Friends Of Jack O’Leary Gather To Celebrate His Life

The Linksters Tap Room in Lakeland, Florida, Saturday was turned into a shrine to the life of Jack O’Leary, who passed away earlier in the week.

A room full of Jack’s ING friends, Lakeland bar buddies and family enjoyed sharing memories from Father O’Leary’s full life. Daughter Heather and son Steve were delighted with the turnout, and shared in the story-telling.

We’re sure Jack, ING’s first president and founding member, looked down from above wearing an approving smile. RIP Father O’Leary

Part of the group celebrating Jack O'Leary's life

Part of the group celebrating Jack O’Leary’s life

Jack's daughter Heather showing the resemblance.

Jack’s daughter Heather showing the resemblance.

Jack in his earlier years

Jack in his earlier years

ING Media Awards Deadline ApproachING

If you are a writer, editor, commentator, publisher, producer or
photographer, now is the time to start gathering your best works of
the past 12 months to enter into the 22nd Annual ING Media Awards.

All entries must be postmarked by Friday, October 10 in order to be
eligible for this year’s contest.

The non-profit International Network of Golf conducts the contest,
recognizing the best and brightest among its media members.

For contest entry form, rules and categories, visit
and click on ING AWARDS.

Of the 14 categories in the ING Media Awards, eight are for writers:
Travel Writing, Business Writing, Opinions/Editorials, Profile
Writing, Equipment Writing, Competition Coverage, Apparel Writing and

Other categories include Photography, Excellence in Magazines, TV and

Judging is done by a panel of three independent experts in each
category. Judges are selected by Individual Category Chairs. Where
possible, by-lines and publication names are stripped from the
articles before they are sent to the judges.

Winners will be announced and honored at the ING Media Awards
Presentation Press Conference in January at the PGA Merchandise Show.

Rules, regulations, category descriptions and entry forms can be
found under ING AWARDS.

ING is the golf industry’s only media-based networking organization.
“ING is where media and the golf industry connect.”

Anyone in the media or golf industry is invited to join. For more
information, call 407-328-0500 or visit

Greg Wires Successfully Defends Razor Golf PYP Title

Billy Horschel outplayed world No. 1 Rory McIlroy in a tense Sunday pairing, winning The TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, the finale of the FedExCup Payoffs, giving him back-to-back tournament victories and the FedExCup.

ING member Greg Wires knows a little something about back-to-back wins as well. He held onto his lead in the final week to capture the Razor Golf Pick Your Pro Contest for the second straight year. Greg, publisher of Golf Minnesota magazine, totaled 6,655,259 points, finishing less than 300,000 points ahead of runner-up Jack O’Leary. Bridgestone Golf’s Dominic Selfa was a close third.

The results will become official on September 26. Please email me prior to then if you spot any addition problems.

Assuming the standings hold up, Wires will win a complete set of clubs from Razor Golf of Florida. The remainder of the top 10 will also receive merchandise from Razor Golf. We will be in touch after the results are official with details on how to collect your prize.

Thanks to Michael Vandiver and George Baker of Razor Golf for their continued support of the PYP contest, and to all participants this year.

And a big thank you to everyone for helping make this year’s PYP such a success!  On a more personal note, I want to thank all of you for everything over the past two years.  Many of you I’ve met in person, and you’ve all made my experience with ING truly unforgettable – ING has some pretty incredible members.  I hope to see you all at Mission Inn for the ING Spring Conference, and if for some reason I’m unable to make it, be nice to the new girl! J

The unofficial final standings are as follows:

Wires, Greg
O’Leary, Jack
Selfa, Dominic
Connelly, Rick
Seely, Fred
Jackson, Joel
Vittner, Bruce
Durland, Larry
Lentz, Bob
McAfee, James
Leodora, Tony
Helens, Reese
Grossi, Bob
Mackay, Vicky
Niehoff, Angie
Dann, Michael
MacKay, Leigh
Gordon, Steve
Dyson, Katharine
Davis, Dan
Stefan, Brian
Vittner, Susan
Oliver, Bob
Kern, Mike
Mears, Andy
Dear, Tony
Lux, Ron
Vittner, Carolyn

Fall Forum Update

Learn about the latest technological advancements within the prosthetics and orthotics industries at the ING Fall Forum in Mesquite, NV., Oct. 15-18.
The event is being held in conjunction with the ParaLong Drive Worlds at Mesquite, and includes the Mesquite Innovation and Technology Summit. CLICK HERE for more on the Summit.


