By John Reitman
Think you know what companies comprise the list of the top 100 businesses in golf? Jacobsen's parent company, Textron, made the NGF Top 100 Businesses in Golf list. All photos by John Reitman
Here's a hint: Many of them were on display last week at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. Here's another hint: Many more will be showing their wares next week at the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio.
Mention the phrase "top 100 companies in golf" and immediately attention is focused on the consumer side of the business. Acushnet, Adidas, Bridgestone, Callaway, Cleveland Golf-Srixon, Nicklaus, Nike, Ping, TaylorMade, Under Armour, Wilson and Winn all are on the short list of no-brainers.
But how about BASF, Bayer, Club Car, ClubCorp, CourseCo, Hunter, John Deere, Par Aide, Rain Bird, SiteOne, Standard Golf, Syngenta, Textron, Toro (pictured on front page), Wadsworth and Yamaha? They all made the list, too.
In fact, at least 30 of the companies on the National Golf Foundation Top 100 Businesses in Golf have some or all of their roots on the turf side of the golf business, comprising the second-largest category on the list (behind consumer golf equipment), giving further credence to the fact that managing course conditions is the single most important part of the industry. Without a golf course, there are no sticks or balls to sell; no sweaters, shirts or hats; and no hot dog and a beer at the turn.
The inaugural list, NGF says, was created to recognize and celebrate the most successful, influential and prominent companies, organizations and associations in golf.
Companies were evaluated subjectively on a variety of factors, including revenue, industry influence, growth rate and success, prominence and leadership within a segment, contribution to the growth and vitality of the game, innovation and philanthropy. Also making the NGF Top 100 list was John Deere.
The NGF Top 100 in alphabetical order are: Acushnet, Adidas, Ahead/Cutter & Buck, American Golf, Arcos, Arcis Golf, BASF, Bayer, Billy Casper Golf, Bridgestone Golf, BrightView, Bushnell Golf, Callaway, Century Golf Partners-Arnold Palmer Golf Management, Cleveland Golf-Srixon, Club Car, Club Champion, Club Glove USA, ClubCorp, Cobra-Puma Golf, CourseCo Management, Dick's, Ecco, EZLinks, FST-KBS, Fujikara, Full Swing Golf, GCSAA, Global Value Force-Globalgolf.com, Golf Channel-Golf Now, Golf Digest, Golf Genius, Golf Magazine, Golf Pride, GolfTec, Golfweek-USA Today, GreatLife, Greg Norman Co., Hunter, Imperial Headwear, John Deere Golf, Jonas Club Software, Kemper Sports, Lamkin, Landscapes Unlimited, LPGA, Marriott Golf, Mitsubishi-Aldila, Mizuno, Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, NGCOA, Nicklaus, Nike, Nippon Shaft, Nivel, Oakley, OB Sports, Par Aide, Peter Millar, PGA of America, PGA Tour, PGA Tour Superstore, Ping, Polo, Prestwick Golf Group, PrideSports, Primera, PXG, R&R Products, Rain Bird, Ship Sticks, SiteOne Landscape Supply, Standard Golf, Summit Golf Brands, Sun Mountain, Syngenta, TaylorMade, Textron (E-Z-GO, Cushman, Jacobsen), TGR-Tiger Woods Ventures, The Golf Warehouse, The First Tee, Toll Brothers Golf, Topgolf, Toro, Touchstone Golf, Tour Edge, TrackMan, Troon, True Temper, Trump Golf, U.S. Kids Golf, Under Armour, USGA, UST Mamiya, Volvik, Wadsworth Golf Construction, Wilson, Winn, Worldwide Golf Shops, Yamaha.