Dozens of nominations from across the golf industry have been trimmed to three finalists in each category in the 27th Annual ING Industry Honors awards program. The ING Industry Honors program is conducted by the non-profit International Network Of Golf to recognize outstanding achievement in the golf business.
Winners in the eight categories are decided by a vote of the ING membership and will be announced at the virtual Industry Honors Presentation on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 4:30 pm via Zoom. Anyone wishing to attend the presentation should email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 407-474-0531, to obtain the sign in information. Holly Geoghegan of Golf Marketing Services is the Committee Chair for the ING Industry Honors.
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.”
Sub-committees in each category reviewed nominations, and by private vote trimmed the entries to the top three in each category. All nominees will be recognized at the presentation.
ING exists to bring golf media together with representatives from all walks of the golf industry to discuss issues, exchange information and improve communication. The group conducts the 30th Anniversary ING Spring Conference May 23-27, 2021 at the Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, PA. Educational seminars, product testing, the One-On-One Appointment Show, golf tournaments and networking opportunities highlight schedule.
For more information regarding ING, call 407-404-474-0531 or visit www.inggof.com.
ING INDUSTRY HONORS FINAL BALLOT 2020
Howard Milstein, Chairman, 8 AM Golf – Milstein is chairman of this holding company that includes seven golf brands from four different segments, including media (Golf Magazine), mobile (GolfLogix), clubs (Miura) and club fitting (True Spec Golf), as well as Nicklaus Companies. They all immerged as winners during golf’s resurgence during COVID-19 as courses across the country reopened in late spring. With the cancelation of major events early during the pandemic, the number of visitors to his Golf.com website increased exponentially to consume content. The July launch of a totally revamped Golf Magazine featured more lifestyle content and an upgraded look. The suite of brands under 8AM Golf offers consumers a comprehensive approach to mastering the game.
Tom Stine and David Overmeyer, Co-founders GOLF DATATECH – These two widely respected golf industry veterans teamed together in 1994 to form Golf Datatech. Stine was the former publisher of Golfweek, a Florida golf newspaper started by his father Charley in 1975 that grew into a national publication. Golfweek was sold to Crain’s Publishing in 1990. Overmeyer, a former VP of Marketing with Acushnet and a good friend of Stine’s, had an idea that the golf industry needed a market research company that could track retail sales. Today, Golf Datatech provides the industry with specialized market research covering retail sales, inventory, pricing and distribution, along with consumer attitude and usage studies and strategic sales and marketing consulting.
Suzy Whaley, PGA President – As the first female to hold the title of PGA of American President, Whaley has been very active. With the country shrouded in uncertainty created by COVID-19, she led the PGA’s effort to establish the Golf Emergency Relief Fund, which offered short-term financial help to golf industry workers affected by the coronavirus. Whaley was also instrumental in positioning golf as a safe activity during the pandemic and helping craft the Back2Golf protocols that kept courses running smoothly and safely. An advocate for social justice, Whaley joined PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh in authoring open letters to PGA members imploring them to work toward ending racial inequality.
Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy – In a career that spans more than 25 years, Gilchrist has been responsible for developing more top-ranked junior golfers than any other coach in the world. Though Gilchrist was initially trained as a technical teacher, he realized to take golfers to the next level, they needed to master more than just technique – they also needed a comprehensive training program that incorporated every aspect of being a champion. His holistic approach to golf development – The Gilchrist Experience – is what elevates each of his students to the best of their ability. He focuses on the five key areas of development: technical, physical, mental, strategy and character.
Operation 36 – This instructional program is an effective way for beginners to learn how to play golf. All new players begin on the course, and instead of starting at the tee box, they play from 25 yards away from the hole in 9-hole events at their local facility. Once the players shoots par (36) from 25 yards, they back up to 50 yards, and so on, until they are shooting even par (36) from the full tee box. Participants engage in weekly classes taught by golf professionals. All progress is tracked in the Operation 36 Mobile Platform. This program is now taught by over 700 coaches across the world at over 500 facilities with more than 30,000 golfers.