ING Fall Forum Set For October In Mesquite


The International Network of Golf has teamed with the ParaLong Drive Worlds and the City of Mesquite for the ING Fall Forum Oct. 15-18.

This annual event will take place in Mesquite, NV, just north of Las Vegas, in conjunction with the ParaLong Drive World Championships. A limited number of spots and exclusive sponsorships are available for ING members.

On the schedule is a Pro-Am Golf Tournament in which competitors in the ParaLong Driver Worlds will be teamed with ING members and other amateur participants.

The ING Fall Forum schedule also includes educational seminars, another golf tournament, networking sessions and coverage of the ParaLong Drive Worlds.

The ING Fall Forum sponsorships are exclusive to industry segment. Sponsors will make a presentation of up to 30 minutes to all attendees.

Among the educational sessions will be the Mesquite NV Innovation and Technology Summit, covering the latest in all types of technology for physically challenged individuals.

ParaLong Drive events feature amputee (leg, arm, multiple), blind or Paramobile (paralyzed) golfers. The ParaLong Drive Worlds will be held at the Mesquite Sports & Event Complex Oct. 16-17, when the top North American, European and New Zealand disabled long ball hitters will compete for their respective world titles.

Among the qualifiers for that event are Brandon Jacks and Jared Brentz. At the ParaLong Nationals in Mesquite this past May, Jacks became the first golfer with an amputated leg to break the 400-yard-drive barrier in competition with his 401-yard shot. Brentz then stepped up and blasted a 409-yard drive to take the title.

If you’ve never been to beautiful Mesquite, Nevada, you don’t want to pass up this opportunity. And if you have never seen the ParaLong Drivers in action, you’re in for a treat.

Mission Inn Resort & Club Selected To Host 25th Anniversary ING SprING Conference

The year 2015 will be historic for the International Network of Golf, as the non-profit media-based networking organization enters its 25th year networking the golf industry.

To help celebrate that milestone, ING has linked with a popular Orlando-area resort that has reached its own historic landmark. Mission Inn Resort and Club, celebrating 50 years of ownership by the Beucher family, has been selected as host of the 25th Anniversary ING Spring Conference. The announcement was made at the recently completed ING Spring Conference in Atlantic City.

This annual gathering of golf media and industry executives will take place May 31-June 3, 2015 at Mission Inn, located just 35 minutes northwest of Orlando in Howey-in-the-Hills. Anyone in the golf industry or media is eligible to attend.

“We are excited and look forward to welcoming a high profile organization like ING to Mission Inn Resort and Club in 2015, and to making the 25th Anniversary Celebration a memorable one,” said Dawn Lafferty, Senior Sales Manager. “Mission Inn is celebrating our 50th Anniversary this year so we know a few things about the time tested standards of excellence.”

Mission Inn features distinct Spanish Colonial architecture and luxurious amenities. It has a 200-room hotel, two golf courses, Spanish Colonial style plaza, 6,200 square-foot spa, 50-slip marina, a shooting range, tennis, swimming, and a new conference and meetings facility. The General Manager is Bud Beucher, whose father Nick bought the property in 1964.

Mission Inn traces its roots back much farther than the Beucher family. The resort officially opened in 1916 as the Florida Inn. Architect George O’Neil immediately created El Campeon’ golf course, which features 85 feet in elevation changes and winds through stately oaks, pines and natural vegetation. The course has water on 13 holes, and features two peninsula greens. El Campeon is one of Florida’s oldest and most decorated courses.

The Gary Koch-designed Las Colinas course opened in 1992 and is a good complement to El Campeon’s. While longer, Las Colinas is flatter and more forgiving.

