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2015 Newport Cup Sponsor Thread: PING Golf

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The day before the 2015 Newport Cup matches began, the East and West Newport Cup teams had the opportunity to visit the PING Golf headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. This thread is dedicated to sharing pictures/videos from the visit and discussing our experiences. We appreciate the support from our sponsors for making it a special event for our team members

Everyone got the VIP experience, players were fit by the same guys that fit tour players, they got a behind the scenes look at how PING operates and a visit to the PING gold putter vault. Each player also received a black PING Hoofer bag with their name and Newport Cup logo on the bag.

This thread is for the posting of comments, photos of the tour, fitting experience, discussion of what they learned and anything else Newport Cup team members want to share about PING Golf. If any other forum members have any questions for the team members, ask them here.

For now, @iacas and I would like to send a hearty THANK YOU to PING!

Q&A; Videos

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This was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had. To be able to walk through the HQ of one of the leaders in the golf club making industry was something special.

First we took a tour of the manufacturing plant. We learned that PING was one of the last golf club companies to move their manufacturing of their golf club heads overseas. Though they still maintain the same quality control as they did in the USA. PING also likes to have control over every aspect of the golf club as much as possible. They even have their own foundry and metal works in Phoenix that is still in operation. They also developed and created their own equipment for things like gripping clubs, their version of the Iron Byron, and a golf ball air cannon so that they can test clubs and different brands of golf balls for R&D.;

Their attention to detail is second to none in the golf industry. It was also interesting to find out their stock shafts are designed by them, but currently are made by either Adila or UST Mamiya. Just to go into a bit of how detail oriented they are. They have a putting analysis lab that has a raised putting green on it's own foundation separate from the building so that it doesn't shift or settle if the building actually shifts off it's original foundation. The putting green is made up of granite so it is perfectly smooth. It's just kinda amazing how much they go out of the way to make sure they go above and beyond the normal in their research of golf clubs.

Their fitting center is awesome. They have their own range on site. They also use Trackman for their fitting. We were able to try out the new Glide wedges. I recommend the TS grind for anyone who tends to like more bounce engaged in their wedge shots. We also got to try out the new Ping-i series irons. I was really impressed. They took the i-20 irons and really improved on them. The Ping G30 is an awesome driver.

During the end of the tour we actually got to meet the CEO of PING, John Solheim. I didn't know who he was until they said his name.

Towards the end of the tour we got to see the gold putter vault. This was just awesome. PING has a replica of every PING putter that was used to win a tournament. Also including some other clubs that were memorable, Bubba's wedge shot at the Masters. Just seeing all those gold plated clubs was something else.

To cap it all off was when we were about to leave PING had us go into this room where there were 14 golf bags. One for each of us and the captains. They were Ping Hoofer bags with the Newport Cup logo and our names stitched into the bag. Along with the bag was a Ping towel, a Ping Glove, and a Ping G30 hat.

Once again, thank you PING for allowing us to tour your facility.

Here are some pictures,

Ping's version of the Iron Byron. From what I hear one of the Red Team members wanted to hit balls outside that net shown the image and was given a tongue lashing for almost walking in the firing area of this machine. ;)

Bubba's gold plated wedge from the Master's.

Tiger Wood's Putter from his US Amateur Championships.

The Gold Putter Vault #BLING

The awesome bag that Ping was gracious enough to give us

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I was extremely bummed to miss out on the tour experience but I was overjoyed when I saw that we were getting Ping Hoofer bags from Ping. I had been contemplating getting a Hoofer bag later this year. During my high school and college years almost everyone had a  Ping Hoofer bag. They were the best bag on the market for carrying. They have made so many great updates to the bag since I used it as kid. They added a very cool polypropylene handle at the top of the bag to make it easy to set down or hoist on to your cart. Tons of inventive pockets including a waterproof one which is important for those of us in rainy portions of the country. And it is even lighter than I remember. All are excellent updates.

In talking with everyone who went to the tour I definitely missed out. Everyone raved about how great it was to go. Ping was very gracious to give this great tour and also give us the bags and our team hats for the week. I really liked the team hat we got as well. White with Red lettering was great.

Thanks again to Ping for being such a great sponsor.

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I have been on some factory tours before, but none were as cool as Ping's VIP tour. We saw clubs being made by several 25+ year employees, many who were family members. You can tell Ping is a family company and they really really dive deep into the R&D; process before they release a club. A really interesting thing I saw was that Ping was testing their G30 driver with turbulators back in 2010! 4-5 years of R&D; before they released it!

