The Real Deal Miami

Nicklaus selects new CEO

By Dan Weil | August 22, 2008 11:49AM

Mention the name Jack Nicklaus and most people probably think of his record 18 major golf titles or the 266 courses he already has personally designed.

Soon you will be able to think of him as a real estate developer. Nicklaus’ business empire – North Palm Beach, FL-based Nicklaus Cos. – has just hired Peter Rummell, former chief executive of The St. Joe Co., as its own CEO.

Rummell replaces Nicklaus himself, who will remain chairman of the company he founded, which has annual revenue of several hundred million dollars, has a course design unit; a marketing division, which licenses Nicklaus’ name; and a golf equipment branch.

Course design accounts for about half of the company’s revenue, and the design unit has 55 courses in various stages of development in 44 countries.

And now as a natural outgrowth of the course design work, the company will get into real estate. Many golf courses lie in the middle of residential communities.

Rummell is no stranger to the real estate business. As CEO of Jacksonville, FL-based St. Joe, he led it to become the largest private landholder in the state.

“Jack Nicklaus represents a worldwide business and a global, iconic brand that stands for quality and professionalism,” he said.

“Jack’s core business is golf course design, and golf has proven to be hugely valuable to a residential project. Over the years, Jack’s impact on the residential component has provided real added value. That is a great platform to continue to build on.”