Fall 2014 www.GolfIncMagazine.com 25
One of his newest courses, Trump Golf
Links at Ferry Point, is set to open to the
public next year. It’s getting a lot of attention for its cost — $269 million — making
it the most expensive public course ever
built in the U.S. But the course is said to
be a possible candidate for a U.S. Open,
which would be the first time a Nicklaus-designed course had the honor.
Nicklaus noted that the course, built on
a former landfill, will “add to New York’s
global reputation, enhance New York’s
reputation for quality golf and give the
proud residents of New York City a place
to play and call home.”
No. 5 Tim Finchem
Commissioner, PGA Tour
2013 Ranking: 1
Tim Finchem was No. 1 on our list last
year, but maybe Golf Inc. has something
of a Sports Illustrated-like jinx going on.
The PGA Tour commissioner falls to No. 5
Blame forces beyond
his control. Tiger
Woods missed much
of the early season
with a bad back. Phil
Mickelson was connected to an insider
trading scandal and hasn’t played well. TV
Still, Finchem maintains that the tour
is in sound shape and sluggish years are
to be expected. Indeed, the absence of
Woods can help younger players get more
attention and grow into stars, he told
“The history of the tour is more and
more stars, and we need that,” he said.
Finchem, who’s been bullish on growing the game globally, also was named
chairman of the World Golf Foundation
board of directors for 2014.
“Golf has never been healthier world-
wide, and it is our responsibility to ensure
its continued vitality,” he said at the time
of the appointment.
No. 6 Peter Hill
Chairman and CEO
Billy Casper Golf
2013 Ranking: 8
Peter Hill’s Billy Casper Golf is growing
at a fast and furious pace. Last year, it
added 25 properties — golf courses,
and resorts — to
remain the owner-operator with the
largest U.S. portfolio. It now has
and facilities, up from just 46 in 2004.
It’s biggest move this year was merg-
ing with Kitson & Partners Clubs, which
added 13 properties. Municipalities also
continue to turn to the management firm
for services. For many, it makes sense.
They can concentrate on fixing streets and
sidewalks, not bunkers and tee boxes.
And the company’s annual fundraiser,
“World’s Largest Golfing Outing,” continues to impress. Each year, at every Billy
Casper course, on the same day, golfers
take to the links to raise money for the
Wounded Warrior Project. This year, the
event raised $875,000.
No. 7 Mike Davis
United States Golf Association
2013 Ranking: 6
Mike Davis, head of the United States
Golf Association, had hopes that America
would be dazzled by Pinehurst No. 2,
the site of this year’s U.S. Open. On dis-
play would be a throwback course, one
browner than green, with sand and native
plant growth acting as rough, not tower-
ing, thick grass. He’s been a proponent of
such courses because of water issues.
“We happen to think that, long term,
water is going to be the biggest obstacle
in the game of golf….It’s not going to be a
question of cost. It’s a question of: Will you
be able to get it?” he told The Washington
The only problem: The U.S. Open ratings were awful, as it lacked Tiger Woods
and drama. Those who did watch it complained about the inconsistency of the
course and the dust.
Unfortunately, some pundits believed
a successful U.S. Open was vital for golf.
Michael Fitzpatrick, in the Bleacher
Report, wrote: “While the U.S. Open is
always a huge week for the world of pro-
fessional golf, it is difficult to remember
a week more important to the long-term
success of the game than this week at
Davis needs a Plan B. The next two
Opens will be played on similar-style
courses, so Davis better hope for better
luck to help spread his message.
No. 8 Michael Keiser
2013 Ranking: 9
After completing a masterpiece, Picasso
didn’t stop painting. Mike Keiser, the
developer who created the much-her-