My Library and Courses
Last Update: Thursday February 27, 2020

Key Idea: Take Extraordinary Care of Employees

Ping has a great reputation in its community not only as a quality maker of golf clubs, but also as a place where people want to work.

Key Question:


Treat them with dignity and respect.

Q: What can you see from this episode that tells you why Ping is such a great place to work?

A: First, golf is popular and fun. The sales force is made up of people who love the sport, and there are plenty of golfers in the factory too. Second, Ping is generous with pay and benefits. And third, John Solheim respects people not only for what they do but also for what he believes they can do when given the freedom. Bob Cantin says that good people are hired, and then those good people are allowed to develop in a way that is interesting to the employee. There are no rigid job descriptions that lock a person in and restrict their creativity.

Think about it

What can you do to unleash more of the potential in the people who work for you now? Do your current employees help to recruit new employees?

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.

  Go to all the key ideas and videos of this episode...
Go the homepage for this episode...

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

Take Extraordinary Care of Employees

HATTIE: You've been at Ping Golf for how many years?

BOB: Twenty years.

HATTIE: What is it about this organization that causes people to stay, because there are a lot of people who've been here a long time?

BOB: The Solheim family takes care of their people. They recognize people for their talents. When I joined the company, we didn't even have job descriptions. Karsten hired people for what he saw that they could do, and then he let them develop into their skills. And that's really an unusual company that permits that to happen.

HATTIE: So you feel like this is a place where if you get an idea, you can chase it down and make it happen.

BOB: Without question.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Ed O'Brian keeps Karsten Manufacturing connected.

ED O'BRIAN: I was a golf professional working for a club owned by Ping, and I voiced my desire to leave the golf business, and John Solheim asked me if I'd like to come and work the Web--run the Web site.

HATTIE: Why is it, then, important for a small owner to give an inside person an opportunity to learn about this?

ED: I think it's very important. The company culture is what you're trying to project ... the personality of the company. You're trying to put it on the Web and I think only somebody who has an intimate knowledge of the company is in that position. If the company still decides to outsource it, they need to have a team of people at the company who work very closely to supervise it. All the flashy graphics, Java, and Flash in the world is not going to cut it if you're not getting your personality online.

HATTIE: How do you attract these folks?

DOROTHY GLICK: For the most part, by word of mouth.

HATTIE: Dorothy Glick is director of human resources.

DOROTHY: The company has a great reputation in how they treat employees once they're hired on. And because of that, it's kind of like family members refer friends or other family members, and it's just grown from there.

JOHN: Well, number one, you take of your people. You make sure that you pay them well, that you have a bonus plan for them, you have retirement plans and medical insurance. But then, you know, you give them a challenge, and that's much more important. You give them a job that they're responsible for.

DOUG HAWKEN: I started in 1971 out of college.

Not a member yet? Learn!  Be empowered! Join us!