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Home Daily Golf Briefs Daily Pulse for July 10, 2017



Web Street Golf Daily Pulse
VOLUME 7, NUMBER 133                                                       
Monday, July 10, 2017

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “In the early days, I just hated it. Karsten would go to work each day. John went to school each day. I was left alone to mail putters, answer mail and phone calls. People would mail money for putters and order by phone. I knew I had to keep records of sales, mail invoices, bill past dues, pay our own bills, keep files. There were times I just wanted to throw it in the fire.”

BRAIN TEASER: Who was the last player before Xander Schauffele, to win for the first time on the PGA TOUR in 2017? HINT: It was the winner of the Valero Texas Open

WHAT WILL THEY THINK OF NEXT? “There’s no end to improving club making. When you think you’ve reached the ultimate, you find you’ve just scratched the surface,” Karsten Solhein was quoted as saying back in 1986. The world is a much different place in 2017 than it was in 1986, however Solheim would be proud that his company and family have upheld his belief. In 2005, PING introduced the G2 460cc driver. It became the top-selling driver for eight consecutive months beginning in January of 2005. Throughout the years, PING clubs have continued to improve in both appearance and performance.

g400Phoenix, AZ-based PING has maintained a strategy of letting its club do most of the talking. While other equipment manufacturers prefer a more aggressive effort of selling the sizzle over the steak, PING bloodlines reside within engineering. And it also remains steadfast that there isn’t an end to improving club making. Today, it has introduced its generation of products that will allow players throughout the world to enjoy the game a little more.

The new G400 Series is PING’s fastest and most forgiving driver to date, according to the company, and is accompanied by an iron that delivers tour-level distance and ball flight. The full line of custom-fit, custom-built drivers, irons, fairway woods, hybrids and crossovers are the latest from the company that has delivered several innovations throughout the years to golfers.

“The G400 driver is a prime example of how our engineering team looks at every single detail of a club to ensure we are optimizing each design variable so golfers can improve performance,” said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “In this case, we’ve gone slightly smaller in volume (445cc) to improve aerodynamics for faster clubhead speeds while actually raising the MOI higher than any previous PING driver. We also employed a thinner, forged face to deliver increased ball speeds. This commitment to performance enabled impressive distance gains and tighter dispersion, the ultimate driving combination. We’ve also engineered an incredibly pleasing sound in the driver through computer simulation that will turn heads on the tee box when golfers get it in their hands. It even has a shaft that changes color at address to improve the player’s focus.”

PING’s tour staff, including Lee Westwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Mackenzie Hughes, David Lingmerth and Daniel Summerhays are some of first to switch to the new G400 driver with more than 70 currently in play around the world, according to PING.

“We’ve never seen faster conversion to a new product than we did at last month’s U.S. Open with 13 drivers in play the first week it was available,” Solheim added. “The players immediately loved the look of the driver and became enamored with the powerful sound and feel. At the end of the week, the statistics proved that both the longest and most accurate players off the tee at the U.S. Open relied on a G400 driver.”

The unique forging and patented heat-treatment process of the T9S+ face powers a thinner, hotter impact area, PING said, that is precision machined to elevate ball speed across the entire face for 16% more flexing and when paired with the aerodynamic gains, results in ball-speed gains of nearly 2 mph. By making the face 6% thinner and 9% lighter than its predecessor, extra weight was placed strategically to tighten dispersion even further through higher MOI. The forged face, PING said, was also instrumental in producing the powerful feel of the driver.

The G400 driver’s high-density tungsten back weight and Dragonfly Technology help bring the combined MOI (heel/toe and high/low) over 9,000 gram cm2 for the first time and position the CG lower and farther back than any current driver on the market – making it the most forgiving driver in golf, it said. In testing, PING pointed out, the G400 outperformed the leading drivers in the marketplace, most notably when comparing dispersion results.

“We pay very close attention to the dispersion data when we analyze and compare product results,” said John K. Solheim, PING President. “Dispersion is an overall performance measurement that reveals just how consistent your distance and accuracy results will be on the golf course. We encourage all golfers to get fit and look closely at their dispersion, not just their one best shot on a launch monitor. We know they’ll be much more satisfied over the long term. They’ll not only hit it farther more consistently, they’ll find the fairway more often and their scores will go down.”

The streamlined shaping blends with new, bolder turbulators and Vortec Technology to reduce drag by 40% mid-downswing and 15% overall to increase clubhead speed, according to PING. The Dragonfly crown technology extends to the skirt section on the sole, providing additional weight savings and creating an “infinity edge” effect that adds to the inspiring look at address.

