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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

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

12. Phil Mickelson

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    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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    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&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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    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Arnold Palmer, because he's Arnold Palmer.

4. Jack Nicklaus

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Jack Nicklaus, because he's Jack Nicklaus.

3. Joe Steranka

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    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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    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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    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.   

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