Final Ballot Announced For 25th Annual ING Industry Honors
Dozens Of Nominees Trimmed To Three In Each Of 12 Categories For Voting By ING Members; Presentation To Be Made January 24 At PGA Show
Dozens of nominations from across the golf industry have been trimmed to three nominees in each category in the 25th 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 12 categories are decided by a vote of the ING membership and announced at the Industry Honors Presentation Press Conference January 24, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. at the PGA Merchandise Show in ClubING, Room 312. 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 29th Annual ING Spring Conference May 19-23 at the Chateau Elan Hotel & Conference Center in Sebring, Florida. Educational seminars, product testing, the One-On-One Appointment Show, golf tournaments and networking opportunities highlight schedule.
The next gathering for ING is at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando Jan. 23-25. ClubING (Room 312-A/B) will be open all day for members and their guests, with morning coffee, cocktail parties with celebrity guests, presentations and prizes.
For more information regarding ING, call 407-404-474-0531 or visit www.inggof.com.
2018 ING Industry Honors
Tim Clarke, GM, Wilson Golf
When Tim Clarke took over as General Manager of the Wilson Staff golf division nine years ago, the brand was arguably at the lowest point of its first 100 years. Clarke re-focused efforts on R&D, developed exciting new product and added more presence on the professional tours. The result has been an increase in market share across the board for one of golf’s longest-running brands. The most recent success was Wilson’s Driver vs. Driver competition, the second edition of which aired on Golf Channel in the fall. It gained huge exposure for the Wilson brand.
Dana Garmany, Chairman & CEO, Troon Golf
Garmany has more than 35 years of developing and operating golf facilities worldwide. He has been named by both Golf Inc. and Golf Digest as one of the most powerful and influential people in golf. Garmany founded Troon in 1990, and today serves as its CEO. He has received numerous honors including the Southwest Section PGA Hall of Fame and the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame. He holds a BS Degree in Restaurant and Hospitality Management from the University of Alabama. His leadership at Troon helped create a company that continues to set standards for domestic and international daily fee, resort, and private golf courses.
Gil Hanse, President, Hanse Golf Course Design
It has been a busy couple of years for Hanse. He was the architect for the 2016 Summer Olympics course in Rio de Janiero, and followed that by designing the third gem at Streamsong Resort in Central Florida, the Black course. Hanse has also received rave reviews for his redesign of Pinehurst No. 4, which reopened in September. He also earned the design work for Trump International Golf Club in Dubai. Formed in 1993, the company has nurtured its reputation and its craft to arrive at a position of designing and restoring some of the finest golf courses in the world.
Digital/Social Media Marketing
Golf Central Magazine/TPC Sawgrass
The PGA TOUR’s Performance Center at TPC Sawgrass, located adjacent to the renowned Stadium Course, offers a variety of individual programs integrating all aspects of the game. TPC Sawgrass, along with its agency partner, The Zimmerman Agency, engaged Golf Central Magazine to generate awareness of the Performance Center’s world-class instruction classes to their avid golfer subscribers via a multi-media partnership that included print, eZine social posts and custom e-mails throughout 2018. The results have been impressive with email open and click thru rates 60% higher than industry average showing a positive list in membership potential versus the year prior.
Golf Pulp Media/Power Package Golf
Golf Pulp Media has been the driving force behind the success of Power Package Golf – a swing-training device that is only available at www.PowerPackageGolf.com. Golf Pulp’s innovative digital marketing efforts leveraged, creative advertising, social media, and email marketing to generate over 9,000 unit sales to consumers and over 1,000 direct to instructors and academies worldwide. Social efforts have unified passionate, user-generated content on Instagram under the hashtag #ispyppg, a hashtag that is pinned to some of the top tour players who have been spotted using the device.