“Our attendees are going to be amazed by the great golf at Mission Inn,” said ING Executive Director Mike Jamison. “They will see elevation and movement highly unusual for Central Florida. But there is much more than outstanding golf at Mission Inn. It is a beautiful property stepped in history, and everything is conveniently located.”

Mission Inn Resort & Club offers a choice of accommodations ranging from recently renovated deluxe hotel rooms and suites to three-bedroom villas with kitchens. The resort’s guestrooms, all non-smoking, feature golf course, tennis court or water views, screened balconies, and well-appointed bathrooms with marble and granite. Each room offers high-speed Internet access. Covered walkways connect Mission Inn’s three inns to the property’s restaurants, courtyards and meeting rooms.

For its 25th Anniversary Conference, ING is planning an extensive schedule, including the ever-popular One-On-One Appointment Show, the Demo Lab, golf tournaments and all the educational and networking sessions ING is known for.

For more information regarding Mission Inn Resort & Club, visit

GolfCourseHotel8 MI_DeluxeRoom101

Jon Last Performs Golf MarketING Trends Seminar at the 24th Annual ING SprING Conference

While some may be lamenting the future of the golf industry, Jon Last, President of Sports & Leisure Research Group sounded absolutely bullish on the industry’s future.

“There are those in the media who look at the industry with gloom and doom,” said Last at the International Network of Golf at the 24th Annual Spring Conference in Atlantic City NJ. “I see it as an opportunity, but the approach by the industry has to be adaptive. The market shift has to be identified.”

Last then outlined a 12-point program that was based on how the industry identifies and treats its customers.

“Golf facilities are going to have to make golfers feel that they are coming home when the visit the facility,” he said. “Private clubs have to train their staffs be more of a concierge. They have to create a community for the members and provide more services for their members. It appears that more private clubs are doing this as they’ve stemmed the tide that showed large drop offs in membership and are starting to grow once again.”

Last was quick to say that novel ideas such as the 15-inch hole are not the answer.

“These aren’t the answers,” he said. “Golfers embrace the challenge of the game. It’s part of the golf experience that draws them to it.”

Last also talked about an area where the industry as a whole has to be more diligent.

“The industry doesn’t do enough to draw women” he said. “Everyone has to be more aware of what women want their golf experience to be and supply it.”



Mesquite NV ParaLong Drive represented at International Network of Golf SprING Conference

Three representatives from Mesquite, Nevada will join disabled ParaLong Drive athletes who were invited to put on a show Tuesday during the Demo Lab at the 24th Annual Spring Conference of the International Network of Golf (ING), in Atlantic City, NJ.

The Mesquite delegation includes Mayor Pro Tem Geno Withelder, Athletic Director Bryan Dangerfield and Golf Mesquite Director Cody Law. They are on the Local Organizing Committee for the Mesquite NV ParaLong Drive Nationals and Worlds events.  Law, who is also an ING board member, will introduce the ParaLong Drive delegation to more than 120 individuals in the golf industry and media.

ParaLong Drivers Brendon Jacks of Prescott Valley, Ariz., Vince Biser of Baltimore, and Dean Jarvis, Maryville, Tenn., will simulate a ParaLong Drive competition at the 3 p.m. session of Tuesday’s Demo Lab at the Atlantic City Country Club Driving Range.  A dozen equipment and training companies will be exhibiting their equipment for testing during the Demo Lab.

Jacks became the first leg amputee to drive a golf ball over 400 yards with a 401-yard blast at the recent Mesquite NV ParaLong Drive Nationals.  Biser is a five-time defending one-armed golfer and finished third in the unassisted division at Nationals with a drive of 297 yards.  Jarvis is the founder of the Amputee Long Drive Championship and had a drive of 299 yards in the above-knee amputee division at Nationals.

In a city of only 17,746 people, Mesquite is home to seven spectacular desert-scaped Golf Courses, including Wolf Creek, Conestoga, Falcon Ridge, Oasis (Palmer and Canyons), CasaBlanca and Palms Golf Courses.  Mesquite has also become known as the “Home of Long Drive” from extensive TV coverage on ESPN (and now the Golf Channel) for nearly 20 years while hosting the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championships.

