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Key Idea: Promote the Wider World of Your Customers

Ping gives a gold putter to professionals when they win tournaments and they sponsor many activities where golf is the focus.

Key Question:


Promote the wider world of your customers.

Q: Why should any company take time away from its core business activities to be involved in projects that may or may not help the business?

A: All of us need an environment in which to operate. When you step back and see how you will grow your business, it probably has much to do with the health of your entire industry. You certainly should not take precious time for projects that may have little or no direct impact on your business, but this is not what we're suggesting.

The Ryder Cup is an annual golf tournament that pits the best male professional golfers from the United States against the best male professional golfers from Europe. In 1987, The Solheim family thought it could help to promote women's golf by starting a competition for the best female golfers in the US to play against the best female players in Europe. Thus was born the Solheim Cup.

The Solheims saw the success of the Ryder Cup which was started in 1921. They believed that if they started a tournament for women, over time it would have a big impact on the game. They were right! Rather than Ping, the family decided to name the tournament after the family that owns the business. This has a strong positive impact because it seems less commercial and more like a charitable contribution than an advertising effort.

Think about it

What is the ecosystem in which you operate? What impact do you have on it now? What action can you take to improve it?

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

Promote the Wider World of Your Customers

HATTIE: The corporate culture of the family-owned business is a reflection of the founder. The company isn't just about the business of making golf clubs; it is about loving the game and loving the people who play it. Bob Cantin, like others at Ping, gave us insight into what makes this company special.

BOB CANTIN: Karsten Solheim, in 1987, invited the women to come to Moon Valley to play in a major tournament. Moon Valley is the home club of Ping Golf Equipment. If you will, we are the Ryder Cup with lipstick. The Ryder Cup and the Solheim Cup really pit the best professional golfers from the United States against the best professional golfers from Europe.

HATTIE: So, if I win the Solheim Cup, I get to take this home?

BOB: The winning team does retain the Solheim Cup at their headquarters office. This was an extra Solheim Cup that was made very specially by the Waterford Crystal people for the Solheim family.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Every person we met at Ping told us the same thing: They're here because of the commitment to greatness, to achieving the best, to finding perfection. John Bliss is director of engineering. Would you, with your own personal value system, want to work at a place where you didn't have the support to work on perfection?

JOHN BLISS: Absolutely not. I mean, this is a passion we have. Obviously, we need to make a profit here. But we do this because we enjoy it and we have a passion to design. John has set an edict that we're going to strive to be the number one in irons, putters and metal woods, not so much in volume but in high-performance, high-quality products. And everybody has a passion for that precision, for that preciseness, for that quality, to strive to achieve the best.

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