Hitting on the same driving range where Bubba and Billy Horschel hit balls and get fitted was pretty sweet too. The Ping tour fitters put me into a G30 with a tour stiff shaft that put up some great numbers. I know what brand of driver Ill be purchasing in the spring (maybe Christmas!) The new i Series irons are great as well. All around the amount of technology Ping puts into every club is insane. We got to see their Ping man (robot) hit drivers perfectly straight on the range, and they even have an air cannon that tests all sorts of golf balls so they know how each ball reacts differently and can fit you using floater balls, but set the computer to show ProV1 numbers.

A final huge thank you to Ping for the new hat, golf towel, and the custom Hoofer bag. I've never had my name on a golf bag before, so it is going to be something cool that I proudly show off to all my friends and members at my country club.

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When we first drove up to Ping, we passed right by the parking lot without even noticing it.  (OK, well, we passed by because we needed to make a lunch stop, but we also didn't notice it) ;)  Other than the last turn being on a street called Karsten Way, and seeing the tops of the driving range net, there is nothing that tells you that you are at the headquarters of one of the biggest and best golf companies in the world.  Eventually, I started noticing the little Ping logo man on a few buildings, but that's about it.  And while the stuff going on inside each building was always involving the very latest in technological advancements, the buildings themselves have clearly been there for 40 or 50 years, or more.

The tour started for the Red team in the iron production area.  We got to watch and learn about the process where the iron heads and shafts are epoxied together by one employee, then the shafts (which are all exactly the same length to start) are cut to length at the next station.  The trickiest part came next, where one guy was tasked with adjusting lie and loft basically by hand.  A cool, giant "wrench" and a mallet was all he needed.  Then step by step around the bay until the clubs were packaged by the last person in the group.

There were about 8 or so members of this assembly line team, all of them are equally capable of performing each task, and they shift around at each break to avoid monotony and boredom.  There were 3 or 4 of these bays working on irons, and each of them cranked out upwards of 1000 irons each day, we were told.

Next we toured similar areas where they molded the tops and bottoms of their bags, and then assembled them, their woods production area and their putter production area.

The best part was when we headed over to the driving range area, which also housed the majority of their engineering and design departments.  The red team got to hit the range first and test out the new clubs.  I was surprised to find out that I hit the G30 irons a lot better than the new i-series irons.  I might have some shovels in my bag soon. :bugout: This was mostly just for fun, as I'm quite happy with my current i20s.  My driver, OTOH, is always a hit-or-miss proposition, so I'm always on the lookout for something better.  And in the G30 .... I may have found it.  Man alive, was I hitting that thing well.  Now, I wasn't banned from hitting the driver like @saevel25 , but I was very consistently hitting the middle to top half of the net.  That club (with the stock stiff shaft) felt fantastic - so much so that I'm gonna probably be buying one here very shortly.

When our time was up, we swapped places with the Blue team and went back through a few of their engineering and testing areas.  First we were given a tour of the "Ping Man" hitting robot and he fired off a couple of balls for us as well.

They also have a phenomenal putting lab with a number of high speed cameras and other tech gadgets to capture and analyze every possible component of a players putting stroke.

Next was a trip to the "ENSO" lab, where they used motion capture technology to learn everything they can about shafts and swings and anything else they want to learn.

The aforementioned Ping Gold Putter Vault was a nice treat as well.

Lastly, an interesting Q&A; session with their engineers, along with a surprise visit from John Solheim, and the day couldn't have gotten any better.

But it did anyway - as has already been revealed, when we went back through to turn in our visitor passes, our tour guide took Erik and Mike upstairs for some mysterious task while the rest of us reflected on what we just did and wondered what was for dinner.  Then they said "hey guys, can you come upstairs for a second?"

Okaaaaay, what else could we possibly be seeing that is cooler than we just saw??  Only 14 nearly identical Ping Hoofer golf bags, all adorned with team color towels and hats, and embroidered with our names and the Newport Cup logo, that's all.

That's @Big C with an @B ig Grin sneaking out the side of his face after learning of this final surprise. :dance:

I just cannot give enough thanks to Ping for this truly incredible afternoon!!!!!!!!!! :beer:

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One other fun tidbit I learned:  When the "Ping Man" robot is hitting balls, it's ALWAYS hitting brand new ProV1 (or X, I don't remember).  Then once out on the range, they're picked up and used by the humans.

Ping Man never hits used balls.

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Touring the Ping campus was an incredible experience.

Thank you Ping Company for being the major sponsor for the Sand Trap, Newport Cup event.

Also, many thanks to Erik and Mike, again, again, and again for making the week memorable beyond everyone's belief.

Wednesday afternoon we were treated to a VIP experience with a tour of every aspect involving Ping's daily business operations.

Watching the highly skilled employees perform the daily routine of assembling clubs to the precise specifications effortlessly, and remarkably quickly, was a science in itself.

It was truly a hands on experience. At one point I thought we were going to put work aprons and gloves on and jump right in to test our skills.

