Jersey City, N.J. – After helping players prepare for the Arnold
Palmer Invitational in late March, Ping's tour van was on the road to the next
event when it was hit from behind in a rainstorm. No
one was hurt when a truck carrying timber hit the van, but just days before
the Masters, Ping's van was totaled.
Ping, like many other manufacturers, depends on its tour van to act as a model warehouse and club building facility for PGA Tour pros. Vans typically carry scores of shafts, grips and dozens of driver, iron and wedge heads.
While competition in the marketplace is fierce, the people who work in tour vans are often good friends. There is a certain comradeship that develops on the road, and in the weeks that followed, several other manufacturers allowed Ping reps to do basic work in their vans.
Five months later, the company has unveiled it's new truck and
parked it alongside the driving range at Liberty National.
longer than it's predecessor, but slightly taller. An expandable side section
opens to create a larger work area. For players like Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan, Angel Cabrera
and Chris DiMarco, the van's sofa's and satellite TVs can provide a respite
from the heat of the practice area.
(Photos by David Dusek)