Ping celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009. Since 1959, Ping has grown from a workshop in Karsten Solheims's garage to a company that employs more than 1,000 workers. Karsten Solheim, the founder of Ping, quickly gained a reputation for innovation and that quality has been particularly evident in Ping irons throughout the decades. Ping has produced some of the most recognizable irons in history and it remains a leading iron producer, popular with amateurs and professionals alike.
The Ping K1 irons were launched in 1969. They featured an "assortment of features and innovations" such as perimeter weighting. The use of perimeter weighting enabled Ping to create a club head that was more forgiving. It was also produced from an "investment casted 17-4ph stainless steel." While the launch was in 1969, Ping had been developing the technologies for some time. As early as 1961, Ping experimented with heel-toe weighting by milling a small cavity into the back of the club head. These experiments would eventually result in the creation of the innovative K1 irons.
Ping Eye Irons
The original Ping Eye irons were introduced in 1978. They featured an eye shape in the cavity that helped to improve feel while creating a higher standard in golf club aesthetics. The Ping Eye2 irons were launched just four years later with "numerous improvements." The iconic irons would quickly go on to become the best selling irons in the game. Throughout the 1980s, the Ping Eye2 irons were seen globally producing great shots, including a bunker shot by Bob Tway on the 18th hole to win the 1986 PGA Championship.
Ping continued to create innovative products and the 1996 Ping ISI irons were another example of that trend. The ISI irons were the first Ping club to be produced using nickel. The alloy was used to help improve durability while creating a softer feel. More recent designs include the widely acclaimed G2 series and their successors, the G10 and G15 irons. The G15 irons received a gold rating in the 2010 Golf Digest Hot List. The Ping G15 irons feature a custom tuning port that allow for the movement of greater weight to the perimeter. This technology results in a very forgiving club head that is popular with less accomplished golfers.
Ping on Tour
Ping remains a popular brand with professional golfers. Ping has many staff players on the PGA Tour, including two time major winner Angel Cabrera and Ryder Cup player Hunter Mahan. Lee Westwood, the world's No. 1 player at the end of 2010, has also played Ping clubs throughout his career.