PING Golf Club Reviews
If a poll were taken to identify the golf company that has the most loyal following among its customers, PING would garner a lot of votes. And there are plenty of reasons for that. Highlighting the list, however, would probably be just how playable and forgiving PING golf clubs have been through the years, a trend that continues today and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. That said, PING also remains ahead of the curve when it comes to technology, fitting, and customization. Add it all up and PING has clubs that will help you play better golf and enjoy the game more than ever before.
PING Golf Club Types
Through the years, PING has garnered a reputation for making some of the most playable and forgiving drivers in golf. But this is also a company that’s making drivers that will deliver exceptional distance and meet the needs of any type of player, whether that means reducing spin or helping those who are in need of assistance in squaring the clubface at impact.
Average golfers typically have trouble elevating the ball with their fairway woods and hybrids, especially from the turf. For that reason, when PING develops new fairways and hybrids it is effortless launch conditions that will always headline the list of performance attributes. But PING won’t ever compromise when it comes to distance and forgiveness either.
There’s probably not a golf company in existence that has a more loyal following when it comes to irons than PING. And there’s a reason for that, as for decades PING has been releasing irons that have helped players of all ability levels play better golf. Even more impressively, it has done so with tremendous brand consistency and a commitment to doing things the PING way.
Shooting lower scores often comes down to how well you can perform from 125 yards and in, which is what makes wedge play so important. PING understands that and designs its wedges to suit the different swings players have, the different types of course conditions where they play, and the different types of shots they need to hit.
PING is one of golf’s most successful equipment companies, and it all began nearly 60 years ago with founder Karsten Solheim designing putters in his garage. Putters have remained a big part of PING’s focus through the years, and it has developed some of the most iconic putters in the game’s history, while also consistently giving players exceptional feel and a true roll.
See How PING Custom Clubs Are Made
TGW Tour of PING Part 1
TGW Tour of PING Part 2
TGW Tour of PING Part 3
TGW Tour of PING Part 4
TGW Tour of PING Part 5
You probably don’t make millions of dollars a year playing golf and, as much as you love the game, the PGA Tour likely isn’t in your future. Well, guess what? PING doesn’t care. When it comes to ordering clubs from PING, you might as well be Bubba Watson, Louis Oosthuizen, or Lee Westwood because your clubs are going to go through an identical assembly process and get the same attention to detail as theirs. Hyperbole, you say? Not at all, and we have the video to prove it. When TGW made its way to Phoenix in early March for a VIP tour of the PING facility and to test new products with four of our customers, we also followed along as one of our customer’s irons were being built from start to finish. It’s this kind of personalized customer service that PING has hung its hat on for nearly 60 years, and it’s one of the reasons that the company is among the most successful and popular in the golf market.
Before embarking on the journey to see our customer’s irons built from scratch, Pete Samuels, PING’s Director of Communications, walked us through the factory for a quick tour, gave us some background about the company, and talked about PING’s business model and goals as it relates to the company’s customers.
Golf club pioneer Karsten Solheim founded PING as a part-time business in 1959, spending all of his time on the side project building putters in the garage of his California home. Two years later, he moved his family to Phoenix and in 1966 he made PING a full-time endeavor, moving the company into the corporate headquarters it still calls home. New buildings have been added through the years and PING now has roughly 800 employees on site. Said Samuels, “Our goal is to be the oldest golf club company. There’s a lot of good things that come with being the oldest company in golf. It means you’re doing something right.”
The PING assembly floor is comprised of cells where different tasks in building a set of irons take place. What PING believes is a differentiator, however, is that everything is custom built by the company’s employees. There is no such thing as “stock” at PING, and manufacturing aspects that could have been automated instead remain in the hands of employees on the production floor. “We don’t build stock,” Samuels said. “We don’t have racks of clubs that we just go pull from. Every set is custom built. Even if you have so-called standard specs, every set goes through the same process.”
Having gotten the lay of the land, it was on to one of the day’s main events, seeing each step of a set of irons being built for one of our customers, Daniel. The process started with a work order tag, which Samuels said PING likes to call the birth certificate. In Daniel’s case, his new irons will be a set of PING Gs, 4-PW, yellow dot, which is 1.5 degree upright, AWT 2.0 shafts in regular flex, and a quarter inch over standard length through the set.
With that information, PING staff members retrieved the proper heads and shafts for the order, at which point the yellow paint fill was applied to the clubhead to identify the set’s proper lie angle. Upon completion, serial numbers were imprinted on the iron heads, something PING was first to do in the 1970s. It’s done for a number of reasons. First and foremost, if a customer wanted to add a club to his or her set, PING can build the new club with the coordinating specs and serial number. It also allows stolen clubs to be more easily recovered and for lost or damaged clubs to be seamlessly replaced. Once the components were gathered and the serial numbers imprinted on the clubheads, the components were moved to an assembly cell. “We have a very refined system on how we do this, but we love the visibility that it gives people to see how their clubs are built,” Samuels said. “We’re happy to give tours of PING. People come in, they can see this process, because we’re so proud of how we do things.”
The first step in the assembly process is to install the shafts into the clubheads using epoxy. Once the epoxy dries, the lofts and lies of the irons are adjusted to spec. In this case, Daniel’s irons are standard lofts and 1.5 degrees upright. PING uses digital computer technology to make sure each iron is adjusted perfectly. In fact, unless each club is exactly on spec, the technician literally cannot move on to adjusting another club. Added Samuels, “That’s how precise we are in this process.”
Once the lofts and lies are dialed in, the next step is that the shafts are cut to the proper length, which in the case of this set is a quarter inch longer than PING’s standard. Solheim was one of the first in the golf club industry to recognize the importance of length in a golf club, and it’s not unusual for PING to complete orders that are as much as two inches longer over standard, which occasionally even require extensions to be installed.
After the clubs are cut to length, the grips are installed. And even the grips are customized completely to a player’s wishes, something seen frequently with good players or almost always with Tour players. Examples could include extra wraps of tape to make the grips bigger, having either the lower or upper portion of the grip built up to help control the action of either hand, or having the grip actually aligned in a slightly open or closed position. So if you want any of those things done, PING takes care of it during assembly.
Finally, after these steps have been taken, it’s time to make sure the clubs’ swing weights are correct. PING irons feature Custom Tuning Ports (CTPs) that allow small amounts of weight to be added to the clubhead as needed to make sure that each club’s swing weight is exactly on target. “This has been back to the late 90s when we first came out with the custom tuning port,” Samuels said. “It’s evolved and advanced since then but the concept is basically the same.” Typically, each club in an iron set will have the same swing weight, but more accomplished players sometimes like their short irons to have a heavier swing weight than their long irons, and this technology allows PING to easily make such adjustments.
After the swing weights are calibrated, the remaining steps before shipping are purely cosmetic. If shaft stickers need to be installed, that takes place at this point. The clubheads and shafts are cleaned in preparation of delivery, and then the heads are covered for protection during shipping. Once those steps are completed, into the box they go. It’s time for the shipping label to be applied, and this set of irons is headed to Daniel, with lower scores hopefully in his future.
It’s a fascinating process to say the least, and one that PING takes very seriously. “That’s what we do every day,” Samuels said. “It’s the only way we know how to do it, so we encourage all golfers to go through the fitting process and have your set custom built ... good chance you’ll play a little better.”
It might be that the biggest golf event you’ll play in this year in your club championship or your best friend’s member-guest. Maybe there’s just a guy in your weekend group that you’d like to beat once in a while? Whatever the case may be, PING’s going to build your clubs as if the U.S. Open was next on your schedule. And there’s a lot to be said for that.