Extensive research and computer simulation coupled with music theory allowed the engineers to design internal architecture that fine-tuned the frequencies to produce a deeper, more muted sound. One tour professional, the company said, compared it to “the satisfaction of puring a persimmon driver with the modern technology of the G400.”

The G400 driver also features an innovative paint-shifting paint technology of the Alta CB shaft. This premium copper shaft paint transitions to nearly black to reduce distractions as golfers address the ball. The counter-balanced design of the Alta CB allows for more mass in the head to increase energy transfer the company said.

Three head options are available to match a G400 driver to a golfer’s desired ball flight. The standard version is engineered to fit most golfers. The SFT (Straight Flight) is designed to correct a left-to-right ball flight (for right-handed golfers) and features heel-side tungsten weighting and a lighter swing weight to help square the face. The LST (Low Spin) version positions the tungsten weight closer to the face to reduce spin approximately 300 rpm for a stronger ball flight.

g400ironThe new G400 iron is engineered, PING said, to give golfers tour-level distance and towering height combined with the forgiveness and control to hit more greens. Its COR-Eye Technology combines with a new top rail undercut to increase face flexing in a catapult-like fashion for faster ball speeds that launch shots higher and farther with low spin for a strong flight, the company said. A unique heat-treating process produces Hyper 17-4 stainless steel, which makes the face 40% stronger than traditional 17-4 stainless steel and allows for a thinner face and 18% more face flexing.

“The G400 iron delivers phenomenal performance,” said John K. Solheim. “We like to call it our ‘game enjoyment’ iron because it’s so much fun to play. It provides tour-level performance while being very easy to hit and extremely forgiving with an amazing feel. Some golfers are seeing distance improvements as much as 15 yards, yet it is launching much higher and landing softer to give them more control. One of our tour players said it best during testing: ‘This G400 7-iron has turned into my 6-iron but in an 8-iron window.’ He got it exactly right. Golfers can expect one less club to the green with the height of two less clubs. That’s a powerful combination.”

A composite back-cavity badge made of aluminum and elastomer provides an enriched impact response that promises a powerful sound and feel. The Hydropearl Chrome finish reduces friction to improve turf interaction, while giving it a premium look.

To maximize distance in the fairway woods and hybrids, PING said it has employed C300 maraging steel as the face material. Considered one of the strongest alloys in the world, maraging steel is commonly used in the aerospace industry, where strength and flexibility are necessities. It’s those properties that also make it an ideal face material to deliver more flexing for faster ball speeds that launch shots farther and higher.

“Our main goal in the G400 fairway woods and hybrids was to introduce significant distance gains while maintaining other performance benefits such as forgiveness and the ability to launch the ball easily,” said John A. Solheim. “With maraging steel, we have a material that allows us to go extremely thin with the face to give us the faster ball-speed gains we’re seeking for more distance and higher launch. The results have been amazing as we’re seeing face flexing equal to the thickness of the face.”

The G400 fairway wood has expanded fitting options with the addition of a 9-wood and three SFT (Straight Flight) choices (3, 5, 7) to help golfers bring their shots back on line. The Stretch 3-wood is also available as a high-performance option off the tee to deliver distance and accuracy or when going for par-5s in two.

Progressive CG locations in the G400 hybrid offer versatility in helping golfers properly gap their sets. The 2- and 3-hybrids are engineered with a CG more toe side to minimize a left bias while the 4-, 5-, and 6-hybrids are designed help golfers launch the ball higher with added forgiveness.

The second generation of the crossover, which combines the precision and control of an iron with the ball speed and forgiveness of a hybrid, has been improved to make it a versatile option for golfers of all skill levels PING said. It also relies on a maraging steel face, which improves the sound and delivers higher launch, producing 30% more stopping power. The addition of a 20-gram tungsten toe weight increases forgiveness, resulting in 17% tighter dispersion, PING said. The turf interaction is greatly improved with a thinner sole and Hydropearl Chrome finish, which reduces friction 40%.

The new G400 Series is now available for pre-order and custom fitting at authorized PING golf shops around the world.

