It’s Tough To Go Up Against the Establishment

John Solheim, CEO of Phoenix-based Ping Golf, recalls when the United States Golf Association outlawed products he and his father had worked over a decade to develop. Like so many who redefine an entire industry, they were outlawed within it. They broke the rules. They created something totally new. Some people thought they were just crazy, until they began winning within their game. These renegades persevered. They negotiated, and today they are leaders within their industry and on their way to becoming a billion dollar business.


HATTIE: (Voiceover) The innovators are often punished by the establishment, and this happened to Ping.

JOHN: We had problems, too, because at the same time, the United States Golf Association had outlawed all of our putters, except for one.

HATTIE: Because they thought there was some trick to it?

JOHN: Well, there was a bend at the base of the grip, which forced the head to come through square.

HATTIE: When the USGA said that, were you just heartbroken? I mean, here you'd been working all these years, 7, 10, 11 years...

JOHN: Yes.

HATTIE: You're going up against the establishment.

JOHN: That's really tough. Exactly. And fortunately, we came to a settlement with the USGA so that the golfers were the winners because they got to continue using the clubs, and we made some changes and minor adjustments to the clubs.

Diligence, persistence and growth through retained earnings moved Ping Golf from the Solheim garage to its 35-acre campus in Phoenix. From the father-son team, the company has grown to over 900 employees who work each day making some of the world’s most popular golf clubs.

This video serves as an illustration of failure and success in "There is No Way to Know What Comes Afterwards (Eccl 9:1-11:6)" in Ecclesiastes and Work at