All Change At The Top

HOW THE BAL­ANCE OF POWER HAS SHIFTED IN TWO YEARS

Golf Asia (Malaysia) - - SCENE - Richard Gillis is a free­lance writer, who spe­cialises in the busi­ness of sport.

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.

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