WHAT A LIFE! Louise Solheim, wife of PING Founder Karsten Solheim, has passed away in Phoenix, Arizona, at the age of 99. “Today we lost a very special woman who touched and improved the lives of so many,” said John A. Solheim, Karsten and Louise’s youngest son and PING’s Chairman & CEO. “Our mother was a blessing to everyone in so many ways. She had a special quality that gave her the ability to bring a smile to everyone’s face and she handled every situation with grace. We looked to her for guidance in all aspects of our lives and she always took great care to advise us, building our confidence to make decisions ourselves. We will miss her dearly. Our entire family is at peace knowing she’s now in God’s care.”

louisesolheimLouise was a soft-spoken, gracious lady who worked side-by-side with Karsten to build PING into one of the most successful golf equipment companies in the history of the game while raising a family of four children. She chose to remain off stage and left the spotlight to Karsten. She vowed the day she was married to put Karsten’s desires and those of their family ahead of her own. She did it willingly and joyfully without the need for recognition. “I most definitely wanted it this way,” she often said.

“Our mother preferred working behind the scenes,” said Allan D. Solheim, the middle son. “Karsten’s tinkering with putter designs in our garage began as a hobby, but it quickly turned into a thriving business. From the beginning, my mother assumed the administrative side of the business, allowing Karsten to focus on club designs. She was blessed with an incredible memory, which Karsten relied on regularly. Whether it was remembering someone’s name or the specifics of an event, she always had the answer. Together, they made an amazing team that formed the foundation for PING today.”

Despite her desire to maintain a low profile, her countless contributions are widely recognized and deeply engrained in PING’s history. She is credited with naming the most famous putter in golf -- the PING ANSER -- which has been used to win more than 500 professional golf tournaments around the world. Her role in creating the Solheim Cup in 1990 opened the door to bringing women’s professional team golf to a worldwide stage for the players to show off their shot-making skills while competing for the honor of their countries.

Her numerous honors include an Honorary Doctorate degree from Arizona State University (1992), the LPGA’s Commissioner’s Award (1994), Swedish Golf Federation Distinguished Service Award (2003), Arizona Golf Hall of Fame (2004), Arizona State University Regents Award for Outstanding Service to Higher Education (2004), Honorary LPGA member (2005) and Honorary Ladies European Tour member (2011).
“Louise had a keen business sense that she combined with a generous heart,” said Karsten Louis Solheim, the oldest son. “She was guided by the Bible and wanted every action to be pleasing to God. She believed God had been exceptionally good to us and wanted to make sure as a company we gave back. She was especially thoughtful in her administration of the Solheim Foundation. I worked closely with her over the years and she applied a wise and fair approach to the distribution of the funds, always making sure the beneficiary’s values and missions led to the betterment of people’s lives.” 

Born June 6, 1918, in Spokane, Wash., Louise was the only child of John Louis Crozier, a teacher and inventor, and his wife, Nellie, who died of scarlet fever a month after giving birth to Louise. She and Karsten met in 1936 in church and were married that same year. Both devout Christians, they remained active in church throughout their lives. At the time of her passing, Louise was a member of Bethany Bible Church in Phoenix.

An honor student in high school, Louise worked various jobs over the years as she and Karsten moved around the country while he continued his engineering career. In the early 1950s, she worked for Convair (now General Dynamics) in its wind tunnels, calculating and plotting test results for the aerospace engineers. Her title was “Computer.” Shortly after moving to Syracuse in 1954, she took a position with the Eastern Milk Producers Dairy Cooperative, where her job included editing the company newsletter. It turned out to be her favorite job of all. Her last position before PING became a full-time pursuit for her family was assisting John Conlan, a two-term State Senator from Arizona who later became a U.S. Congressman.

Louise was preceded in death by Karsten (February, 2000) and their daughter, Sandra Solheim Aiken (December, 2013). She is survived by her three sons: John A. Solheim, Karsten Manufacturing Corporation Chairman, President & CEO; Allan D. Solheim, retired Karsten Manufacturing Executive Vice President and current board member; and Karsten Louis Solheim, retired Karsten Manufacturing Executive Vice President and current board member. Louise was blessed with 14 grandchildren, 47 great grandchildren and 14 great, great grandchildren

DOUBLE DIPPING: Anyone else notice that Tim Mickelson has his hands in a couple of different pots. As caddy for his brother, he’s entitled to compensation for toting his bag. Meanwhile, as agent to Jon Rahm, he’s entitled to a share of his earnings. Rahm was in Ireland over the weekend, while his agent was at the Greenbrier. All good?

