Golf course architect Jan Bel Jan, ASGCA, received The President's Award from Women in the Golf Industry (WIGI) at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, FL. The award was presented by WIGI President Elizabeth Noblitt, CEO of Shi Shi Putter, on January 22, at a well-attended reception at the Orange County Convention Center.
Bel Jan, who serves on the board of directors for Women in the Golf Industry (WIGI), is also an officer for the organization through her role as Recording Secretary. In addition to WIGI, Bel Jan is an advocate for the game and business of golf on a variety of levels, and is frequently called upon to serve on industry panels and/or as a speaker at national conferences such as the PGA Merchandise Show and the Golf Industry Show (GIS). Her name appears on Sports Illustrated's Golf Plus list of the "Top Ten Most Influential Women in the Game of Golf."
Bel Jan hails from Pittsburgh, PA. Her father, George Bel Jan, was a golf professional and superintendent and three of her uncle's were PGA professionals. From them, she learned the game and business of golf.
Bel Jan began her design career with Tom Fazio, ASGCA, where she held a senior position in golf course design, construction and project management for more than twenty years. Her experience as a registered Landscape Architect, Certified Arborist and former assistant superintendent, provide her with a unique outlook on the playability, strategy, ecology, and economics of golf courses.
Bel Jan maintains her own design firm, Jan Bel Jan Golf Course Design, and is an Adjunct Professor at Hodges University (Naples, FL). Elected into the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) in 1990, Bel Jan represents the ASGCA as a board member of the National Alliance for Accessible Golf. She is a founding partner and managing member of the National Women's Golf Alliance (NWGA), a consortium committed to increasing the number of women playing golf, and improve engagement levels of existing female golfers.
"As an organization, we are extremely proud of Jan Bel Jan and her ongoing contributions to the game and business of golf," said WIGI Past President Kathleen Bissell, VP at Commercial Benchmark. "Not only is she a highly respected golf course designer, she is the consummate role model for so many individuals throughout the golf industry, and thus, so worthy of this coveted award."
The previous recipient of The President's Award was Sherry Major who is a media consultant to PGA Golf Expositions, the company that hosts major golf industry trade shows on a worldwide basis.
Women in the Golf Industry (WIGI) is a networking organization for women employed or self-employed in golf-related businesses. WIGI was founded in 2001 by twelve visionary women with the goal of promoting the significant achievements of women in the business of golf. WIGI Members are involved in design and manufacturing, sales and management, media and communications, architecture, administration, course ownership, wellness and fitness, and several are teachers of the game. To learn more about Women in the Golf Industry visit:http://wigi.info.