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22nd Annual Younger Awards Part III: Canadian Brands and Products – SCOREGolf

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There is nothing like a dribble of maple syrup to add to this third instalment of the 2023 Younger Awards. Here are this year’s Canadian winners presented by SCOREGolf.

Canadian Golf Business Story of the Year

Nominees: Shaw Charity Classic Crosses $100 million charity threshold; Rogers signs five-year renewal for Champions Tour event, Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary; Vancouver Parks Board Unanimously Votes to Retain City Municipal Courses Rejecting Housing Development Proposal; New Brunswick Returns to PGA Tour Canada Schedule; Brooke Henderson Switches Gear to TaylorMade; PGA of Canada CEO, Kevin Thistle Assumes Operation of Toronto City Courses; RBC Community Junior Golf Program Hits Targets for Participation and Host Venues  

Winner: Shaw Charity Classic Crosses $100 Million Charity Threshold

The Shaw Charity Classic has donated more than $100 million to youth charities.

My Take: Amid all the uncertainty surrounding the professional golf landscape these days, it’s nice to know there are still a few good news stories that make you smile, like the Shaw Charity Classic’s milestone this year. Calgary PGA Tour Champions Tour event not only eclipsed the $100 million threshold with its Shaw Birdies for Kids program but also closed out the 2023 tournament at $112 million since 2013 for children’s charities in the province of Alberta. A close second in this category was Vancouver Parks Board unanimously voting to retain and invest in its city municipal golf courses and rejecting a housing development proposal.

Canadian Golf Product of the Year 

Nominees: Triple Bogey Transfusion; Xonic iTQ Caddie Tool; Red Rooster Rain Rooster Gloves; Pik’r Range Robot; Haywood Golf Driver; Uther Magnetic Golf Bag; Stony Wilds Muskie Polo    

Winner: PIK’R Range Robot

My take: Korechi Innovations Pik’r range robot went viral at January’s PGA Show and gathered momentum as the season went along. The Oshawa, Ont., company’s lithium battery-powered rental product can pick up to 4,000 balls per hour and 50,000 in a 12-hour shift through independent operation, ending a labour-intensive task for golf courses. Shout out to Triple Bogey’s Transfusion drink, which sold over 500,000 cans in its first year, and to Uther Supply for its magnetic golf bag.                  

Canadian Golf Executive of the Year

Nominees: Sean Van Kesteren, Shaw Charity Classic; Geoff Tait, Triple Bogey Brewing; Eileen Jurczak, Xonic Golf; Kevin Thistle, PGA of Canada; Ben Cowan-Dewar, Cabot; Kerry Moyer/Brad Fritsch, Red Rooster; Josh Haywood/Haley Lloyd, Haywood Golf; Chris Humeniuk, TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley

Winner: Josh Haywood/Haley Lloyd, Haywood Golf

My take: Coming out the other side of a pandemic that featured two full years (or more) of supply chain chaos, Josh Haywood and his fiancée, Haley Lloyd, have continued to author an unlikely tale of success as a Canadian-based OEM start-up. The couple remains the visionaries of Haywood Golf. This Vancouver company featured a full line of golf equipment in 2023, including woods, three sets of irons, a Signature driving iron, wedges, and putters.

Canadian Golf Brand of the Year

Nominees: Dormie Workshop; Levelwear; Cabot; Stony Wilds; Triple Bogey; Golf Away Tours; Red Rooster Golf; Uther Supply; Haywood Golf; Xonic Golf

Winner: Cabot

Cabot Cliffs is one of the many Cabot properties around the globe (Photo: Courtesy PGA of Canada)

My take: This year felt like a tipping point for Cabot’s business. Ben Cowan-Dewar and Mike Keiser’s premium resort brand enjoyed a banner season in 2023 with the opening of Cabot Saint Lucia, the soft opening of Cabot Citrus Farms in Florida, and the start of the construction phase of Cabot Revelstoke in British Columbia. Not to be forgotten: Tom Doak delivered his routing and course design for a second course at Cabot Highlands in Scotland and Cabot Cape Breton had a record year in the Maritimes.

For my final instalment of the Younger Awards, I’ll announce this year’s overall industry recipients, including product of the year, company of the year, research and development award, business story of the year and executive of the year.

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