Golf News – March 28, 2023

PLD Limited “PING Slam” collection celebrates sweep of 1988 majors

PHOENIX, AZ – It hadn’t happened before and it hasn’t happened since for any putter brand, but 35 years ago in 1988, PING putters were used to win all four major championships. To celebrate the remarkable achievement, the company is introducing the “PING Slam” collection as part of its PLD Limited program. Precision-milled versions of the four winning models (Pal, Pal 2, Zing 2 and Anser), respectively, will be dropped each Tuesday of this year’s four major championship weeks, giving collectors a rare opportunity to own a part of PING’s storied putter history.

Only 88 of each model of the handcrafted putters will be available via pingpld.com for $990 (limit one per customer) during the corresponding major’s week. On December 5th of this year, collectors will have the opportunity to purchase one of 35 complete sets of the PLD Limited “PING Slam” putters for $4990 (limit one per customer), which will include a custom-designed display unit.

The putters are fully machined and custom built by PING WRX master craftsmen at the company’s headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. Each putter is serialized for authenticity and includes a custom headcover unique to each of the four major events.

In consultation with Solheim, PING’s engineers and historian scoured the company archives, reviewing old images and carefully measuring putter heads to retain the integrity of the four classic designs during the milling process. They even visited the PING Gold Putter Vault to study and analyze each model’s intricacies to ensure Karsten’s original designs remained intact.

As part of PING’s Putting Lab Design (PLD) program, the PLD Limited concept offers collectible PING putter designs and celebrates the company’s unmatched putter success and heritage. The PLD Limited Anser Patent 55 putter was introduced last year and acknowledged the 55th anniversary of the granting of the Anser patent. Four versions were made available throughout the year, and each sold out in less than three minutes via pingpld.com.

PING Slam model overviews and release timings:

Pal (Masters): Drops April 4 @ 2 pm ET

  • Material: 100% Milled, Aluminum/Bronze Alloy, Natural Finish
  • Historical Overview: A five-time major winner before being used to win at Augusta in 1988, the Pal was introduced in 1971 and was a friend to many. Cast from manganese bronze, the perimeter- weighted head featured a shorter blade length and an Anser hosel. It was used to win more than 100 tour events, including three of the four majors (3 Open Championships, 2 Masters and 1 U.S. Open). In one stretch in the early 1980s, it was used to win the Open Championship three out of four years. It was also in the hands of the first player to shoot 59 in a PGA Tour event, in 1977.

Pal 2 (PGA Championship): Drops May 16 @ 2 pm ET

  • Material: 100% Milled, 303 Stainless Steel, Natural Finish
  • Historical Overview: The Pal 2 has the distinction of being the putter model that secured the PING Slam, earning it a unique place in PING’s history. Distinguished by its Zing-style hosel, the Pal 2 was cast in stainless steel and featured a white sightline along the trailing edge, along with other eye-pleasing refinements – making it a favorite on tours around the world. Its first major win came a year earlier at the ’87 Open Championship and it was also in the bag of the ’91 PGA champion.

Zing 2 (U.S. Open): Drops June 13 @ 2 pm ET

  • Material: 100% Milled, 303 Stainless Steel, Natural Finish
  • Historical Overview: Inspired by the Zing model (a major winner itself), the original Zing 2 was cast from stainless steel but otherwise shared much of its predecessor’s design characteristics. It arrived on tour in 1984 and quickly became a favorite of pros who preferred a heel-shafted design, with the heel-toe weighting pioneered by PING founder Karsten Solheim. When the Zing 2 was used to win the 1988 U.S. Open, it marked the first of its three major titles– all three at America’s national championship, including a successful repeat the following year. It also was in the hands of the 1988 U.S. Women’s Open champion.

Anser (Open Championship): Drops July 18 @ 2 pm ET

  • Material: 100% Milled, Aluminum/Bronze Alloy, Natural Finish
  • Historical Overview: The history of the famous Anser design is well-chronicled, from it first being sketched by Karsten Solheim on a 78-rpm record sleeve to his wife Louise’s idea to name the putter Anser, cleverly suggesting Karsten leave out the letter “w” in the word answer to ensure the name would fit on the back of the putter. Since revolutionizing putter design in 1966, the iconic Anser has been used to win every major championship – joined by only the Anser 2 as models to enjoy that claim. With 19 majors to its credit, the standard-setting Anser is still prevalent on tours around the world. It’s been used in more than 700 tour wins in its storied history – earning it the title of “Winningest Putter in Golf.” Adding to the authenticity of this 100% milled collector’s item is the iconic floating face (aka sound slot) cut into the sole for a crisper feel and sound.

Visit PING Golf HERE

PXG & GOLF+ Partner to Bring the PXG Experience to Digital Gaming & Entertainment

SCOTSDALE, AZ – New PXG GEN6 Golf Clubs have launched simultaneously in real life and virtual reality. Through an innovative partnership, PXG’s new flagship line of blazing fast, beyond forgiving, and beautifully made golf clubs are now available in GOLF+, the ultimate virtual reality (VR) golf experience and the exclusive VR Golf game of the PGA TOUR developed by Golf Scope Inc.

The exciting collaboration expands the opportunity for golfers to experience and enjoy PXG’s new technology. PXG customers who purchase GEN6 Golf Clubs will enjoy complimentary access to the GEN6 lineup, while gamers can redeem tokens to buy the new high-performance clubs in the VR game.

PXG Chief Product Officer Brad Schweigert shared, “it is very cool to see our club designs come to life in VR! The entire GOLF+ environment feels incredibly lifelike, and I am very impressed with the amount of detail and realistic look of our PXG GEN6 Golf Clubs. The VR game is loads of fun, which pairs perfectly with our mission to help increase people’s enjoyment of golf on and off the course.”

