Karsten Solheim started the company in his garage in Redwood City, California. He built his first putter in 1959, and noticed that it made a "ping" sound when it struck the ball. The name of his company was inspired by that moment. In 1962, a Ping putter was used to win a PGA Tour event for the first time. Since then, Ping equipment has been a part of over 2,000 professional wins as of 2009.
In 1972, Ping was the first company to come out with a color-code fitting system for their clubs. The colored dot on each Ping club tells the customer the lie angle of the club. With this system, golfers could now buy clubs that fit their height and swing.
Ping was the innovator of perimeter-weighted golf clubs. By moving weight towards the toe and heel of the golf club, Ping expanded the club's sweet spot. Golfers could now get good results from off-center hits. Club companies today are still using this design.
The Anser is the most popular putter Ping has designed. It has been used in over 500 professional golf wins. The Anser was designed with an offset hosel to give golfers a clear view of the putter face. In 1982, Ping developed the Ping Eye 2 irons, which have been the best-selling irons in its history. Designed with square groove technology, the Ping Eye 2 irons impart more spin on the ball. In 2009, Ping is promoting its release of the G15 driver and irons. The G 15 irons are designed with a lower center of gravity, which allows golfers to hit the ball higher.
A Family Business
Karsten Solheim remained the figurehead of the company for 40 years. With his passing in 2000, Karsten's youngest son, John Solheim, took over as Chairman and CEO of the company. Karsten's grandson also works for the company as vice-president of engineering.