(PHOENIX) – John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO, will be inducted into the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame on November 25th for his business leadership and his contributions to golf. His parents, PING founder Karsten Solheim and his wife, Louise, preceded him into the Hall. Karsten was inducted posthumously in 2000; Louise, who turned 95 in June, was honored in 2004. Ceremonies will be held at Gainey Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale.
“I am delighted to join my parents in the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame,” said Solheim, 67. “In more than a half-century of doing business here, we’re proud of the role we’ve played in helping contribute to the growth of Phoenix and communities around the state. As a family-owned business, we get our greatest satisfaction from creating jobs for the more than 800 employees who make us the success we are today. And because golf is so important to Arizona’s vitality, PING will always play a key role in sponsoring efforts to promote the game and grow participation at every level.”
Solheim got his start in the business when he was 13, working alongside his dad on early putter designs in the family’s garage. He aspired to be an architect, but as PING’s business expanded, he turned his passion to designing golf clubs and helping Karsten grow the privately-held entity into one of the most influential golf companies in the world. As chairman and CEO, he leads the company’s strategic direction and oversees the design and development of PING products.
“Thinking back to my years working with Karsten, we still run the business with a hands-on approach,” Solheim said. “Even though we’ve grown beyond what Karsten and I could have imagined, we’ve always focused on the same principles -- performance, innovation, and custom fitting -- as the foundations for engineering products that make the game easier for golfers of all abilities.”
From 1961 to 1966, the company operated out of the family garage north of Phoenix near Scottsdale, Ariz. Since then, the headquarters have been located in North Phoenix, where the company occupies 27 buildings spread over 52 acres. Karsten Manufacturing Corporation and its subsidiaries employ approximately 1,200 people worldwide and conduct business in more than 70 countries.