What are Ping Golf Clubs?
Karsten Solheim began to manufacture golf clubs over 40 years ago. Unlike the likes of Nike, who outsource their manufacturing to the far east, Solheim didn't want to allow the clubmaking process far from his control. Hence the clubs are still manufactured in Pheonix in Arizona by his very own Karsten Manufacturing Corporation. Ping as a company take a lot of pride that this is the case.
Karsten Solheim was born in September in 1911 in the town of Bergen in Norway . His parents moved the family to the USA and settled up in the North West of the country in Seattle , Washington . Karsten worked with his father in shoemaking, but actually had always wanted to be a mechanical engineer. During the depression he attended Washington University . However, he had to leave the university due to a lack of funds.
Having married Louise Corzier in June of 1936, Karsten studied on a college extension course for his engineering training. Then World War 2 came to the USA and there was a need for defense workers, which meant that Solheim moved to San Diego in California to be a flight research engineer with the Ryan Aeronautical Corporation. He developed the first Fireball jetfighter and the first tricycle landing gear for aircraft. When Convair needed a project engineer for their ground guidance system for the Atlas missile they turned to Karsten Solheim.
General Electric welcomed Solheim into their fold as a mechanical design engineer in 1953 and, at the age of 42 he took up the game of golf. As he was moved around GE's offices and ended up in the Phoenix computer facility in 1959 he looked for ways to improve his golf game.
His putting was his nemesis, so he tried to use scientific principles to design the world's first perimeter weighted and heel-toe balanced putter. The reason why he came up with the name PING was that when he hit the ball, there was a "ping" sound from the putter. Since it was the answer to his problems (and since there wasn't enough room for 6 letters on the putter) - he called it the Ping Anser and it became the putter that has won the most PGA tour tournaments ever..
Then he moved onto irons. He used the same principles of perimeter weighting and heel-toe balance here too, and used investment casting as well. The Ping Eye 2 irons became the greatest selling irons of all time. Solheim found that people preferred to buy clubs which were fitted to them, so he calibrated lie and loft angles for the pros in the 1960s. From this we had the Ping fitting system of colour coding.
Ping are the only golf manufacturer to have achieved ISO certification for quality.
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