Golf’s 20 Most Important People of 2010

Kathy BissellCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2010

Golf’s 20 Most Important People of 2010

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    KOHLER, WI - AUGUST 10:  Sean O'Hair hits a tee shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 92nd PGA Championship on the Straits Course at Whistling Straits on August 10, 2010 in Kohler, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Some people are important all of the time and some people are important some of the time.  Some are important for what they did, some for what they didn't do and some for what they own or control, including, maybe one of your favorite golf courses. 

    Check our top 20. Some, we bet, you'll have to google. 

20. Billy Payne

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    AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 11:  Augusta National Chairman William Porter 'Billy' Payne speaks to the gallery during the green jacket presentation after the final round of the 2010 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2010 in Augusta, Geo
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National GC, is certain to have the best Rolodex or smart phone contacts on the planet.  If you want it done, the best way is to give him a call. And yes, that jacket is just exactly the right color of green.

19. Mike Whan

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    EVIAN, FRANCE - JULY 25:  Mike Whan, LPGA commisioner give a speech during the prize giving cermony after the final round of the 2010 Evian Masters on July 25, 2010 in Evian, France.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Mike Whan, LPGA Commissioner, had his hands full keeping the LPGA afloat in a tough economy.  Their solution: go worldwide.

18. Wally Uihlein

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    Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet Company, which owns the Titleist and FootJoy brands. It is difficult to tell what will happened with the spin off of Acushnet from fortune Brands.  Will new stockholders like him as well as Fortune brands did?

17. Mark King

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    Mark King, Chief Executive Officer and President, TaylorMade Golf which also owns the Ashworth brand.

16. David Pillsbury

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    David Pillsbury, PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties, is also in charge of Championship Management, which runs a number of PGA Tour golf tournament including The Players. 

15 George O'Grady

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    NEWPORT, WALES - OCTOBER 01:  George O'Grady, Chief Executive of the European Tour answers questions at a press conference during the Morning Fourball Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 1, 2010 in Newport, Wales.  (Pho
    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    George O’Grady, Executive Director, European PGA Tour.

14. Steve Mona

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    Steve Mona, Chief Executive Officer, World Golf Foundation which includes the World Golf Hall of Fame.

13. Fred Couples

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    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 30:  Fred Couples of the United States addresses the media during a press conference ahead of the Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club on November 30, 2010 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
    Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

    Fred Couples, moves the needle and sells tickets on the Champions Tour.

12. Phil Mickelson

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    SINGAPORE - NOVEMBER 13: Phil Mickelson of USA watches his 2nd shot on the 18th hole during the Third Round of the Barclays Singapore Open held at the Sentosa Golf Club on November 13, 2010 in Singapore, Singapore.  (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
    Stanley Chou/Getty Images

    Phil Mickelson, moves the needle and sells tickets on the PGA Tour.

11. Joe Munsch

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    Joe Munsch, CEO of Eagle Golf, which operates 70+ courses, and owns some.  Munsch, promotes free golf for kids.

10. Peter Hill

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     Peter Hill, CEO Billy Casper Golf, which operates more than 110 golf courses. 

9. Jim Hinckley

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    Jim Hinckley, CEO of Century Golf, which owns approximately 65 courses and manages another 60+ under Arnold Palmer Golf Management.

8. Eric Affeldt

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    Eric Affeldt, President and CEO of ClubCorp, which owns 114 courses.

7. David Fay

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    EDINA, MN - JUNE 25:  David Fay the USGA Executive Director speaks during a media conference for the 2008 US Womens Open Championship held at The Interlachen Country Club, on June 25, 2008 in Edina, Minnesota.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
    David Cannon/Getty Images

    David Fay, Executive Director of the USGA.

6. Ted Forstmann

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    Forstmann with Vijay Singh at the AT&T
    Forstmann with Vijay Singh at the AT&TScott Clarke/Getty Images

    Ted Forstmann is Chairman and CEO of IMG and the senior founding partner of the leveraged buyout firm, Forstmann Little & Co.

5. Arnold Palmer

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    ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND - JULY 14:  Arnold Palmer autographs books for fans at the merchandise pavilion during practice for the 139th Open Championship on the Old Course, St Andrews on July 14, 2010 in St Andrews, Scotland.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty I
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Arnold Palmer, because he's Arnold Palmer.

4. Jack Nicklaus

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    DUBLIN, OH - JUNE 06:  Tournament host Jack Nicklaus is seen at the trophy presentation at the Memorial Tournament presented by Morgan Stanley at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 6, 2010 in Dublin, Ohio.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Jack Nicklaus, because he's Jack Nicklaus.

3. Joe Steranka

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    KOHLER, WI - AUGUST 10:  Joe Steranka, CEO of the PGA of America, is interviewed during a press conference prior to the start of the 92nd PGA Championship on the Straits Course at Whistling Straits on August 10, 2010 in Kohler, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Scott
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Joe Steranka, CEO of the PGA of America, representing about 22,000 PGA members.

2. Tim Finchem

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    AKRON, OH - AUGUST 08:  Tim Finchem, PGA TOUR Commissioner, looks on during the trophy ceremony after the final round of the World Golf Championships - Bridgestone Invitational on the South Course at Firestone Country Club on August 8, 2010 in Akron, Ohio
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Tim Finchem, Commissioner of the PGA Tour, because he's the commissioner of three professional golf organizations, and because he is managing the organization well through a difficult economy.

1. Tiger Woods

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    THOUSAND OAKS, CA - DECEMBER 05:  Tiger Woods  walks off the fifth tee during the final round of the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 5, 2010 in Thousand Oaks, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Tiger Woods was as important in 2010 because of his absence from golf as he was for his presence on the course in the second half of the year.