An Aurora native (#1), DU alum (#14) and Centennial-based CEO (#24) make the list.
By Jon Rizzi
Atop a leaderboard that includes a former U.S. president and three of the most dominant golfers in the game’s history sits an Overland High School and University of Colorado alum with a 6.3 index who presides over the world’s largest golf-management firm. Thirteen places behind him is a sought-after DU-educated golf-course architect and ten spots down the list is the Centennial-headquartered largest employer of PGA professionals in the country.
The list is Golf Inc.’s annual roster of the 25 most Powerful People in Golf. These individuals, whether by their position or influence, have the greatest ability to affect the industry in the next year.
An attorney by training, Schantz joined the company in 1998 and became CEO in 2019. He’s steadily orchestrated the growth of Troon, which most recently has added Indigo Golf Partners (formerly Billy Casper Golf) to a family of brands that includes Troon Golf, Troon Privé, Honours Golf, OB Sports and more.
Troon’s management-service empire now comprises nearly 600 locations and more than 645 golf courses. The company also manages various amenities, such as tennis, aquatics, fitness, food and beverage, lodging, homeowners’ associations and more.
University of Denver alumnus Gil Hanse (#14) moved up five spots on the list. The Philadelphia area-based course architect has ridden a tsunami of success ever since designing the Rio de Janeiro course for the 2016 Olympics. He has built courses in Thailand, France, Nebraska, Florida and Texas, and upcoming worksites include West Palm Beach and the new Frisco, Tex., home of the PGA of America, where his East Course will host a pair of PGA Championships, two Women’s PGA Championships and a Senior PGA.
Locally, Hanse has renovated Lakewood and Denver country clubs, with more high-profile renovations coming at such storied locales as Aronimink, Southern Hills, Winged Foot, Baltusrol and Oakland Hills.
New to the list this year is Joe Assell, the co-founder and CEO of Centennial-headquartered GOLFTEC. Since starting in the basement of Cherry Hills Country Club 26 years ago, the trend-setting biomechanic-based instruction company has grown to 220 locations worldwide with more than 900 employees, including more than 500 PGA members and apprentices. GOLFTEC has given over 12 million lessons, including 1.5 million lessons this year alone.
This July, GOLFTEC unveiled OptiMotion, a groundbreaking, standard-setting motion-tracking system for measuring golf swings and delivering instruction. “With a digital library of more than 14 million golf swings, along with motion-tracking and ball-flight data,” Golf Inc. reports, “GOLFTEC owns more raw information about the biomechanics of a golf swing than any company in the world.”
Other notables on the Golf, Inc. list:
3. Chip Brewer, President and CEO, Callaway Golf
4. Jay Monahan, Commissioner, PGA TOUR
8. Seth Waugh, CEO, PGA of America
9. Mike Keiser, Developer
11. Donald and Eric Trump, Principals, Trump Golf
15. Mike Whan, CEO, USGA
17. Jack Nicklaus, President, Nicklaus Design & Nicklaus Cos.
19. Tiger Woods, Professional Golfer & President, TGR Design
21. Annika Sorenstam, Founder, ANNIKA Foundation
22. Greg Norman
For more of the latest Colorado golf news, visit our NEWS & PROFILES PAGE.