There are dozens of golf club brands on the market today, but none seem to resound in the minds of golfers as Ping.
Ping Golf began life during the mid 1950s. Karsten Solheim was an engineer in the U.S.A. and he utilised his engineering skills gained at General Electric, to manufacture a new golf putter in his garage, the name for this golf club was Ping 1A. It was names due to the sound of the metal of his golf putter as it struck the golf balls.
In 1961, Solheim moved his family from California to Arizona, and this is where he set up a permanent business in his garage. This would be where Solheim began work on his Ping golf sets and golf clubs. The move gave him the opportunity to create more seriously and to cater for a much wider golfing audience.
It wasn’t long after Solheim had moved to Arizona that he invented a set of irons known as the “69. His Ping manufactured clubs were so successful that within two years of his move a PGA Tour victory was won with the help of his ‘garage-made’ golf club at the Cajun Classic Open Invitational (won by John Barnum).
This victory was the perfect promotional tool for Solheim’s Ping Golf Clubs and golfers started to take notice, and with the publicity sales increased. By the time of The Golf World Cup in 1965, several professional golfers were using Ping Putters, and to help matters further, the Japanese event was televised for all to see.
There was more success in 1966 when Solheim created a new golf putter which he had first sketched on 78 RPM record dust cover. His new putter was named by Solheim’s wife, their Anser putter subsequently went on to become one of the most influential putters.
Ping didn’t always have an easy ride though. In 1966 USGA golf’s governing body for rules and golf equipment decided to outlaw all of Solheim’s putters with exception of the Answer (or Anser) for tournament and handicap play. This was down to Ping putters being made with a small bend in the golf club shaft just below the grip. It was thought to provide golfers with an advantage in their putting stroke.
The late 1960s brought a return to success with a major championship win at the infamous Masters. This time in the company’s history saw the introduction of the K1 stainless cast steel iron set.
Ping went on to become one of the most successful golf brands in the world with everything from men’s women’s and junior golf clubs. There were factory fittings of various club-heads and by the 1980s Ping were using check lists to aid the fitting program which was based on golfers physical attributes.
Today, Ping continue to manufacture some extremely high quality golf clubs and help both adult and junior golfers to achieve their best game across the world.