Karsten Solheim (Part 1)

Karsten Solheim was born in Norway in 1911. His family emigrated to the U.S. in 1913 and settled in Seattle, Washington. (That’s where I was later born and reared.) Karsten’s dad was a shoe repairman. Karsten’s first job was working for his father soling shoes. But that didn’t seem to satisfy his inquisitive mind, so he soon quit. Surprisingly, he eventually started selling pots and pans door-to-door in Seattle. However, Karsten really wanted to be a mechanical engineer. So, he enrolled one year … [Read more...]

Inventing a Better Golf Club (Part 3)

In late 1969 I told Karsten Solheim, otherwise known as MISTER PING, “I don’t think you’re using perimeter weighting in the golf club that would benefit from it the most.” He said, “what’s that?” I said, “the driver. It has the lightest club head and the longest shaft of any club in the bag. So, it produces more off center hits.” (This was decades before the long putter. And club heads are made lighter with longer shafts in order to have a uniform “swing weight” throughout the entire set of clubs … [Read more...]

Inventing a Better Golf Club (Part 2)

I met Karsten Solheim my first year on the PGA Tour—in 1964. I was taking a week’s break from the Tour by playing in the Arizona State Open golf tournament, which I eventually won. My closest friend and previous teammate and roommate at the University of Houston—Babe Hiskey—took me and other PGA Tour player Al Kelly to Karsten’s house in Scottsdale, Arizona, to meet him. It was quite an experience, and it was the beginning of many more I had with Karsten and his lovely wife, Louise. Despite Karst … [Read more...]


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