J2 Golf Marketing/Hidden Creek GC
Hidden Creek Golf Club in New Jersey is ranked #3 behind Pine Valley and Augusta National by Golf World’s Reader’s Choice awards. Its digital brochure is easy and instant to disseminate, yet high class in its presentation. The Hole-by-Hole players’ description is provided by the ex-Ryder Cup Captain and 2X Masters Champion, Ben Crenshaw and his architectural partner Bill Coore who together designed this award-winning New Jersey club. The digital magazine format is a dynamic departure to what a normal “Hole Tour” is today on virtually every golf course website application. It can be viewed by smart phone, tablet or desktop.
Hurricane Junior Golf Tour powered by Junior Golf Hub.
Founded in 2007 by CEO Mario Conte, the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour conducts over 285 tournaments annually across 32 states and multiple countries, with approximately 14,000 juniors participating. More than 50,000 boys and girls have competed in an HJGT event and over 6,000 have made it to the collegiate golf ranks. In 2017, the HJGT partnered with Nexus Luxury Collection who among others has Tavistock Group, Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake as lead partners. In 2018 the HJGT partnered with the Junior Golf Hub to connect juniors with college coaches through a state of the art platform.
U.S. Kids Golf Foundation
U.S. Kids Golf is a leading organization for growing, promoting and enhancing golf among youth and families. The U.S. Kids Golf Foundation fulfills its mission of player development through both the Coaches Institute and Tournament Players Association. The Coaches Institute conducts training programs around the world, with more than 1400 Certified Coaches as members who share and develop best practices. The Coaches Institute also developed the Player Pathway, golf’s best program for developing juniors. TPA hosts 1600 tournaments annually, including the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship – which welcomes over 1500 players from more than 50 countries to Pinehurst, NC.
Youth On Course
The core purpose of Youth on Course is to provide youth with access to life-changing opportunities through golf. More than 45,000 members can play hundreds of golf courses across the nation for $5 or less, have access to high school employment opportunities and college scholarships. Headquartered in Pebble Beach, Youth on Course is a 501(c)3 organization that began as the charitable arm of the Northern California Golf Association. Since 2006, Youth on Course has expanded to 27 regions, subsidized more than 750,000 rounds of golf, hired more than 115 interns and 362 caddies, and awarded $1.4million in college scholarships.
Print Advertising – Products & Services
Ben Hogan – “The most famous names in Wedges are back”
Callaway All Black – “Explore the options”
Odyssey – “Odyssey is 8/8 at majors”
Print Advertising – Travel & Real Estate
Bermuda 3S PRO-AM – “Play 3 Of Bermuda’s best courses”
Erin Hills – “One of the best courses in Ireland is located in Wisconsin”
Hammock Beach – “Don’t let the blue distract you from the Green”
Callaway Chrome – “Playing Through”
Grant Thornton – “Caddie Jargon”
LPGA – “The Next Wave”
Product Ingenuity Emerging Companies – Equipment
Bloodline has created one of the most significant putter performance breakthroughs in over 50 years. A patented and “conforming” design makes it possible to clearly see where the putter is aligned by enabling a player to walk behind it while the putter stands alone on the green. An innovative solution to create an ultra-light shaft/grip combined with stabilizing touch points in the heel of the head are key features that deliver Bloodline’s game-changing performance. The company was founded by golf industry experts who are familiar with creating #1 products on tour: Brad Adams (Odyssey putters) and Larry Bischmann (Diamana driver shafts). Bloodline had 4 WINS on Champions and Web.com in 2018.
Knuth Golf High Heat 257+
A USGA rules change two years allows for greater trampoline effect in the toe and heel areas compared to the center of the face. So far, Knuth Golf is the only company to develop a way to take advantage of the rule with its novel 3-trampoline technology, providing consistent distance across the entire the face. Media and teaching pros have stated that the significance of this technology in High Heat 257+ driver and metal woods cannot be overstated as amateurs miss the center of the face on average 50 percent of the time. Customers are gaining 20+ yards on toe and heel hits for increased greens in regulation for lower scores.
Snell Golf MTB Golf Balls
The MTB Black is an improved version of the original MTB and features a three-piece design with Urethane cover, 360-dimple pattern, and core that’s seven-percent softer than the past model (for softer feel and less driver spin). The all-new MTB Red features a four-piece design, urethane cover, and 338-dimple pattern. The Red feels a bit firmer on drives and long-iron shots but provides a soft feel on short shots. The Red will also spin a bit more on short shots than the Black and will be available in both white and optic yellow. Snell golf balls are designed by Dean Snell, whose name is now on 40 ball patents.
