Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Bubba Watson teaches you how to hit it strong
We took a moment to speak with Pete Samuels, director of communications at PING about what makes the company tick. Here’s a quick wrap-up of the exchange.
Golf Tips: How much input does the PING Tour staff have in the development of new equipment?
PING: Our world-class engineering team relies on a variety of resources for gathering feedback on designs, including our Tour players. Ultimately, it depends on the player profile for the club we’re designing. Our Tour players have great insight into what looks and feels good, so that’s valuable feedback. At the same time, we have to remind ourselves that we’re in the business of engineering clubs that improve the games of golfers of all abilities. So we test clubs with all skill levels to ensure we’re meeting the needs of every golfer.
Golf Tips: How has clubfitting changed? Or has it? What is PING doing to make fitting easier and more attainable for the average player?
PING: Since PING pioneered fitting nearly 40 years ago, the process has evolved considerably, but the benefits remain the same: more enjoyment and lower scores. The simplicity of the PING Color Code process made fitting easy to understand, and golfers realized immediate results. The greatest changes have come in the technology, led mainly by the development of the launch monitor. Today’s fitting specialists have much greater insight into the dynamics at impact so they can make more precise recommen0dations. We also have the ability to structure a fitting to match the expectations of the golfer. We offer everything from a high-tech nFlight fitting using our proprietary software to a static fitting that serves as a starting point. Fitting means different things to different golfers, and we want to make sure they have a positive experience that leads to more enjoyment on the golf course.
Golf Tips: The new iN putters have a face insert. Can you explain the story behind it, and what it does?
PING: The iN putter insert is a lightweight polymer, which is plated using nano-nickel technology. This creates a lightweight yet strong insert that produces a solid feel. Golfers liken the feel to that of a steel-face putter. Because of the lightweight insert, PING engineers were able to reallocate weight from the insert cavity to the perimeter of the putter to increase the moment of inertia.
Golf Tips: PING has been known for being a true innovator when it comes to putterhead shapes, and the 2010 line of new putters is no exception. But when it comes to woods, the designs have remained somewhat traditional (no square designs, removable screws, adjustable hosels, etc.—at least not yet). Can you explain why driver heads have remained traditional while putterhead designs continue to become more radical?
PING: There’s no correlation between driver and putterhead design from a shape standpoint. Our engineers approach all club designs with the goal of improving performance. Throughout the process, they look at numerous factors to achieve that goal. Based on an extensive knowledge base gathered over the company’s 50-year history, they know what works and what doesn’t, so they’re designing based on proven theories. If they focus solely on one aspect, such as shape, they may be compromising other important elements of the design. They take a balanced approach to optimize the club’s performance.
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