Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA, and Tour Edge Exotics 721 Hybrid were among the winners in the 28th Annual ING Industry Honors awards program. Results in 10 categories were announced Thursday, Jan. 27 at the PGA Merchandise Show.
The ING Industry Honors program recognizes outstanding achievement in the golf business. The non-profit, media-based networking organization International Network of Golf conducts the awards program.
Nominees in all categories are submitted throughout the year from anyone in the golf industry. Sub-committees that include experts in each category then trim the entries to the top three in each category. ING members then vote electronically to determine the winners, who are announced and recognized at the Industry Honors Presentation Press Conference. Holly Geoghegan of Golf Marketing Services is the committee chair.
Whan became CEO of the USGA in July of 2021 after an 11-year stint as commissioner of the LPGA. As CEO, Whan leads the USGA team’s work to champion the game of golf by conducting global championships, delivering golfer engagement programs, broadening accessibility and driving sustainability. Under his leadership, the LPGA experienced unprecedented growth, with significant increases in the number of tournaments, purses and television coverage.
The Tour Edge Exotics 721 Hybrid won in the Product Ingenuity-Golf Equipment fir Market Leaders category. The 721 utilizes several new technologies to maximize performance. A carbon-composite panel covers the entire crown, saving weight that is shifted to the rear for better forgiveness on off-center hits. The new lightweight steel in the face is another weight saver.
High Heat 257+ Turf Glider Sole was the winner in the Product Ingenuity-Golf Equipment, Emerging Companies category, marking the third time Knuth Golf has won this category.
Other winners included PGA Professional Jay Golden in Player Development; Putting Arc in the Product Ingenuity-Training Aids category; Blue Tees Golf in Product Ingenuity-Technology; LPGA Tour in the TV Commercial category; Sun Mountain Eco-Lite Golf Bag in Product Ingenuity Technology; and Omni Homestead Resort in the Digital/Print Ad category.
2021 ING Industry Honors Winners/Finalists
Winner: Mike Whan, CEO, USGA
Other Finalists: Joe Assell, GOLFTEC; Alex Miceli, Media Entrepreneur.
Winner: Jay Golden, PGA Member
Other Finalists: Me and My Golf; Sea Island College Prep Program
Winner: Omni Homestead Resort – “You Paused. Now Play.”
Other Finalists: Coral Creek G.C.; Paiute Resort
Product Ingenuity – Emerging Companies-Golf Equipment
Winner: High Heat 257+’s Turf Glider Sole
Other Finalists: Arc Align Putter; Clear Golf Balls
Product Ingenuity – Market Leaders- Golf Equipment
Winner: Tour Edge Exotics 721 Hybrid
Other Finalists: Callaway Epic Driver Series; Cleveland Full Face Wedges
Product Ingenuity – Soft Goods/Accessories
Winner: Sun Mountain Eco-Lite Golf Bag
Other Finalists: SQAIRZ Golf Shoes; Towel Tag
Product Ingenuity – Technology
Winner: Blue Tees Golf
Other Finalists: NBC Sports Next’s Round-Up; SwingU
Product Ingenuity – Training Products
Winner: The Putting Arc
Other Finalists: Bottle Tee; Eyeline Speed Trap
Winner: LPGA – “This Is For Every Girl”
Other Finalists: Carl’s Golf Land; TaylorMade Golf
Against All Odds
Other Finalists: Schwetty Balls; Uroclub; Windage