Ping Irons

Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Karsten Manufacturing Corporation is famous for its Ping golf clubs. Unlike other equipment makers, Karsten sells its clubs only through golf course pro shops, where customers are custom fitted. Because the privately owned company manufactures only when an order has been placed, it carries no inventory and is able to roll out new models with a minimum of lead time. Founded by engineer Karsten Solheim, the company has been at the forefront of golf innovation since the development of the Ping putter in the late 1950s. Despite its reputation for unsurpassed quality and technical expertise, the company has been eclipsed in recent years by more marketing-savvy competitors. Forced to adapt to changing conditions, a second generation of the Solheim family has taken control of the business, instituting a number of changes to forge a strong comeback. In addition to the design and manufacture of golf clubs, Karsten produces accessories, such as bags and apparel, and owns and operates Moon Valley Country Club in Phoenix. Karsten also owns several subsidiaries involved in the manufacturing process of its golf clubs.