Product Ingenuity Market Leaders – Equipment
Cobra F9 Speedback Driver
The Cobra KING F9 SPEEDBACK driver has achieved speed gains thanks to an innovative design that strikes the perfect blend of aerodynamic efficiency and a low center of gravity. The shape of the SPEEDBACK driver is 17 percent more aerodynamic than the COBRA F7 driver and some clever engineering keeps the CG low and deep. The result is more speed, distance and forgiveness, with Cobra confident of a 2.4km/h increase in ball speed because of SPEEDBACK technology in the KING F9 driver. The front and trailing edges have been streamlined and the aerodynamic trips on the crown that sprouted on the previous Cobra KING F8 driver have been improved for additional efficiency.
PING Glide 2.0 Wedge
The Glide 2.0 wedge’s precision-milled grooves have sharper edges than any previous PING wedge. The grooves (tailored to each loft) generate more spin than the original Glide wedges because of precisely milled edges that grab more of the ball. This provides for precise distance and trajectory control from full swings and finesse shots. The four sole grinds range from narrow (preferred by short-game specialists) to wide (for deep divot-takers who require more forgiveness). The enhanced sole grinds and lead edges in the 431SS heads have been carefully crafted for exceptional surface interaction and versatility, gliding through the turf and sand to enable creative shot making.
Tour Edge Exotics EXS Driver
The tech-loaded EXS driver features a Flight Tuning System that includes 9-gram and 3-gram interchangeable weights, an adjustable hosel, RollFace Technology for an expanded sweet spot, Dual Carbon Fiber placement for ideal weight distribution and a new and improved SlipStream™ Sole for faster clubhead speed. The TSP 910 Beta Titanium face is thinner and lighter in the EXS over previous Exotics driver models to produce a greater spring-like effect. Weight is strategically repositioned lower and deeper in the head creating an extremely high MOI. A new RollFace Technology incorporates modified bulge and roll on the toe to create straighter ball flight for shots hit off the toe.
Product Ingenuity – Misc. Products
Chippo Golf Game
Chippo is reminiscent of cornhole, washers or horseshoes, but with some cool twists. The set comes with a Chippo board containing three different sized holes, a bag of Almost Golf practice balls, a practice matt and a convenient carry case. Players simply aim at the board and chip. It’s the perfect go-to game providing endless hours of entertainment for the backyard, beach, tailgate party, golf tournament or special event. Chippo won Best New Product at the 2018 PGA Show.
GolfWords is an innovative new game that combines putting, puzzles and addictive fun. It was developed by the world’s most syndicated puzzle-maker and a PGA professional. In the golf course or resort world, as well as office or home environment, it can add value with easy to challenging play that supplements a traditional course or recreational offering. As a learning tool, it has merit both with honing putting skills and challenging word creation. And overall, it is fun and can be played for 10 minutes or an hour with equal excitement.
Zero Friction Spectra Supertubes
Zero Friction introduced the Spectra™ Supertube one year ago, and has sold thousands to golf retail stores and pro shops. The Supertube includes one Universal Compression Fit golf glove, three Spectra Matte Finish distance golf balls and 10 ZFT Maxx 3-prong golf tees, all color-matched. “The Supertube is pretty much perfect,” said Todd Bentrup of Golf Discount of St. Louis. “The vibrant colors stand out. Customers are drawn to the display.” Hundreds of tournaments and corporate outings have ordered custom-logoed Supertubes for player gifts.
Product Ingenuity – Soft Goods/Accessories
Copper Tech gloves, patented and USGA approved for both men and women, are like having three gloves in one. First, each glove is made with form flex technology and copper compression allowing for “one size fits most” (XL also available) making sales and inventory easy for retailers. Second, Copper Tech gloves are engineered with a non-slip patented spider weave silicone technology which reduces wear and allows golfers to grip the club with less tension while improving slip resistance especially in wet conditions. Third the glove’s copper-infused technology helps relieve joint and muscle pain while providing better blood circulation and reducing pain in your hands especially for golfers with arthritis.