To celebrate the launch of PXG GEN6 Golf Clubs, GOLF+ is hosting a weeklong digital challenge for Meta Quest 2 users starting today, March 27, 2023. The challenge consists of nine non-traditional Par 3 layouts, taking players through their entire bag from Pitching Wedge through Driver on iconic courses including TPC Scottsdale and Sawgrass. The top 26 finishers (26 signifying the 26th Marine Corps Regiment that PXG founder Bob Parsons served with during the Vietnam War) will receive a full set of GEN6 Golf Clubs in the game, and the overall winner will receive a custom fitting and full set of PXG 0311 GEN6 Golf Clubs for on-course play.

PXG 0311 GEN6 Irons
PXG GEN6 Irons – available in Players (P) and Xtreme Performance (XP) models – are the longest, most forgiving irons PXG has ever released. PXG 0311 PÒ GEN6 Irons provide an ideal balance of workability and forgiveness. These irons, designed for low to mid-handicap players, feature moderate offset and a mid-size head design with a clean aesthetic. Designed for mid to high-handicap players, PXG 0311 XPÒ GEN6 Irons feature a larger head with more offset to deliver an incredibly soft feel, extreme distance performance, and excellent forgiveness.

PXG 0311 GEN6 Drivers
Engineered to deliver incredible forgiveness, maximum distance, and tight dispersion, PXG 0311 GEN6 Drivers are available in two models to suit golfers at all levels. The 0311 GEN6 Driver features a traditional teardrop head shape with a notably curved crown structure and a shorter body from front to back. The tall/deep clubface is designed to support excellent mishit performance, especially on higher face impacts. The 0311 XFÒ GEN6 Driver has a larger head profile and a more symmetrical shape than its counterpart. This makes it easier to square the face at impact, delivering the ideal blend of distance and forgiveness.

PXG 0311 GEN6 Fairways
PXG 0311 GEN6 Fairways have an innovative low profile with a flat sole suitable for players of all abilities. These easy-to-launch fairways provide maximum distance, tight dispersion off the tee or turf, and a fantastic sound and feel. PXG 0311 XF GEN6 Fairways are engineered for golfers seeking maximum forgiveness. The large, squared face expands the hitting zone to provide off-center hit forgiveness leading to faster ball speeds with greater distance. The Railed Sole helps the club move effortlessly through the turf so golfers can get the ball up in the air and down the fairway.

Visit PXG Golf HERE

First Place Finish for Ventus on PGA Tour and DP World Tour

CARLSBAD, CA – Fujikura, the leader in performance golf shafts, was honored to be the #1 driver and wood shaft at both events on the PGA Tour last week. Fujikura shafts featured in the bags of the majority of the field at both events, including all of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour winners who each had VENTUS in the bag on their way to victory.

At the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas, Fujikura shafts dominated the field, taking the #1 spot in both the driver and wood shaft counts. An impressive 39.1% of the field used a Fujikura driver shaft during the week, with another 31.8% using a Fujikura wood shaft. This included the eventual match play champion who used VENTUS driver and wood shafts on his way to victory. The 5-time PGA Tour winner used the VENTUS Blue 7-TX in his driver, the VENTUS Black 8-X in his 3-wood and the VENTUS Blue 8-X in his hybrid.

The 3rd place finisher at Austin Country Club also played with a new VENTUS last week, making the shift from his usual set-up of the VENTUS Black 6-X into the VENTUS Blue TR profile. Looking to work the ball more off the tee, while aiming for additional spin and a higher launch angle, after testing multiple shaft variations in both driver and 3-wood, the World Number Two settled on the VENTUS TR Blue 6-X in his driver shaft. With its slightly softer profile and increased stability, the VENTUS TR design provided the desired spin and feel. During the week, the player also used the VENTUS TR Blue 8-X in his 3-wood shaft and remained in the VENTUS Black 8-X in his 5-wood shaft, winning a total of six out of his seven matches in Texas.

Over in the Dominican Republic at the Corales Puntacana Championship, it was more success on the PGA Tour for Fujikura. Claiming the #1 spot in the driver and wood shaft count once again, a total of 32.5% of the field used a Fujikura driver shaft with another 28.5% of the field using a Fujikura wood shaft. The eventual winner at Puntacana Resort and Club also used a Fujikura wood shaft, gaming the VENTUS Red 7-X in his 3-wood.

On the DP World Tour at the Jonsson Workwear Open, it was another win for Fujikura and VENTUS. The maiden DP World Tour winner used the VENTUS TR Blue 7-X in his driver and the VENTUS Black 8-X in his 3-wood on his way to his first DP World Tour victory in South Africa.

On the Champions Tour and LPGA Tour there was further success for Fujikura. At the Galleri Classic on the Champions Tour, it was another victory for VENTUS TR. The tournament winner secured his title with the VENTUS TR Red 6-X in his driver, a second win in his last three Champions Tour events. At the Drive On Championship on the LPGA Tour, Fujikura claimed the #1 spot in the driver shaft count, with a total of 30.8% of the field using a Fujikura driver shaft during the event in Arizona.

From the 25 events of the PGA Tour 2022/23 season so far, this was the 13th win for a player using a Fujikura shaft. In total, an incredible seven out of the top 10 players in the world are currently using Fujikura shafts in their bag, with six of them using Fujikura in their driver. Including the current World Number One and Two, who both play a combination of the VENTUS profiles in their driver and wood shafts.

Visit Fujikura Shafts HERE

Michael Feland
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