next generation of players will use their power as wisely.