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Last Update: Thursday February 27, 2020

Key Idea: Be Prepared to Fight the Establishment

Just as Ping had perfected its line of putters, the United States Golf Association outlawed all of them but one.

Key Question:


Yes, you need to use an attorney to put documents in place that will help you protect your ideas.

Just as Ping had perfected its line of putters, the United States Golf Association outlawed all of them but one. This was devastating because the pros would stop using any equipment they could not compete with, and it was the competitions that provided the marketing for Ping.

Q: Why would the establishment be against something that could improve the situation for everyone involved?

A: Because every "establishment" has a set of rules. The primary function of any "establishment" is to formalize the processes and procedures and then enforce what becomes accepted practice. Ping putters were such a departure that the USGA did what "establishments" do best and it said, "no" to the new idea Ping presented.

With patient negotiations, Ping was able to please the powers that be and finally become an officially accepted part of the game.

Think about it

What rules or laws govern your industry that could be or should be changed so that progress can be made? Are you up to the task of changing the establishment?

Clip from: Ping Golf with John Solheim, Karsten Manufacturing

Made in the USA:  Ping putters. Manufacturing is coming back.

How do I keep quality high? 

Phoenix, Arizona:  Innovators, by their very nature, are constantly going up against existing systems. The establishment. Sometimes their insights do not come by small increments, but by large leaps and then the renegades become outlaws!

If you are a golfer, you know Ping. It ranks at the top with Titleist, Spaulding, Calloway, Taylor-made-Adidas...  Yet , this business is still privately-held; and though the patriarch (and father) has died, his son, John, continues to build on all the lessons he learned as his engineering apprentice when they started this business.

Meet the Solheim family.  Like so many who redefine an entire industry, they were outlawed within it. They broke the rules. They created something totally new. Some people thought they were just crazy, until they began winning within their game. These renegades persevered. They negotiated, and today they are leaders within their industry and on their way to becoming a billion dollar business.

They began in a California garage in 1959. The sound of success here is "Ping"   and today John Solheim continues a tradition for excellence that began with with his father, Karsten.  Together they invented and began manufacturing  the Ping Golf Clubs.

Here you will see how a business constantly strives for a higher perfection.

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Ping Golf of Karsten Manufacturing

John Solheim, Chairman & CEO

2201 West Desert Cove
Phoenix, AZ 85029

Visit our web site:

Office: 6026875000

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1959

Be Prepared to Fight the Establishment

HATTIE: (Voiceover) The innovators are often punished by the establishment, and this happened to Ping.

JOHN: We had problems, too, because at the same time, the United States Golf Association had outlawed all of our putters, except for one.

HATTIE: Because they thought there was some trick to it?

JOHN: Well, there was a bend at the base of the grip, which forced the head to come through square.

HATTIE: When the USGA said that, were you just heartbroken? I mean, here you'd been working all these years, 7, 10, 11 years...

JOHN: Yes.

HATTIE: You're going up against the establishment.

JOHN: That's really tough. Exactly. And fortunately, we came to a settlement with the USGA so that the golfers were the winners because they got to continue using the clubs, and we made some changes and minor adjustments to the clubs.

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