Seeing the many fascinating specialized equipment designed for production of Ping products, was beyond everyone's imagination.

We then proceeded to the outdoor practice area and home of Ping Man.

The Red Team wanted to challenge Ping Man against Super Long @saevel25 in a long drive contest.

The outdoor club testing facility was next, where everyone had the opportunity to swing the latest and greatest Ping clubs.

I liked the hybrid and fairway clubs very much. I've also been a fan of Ping drivers for many years.

Next our tour proceeded to the Putting Lab. We viewed the technical high speed camera's which capture a players putting stroke.

The technical detail is then analyzed for fitting a player using specific criteria to meet the players needs.

Next stop was an indoor hitting room equipped with infrared cameras to capture specific data of shafts and club heads used by engineering department

for designing Ping clubs. I was truly amazed at the science involved that was available on site at Ping campus.

In a few short hours Ping could produce new prototype clubs and field test the clubs on site.

The afternoon spent at Ping will always be a remarkable, memorable experience in my life.

Many thanks to Ping and its employees for the special day at their facility.

Club Rat

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Even though we didn't actually get to play any golf, the visit to PING might have been the highlight of the trip for me. We started with a tour of their manufacturing facilities, checking out molding for their bags, assembly of the bags, the machining process, and full-club assembly. We didn't quite get to see them make everything from scratch, but the tour guide was very knowledgeable of the process. After reconvening, we took tours through the PING Man facility, the ENZO swing lab, and the iPing putting lab. Afterwards, we got to have a Q&A; with the engineering and design staff, which was a very good, nerdy time. To cap it off, we got to hit some new PING products outside on their terrific range in front of fitting staff and Trackman launch monitors. After checking out the putter vault, we capped off the great trip with a surprise (to everyone else ;-)) of a brand new PING golf Hoofer bag, a towel, and a hat. The bag is just what I've been needing. It's lightweight, has compartments for anything you could ask for, and seems to be of top quality. I'm going to be using the thing for a good long while. In closing, a big THANK YOU to PING, for the tour and for the bag.

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The tour over at the PING facility was areal eye-opener. The extent of the technology they use to fine tune their club development process and fittings was above and beyond exceptional. They had an indoor putting table that was perfectly level to something like 5 or 6 decimal places which required a separate foundation from the rest of the building. The PING man robot and Enzo motion capture technology were equally impressive. Even with all of this, the Ping facility wasn't the giant, sterile, laboratory-like environment you might expect from such a technology driven company. Just a lot of down to earth friendly people that had been there for most of their lives. Every building had a board with all the employees names and stated how long they had been a part of the PING family so you knew exactly who it was you were getting your clubs from.

Big highlight of the Tour was going out to PING's private hitting facility and getting to test out all of the latest gear. They fit me in the G30 LS Tec 9* with the Tour x shaft at 44.25in. Probably should have just bought it then and there but I guess I'm just stuck in the past. They actually had to move me to the back of the range because I was hitting it too good. Also got to test out the new i irons which were rock solid. Just don't walk the wrong way on the driving range or else PING Man might launch a few over your head.

At the end of the Tour we got all of our burning design questions asked by PING's top guys and were surprised at the very end when we were lead upstairs to see the new PING Hoofer stand bags with our names and the Newport Cup logo emblazoned on them. They were so kind and generous I can't thank them enough for having us out there. Such a great experience.

Edit: Also, the gold putter vault is a must see for any golf fan :-D

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So what I heard in that second video at the two minute mark was: "we could change the center of gravity on a 7 iron by an astronomical amount and it would only affect the the launch angle by 0.5 degrees". And I think he said that in reality the CG variable was about 1/10 of that for a 7 iron (0.05 degrees).

Changing the face angle by one degree for some reason only affected the launch angle by 0.7 degrees.

Is that correct? He said there were many factors involved in launch angle but CG sure didn't seem like a big variable contributing to launch angle (for irons at least).

And that longer shafts increased launch angle? I didn't understand that.

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So what I heard in that second video at the two minute mark was: "we could change the center of gravity on a 7 iron by an astronomical amount and it would only affect the the launch angle by 0.5 degrees". And I think he said that in reality the CG variable was about 1/10 of that for a 7 iron (0.05 degrees).

Changing the face angle by one degree for some reason only affected the launch angle by 0.7 degrees.

Is that correct? He said there were many factors involved in launch angle but CG sure didn't seem like a big variable contributing to launch angle (for irons at least).

And that longer shafts increased launch angle? I didn't understand that.

Longer shaft increases swingspeed and shallows the AoA resulting in the higher launch. Just like how you would choke down on a club to create the opposite effect. (such as a knockdown or flighted iron shot)

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Remember this guy West Coast team?

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Note: This thread is 1440 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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