Wednesday, October 4, 2017
My visit to PIng
Last week my wife and I were on vacation in Arizona. We flew to Phoenix then drove to Flagstaff 150 miles north of Phoenix. We visited the Grand Canyon, Sedona and other beautiful sites in the high desert country.
On Friday( thanks to my sales rep ) my wife and I had the opportunity to visit the Tour Fitting Department at Ping's Headquarters in Phoenix. Our appointment was at 1:00 PM and we didn't leave until 4:30 PM. Simply said, the visit far exceeded my expectations.
We were greeted by Pat Abshire, a Ping Master Fitter who had just returned from three months in Australia where he was training staff members. Pat was very personable and you could quickly tell he enjoyed what he did.
Our first stop was the Ping Putter Lab to be fit for a putter. I was amazed at the equipment and tools they utilized in analyzing my putting stroke. Because my srtoke is straight with very little arc rotation we chose a mallet style faced balanced model with two degrees of loft. We spent about 45 minutes in the putter lab.
We then went to the Tour Fitting Facility located on the hitting range. They have two motorized shade structures to protect players from the sun and occasional rain. Each hitting station is equipped with a large selection of shafts and heads for irons, woods and wedges. After warming up I explained to Pat my issue of not getting enough height with my mid to long irons and fairway woods. It didn't take Pat long to find the right combination shaft and head to solve the problem. He did the same thing with my woods. He also changed my driver shaft and length that resulted in more distance and consistency. We then worked on wedges to find the correct lofts for distance gaping. Not only did the new specs produce a higher trajectory, but also an increase in distance. My new Ping clubs will be here next week and I can't wait to play with them.
Pat then said he had one more thing he wanted us to see. We entered a room with a large safe door much like you would see in a bank. Pat put in the combination then opened the safe door. Inside the room was the famous Ping Putter Vault. It contains over 2,900 gold plated Ping putters. Each was an exact replica of the putter used to win a PGA, LPGA or major tournament. Ping also gives the winner a gold plated replica. The was started by Ping's founder Karsten Solheim to reward players who win using a Ping putter. Each putter is engraved with the player's name and the tournament.
Our afternoon at Ping was a memorable and educational experience and one that I will not soon forget.