World League FlingGolf Announces 2022 Player of the Year Award
The World League FlingGolf is very pleased to announce a joint 2022 Player of the Year Award to New Swarm Open Champion and current #2 ranked player, Ken "Kenzo" Pytluk, and Virginia FlingGolf Open Champion and current #1 ranked player, Austin "Showtime" Ebersole. The WLF Player of the Year Award goes to the Pro (or Pros) who competes and wins at the top levels of FlingGolf, while embracing her or his role as an ambassador to expand the reach of the sport. This year's winners successfully achieved those criteria in their own unique ways, both on and off the course.
Colorado's Ken Pytluk was the first World League FlingGolf Champion, having won the inaugural New Swarm Open at the American Classic Golf Club in May. In a field of the best players in the world, Ken's discipline and focus, as well as his innate athleticism, let him rise to the top, and lead the way in exposing the sport to a wide audience of ESPN viewers.
"It’s an amazing honor for me to be recognized for this award alongside Austin, my friend and fellow competitor. Even though we may seem very different, we have many common traits, including our passion to play, win and grow the game of FlingGolf." Pytluk said while receiving the award.
"On and off the course we’ve both worked hard at improving our game, paved the way for upcoming players to transition smoothly into the sport and acted as ambassadors to the ambassadors. I hope we continue this trend and couldn’t be more proud to share it with my friend Showtime."
Austin Ebersole, a native of East Newport, PA, has spent his life in athletics, most recently as the head golf professional at American Classic Golf Club (DE). However, that role has been revamped with his current ambition and achievements as a WLF Pro. Austin simultaneously hosted and played to a 4th place tie at the New Swarm Open in May, but then dedicated himself to a rigorous practice schedule through the summer that brought him to the top of his game, ultimately securing a Championship at the Virginia FlingGolf Open in October.
"Wow! It's an honor to be named WLF Co-Player of the Year. 2022 has been amazing and life changing, and after all of the hard work that led to winning the Virginia Open, this is truly the cherry on top of a year I will never forget. I also want to say that it's really cool to share this moment with Kenzo after his impressive year with a win at the New Swarm Classic and another Top 5 finish in Virginia, but more importantly because of the friendship that we created over the year. Ken and I are always talking about how we can improve both on and off the course, and it's really cool to have someone else who shares the same passion for FlingGolf as I do. This is an awesome moment, and I'm extremely thankful to win this award!"
Both Austin and Ken made sure that their personal successes on the course translated into elevating the sport and league to a broader audience. In many ways, as FlingGolf professionalized in 2022, they became the faces of the pro game. Through social media outreach, beginner clinics, local league formation, and sponsorships with golf ball, sunglass, beer, apparel, shoe and other businesses, they are defining what it means to be a WLF Pro and ambassador for future players.
In addition to their accomplishments in 2022, they have each designed their own Signature Series FlingStick with New Swarm, the Showtime and the Kenzo Viper, respectively, allowing their fans to play what the pros play. In recognition of their achievements in 2022 and winning this award, New Swarm will cover Ken's and Austin's full registrations for the upcoming, 5 stop, 2023 WLF Tour, starting in San Diego.
More from Kenzo and Showtime
What do you credit with your ability to play as well as you do and win?
Kenzo: My intense focus and ability to analyze sports movement is a big factor that contributes to playing FlingGolf at this level less than 2 years in. My focus drives my discipline and my analysis drives my skillset. With these I was able to place in the top 5 for all FlingGolf events thus far.
Showtime: To be honest, I couldn't ask for a better support system as I pursue my professional FlingGolf career. I have to give full credit to God, my family, team Delaware and the American Classic G.C. for pushing me and allowing me to play this game as much as I do. God has given me the ability, Brooke holds the fort down at home for me to train and practice, and the Delaware crew is always pushing me to up my game. Because of them, it's allowed me to become a champion and I can never thank them enough."
What are your thoughts on the future of the sport and the WLF?
Kenzo: The future of FlingGolf is so bright and lies in continuing to grow the game locally, with players/ambassadors and nationally through television and events. As more people see the game played, the more will want to play it. I feel it’s the tv exposure combined with the extensive local play that is moving this sport quickly to become a national, even global, phenomenon.
Showtime: I think the sky's the limit for FlingGolf. It's a fun and challenging sport to play, and the train is for sure on the tracks and ready to take off. I believe the 2023 WLF Tour is extremely important for our sport's growth, and I plan on putting on a show all year long. I see great athletes learning how to play, FlingGolf finding its way into physical education in schools, and maybe even someday an Olympic Sport or have its own version of the World Cup. No matter where it goes and how it grows, I'm very excited to be at the forefront and leading the way. I take that responsibility to heart.
You can follow Ken on Instagram at @kenzo_flings and Austin at @showtime_flings
World League FlingGolf is the official governing body of FlingGolf®, establishing rules, certifying professionals and courses, and promoting events and leagues of all skill levels, including the WLF Tour. Since its launch, a growing and diverse player community has played FlingGolf on well over 1,500 golf courses in every state in the USA and more than 30 countries worldwide. WLF's mission is to make FlingGolf the most widely played sport on golf courses across the globe. The 2023 WLF Tour will consist of 5 tournaments across the US, starting in San Diego in February.
New Swarm created and promotes FlingGolf and designed and sells the patented FlingStick. FlingGolf is an action sport for golf courses that combines athleticism, strength and precision, using just one stick to hurl a golf ball and shape every shot from tee to hole. It appeals to a younger, athletic and active player and since its inception, thousands of players are energizing over 1,500 golf courses in more than 30 countries across the globe. New Swarm promotes FlingGolf to players looking for a fun and athletic way to enjoy a golf course, and for golf courses to gain significant incremental revenue by filling empty tee times with new players.