Dozens of nominations have been trimmed to three finalists in each category in the 30th Annual ING Industry Honors awards program. The program is conducted by the non-profit International Network Of Golf to recognize outstanding achievement among its golf business members.
Winners in the seven categories are decided by a vote of the ING membership and will be announced at Industry Honors Presentation Press Conference at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. The program will take place on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 12:30 pm in Room 312A, and is open to all PGA Show attendees. Post-announcement refreshments will be sponsored by the PGA Show.
The International Network Of Golf is a non-profit, media-based networking organization whose mission is to enhance and promote communication and education in golf. Membership is open to anyone in the golf industry, related industries and media. “ING is where media and the golf industry connect.”
ING INDUSTRY HONORS FINAL BALLOT 2023
Elisa Gaudet – 2023 marked the 8th year for Women’s Golf Day and the first time it moved from a one day event to a weeklong celebration. The week kicked off with the WGD Palooza online Digital Day and WGD Founder Elisa ringing the New York Stock Exchange Opening Bell for Women’s Golf Day. Representatives from Acushnet and LPGA player Danielle Kang joined Elisa and created great exposure for women’s golf while also acknowledging the significance of WGD. Over the week, WGD generated a staggering 194 million impressions, an increase of 100+ million impressions verses 2022. New countries also took part; Gambia, Greece, Peru, and Zambia joined the WGD community, taking the total number of participating countries to 84.and locations to 1,300 worldwide. The most impressive growth came in Japan. WGD and The Japanese Golf Federation worked in collaboration to grow the number of host locations in Japan from 3 to 139 in under 12 months.
Jeff Gilder – Jeff has enjoyed success in a wide variety of arenas during his storied career. His recent venture into golf is the creation of Ultimate Long Drive, Inc., licensing and organizing adrenaline-fueled professional and amateur long drive events, leagues, North American Tour, and internationally sanctioned events and series. ULD has attracted thousands of participants from dozens of countries in its eight years. Gilder also is the creator and president of the WingDing MEDIA broadcast and streaming platform, producing and publishing original and third party live and on-demand content to ROKU, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Google Podcast, Facebook, YouTube, and the WingDing iOS, Android, and WebApps. He is also president of Zeus Digital Marketing, a digital media and information network, providing web development, social marketing, video/television production, and distribution And he recently became a producing partner of the highly acclaimed The Traveling Golfer TV Show.
Agustin Piza’ – Award-winning architect Agustin Pizá has earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from ITESM and a Master’s Degree in Golf Course Architecture from the Edinburgh University in Scotland. Pizá, recognized with many international accolades, has garnered a reputation for “Re-defining Golf Facilities” with his unique design concepts – Wellness Golf®, Multi-purpose Golf, and Butterfly Golf. He was recognized by Forbes Magazine twice as one of the top one hundred inventive minds from Mexico. Golf Inc. Magazine featured him in 2022 as one of the TOP nine innovators in the golf industry and recently, was included as one of the Top-Five 2023 Visionaries of the Year, alongside his partner Brandel Chamblee. Sport Illustrated included Pizá in their top four golf course architects to watch. He is the Director of the First Tee in Mexico. For 25 years, Pizá has worked on world-class golf developments. His designs are known for delivering quality, aesthetic, and strategic golf courses.
French Lick Resort – “2X The Play Time.”
Makefield Putters – “New Year’s Resolution.”
Mountain View CC – “I’m In Love With Golf.”
French Lick – “Carved Into History.”
Golf Tec – “The Way.”
Tour Edge Golf – “Bo Knows.”
Product Ingenuity – Equipment
Bridgestone e12 Contact Golf Ball – This is the fourth generation of Contact Science. Borrowed from Bridgestone Tire, Contact Science optimizes the moment of impact, yielding faster speeds on more powerful contact and higher spin rates on less powerful contact. The new FLEXATIV cover is designed using impact modifiers that allows it to react to the amount of force applied at impact. When struck with a driver the cover behaves like a firmer material for faster ball speed and more distance, and also less sidespin for straighter shots and enhanced forgiveness on off-center hits. When struck with a wedge or short iron however, it behaves like a softer, slower material. The result on shorter shots, when combined with CONTACT Force dimples, is 46% more surface contact, creating significantly more spin and control around the greens.
