ClubCorp claims most powerful honor in Golf Inc.’ annual ranking

Golf Inc. magazine has unveiled its 2010 list of the Most Powerful People in Golf, with ClubCorp’s President and CEO Eric Affeldt claiming the top spot for the first time.

“Eric has re-energized ClubCorp and has his eyes set on new course acquisitions at a time when most golf course owners, especially private clubs, are retreating,” said Jack Crittenden, Golf Inc. editor-in-chief. “His attitude, more than anything, creates opportunities and should open doors for the world’s largest golf course owner.”

Golf Inc. has compiled the list every year since 1999, with the exception of 2000. In its inaugural ranking, Bob Dedman, Jr., who then ran ClubCorp, shared the top spot with David Price, then leader at American Golf. While Affeldt has helped ClubCorp reclaim its leadership position, this is the first year that an executive from American Golf is not on the list. There are nine new people on the list this year, more than in any other recent year.

“Without question, golf as a business is less U.S.-centric than ever before,” the article states. “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 evidenced buy some of the new arrivals on our list.”

Jack Nicklaus, who previously held the top spot, dropped to number three, given the worldwide slowdown in development activity. Tiger Woods dropped from third to eighth, after a tumultuous year. Donald Trump is one of the nine newcomers to the list, along with Michael Keiser, developer of Bandon Dunes in Oregon. For a complete list, click here. 

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