Five Questions With PING

A glimpse inside one of the game's greatest companies

1 What is your flagship product (or product line) this year? How is it different from/better than anything we’ve seen from PING before?
The depth of our line is its strength. From the G20 series to the i20 line, we continue to offer golfers options that best fit their games. The G20 is optimized for the widest skill set, as it appeals to Tour-caliber players and to those of us who need a lot of forgiveness to hit it longer and straighter. The i20 also appeals to a wide variety of players as it offers some of the same attributes, including forgiveness, while still providing the workability better golfers desire.
2 What new technology have you integrated in your products for 2012?
We’ve improved our products across the board through subtle design enhancements that lead to higher performance. We’re especially excited this year about the iPING putting app and our “Fit For Stroke” concept. The app’s ability to recommend a putter that best fits your stroke type is revolutionary. We’ve heard it compared to the PING Color Code Chart in terms of how it has simplified putter fitting in a technical and meaningful way.
3 The line between what Tour players use and average golfers can buy continues to shrink. What are you thoughts on Tour validation for your products?
We’ve always made the same equipment for our Tour players that everyday golfers can use, as well. The difference is in the custom-fitting process. With that said, Tour validation can play a very important role early in a product’s life cycle. It creates the initial awareness, which can provide the necessary buzz for a successful product launch. For instance, Bubba Watson, one of the longest in the game, uses a G20 driver. That’s the best validation you can get. But ultimately, it’s the everyday golfer that matters most. If they’re satisfied, the word of mouth that comes with that success is the most powerful messaging we can get.
4 Were there any inspirations outside of golf that led to the creation of PING’s 2012 line?
Our engineers are always looking outside our industry for ways to improve a product’s performance, and also the processes used to manufacture them. For example, the matte-black finish on our i20 metalwoods was refined after researching car paint. We wanted an attractive finish, but it had to be durable. We found it in the automotive industry.
5 What about how the golf consumer buys products today. Will you be doing anything unique in terms of how the club is positioned/marketed?
We continue to emphasize performance and custom fitting in all we do. Golfers should be careful not to get caught up in the hype that often surrounds products this time of year. With all the fitting technology available for golfers to demo and compare equipment, we encourage them to put our equipment to the test. We’re confident our product’s performance will speak for itself. A product that works combined with properly fit equipment goes a long way, literally.

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