Caliber Golf Grip – Created by brothers Chip and Tim Wright of Wisconsin, Caliber Golf Grip is the first Hockey Shaft Putter Grip to conform to the rules of golf. It provides greater control on the greens. Made from carbon fiber, its patented design harnesses the freedom to place hands in countless positions and ability to connect to any putter brand. This grip leverages larger muscle groups allowing greater balance, control and stability to simply make more putts. The Caliber Golf grip is engineered to win on the green.
Tour Edge E723 Drivers – The Exotics 723 features two separate driver designs designated as Extreme (E) and Competition (C) spec. The E723 drivers are MOI+ designs built for maximum forgiveness, while the C723 designs are all about harnessing power and dialing in low spinning distance. This ultra-premium 460cc profile designed for maximum forgiveness takes MOI to the absolute extreme. The E723 Driver’s extreme low rearward CG position produces an extremely high MOI of 5600 g/cm2, the highest MOI driver Tour Edge has ever produced. The E723 Driver features a Flight Tuning System on a new sliding track, while bringing the ultimate in power, feel and forgiveness through Tour Edge’s breakthrough 360-degree Ridgeback™ and Diamond Face VFT ™ technologies.
Product Ingenuity – Soft Goods/Accessories
Duca del Cosma – Since being founded in Europe two decades ago, Duca del Cosma has revolutionized the world of golf fashion with its contemporary line of shoes for modern golfers. The premium brand combines stylish Italian design with top-quality materials and expert hand-crafting skills to produce extremely comfortable shoes that look sensational – both on and off the golf course. The award-winning brand was the first to introduce spikeless golf shoe. Duca continues to push the boundaries for fashionable innovation with around 150 styles and sells across more than forty countries around the world. Duca del Cosma always looks to be at the forefront of global fashion trends and technology that can add value to its luxury products. Duca del Cosma sells its premium shoes in 40 different countries and operates from four offices around the world – The Netherlands (HQ), United States, United Kingdom and South Africa.
ORCA Golf is a female-founded and led golf bag company, offering bespoke products and customer service with a revolutionary, inclusive stance. ORCA Golf’s mission is to pave the way for future generations and make the golf community more purposeful, inclusive, empowered, and sustainable through custom design, exceptional service, visionary leadership, and aligned partnerships. ORCA Golf changes the game by empowering and inspiring current players and attracting more women and men from all walks of life to play golf.
Popticals: These easy-to-store, high performance sunglasses designed specifically for golfers are like nothing else on the market. Popticals partnered with optics industry leader Carl Zeiss Vision to create lenses that offer visual precision to every golfer. The company’s nylon-based NYDEF® lenses, which are 20% clearer and lighter in weight than polycarbonate lenses used in most other sunglasses, help golfers see the topography of the course clearly while also enabling better tracking and visibility of the ball. Poptical’s golf-specific lenses feature purple and violet tints that reduce the green saturation of golf courses and unleash the golfers’ ability to distinguish between green gradients to identify course contours and variations on every shot…even grain patterns on greens! With their patented FL2 Micro-Rail System™ design, Popticals snap into place for use and then fold and collapse into a uniquely compact size for safe and secure portability in their protective hard case.
Product Ingenuity – Technology & Training Products
Blue Tees Golf Player+ GPS Speaker – The Player+ GPS Speaker combines smart technology with premium audio to create an immersive sound experience. Not only does it serve as a high-quality speaker for music, but it also provides audible distances, thanks to its sleek touch screen display. The Player+ GPS Speaker can be paired with multiple speakers simultaneously, boasts an ultra-strong magnet for easy attachment to any golf cart, includes a built-in USB-C power bank, and is fully IPX7 waterproof. “We spared no expense in crafting a truly remarkable golf GPS speaker. Our dedication is evident in the incorporation of an optically bonded glass touch screen, multiple informative screens with access to 40,000+ courses accessible with a simple swipe, and sound quality that rivals the very best speakers in the market,” said Chris Markham, CEO of Blue Tees Golf.
