Continuing my golf history lessons having already perused the history of how Callaway became a household name I decided to take a look at PING since they just rolled out their new product line for 2012. I thought I would take a look into their humble beginnings. An American success story fitting of the ‘American Dream’. With humble beginnings starting in family garage (all the best entrepreneurial stories start this way), Karsten Solheim created one of the most successful golf club companies in history. With a little help from the Ping history timeline here are some of the game changing moments in PING golf club history:
1959-The first putter 1A created in his garage while the club made a ‘ping’ sound the name of an empire was born.
1961-Karsten experiments with heel-toe weighted irons. An innovator in his time he wanted to create the most forgiving iron he could.
1962-1st PING victory on the PGA Tour by John Barnum using a PING 69 putter at the Cajun Classic.
1966-Asner putter is designed as the answer to competitors. A major setback when the USGA outlawed all PING clubs except Anser putters due to the slight bend in the shaft.
1969-PING Anser is used to win at The Masters marking the 1st major championship win. Also the K1 iron was born with a perimeter weighting and 17-4ph stainless steel.
1970– PING introduces laminated maple woods as large as the market would accept, keeping his forgiveness mantra in tact.
1972-PING introduces the Color Cooling System. A color dot distinguishes the lie angle of the club. Golfers able to see how having the right lie angle can improve their game.
1975-PING Gold Putter Vault created to store and display PING putter wins by tour pros. Every Ping tour win 2 golf replica models are creates; one is given to the tournament champion one is put into the vault.
1976-1st PING Man is developed. A mechanical golfer designed to precisely simulate the human golf swing including shoulder and free-moving wrist.
1978-PING Eye Iron introduces. Features the patented eye shape in the cavity for improved feel.
1979-PING tops the putter count at U.S. Open and British Open beginning a long streak of top putter choices the next 20 years.
1982-PING EYE2 introduced to the market becoming the best selling iron.
1984-PING introduces L-Wedge designed to give golfers additional option sin their short game and lower their scores
1984-square grooves show up on the PING EYE2 irons.
1987-PING Anser2 used to win the PGA Championship marking the 25th major championship victory for PING putters.
1988-PING putters get a grand slam used to win all 4 prestigious major championship: The Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, and PGA Championship all in one year.
1995-PING Fitting Cart Program was established. Customers could visit PING headquarters and learn about club fitting
1995-The Hoofer Carry Bag makes its debut.
1995-Karsten’s youngest son John Solheim is appointed president.
1996-PING ISI are the 1st irons to be manufactured using nickel. Making a durable and soft iron.
1997-PING develops its first insert for true feel called the Isopur insert
1998-PING TiSI driver launches as the largest custom-fit driver in golf.
2000-Founder Karsten Solheim passes away at the age of 88.
2004-PING launched the Mobile Fitting Van. Also introduces the Craz-E putter and its unique design is accepted among golfers worldwide.
2005-For the 1st time PING introduces a comprehensive line featuring every equipment category simultaneously.
2008-nFlight Custom Fitting software creates a virtual fitting experience
2011-PING introduces the iPING the first app to help golfers custom fit their skills with their putter.
August 2011- PING presents the new G20 product line
What’s your favorite PING memory?