Innovators need not reinvent the game. They need simply to improve it, whether it's through creativity and commitment, kindness and courage, or just good old-fashioned clever thinking.
This year's recipients represent all of these qualities and many more, from a putting teacher who helps players improve through the use of state-of-the-art gadgets, to the grounds crews that keep overplayed public courses ship-shape, to a golfer-cum-model who wants to give the LPGA some much-needed buzz.
We fielded nominations from our friends at the USGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour, National Golf Foundation, our own Top 100 Teachers in America, and from you. We considered hundreds of candidates, whittling a long, worthy list down to these eight winners, then let each recipient speak in his or her own voice. It's our honor to celebrate their achievements.
(Do you have a worthy candidate for next year's Innovator Awards? Or do you have comments about our selections? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org).
The 2009 Golf Magazine Innovators
• The Green Pioneer: Robert Trent Jones Jr.
• The Man of the People: Justin Timberlake
• The Daily-Fee Heroes: The Greenskeeping Team at L.A.'s Rancho Park Golf Course
• The Idea Woman: Anna Rawson
• The Pro: Don Vickery
• The Philanthropist: Notah Begay
• The Alliance: The International Golf Federation
• The Putting Professor: Marius Filmalter