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Certainly, one of the highlights of the PGA Show is getting to see first hand some of the new products that would soon be available to the public.
But, something extremely cool was located right across the aisle from Ping’s main booth. That being the dedicated space to the Ping Anser putter, which really makes you feel old when you do the math.
When I started playing golf seriously at the age of 14, my cousin from Pensacola was an All State high school golfer who I really looked up to. He carried this crazy looking at-the-time putter in his bag, and he was someone who was known in the area as someone who could really putt.
The putter was a Ping Anser. He used to say, “If you want to putt (well), get a Ping!”
50th Anniversary. Man, I feel old.
Tom Brassell: We are at the 2016 PGA merchandise show. Inside the Ping conference room with John K. Solheim. Thanks so much man.
John K. Solheim: Oh, thanks. It’s good to be here. Good to have you guys here.
Tom Brassell: Tons of buzz out there. A number of things. Talk about the G series.
John K. Solheim: So we’re really excited about the new G series. The G 30 was very successful for us, the number one selling driver in golf for 2015, and we challenged ourselves to make it better and that’s exactly what we’ve done with the G series. I’m extremely excited because not only we made the driver better we made the fairway, the hybrid. We’ve introduced a new category with the crossover in the irons are all substantially better.
Tom Brassell: Let me ask you about this fallacy I think that a lot of consumers have out there that technology is at it’s limit. It can’t get any better. Address that because certainly the clubs that are out there now are much better that what were out there 3, 4, 5 years ago.
John K. Solheim: Yeah definitely. So thing I actually think I used to get this question wrong. I’d get asked, you know, when’s the limit? When are we going to hit the limit? And I always be like well, we always have room to innovate, but the jumps and performance will get smaller and smaller, and now I’m thinking I’m wrong because with the G series we’ve actually increased the jumps and what I missed was the fact that there’s all these new technologies. So we’ve got new ideas coming from all sorts of directions so our world has kind of opened up now with the aerodynamics, the different materials. When you start adding all those, and maybe it’s just a small jump, but if you do five of those small jumps you get a bigger jump than what we’ve had in the past. So with that said. You know, I’m extremely excited about our product. There is stuff to be leary of out there though. So you can’t believe what everybody says, but with us, I say, “Go hit our product and you’ll see the truth. It will come out in just the demo of our product in how good it is.”
Tom Brassell: I can’t get out of here. I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you about the fiftieth anniversary. Fiftieth anniversary of the Anser. Talk about that.
John K. Solheim: So I like to call it a fiftieth birthday because it’s still going strong. It’s not something in the past. That’s a design my grandfather came up with fifty years ago, and I try to think the only thing I came up with is like a number 2 pencil. You can still buy those and they’re still relevant today. Everything else has evolved and changed in designs, but the Anser design. We do it. We know a lot of our competitors have similar models. It’s still very relevant today. It’s the most popular putter model out there. So we’re kind of honoring it. We’ve introduced 2 new putters that are actually a little throwback to the original design, and we’ve added our TR face technology. So you get all the good stuff Karsten put into it. Plus our latest putter technology makes it extremely consistent so your distance control is outstanding. Really improves the golfers touch and ultimately eliminates three putts.
Tom Brassell: John , thanks so much man. Have a great show.
John K. Solheim: All right. Thank you.