Original Penguin is an iconic American clothing brand with deep roots in the golf industry as the originator of the classic golf shirt. Established in 1955 by Munsingwear, it quickly became the most popular product for golf professionals and celebrities and remained at the top until the 80’s. Perry Ellis International re-launched the brand at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show. Perry Ellis International has designed an exciting collection that focuses directly on the golf market and combines many of the original styles, prints, and patterns from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, blending them with today’s technical fabrications that embraces “easy and effortless cool.”
Vessel Golf Bags
In 2012, Vessel set out to dominate ultra premium bag designs for professional golfers, athletes, and celebrities. In that process, they discovered an untapped market for selling high-quality custom lifestyle bags to general consumers. Their mission was to produce a luxury bag handcrafted from the highest quality of materials with intricate design down to the finest details. Vessel is relentless to ensure that every golf bag is perfect down to the last stitch. The company’s tagline is “Filled with Purpose” is to ensure that each purchase makes a difference. Vessel has committed to provide more than 40,000 school backpacks to children around the world.
Product Ingenuity Market Leaders – Technology
Golf Logix Putt Breaks App
GolfLogix, the most downloaded app in golf, has introduced its innovative Putt Breaks feature. Using advanced 3D mapping technology, this feature gives golfers a game-changing way to read and analyze greens. Users will experience a new level of insight into the contours of the green and more importantly, how putts will break. 3D green maps auto-orient based on the user’s position. Simply draw a line from the ball to the cup, then see how your putt will break.
Live View Golf
Live View Golf combines a wireless streaming camera with an intuitive mobile App to create a digital swing mirror (“DSM™”) that can monitor a golf swing from any angle. DSM™ comes with a suite of tools to check swing plane, body alignment and body movement. Because DSM™ mirrors movements in real time, golfers receive accelerated feedback to ensure precise practice and make rapid swing changes. Live View Golf was selected by Golf Digest for Editor’s Choice in 2017 and 2018 for best Video Camera.
This is an affordable, portable and accurate launch monitor that you can use anywhere. Carry distance, swing speed, ball speed are vital to the game and most golfers don’t have any idea of their own stats. The problem is until now, the only way to get those stats were to use machines that could cost $25,000 in indoor facilities. That has changed with the Voice Caddie. The chance to get all the information that the pros get on a regular basis is finally available for less than you would pay for a new driver.
Product Ingenuity – Training Products
SQRDUP is a golf alignment training aid for every club in the bag, from putter to driver. SQRDUP is alignment made simple, providing the golfer with four precise laser beams which quickly allows the golfer to check target line, clubface, hand position, ball position, feet position & divot. SQRDUP is also great for putting by providing the golfer with a laser beam which shows on the putter & ball & then approximately 8” after the ball. Just make an 8” putt with the speed to get the ball to the hole. Get a repetitive putting stroke.
SuperSpeed Golf helps retrain a golfer’s brain and muscles to gain swing speed after just 8-10 minutes, practicing three days a week. SuperSpeed uses a technique that has been popularized with major league baseball pitchers throwing baseballs of different weights. Adapted for the golf swing, golfers swing these golf club-like training aids in a series of workouts designed by SuperSpeed. The weighting proportions of the clubs are designed to fit so that they are 20 percent lighter than a player’s driver, 10 percent lighter and 5 percent heavier.
The Orange Whip Wedge
The Orange Whip Wedge is the result of the collaboration between the developer of the Orange Whip, Jim Hackenberg, and world-renowned short game specialist Stan Utley. The wedge combines the Orange Whip counterweighted, flexible shaft system with a Stan Utley inspired 56* wedge head. The Orange Whip Wedge promotes short game rhythm and feel, trains solid contact for improved distance and accuracy, develops sequencing of body, arms, and club head release and enhances creativity and feel for shots around the green.
Michael W. Jamison