Golf Equipment That Changed the Game

1 of 12 Ping
A look at some of the groundbreaking products that have changed the game of golf. Ping Anser Putter The club that put the company on the map was invented in Ping founder Karsten Solheim's garage in 1966. His wife, Louise, suggested leaving out the W so Anser would fit on the putter's toe. Ansers have won more than 500 pro events, including 26 majors.
2 of 12 TaylorMade
TaylorMade Pittsburgh Persimmon Metal woods existed long before 1978, but they were barely used novelties. Then came Gary Adams, a brilliant club designer. In the late 1970s Adams created his first metal wood, a 12-degree cast stainless-steel driver, and he called it "Taylor Made." Adams also founded a company with the same name. He convinced a few Tour players to use the driver, also known as the Pittsburgh Persimmon, in 1979, and the first pro to win with it was Ron Streck in 1981 in Houston. It wasn't long before persimmon woods were gone and metal woods were ubiquitous.
3 of 12 Ping
Ping Eye2 Irons Invented by Solheim in 1982, the forgiving, square-grooved Eye2s were a revelation and a sensation among amateurs, claiming a 35% market share during their nine-year lifespan.
4 of 12 Cleveland
Cleveland 588 Wedges One of the best- (eight million) and longest-selling (24 years) clubs in history, the 588 was the first wedge with individually milled grooves. The 588 has more than 300 PGA Tour wins and 26 majors.
5 of 12 MacNeill Engineering/CHAMP
MacNeill Engineering Plastic Spikes In 1988, the company, also known as Champ Sports, unveiled a plastic spike for golf shoes, and the idea was an immediate hit. It wasn't long before metal spikes were outlawed at most courses, and today virtually every golfer -- professional and amateur -- wears plastic spikes.
6 of 12 Callaway
Callaway Big Bertha Driver When the original Big Bertha came out in 1991, its 190cc clubhead was radically larger than anything on the market. The club was an instant hit and ushered in the era of massive heads on metal woods, especially drivers.
7 of 12 Titleist
Titleist 975D Driver The patriarch of the 900 series was introduced in 1996 and quickly won two majors and became the No. 1 driver on the PGA Tour, putting Titleist on the map as a metals-maker.
8 of 12 Schecter Lee
Titleist Pro V1 First used in October 2000, the Pro V1 marked a dramatic change in golf ball construction. Previously, most pros and better amateurs used balls with wound cores, but the Pro V1 offered a solid core with a multi-layer covering. The Pro V1 was an instant success: the first week it was in use, Billy Andrade used it to win the Invensys Classic at Las Vegas on the PGA Tour. Since then, the Pro V1 family of balls has accounted for over 1,700 worldwide professional victories.
9 of 12 Adams
Adams Idea Hybrid Irons Adams was a pioneer in the hybrid category, introducing the Idea set of hybrid irons in 2001, several years before the innovative design gained widespread appeal. In 2007 the Idea became the most popular hybrid iron on the PGA Tour.
10 of 12 David Lawrence / SI
Bridgestone Seamless Cover Technology In 2001, Bridgestone released the Precept Tour Premium LS golf ball, the first ball to feature the company's patented seamless cover. Instead of taking two halves and putting them together, Bridgestone perfected injection molding, which is now used in all 14 of the company's balls. Balls without a seam fly farther and more consistently.
11 of 12 Callaway
Odyssey 2-Ball Putter Originally ruled nonconforming by the USGA, the quirky 2-Ball went through 34 iterations before a conforming model debuted in 2002. The putter has been used to win at least 15 majors, including 10 by Annika Sorenstam.
12 of 12 TaylorMade
TaylorMade r7 Quad Introduced in 2004, the driver offered something radical: adjustable weights in the clubhead. Players could create six different launch conditions by moving the weights. The club was a huge hit, and now many clubmakers offer adjustable features.