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Profile picture Clark Maxfield
Solheim and the Ping putter
I remember in Mr Paine's Physics class in 1959 a guy named John Solheim brought an experimental golf club that his father was designing in his garage in Redwood City, to class to demonstrate kinetic forces that we were studying at the time.


The putter was made using a new manufacturing technique called "investment casting." The putter was hollow inside, allowing the shaft to pass through the club and attach at the bottom, thus controlling the twisting forces that distorted an accurate putt. Because it was hollow, the club made a "ping" sound when it hit a ball. So the Solheims called it a "Ping Putter."

We all thought that at best, we'd be seeing John selling this putter on late-night TV along with "Popeils's Pocket Fisherman." But John and his father went on to develop the club and start what has become one of the best golf club companies in the world...Ping! You can read about this club and the Solheims at...http://www.ping.com/about/decade.aspx?id=5604 They're now celebrating 50 years in business too. Does anyone else remember John Solheim?
Profile picture Steve Chell Re: Solheim and the Ping putter
Hi Clark ... I don't remember the class, but it is Allan Solheim, and he's on our reunion email list: allans@pinggolf.com. You listening, Allan? Tell us your story! Pretty incredible, indeed! Steve Chell (Vintage2B)
Profile picture Lorin W. Myers Re: Solheim and the Ping putter

Vintage2B wrote:

"Hi Clark ... I don't remember the class, but it is Allan Solheim, and he's on our reunion email list: allans@pinggolf.com. You listening, Allan? Tell us your story! Pretty incredible, indeed! Steve Chell (Vintage2B)"
Hi guys,
My wife and I visited Allan at his factory in Phoenix several years ago. He was the same old Allan I remember. He gave us tour of his factory and it was very interesting. Maybe he can be asked to donate a club or two to the reunion fund raising activities.
Profile picture John Fried Re: Solheim and the Ping putter
I recall meeting John's brother Allan (class of '59) Solheim at the 40th reunion. I didn't realize until then that he was part of the famous Ping golf club family and I'd been using a Ping putter for many years. FWIW, I looked through the 1956-59 yearbooks and didn't see John Solheim listed in any of the classes.
Profile picture Clark Maxfield Re: Solheim and the Ping putter

Vintage2B wrote:

"Hi Clark ... I don't remember the class, but it is Allan Solheim, and he's on our reunion email list: allans@pinggolf.com. You listening, Allan? Tell us your story! Pretty incredible, indeed! Steve Chell (Vintage2B)"
Sorry Allan...when I wrote my original post above, I guess I had a "senior moment" and confused you and your older brother.

But as I recall, in that Physics class we all called each other only by our last names. So I'm not sure I ever knew your first name.

But I DO remember the care you took to describe to our Physics class the forces acting on that putter...and the resulting deflection of the face of the club. It was a moment of clarity for me that I've always remembered.