Mach3 Speed Training: Mach 3 is a year-round golf training program that delivers not only speed, but also strength and fitness. Michael Romanowski created Mach 3 Speed Training and developed the protocol and tools to help any golfer swing faster and drive the golf ball farther. For speed training to be truly effective, you must use tools that promote the development of POWER. Power is the combination of strength and speed. We focus mostly on speed, although the crossover benefit of Mach 3 training is the development of “golf strength” – in other words, a type of strength that is useful in golf. It’s functional strength… not the kind of “straight line” strength that you get in the weight room, but a combination of mobility, stability, and rotational strength that is of huge benefit not only in golf, but also in life. This Mach 3 protocol was adopted by Ultimate Long Drive for their ULD Academy to help long drivers gain speed and distance. The average gain is 8 mph over thousands of golfers tested. That translates to just over 18 yards for most golfers.
Rapsodo – The Mobile Launch Monitor 2 Pro (MLM2PRO) is a golf launch monitor and simulator that was created using radar technology and machine learning to bring professional-level data directly to amateur and professional golfers. By connecting the MLM2PRO to an iOS or Android device, the MLM2PRO shares data on 13 key metrics such as shot distance, ball speed, shot dispersion and launch angle. The device pairs with a phone or tablet to capture any angle of a swing, offering a comprehensive video replay. MLM2PRO differs from other launch monitors as it offers simulation. Athletes can practice their skills on a virtual driving range or on over 30,000 Rapsodo courses. When paired with Callaway Golf Rapsodo Precision Technology (RPT) Chrome Soft X Golf Balls, the MLM2PRO can measure spin rate and spin axis through the Impact Vision camera that records and processes images of the ball’s rotation at 240 frames/second.
Product Ingenuity – Misc. Products
Stewart Golf was founded two decades ago with the sole intention of designing and building the world’s finest golf carts. Nestled in the idyllic Cotswolds in southwest Great Britain, every machine is lovingly built by hand. Today, 70% of the golf carts Stewart Golf hand builds at their headquarters are exported to more than 40 countries worldwide. U.S. inventory and customer care are provided from Houston, Texas, supported by a Nevada distribution center. The company is considered the leader in follow technology and has been since 2014 thanks to the X9 Follow and subsequent models. Named Editor’s Choice Award winner by Golf Monthly and Today’s Golfer, Stewart Golf is involved in research studies that examine the benefits of walking the golf course. Additionally, the company’s creative marketing programs and philanthropic initiatives lead the industry.
Zero Friction’s Wheel Pro STRIDE is a groundbreaking fusion of innovation and convenience. This first-of-its-kind lightweight, autonomous electric golf bag ensures an unparalleled golfing experience. President John Iacono likens it to having a personal caddy that effortlessly follows you on the course. Boasting Smart Follow Technology, the STRIDE bag stays within three feet using a pocket-sized remote control, complete with automatic stop and intelligent gyroscopic control for stability. Tackling all terrains, it conquers steep slopes and thick grass. Powered by a rechargeable lithium battery, it delivers 72 holes at 3 mph before recharging. Versatility shines as the wheels can be removed for motor cart compatibility. With a plethora of features, including 7 pockets, 14 dividers, accessory rings, a cooler, and more – all inclusive and no add-ons. Elevate your golf game with STRIDE, where technology meets unprecedented convenience.
ZoomBroom’s Golf Breeze, rated excellent on Amazon, is the on-the-go version of the popular and award-winning ZoomBroom. It is the perfect tool to add to a golf bag to blow away debris, blooms, leaves and branches that often slow down the game or disrupt a shot. It’s like a typical leaf blower only it is 2-pounds, cordless, easy to control, and has the power comparable to a large battery-operated leaf blower. The Golf Breeze fits easily within most golf bags, is permitted under the rules of golf (Rule 15.1), offers a slim handle with comfort grip and plenty of battery life allowing for several rounds of golf before charging is needed. Perfect for use on the golf green to clear the path to the cup, the Golf Breeze is also convenient for clearing your RV mat, or to quickly clean off the pickleball court.