The Grid at the Mesquite Sports & Event Complex is the world’s finest Long Drive facility.  The City of Mesquite built the multi-use facility in 2008 for $22 Million and has since held five World Long Drive Championships, two ParaLong Drive, two Mesquite Senior Games Long Drives and numerous corporate outings and media Long Drive competitions.  It is also the site of soccer, rugby, lacrosse, tackle football tournaments.

Next Oct. 16-17, Mesquite will host the ParaLong Drive Worlds with blind, paramobile, leg/arm amputee golfers from eight countries.


For more information, extensive results, bios, photos, video is available on Facebook “Mesquite NV ParaLong Drive” or

John’s Island GC, Mission Inn Resort, NWGA Among Latest Commitments For SprING Conference

John’s Island Golf Club, Mission Inn Resort and National Women’s Golf Alliance are among the latest commitments for the 24th Annual ING Spring Conference June 1-4 at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City.

The non-profit International Network of Golf is the industry’s only media-based networking organization. ING is “where the media and golf industry connect.” Anyone in the golf industry and media is invited to join and attend. Call 407-328-0500 or visit for more information.


The 2014 ING Spring Conference will welcome approximately 140 people from all walks of the golf industry and media. Educational sessions have been revised to feature more customized choices, including sessions on Social Media Marketing and Marketing Trends.

A dozen or more companies are expected to display their products for testing in the Demo Lab.  The popular One-On-One Appointment Show will feature over two-dozen Exhibiting companies who will have up to 15 meetings, 20 minutes each, with media members of their choice.

There will also be golf events, including the World Golfers Amateur Tour National Qualifier, and the 7th Annual Durland Cup Scramble.

Resorts Casino Hotel will serve as the official headquarters of the conference, hosting all of the educational sessions and most of the meal and networking elements of the meeting. Resorts Casino Hotel is situated on 11 acres of land with approximately 310 feet of Boardwalk frontage overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Resorts offers guests 942 hotel rooms and suites in two hotel towers: the oceanfront 15-story Ocean Tower, and the magnificent showpiece, the new $125 million, 27-story luxury Rendezvous Tower, which will provide the ING accommodations.

Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club, Atlantic City Country Club and Ron Jaworski’s Blue Heron Pines will host the golf functions.


Here is a summary of the latest three commitments to the ING Spring Conference.

John’s Island GC – The 2015 USGA Mid-Amateur Championship will be played at the John’s Island Club alongside the Atlantic Ocean in Vero Beach, Florida.  The dates: October 3-8. This will be the first-ever USGA Championship played on Florida’s Treasure Coast.  The 264 national qualifiers will play 18-hole medal rounds on both J.I.’s North and West Courses, with the low 64 then advancing to Match Play on the West Course.  Designed by Tom Fazio and opened for play in 1989, J.I. West sits atop stunning sand dunes and is that rare course where no successive holes play in the same direction.  Long rated one of the best courses in Florida, J.I. West has been home to several Florida state championships and USGA qualifiers.

Mission Inn Resort & Club – The early settlers of Howey-in-the-Hills found wondrous natural beauty in the shade and shadows of mature oaks, pines and palms. Mission Inn honors these founders with the historic El Campéon Course and its 85 feet of elevation changes – testing you like no other course in Florida. You will also note our dedication as you play through the wide-open fairways and gentle rolling hills of the Las Colinas Course. Featuring distinct Spanish Colonial architecture and luxurious amenities, Mission Inn offers a choice of accommodations ranging from deluxe hotel rooms and suites to three-bedroom villas with kitchens.

National Women’s Golf Alliance – The NWGA offers course evaluations, consultation and its ‘Rolling Out the Green Carpet’ certification program to assess golf facilities on standards and best practices that make the facility more welcoming and attractive to women. With the mission to increase the number of women playing golf and improve engagement levels of existing women golfers, the NWGA unites four of the nation’s most highly respected women’s golf organizations, the EWGA, Golf for Cause, LLC, Jan Bel Jan Golf Course Design, and Ladies Links Fore Golf, LLC (LL4G).

ING Golf