LAKE MARY, FL – Dozens of nominations from across the golf industry have been trimmed to three finalists in each category in the 29th Annual ING Industry Honors awards program. The program is conducted by the non-profit International Network Of Golf to recognize outstanding achievement in the golf business.
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. 26 at 12:30 pm in Room 312A, and is open to all PGA Show attendees.
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.
For more information regarding ING, call 407-404-474-0531 or visit www.inggof.com.
ING INDUSTRY HONORS FINAL BALLOT 2022
Chip Brewer, President & CEO, Topgolf/Callaway Brand Corp – Brewer led Callaway’s charge to the dominant position in the golf equipment space during the COVID Pandemic-fueled surge in golf. In 2021 he made big news by acquiring Topgolf, a company that had suffered the opposite effect during COVID. The result was a 13 percent increase in net revenue in the second quarter of 2022 compared to 2021. He changed the company name to Topgolf Callaway Brand Corp to reflect the new diverse portfolio, and also acquired a minority position in a similar company, Five Iron Golf, an urban, simulator-based venture that has shown remarkable growth. He also changed the ticker name to MODG, which stands for Modern Golf.
Mark Burnett, President, Heritage Golf Group – Behind Burnett’s leadership, Heritage Golf Group is the most active golf course buyer in the business. Burnett was brought on by parent company KSL Capital Partners in 2020, and since then Heritage has acquired 19 courses, bringing its portfolio to 26 overall. Most recent buys for the Virginia-based company include Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach and The Club at Savannah Quarters in Georgia. With courses and clubs in 10 Eats, Southeast and Midwest states, Heritage plans to continue acquiring a mix of private clubs, member-owned clubs and high-end daily-fee properties. Heritage has spent $25 million in reinvestment capital the past 18 months to reinvigorate its new acquisitions.
Jared Solomon, Co-Founder and CEO of Five Iron Golf. Five Iron is an urban indoor golf experience that combines a unique mixture of golf and entertainment with a vision of making the game more inclusive and accessible. Founded in 2017, Five Iron Golf has expanded from New York to 17 locations across the country, with additional locations under construction, making Five Iron Golf one of the largest indoor golf companies in the country. Jared started out with the goal of making golf for everyone. He has revolutionized and enhanced the game, making it easily accessible to those who may be less familiar with the sport and those who may not have a golf course nearby.
French Lick Resort
Pinehurst No 4
Callaway Rogue– “Think Speed, Go Rogue”
Golf Tec – “Happy Brian”
USGA – “Proud Partner Of The Next Generation”
Product Ingenuity – Equipment – Emerging Companies
Edel SMS Wedges – SMS wedges are designed to enhance versatility, thanks to a thorough fitting system. The full face groove pattern provides more spin when you need it, whether you’re hitting a full shot or a laid-flat flop shot out of the deep rough. The laser engraved diamond texture increases the face texture for even more spin. Forged from soft Japanese 1025 carbon steel, the SMS machined sole grinds give you even more consistency with the tightest tolerances from wedge to wedge in golf. The SMS wedges have nearly endless fitting options with the Swing Match Weighting Technology.
Makefield Putters employs a physics-first mindset, placing driver-weighted technology in the club. The radial cusp technology in the face really rolls the ball nicely. They are face-balanced and with 3 different weight channels, 3 types of weights, and the capability to put 3 weights in each of the channels there’s an endless number of combinations you can create to make a custom weighted putter. Makefield Putters are designed with Path of Inertia, which naturally guides your stroke, balances the clubface to the path, and provides centeredness of impact. Selected “Best New Club Technology at the 2022 PGA Show.”
OnCore Vero X2 Golf Balls – Using the same unique core-mantle-cover integration as our award-winning VERO X1, the all-new VERO X2 delivers the same distance-enhancing low driver spin and wind-penetrating trajectory for greater distance and pinpoint accuracy on tee shots. Designed for players with high swing speeds, its four-piece, 95-compression construction delivers optimized spin and accuracy with irons and supreme stopping power on greens with wedge shots. It features a high modulus, metal-infused mantle connected to a thin, cast urethane cover by a nano-engineered transition layer. Proprietary perimeter weighting significantly reduces sidespin and bores through headwinds and crosswinds.