GARAGE SALE! Toulon Design, part of Odyssey Golf, has announced Toulon Garage. The new website allows golfers to design and personalize a Toulon Design putter through a fast, intuitive 12-step process. Golfers can choose from a variety of features such as head shape, hosel type, finish, head weight, stamps and paint fill, shaft, and grip.

tourongarageUsers are prompted through a 12-step process that includes:
Step 1: Choose right-hand or left-hand.
Step 2: Choose your head shapes.
Step 3: Choose your hosel design.
Step 4: Choose your finish: Satin, Tour Mist, Black Pearl or Rose Gold.
Step 5: Choose your alignment aid: sight line(s) or dot(s) -- or leave it unmarked.
Step 6: Choose your paint fill.
Step 7: Choose your stamping (letters or numbers).
Step 8: Choose your soleplate weight.
Step 9: Choose your grip -- numerous options from SuperStroke and Lamkin.
Step 10: Choose your shaft.
Step 11: Choose your length.
Step 12: Choose your loft and lie.

Completed designs are built at Callaway headquarters in Carlsbad, CA by the same technicians who build most of the Odyssey putters played on the PGA Tour, according to the company. Each Toulon Garage putter is packaged in a specially designed box and includes a unique certificate of authenticity laser-etched onto a piece of high-grade aluminum. Orders are expected to be received in 3-4 weeks.

Toulon Garage Putters start at $499 for the Tour Satin Mist Finish, $549 for the Black Pearl finish, and $599 for the Rose Gold finish. Pricing will vary depending on custom options. 

SOLD: Private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC said on Sunday it had agreed to acquire ClubCorp Holdings Inc, one of the largest owners and operators of private golf and country clubs in the United States, for $1.1 billion. READ MORE>>>

WINNER’S CLUBS: Xander Schauffele won for the first time on the PGA TOUR at the Greenbrier Classic. He birdied two out of his last three holes to win by one shot. He started the final round T3 and delivered a 3-under par 67 to emerge victorious. “The U.S. Open was a huge moment in my career, it was one of the biggest stages and for me to kind of be calm and collected throughout the week and just kind of hang on and come in tied fifth was huge for me mentally. So it kind of gave me the confidence and allowed me to play and win this week,” Schauffele said afterwards. His margin of victory came down to his club selection on the last hole. “It was 57 front, 162 pin, there was a little bit of altitude up here, so my caddie and I, we looked at a pitching wedge and 9-iron and, under the gun, you never want to swing something soft, so we grabbed the pitching wedge real quick,” he said. He was left with three feet to make birdie. His first PGA TOUR victory came in his 24th career start on the PGA TOUR. Here is what Xander Schauffele had in the bag to win the 2017 Greenbrier Classic:

Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017, 9.5 degrees
Fairway Woods: TaylorMade M1 2017, 15 degrees
Irons: TaylorMade Tour Preferred UDI 2-iron, TaylorMade P750 (4-PW0
Wedges: Vokey Design SM6 gap (52), sand (56) and lob (60) wedges
Putter: Odyssey Works Versa Big T #5
Ball: TaylorMade Tour Preferred X

Xander Schauffele’s– Numbers for the week:
Eagles: 1
Birdies: 18
Pars: 47
Bogeys: 6
Double Bogeys: 0
Cumulative Score: 266


MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING? Bernhard Langer issued a statement on Friday saying he is "certain" he has not been violating a rule banning players from anchoring their putter during their stroke. Golf Channel analyst and former PGA Tour player Brandel Chamblee stoked controversy in a Golf Channel column by calling Langer's putting stroke into question. READ MORE>>>

DO OVER: The return of major championship golf to the Pacific Northwest may depend on the fate of the greens at Chambers Bay. The maligned putting surfaces on the links-style layout by Puget Sound became as much a story at the 2015 U.S. Open as Jordan Speith's victory. Now the greens are getting a makeover. READ MORE>>>

A WIN WITH SOME DRAMA: Jon Rahm eased to a six-shot victory in the Irish Open on Sunday, shattering the course and tournament record, but his win was overshadowed by a ball-marking controversy that shone an uncomfortable spotlight on golf's complicated rule book. READ MORE>>>

ANSWERS: “In the early days, I just hated it. Karsten would go to work each day. John went to school each day. I was left alone to mail putters, answer mail and phone calls. People would mail money for putters and order by phone. I knew I had to keep records of sales, mail invoices, bill past dues, pay our own bills, keep files. There were times I just wanted to throw it in the fire.”--Louise Solheim in AND THE PUTTER WENT PING on the early sales days of the company.

Xander Schauffele joins Kevin Chappell, who won the 2017 Valero Texas Open for his first PGA TOUR victory.