NGF GOLF 100 FAQs
What is the NGF GOLF 100 and why was it created?
The GOLF 100 is a first-of-its-kind list created by the NGF to recognize the size and diversity of the commercial side of the golf industry. A strategic fit with the foundation’s unique position as the only association focused on the entire business of golf, the GOLF 100 is an effort to better celebrate the most successful, influential and innovative businesses in the game.
How often will it be published?
The NGF GOLF 100 is intended to be a biennial effort. That said, the pandemic created a three-year gap for the latest release, as our attention and research efforts were focused instead on some of the Covid era's unprecedented effects on the overall golf business. Prior to the latest release in January 2023, the previous list was released in 2020. The inaugural GOLF 100 was published in 2018.
Who is eligible for the GOLF 100?
Included in the list are companies and businesses having direct involvement with the commercial side of the golf industry that conduct all, a majority or a significant portion of their golf business within the U.S.
Associations, agencies and major partners (business and broadcast) for the professional golf tours aren't included this year, even as many have a significant impact and influence within the U.S. golf market. The intent of this change is to put greater focus on the wide variety of businesses with products or services geared more toward the recreational game.
What are the criteria?
A variety of criteria are considered in order to provide multiple pathways onto the NGF GOLF 100, ensuring the list doesn’t simply include the “biggest” companies in the game. Among the factors weighed during the evaluation process:
- Influence or Clout
- Contributions to the Growth and Vitality of the Recreational Game
- Growth Rate & Success
- Leadership (within a particular sector)
- Prominence (within the golf industry overall)
Who made the selections?
The NGF’s editorial board is ultimately responsible for the make-up of the GOLF 100, with the assistance and input of experts from each sector of the golf industry. While the criteria are transparent, the selection process is not intended to be purely scientific and at the discretion of the NGF editorial board, which is the ultimate arbiter.
Why wasn’t my company or organization selected?
At its essence, the NGF GOLF 100 demonstrates the depth of successful businesses in the game. Not all of them could make the list, with some of those coming up just short in very competitive sectors and receiving Honorable Mention recognition. Others may be positioned to be on the forthcoming international list of top golf businesses. The reality is that lists always generate 19th hole discussion and, ultimately, the intent is that this is a positive for golf. Input is always encouraged.
What is the nomination process?
Businesses and organizations are identified by the NGF’s editorial board and grouped into a range of different sectors: Apparel & Accessories, Equipment, Management & Development Companies, Media & Technology, Retail, and Turf & Course Suppliers. A number of portfolio companies are also recognized -- having several brands from different sectors under one parent company -- while there's also a "miscellaneous" category for businesses that don't necessarily fit in one of the other segments.
How are those in the GOLF 100 recognized?
Companies that have active Executive Member status with NGF are permitted to use the official Top 100 branding in advertising, on social media and on their website. NGF retains rights to the NGF GOLF 100 branding. Non-members are invited to contact Greg Nathan at email@example.com to learn more about the many benefits of executive membership.
Why is the GOLF 100 in list form and not a ranking?
The intent of the NGF’s GOLF 100 is to celebrate businesses making an impact on the industry and demonstrating success, growth and innovation within their sector, not to debate the merits of who should be No. 1. Invariably, one company or organization might rate highly in one set of criteria, while another has significant prominence in another measure. The NGF works with leading brands throughout the industry on a daily basis, so there is an understanding that comparing Syngenta with Srixon is a futile exercise. As the only trade association that covers all verticals in golf, the NGF has opted to simply list Top 100 companies alphabetically by category.
Why are some companies grouped together rather than included separately?
Our editorial staff has chosen to group together businesses that fall under the ownership of a single parent company -- Topgolf Callaway being a prime example, with other notable brands such as TravisMathew, Odyssey and Ogio also falling under that umbrella. When different brands are involved from a variety of categories, we've termed these "Portfolio Companies."
Similarly, there are other individual companies that would be probable, or certain, top 100 candidates as standalone brands -- such as GolfNow under Golf Channel, or FootJoy and Titleist under Acushnet.
In other instances, it may be collective relevance of several brands under a parent company that pushed them onto the list.
Why is company A selected over company B?
The intent of almost any good list is to generate some dialogue or debate. This is particularly true when looking at such a diverse industry such as golf and trying to evaluate and weigh the accomplishments, innovations and successes of businesses in very different sectors. The criteria for the NGF GOLF 100 intentionally extend far beyond revenues, so innovative companies that have created a niche in the market or greatly contributed to the growth and vitality of the commercial side of the game may get recognized for that significance. Golf in many ways is fortunate and unique in having so many meaningful businesses, likely far more than most major sports.
Are all the businesses in the GOLF 100 members of the NGF?
No. However, almost 80% of the businesses and associations represented in the GOLF 100 have membership affiliation with the NGF, to some extent. The NGF is unique in that it is the only trade association involved in all sectors of the golf industry, and it is supported by myriad golf-related businesses in every category. These companies – and NGF member courses, clubs, associations, management groups, designers and media – rely on NGF research and resources to support and influence their strategic planning and decision-making. It’s another reason the GOLF 100 is apropos to the NGF’s mission.