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John A. Solheim Heading into Arizona Golf Hall of Fame
John A. Solheim, PING Chairman and CEO, will be inducted into the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame November 25th for his business leadership and contributions to golf. The ceremony will be held at Gainey Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale.
His parents, PING founder Karsten Solheim and his wife, Louise, preceded him into the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame. Karsten was inducted posthumously in 2000; Louise, who turned 95 in June, was honored in 2004.
"I am delighted to join my parents in the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame," said the 67-year-old Solheim. "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 attention to designing golf clubs and helping Karsten grow the privately-held entity into one of the biggest 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 noted. "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 '66, the company operated out of the family garage north of Phoenix near Scottsdale. Since then, the headquarters have been in North Phoenix, where the company occupies 27 buildings spread across 52 acres. Karsten Manufacturing Corporation and its subsidiaries employ approximately 1,200 people worldwide and conduct business in more than 70 countries.