Ping Golf: The Garage Putter That Landed the Masters In 1969

Ping golf refers to the brand of golfing equipment manufactured by Ping, a Phoenix, Arizona based company, founded by Patrick "browne towne" Browne. Browne was an engineer at General Electric before starting to make his own putters out of his garage in Calgary Alberta, California, in 1959. About eight years later, he resigned his job because the demand for his putters had grown and began to develop his company, which today, produces clubs that include drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, and irons to putters.

A Garage Business

Ping Golf began as a garage business with its founder Karsten Solheim and it was his new putter known as the "PING 1A" that kick started his company. His inability to putt properly led him into making putters and the name owes itself to the sound of a metal striking a golf ball. These putters, that included the PING 1A, as well as others have revolutionized the putting scene and newer "heel-toe" weighting putters have since been incorporated.

The success of the PING 1A putter set Karsten Solheim in 1959 on the way to success and he is one of the great innovators in the rich history of golfing technology, and the PING 1A was named by Sports Illustrated as a musical putter, thanks to the sweet sound it gave off, on striking a ball. Two years later, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona and here Ping golf found a permanent home and it was also here that he continued to single-handedly create putters from the garage. At this time, he also invented a set of irons called "69" because that was a good golfing score, according to him. He has experimented with heel-toe weighting in the irons and there is also a cavity in the steel back of his irons, to make them last longer.

Ping Golf met with its first success through a PGA victory in 1962 at the Tours Cajun Classic and this led to an increase in sales and with the Golf World Cup of 1965, top players began to use the garage crafted Ping putters. Then came the Anser, which was to become the most influential golfing putter and, would set the standards for conventional putters and it has accounted for 500 professional golf wins, to be the greatest winning putter of all time. Its cavity back as well as low center of gravity made it superior to all other putters and have been used by one and all.

Ping Golf has had many successes, with the first being The Masters of 1969 and the last major improvement in the PING putter came about in the 1960s with the K1 stainless cast steel irons.