Katherine Roberts, Yoga for Golfers® – One of Golf Digest’s 50 Best Golf-Fitness Professionals, Roberts is the pioneer of yoga-based fitness for golf. For over two decades her approach, rooted in the science of golf-specific biomechanics, leverages dynamic, functional movement to integrate power of the body with power of the mind, enabling golfers to elevate performance. Roberts is a regular contributor on Golf Channel and Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio and is a recognized educator and speaker at golf industry conferences and events across the globe. Roberts provides YFG training, instruction and professional development through strategic partnerships with industry leaders including Troon Golf and PGA of Canada, where she is an Honorary Director. Her company has Certified Instructors in 40 countries.
Casa De Campo – “A Half Century Of Luxury”
TaylorMade Golf – “Join The Movement.”
Zero Restriction – “Get Out. Stay Out.”
American Century Investments – “How Will You Play It?”
Bridgestone Golf – “More”
Skechers – “I Love You”
Product Ingenuity Equipment – Emerging Companies
Edison Forged Wedges – These wedges were born from the scientific proof that poor distance control, insufficient spin and excessively high ball flight are built into every ‘tour design’ wedge in the industry today. Manufactured by Edison Golf, this disruptive equipment company believes the challenges that most golfers have in prime scoring range are actually ‘built-in’ to the traditional design of most wedges on the market today. At the core of the Edison Forged wedge design is a dramatically different weighting system that looks very different from traditional wedges. They also feature the scientifically proven “Koehler sole” and Edison’s durable chrome finish that extends the useful life of the grooves and face texture. Through innovation and multiple rounds of Robotic testing and extensive golfer surveys, Edison custom built wedges provide golfers the forgiveness, consistency and performance to dramatically improve their short game.
Nevr Looz Golf Bags – NEVR LOOZ continues to disrupt the golf bag category with its 2019 PROCLIP-SCT (Secure Club Technology). This innovative golf bag is like having a custom closet for your golf clubs. It is the only golf bag with patented individual wood, hybrid and iron clips that adjust to fit any set of clubs to secure and eliminate club chatter, protect clubs from dings and organize your game so you never lose a club again. The material “skin” wraps around a full-length lightweight aluminum frame for complete club protection in a cart, trunk or travel bag. The skin can be removed and swapped out in seconds allowing for a whole new look without having to buy a new bag. NEVR LOOZ has 16 pockets, most of which are angled upward for easy access, and has a convenient putter tub on each side of the bag.
The Pyramid Putter –The key to the Pyramid Putter is its three directional groove design. The grooves are horizontal on the face center, a traditional design, but they are contained in the triangular shape of a pyramid. Toward the club’s heel, the lines run diagonally along the pyramid’s eastern slope (as viewed from head-on). Toward the club’s toe, the lines are diagonal along the pyramid’s western slope. The grooves impart spin, to help keep the ball on line. Hit a ball on the heel of the face, and the diagonal grooves impart a clockwise gear effect that helps the ball stay on the intended target line. Hit a ball on the toe, and the grooves impart counter-clockwise gear effect to help the ball stay on line. As esteemed golf writer Gary Van Sickle commented, “The Pyramid Putter is putting’s version of corrective lenses.”
Product Ingenuity Equipment – Market Leaders
Bridgestone TOUR B Reactiv Golf Balls – The TOUR B line features a Reactiv cover that’s built with an “impact modifier,” an additive to the urethane that yields firmer performance on faster strikes for more ball speed and softer performance on slower swings for increased spin. This innovative design isn’t just the brainchild of Bridgestone’s impressive collection of scientists but was developed with significant input from none other than Tiger Woods, who participated heavily in the R&D process. Tiger’s encouragement actually led Bridgestone’s designers to utilize more “modifier,” in the Reactiv cover, which contributed to Bryson DeChambeau’s eventual US Open win at Winged Foot, where the combination of massive distance off the tee and plentiful spin from the rough separated him from the field.
