Chances are that most fans have never heard of Eric Affeldt, who tops Golf Inc.'s list of the "Most Powerful People in Golf," but he's certainly having a better year than Tiger Woods.

Affeldt is the CEO of ClubCorp, which owns or operates more than 150 golf and country clubs, business clubs, sports clubs, alumni clubs and resorts in 25 states, the District of Columbia and two foreign countries, with more than 350,000 members. He tells the trade publication that the company is "in a good position now to grow more aggressively and add more properties."

ClubCorp's success comes as many in the golf business are struggling. Golf has become a time-intensive luxury that fewer people can afford as they cope with a moribund U.S. economy. The National Golf Foundation estimates that the number of golfers fell about 3% in 2008 from 2007, according to the National Golf Foundation, which also says that 15% of the country's 4,400 private golf clubs face serious financial problems. Even the legendary Jack Nicklaus has seen his course design work slow, Golf Inc. says.

Waters Slides and Bridge Lessons

"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, in a press release.

Since Affeldt joined ClubCorp in 2006 from private equity firm KSL Capital Partners, ClubCorp has invested an estimated $200 million to make its clubs more family-friendly, adding features such as water parks and fitness centers, along with classes in cooking and bridge, among other topics.

The company's properties include: Firestone Country Club (Akron, Ohio); Barton Creek Resort & Spa (Austin, Tex.); Mission Hills Country Club (Rancho Mirage, Calif.); Capital Club Beijing; and Metropolitan Club Chicago.

Nicklaus, who is the CEO of Nicklaus Designs, finished third on the list. Woods, who recently lost his spot as the top player in the world, was seventh. Here is a link to the rankings.

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I would love to see golfing come to a halt and see how powerful they are then.

November 08 2010 at 12:58 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

ddix, how do you get racism out this? For the last sevetral years, if golf was mentioned, Tiger's name came up. You must not watch any sports or you would see just how many blacks paticipate. When you, if possible, realize that blacks make up a little over 14% of the population and have a far greater representation in sports, maybe you can read anarticle with an open mind and take it for what it is, a writers opinion.

November 07 2010 at 8:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Racism is alive and well. We actually never wanted Woods to excell in golf from day one. For a long time, we tried to get something that we could use to denigrate Woods. It was a long time coming, but when it happened, we were leaping with joy. This has happened throughout history whenever a minority was involved in professions and/or sports "preserved" for whites. To name a few: Tennis, Tract and field, Baseball, Football, Opera, Education, Symphony, Stage Acting, University teaching, Becoming President, and on and on. Mr. Berr, please rub a little of the red off your neck. Thank you.

November 07 2010 at 7:51 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ddix723604's comment

What a douche!!!

November 08 2010 at 1:00 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Deano.. people like you make me glad I sold my Compaanies. I had clowns like you all the time. You would stand around the tiem clock having to go to the bathroom but would wait until you clocked in. Couldn't go on your own time. That would not be right. i started my Companies with $1500 borrowed from my girl friend. Years later if I bought a new car, you and others would have a fit saying that you deserved the money. If you worked 15 minutes overtime you screamed for the extra money but I was paying 100% of your health insurance. Frankly it is hard to feel sorry for radicals like you.. It would be great if you borrowed money and started a littel company so you could get a college education real quick. There was a lot of weeks I did not get a paycheck Guess You think that was right,.

November 07 2010 at 7:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mr. Berr I must respectfuly disagree with your #1. The most powerful person in golf is Arnold Palmer.

November 07 2010 at 6:29 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Can he provide jobs?

November 07 2010 at 9:33 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Hey Deano, I don't know if you know anything about the US tax laws; but, rich people have smart accountants who will advise them how to reinvest their earnings and profits so that they don't pay much in taxes. It's all legal and it indirectly helps the economy. Obama is hiring thousands of new IRS agents to go after violators; but, if you've got a top notch accountant you'll be squeeky clean and then the new agents will have guys like you and me under the microscope.

November 07 2010 at 8:15 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Everyone knows that Tiger Woods is a flaming racist!

November 06 2010 at 8:59 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

He is not the most powerful person! Tiger will be back! Yu jerks

November 06 2010 at 8:30 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to frog's comment

Tiger WHO?

November 08 2010 at 1:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

but, can he putt?

November 06 2010 at 7:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply