Fifty years ago in Redwood, Calif., Karsten Solheim, an engineer working for General Electric, had a problem with his putting. So the man who designed the rabbit-ears antenna for televisions designed and built a putter for himself. It was unlike anything else on the market. After patenting his ideas, the Ping by Karsten 1A putter was born.
Seven years later, after having moved to Scottsdale, Ariz., Solheim had an inspiration for a putter with a design than has become iconic. He scribbled a rough drawing on a record sleeve of a putter with weight in the heel and toe areas and a milled area directly behind the center. A year later, in 1967, the Ping Anser putter was released (photo), and its classic shape has inspired scores of putters used by millions of golfers around the world.
Today, Ping Golf makes drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges and putters. The company is headquartered in Scottsdale and employs almost 1,000 people.
To see some rare photos of Solheim and his creations, check out this gallery. Click here to see a video of Solheim explaining his 1A putter in a video shot in 1989.