Product Ingenuity – Equipment – Market Leaders
Callaway Rogue ST Driver – The Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS Driver is a low spin option for better players. It’s the lowest spinning Rogue ST Driver model, with a neutral-to-fade bias in a compact 450cc head. The new Tungsten Speed Cartridge structure places up to 20 grams low and deep in the driver head. This increases speed on off-center hits and provides more forgiveness through high MOI. The patented A.I. designed Jailbreak Speed Frame provides stability in the horizontal and torsional direction.
Mizuno Pro 223 Irons – Even in the players-iron category, golfers are in need of more ball speed. The Mizuno Pro 223 conceals a ball speed-enhancing construction within the frame of a compact players cavity. Mizuno Pro 223 is actually two sets in one. The 4-7 irons are “Forged Chromoly with Flow Microslot” and the 8-PW are “1025E Pure Select Mild Carbon Steel.” Throughout the set, there’s a “microlayer” of copper under the nickel chrome plating. Combined with an extremely thin, flexible face, the result is extreme ball speeds.
Wilson D9 Forged Irons – These irons combine the soft feel of a forged head with the powerful D9 Power Holes engine. The result is higher launch angles, soaring distance, stopping power and accuracy. A asymmetrical Power Hole arrangement is optimized for forged heads and is biased towards the heel of the club, opening the face and increasing contact time with the ball for maximum speed and distance, all in a sleek player’s profile. A lower center of gravity provides a higher launch, increased peak trajectory and a steeper descent angle.
Product Ingenuity – Soft Goods/Accessories
The Phone Caddy by Desert Fox Golf is the best phone holder for golf, period. Phones enhance the game through yardage and scoring apps, music, swing analytics and more. The Phone Caddy’s patented PhoneFit™ technology adjusts to fit modern smart phones and cases. It installs in seconds with a velcro strap and is rugged enough to keep in your bag between rounds. The product comes in a variety of colors and can be customized with logos for events, groups and corporate promotion.
Towel Tag is designed to temporarily secure your golf towel without the use of grommets or hooks. Traditional attachments made it very difficult to easily release the towel when you needed it. The innovative Towel Tags utilizes “Pull-Thru Technology” to create an entirely new generation of functional bag tags that hold your golf towel. Using the latest in printing technology, Towel Tag is able to customize both the Towel and the Tag with your name or logo creating a unique personalized Towel Tag suited for any golfer, team, organization or event.
Zero Friction’s Wheel Pro Pushcart Golf Bag is a revolutionary 3 in 1 design that has golfers ditching their traditional golf bag. The Wheel Pro can be used in three ways: 1) push or pull cart 2) a carry stand bag or 3) on a motor cart. Lightweight, sturdy wheels snap on and off in seconds, and come with a nylon bag for cleanliness. There is a built-in ergonomic handle. For walkers, the Wheel Pro eliminates the need to purchase two separate products – both a bag and a pushcart – saving you money, storage space and hassle.
Product Ingenuity – Training Products
Divot Board – This patented new training board provides a highly visual depiction of both swing path and low point. Using the Divot Board trainer is one of the easiest ways to improve your swing path, with instant feedback. You can use the Divot Board anywhere including your living room, office, or even on the green just before a big match. The Divot Board measures 6″W x ~21″L x ~1/2″D The mat is only 3/8″ thick but there are pointed nubs at the bottom that hold it in place.
Rapsodo Combines – Rapsodo, creator of the Mobile Launch Monitor (MLM), has added a performance-based training feature on the MLM. Combines, developed in collaboration with Dr. Sasho Mackenzie and Mark Blackburn, is a standardized test that measures performance through full swing assessments at varying yardages, simulating more on-course type pressure during practice sessions. Each session takes 15-20 minutes, during which users aim at targets and hit various shots at differing lengths. Rapsodo provides instant feedback on their average proximity from the target, a dispersion circle of each shot, average driving distance, and overall scores.
Short Game Gains Putting Mirror – Consistent setup, including eye and shoulder alignment, is key to a consistent putting stroke, and this mirror will help you dial it in. All you need to do is set up the mirror, stand over the ball and roll putts. You’ll quickly figure out the proper eye alignment for your stroke. This detailed mirror helps you to check your alignment, confirm that your stroke is on the right path, and help you start every putt on your intended line. The SGG putting mirror also comes with a metal protective storage case.
Michael W. Jamison