The 2017 Power Ranking
From the CEO of Facebook to the founder of PXG, the all-new listing contains some new faces and some unexpected changes. Richard Gillis is your guide to the 20 most powerful and influential people in golf
Power is an elusive quality that comes in many guises, so any attempt to rank it will always be controversial. Our list is intended to provoke thought on who currently yields significant influence in the game and what this tells us about where the industry is heading. Golf is unlike other sports in that its impact extends across multiple business sectors, so our list reflects that diversity. Fame is powerful, so the players are represented. The media also dictates how and where we watch the game – a landscape that is evolving by the minute – so the big dogs of old and new media feature prominently here. The large equipment manufacturers are central to the golf economy, so they have a place, too, as do those who administer the sport around the world and the major sponsors who hold the prize money purse strings.
If there’s a single theme among the 20 names on our list, though, it’s how much change is taking place at every level of the game. In a few years’ time, there’s a good chance that many of the names on this list will be missing, as evidenced by the magnitude to which this list changed from the inaugural ranking in February 2015.