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January 26, 2024 32 mins

From an intern to the President & CEO at PING. John K. Solheim joins Shane and Marty from the PING booth at the 2024 PGA Show to talk about his journey to a leadership role, the evolution of the PGA Show, PING's latest equipment and what's in his bag.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
The guys from paying They've kind of showed me how
much the equipment matters. I just love that I can
hit any shot I kind of want.

Speaker 2 (00:06):
We're gonna be able to tell some fun stories about
what goes on here to help golfers play better golf.

Speaker 1 (00:11):
Welcome back to the Pink Proving Grounds Podcast. I am
Shane Bacon. That is Marty Jerts and Marty. We got
a great guest and we also have kind of a
live experience here at the PGA Show.

Speaker 3 (00:20):
Yeah, this is fun.

Speaker 2 (00:21):
You get all the sounds, the feels, the bright lights
of the PGA Show.

Speaker 3 (00:25):
We're here with John K. Solhin.

Speaker 4 (00:27):
Good to be here.

Speaker 5 (00:28):
Yeah, I've been a bit avid listener and I'm happy
to actually be on the show now.

Speaker 3 (00:32):
Yeah, you're on the other end of that, Johns.

Speaker 4 (00:34):
A lot of pressure. John.

Speaker 1 (00:35):
I asked you this question to kick it off. Are
you have you frequented podcast guest a lot or is
this one of your first ones?

Speaker 4 (00:41):
This is my first podcast?

Speaker 1 (00:42):
You feeling nervous? Are you excited about it?

Speaker 5 (00:44):
Hello? I guess a little un usually not nervous about
a camera, but it's a pretty good podcast, So.

Speaker 4 (00:50):
I got a lot to live up to.

Speaker 1 (00:51):
It elevated.

Speaker 4 (00:52):
Yeah, there's been some good talent on here.

Speaker 1 (00:54):
Well, we wanted to give it a kind of your
journey to where you're at right now. I mean there
was a lot of pressure, I'm sure in that world
as well. At what age did you start to get
the sense that maybe you'd want to get in the
family business.

Speaker 4 (01:05):
Yeah, you talk talk about pressure.

Speaker 5 (01:07):
I would say there was pressure when I was young
that everyone assumed I was a good golfer. So and
I would say I did not handle that pressure very
well on the golf course.

Speaker 1 (01:16):
Were you a good player when you're.

Speaker 5 (01:18):
Young, like better than average, but nothing spectacular? So like
pretty good junior, but like nothing spectacular? And then I
would say yeah, as I started interning at Paying kind
of fell in love with the business, was like, this
is what I want to do. And then it was
the weird experience to me was right out of college

when I started working there, you know, having the Solheim
last name, I'm working with people who had been there
for twenty years, and they're instantly coming to me asking
me what they're.

Speaker 4 (01:47):
Supposed to do.

Speaker 5 (01:50):
You've got all this experience. I'm the new guy here,
so there. I guess I never saw it as pressure
at that point, but it was I guess enlightening to
me just how it actually worked like.

Speaker 2 (02:01):
That, Jock K, what have talk us through your journey,
like like maybe some of the projects or departments you
worked on is both an intern And then when he
started going on full time.

Speaker 4 (02:13):
How long is the podcast?

Speaker 2 (02:14):
Oh yeah, we got we got, we got plenty of time,
but at high level.

Speaker 5 (02:18):
Break run down, so like really cool. When I was
in high school and college, I'd come in to work
the summers, got to work like side by side with Carston,
my grandpa. Yeah, like multiple summers. He always had like
an assistant. He was a lot to work for. So
his assistants would get a summer assignment, they'd get a breather.
I'd come in and by the end of the summer

I was wiped out. He was hard to keep up with.
He always had something to go on the go, got
to travel with them, but really learned a ton just
from him and his attention to detail and just like
what was important what wasn't important in business and in
golf club development.

Speaker 4 (02:54):
So that kind of.

Speaker 5 (02:56):
Fueled the fire of Hey, I love golf club design.
I want to be in the golf business. So I
went to school, got a mechanical engineering degree and then
got hired onto Ping right out of school. Was like
a putter designer at first, So learned how to do
CAD and was designing putters. You go, if you know,
Ping like ISO Pure putters was my first project. So

it was our first insert putter. So it was pretty
exciting to be involved with that. And then to me
just kind of magical designing a product and you know
the time it takes.

Speaker 4 (03:26):
It takes, you know, a year or whatever.