Callaway Mavrik Driver – The key to the Mavrik driver was making a face that delivers more ball speed and enhances forgiveness by protecting ball speed and spin rates on mishits. Each model’s face is slightly different, with thicker and thinner areas created by AI. And there is a different face for each loft of each driver. For example, not only is the Mavrik driver’s face different than the Mavrik Sub Zero face, the 9-degree Mavrik’s face is subtly different than the 10.5-degree Mavrik’s face. With increased stability coming from the face instead of a low-and-back center of gravity, engineers were free to make the body of the Mavrik drivers more aerodynamic.
TaylorMade P790 Irons – It’s a technology-packed, foam-filled players distance iron that has even elite players putting it in the bag. The P790 has a hollow-body design built with an 8620 carbon steel body and forged 4140-carbon steel wrapped-face construction to move weld lines away from the face. The sole was tweaked compared to the original to improve turf interaction. And from address, there is a thinner top line and more progressive offset in 3 through 6-irons and a more compact blade length in the 7-PW to appeal to players of all skill levels. It is one of those rare irons that feels like a true forging, flies and performs like a game improvement club but sacrifices nothing on looks.
Product Ingenuity – Technology
Bushnell Wingman GPS Speaker – Shaped like a tennis ball can, this Bluetooth speaker wirelessly connects to a smartphone to play music on the course, and it has a few hidden surprises. Pressing a button on the detachable remote control, which is the size of a silver dollar, decreases the music’s volume, and the Wingman will announce the distance to the front, middle and back of the green on the hole being played. There is also a powerful magnet on one side that securely attaches the unit to the side of the cart, which improves sound. The battery lasts 10 hours, and the Wingman also can be used as a smartphone charger. Retails for $149. (this paragraph in a different font)
FlightScope Mevo is a real-time performance data launch monitor that uses FlightScope’s patented Fusion Tracking and innovative combination of 3D doppler radar and image processing. Golfers can practice indoors or outdoors, measuring their carry distance, club head speed, ball speed, Smash factor, vertical launch angle, spin apex height and flight time. Practice without interruption using the Mevo app on your phone or tablet to automatically record, clip, and save each video. This lightweight and portable personal launch monitor is packed with swing analysis features and at a cost of $500, offers an affordable way to help golfers train and improve every club in the bag.
Tagmarshal – USGA research shows that 74 percent of golfers believe that pace/flow/time is critical to player enjoyment. Tagmarshal’s on-course optimization technology enables courses to improve operational efficiency, saving costs and generating revenue – all while delivering exceptional player experiences. Tagmarshal’s platform gives operators full oversight, with actionable data to drive on-course performance. Erin Hills used Tagmarshal to optimize its tee sheet capacity, which generates an extra $140K in green fees per season. Tagmarshal has collected over 1 billion data-points, tracked over 15 million rounds, and its proprietary GPS technology is used at over 300 courses globally, including 30 of the Top 100 U.S. Courses.
Product Ingenuity – Training Products
SuperSpeed – More clubhead speed equals more distance. SuperSpeed believes that all golfers have the ability to swing faster, we just need to unlock that speed. By using their system, golfers can increase clubhead speed by 5-8 percent after four to six weeks of use. Three different shafts come in the set, and you swing them in the following order: The first is 20 percent lighter than an average driver, the second is 10 percent lighter, and the last is 5 percent heavier. By the time you’re done doing sets of swings with each and are ready to move into your driver, you’ll be swinging faster.
Sure-Set – This product trains you how to ‘set’ the club into the correct loaded position with great swing width, on the right plane, with the right angles. The hinge will let you rotate back to the top of the backswing, putting your hands in the correct position at the top, and keeping your left arm straight. You can also start your downswing, stopping at about halfway down. This will help you practice the beginning of the weight shift and move into the ball, and how your arms and wrists should travel through that motion. When you master this move you will load and store more power.
Wellputt Mat – Instead of absent-mindedly putting, now you have the option to have focused practice when you’re putting on the Wellputt. It gives you different places to start your putts from, showing you an approximation of how long your back and through strokes should travel, as well as how far past the hole your ball should end up. Alignment lines on the mat allow golfers to train for accuracy as well as putter head stroke control. An optical marker allows you to create the proper eye and ball position. Wellputt mat creates an environment where your practice can be varied, educational and focused—all while in your living room.