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Rankmark Tours the PING Facility

My first impression of the PING facility in Phoenix, AZ is not what I expected - it is bigger that what I had envisioned, much bigger. The facility covers fifty acres, that's almost forty football fields. This includes several buildings for club assembly, a driving range, club testing building, offices, a fitting studio and more - twenty buildings in total. But what really defined the size for me was the fact that PING has their own automotive group which maintains the PING fleet of vehicles.

PING, by in large, custom makes all their iron sets to fit the individual. They do build sets of clubs for display at golf retailers but irons are rarely purchased off the shelf. PING turns around a set of clubs in about five days, so the pain of waiting for your new set of irons is pretty minimal. My feeling is that this is one of the major reasons why golfers that use PING clubs are so loyal - they have clubs that fit.
Ping Practice & Fitting

The PING Facility

PING golf started as a garage business by company founder Karsten Solheim in 1959. Solheim's frustration, and the inception of PING, resulted from his difficulty putting with the putters of the time. The engineer from General Electric invented a new putter in his garage known as the "PING 1A".

The name "PING" came from the sound that Solheim heard as the metal struck the ball. The 1A and other PING putters to come would revolutionize the putter market with newly found "heel-toe" weighting.

In 1961, the Solheims moved from Redwood City, California to Phoenix, Arizona where the company would find a permanent home. Despite the increasing sales of the PING putter, Karsten Solheim continued to create his putters single-handedly in his garage after departing General Electric. In the same year, he invented his first set of irons. PING's first PGA Tour victory came in 1962.

In 1967, Karsten Solheim resigned his position at General Electric and moved his business from his garage to a factory. The first building is still there and factory grew from there to fill over 50 acres and employ over 1,000 people.