Speaker 5 (03:29):
And then actually we came to the show and launched
it right and just I just remember being so giddy.
I'm not quite as giddy at the show anymore, but
I've just back then on how exciting it was to
launch this new series of insert putters.

Speaker 4 (03:42):
So I had a kind of a.

Speaker 5 (03:45):
Career in engineering, continue to design putters, and it wasn't
that long. I got an NBA during like my first
five years of work. While I was working, and then
I became the VP of engineering. Ran engineering for ten years,
and then I got a signed to run our Japan
office Pingolf Japan. Went there for about four years, ran

that came back and then I would call that was
like the transition time. Doug Hawkin was the president before me.
He was kind of whatever at his sunset of his
career and he retired. I took over in twenty seventeen,
became the CEO. I think in twenty two. Maybe it
was the beginning of twenty three. To be honest, I

don't know what the difference at PING is between president
and CEO, but now I have both titles and that's
what I'm enjoying doing right now.

Speaker 1 (04:35):
I wanted to ask about the experience of Japan. First
of all, where'd you live? Where were you based out of?

Speaker 5 (04:39):
So I was a Tokyo as Abujuban was where my
apartment was. Our offices were kind of on the northwest
side of Tokyo.

Speaker 4 (04:48):
So I had like a.

Speaker 5 (04:49):
Fifty minute train commute forty five minute to two hour
car drive depending on traffic to work.

Speaker 4 (04:56):
So yeah, I was right in the heart of Tokyo.
It was an awesome experience.

Speaker 1 (04:59):
Did you speak Japanese?

Speaker 5 (05:01):
I got Rosetta Stone before I. Yeah. That was back
like when you bought disc right, So.

Speaker 4 (05:10):
Yeah. And then I did have a tutor, like I would.

Speaker 5 (05:14):
I stuck with it, so once a week I'd have
the tutor come over, I would say, what I learned
is I thought like after a year into it, it would
start to get easy and snowball. I got a year
into it, and I would say, did pretty well for
that year, and then just got to a point where
I was like, it's just getting harder and harder. So
I remember the conversation with my Japanese tutor. I'm like,

no new stuff. I just you've taught me a lot.
I just want to get good at what I know.
And I've kind of realized I've hit my peak and
I just want to get better at that. So I
stuck with it the whole time I was there, but
kind of after a while, I was like, I'm not
going to be able to write it. I'm I can
read the alphabets they have.

Speaker 4 (05:52):
But I can't read the kanji.

Speaker 5 (05:54):
I knew maybe a hundred symbols at the time when
I was there, But so I can get by if
you don't speak Japanese. I can make it sound like
I do speak Japanese, and I can tell the taxi
cab and order food and all that. But we get
in a business setting or whatever, and I'm catching twenty
percent of it.

Speaker 4 (06:09):
Or something like that.

Speaker 2 (06:11):
John K tell us a little bit about like what
you learned in your time in Japan the business side,
and then just helping grow our brand because when you
went over there, you know, our market share is nothing
close to what it is today, and what were some
of the big changes you make and things you learned
on the business side there.

Speaker 4 (06:26):
So I learned a ton.

Speaker 5 (06:29):
I would say, like, our market share was under one
percent when I got there. We had we had gone
through we had distributors there. We had multiple distributors. I
would say that none of them were doing great. They
in the heyday of the eighties, we did very well
in Japan, and then just by not investing in that marketplace,
we had lost a lot of market share. So it
was about five years before I went there. We started

our own company there and just hadn't really taken off.
I would say the observations I had is we were
doing a lot of the same is what our Japanese
competitors were doing. And I remember talking to the team,
I'm like, but we're not a Japanese company, like the
consumer can see, we're faking it. This is not who

we really are. And I'm like, we've got the best
players in the world playing our clubs. We have a
great market share in the US and Europe. We just
need to leverage that, and we need to tell we're
a US company. Our ads need to be in Japanese.
They need to be able to understand it and everything.
So I would say we just changed our focus. So
like the first point where we had success, I think

it was back it was a G ten driver, you
could correct me if I'm wrong. Where we went to
the heavier head. We went to the counterbalance shaft and
the heavier head. Now what the Japanese consumer wanted to hear,
They were all about total weight light. Yeah, and I said,
you know what, We're gonna double down on it. We're
gonna market heavyhead. So we went on movie head, which
means heavyhead, big huge kanji. And that's right when we

started to get traction. We was like, this is what
we are. We do it for performance reasons, and we
started to gain traction and we've been gaining market share
there ever since.

Speaker 2 (08:04):
Yeah, that's a cool story. So staying more authentic to
our brand.

Speaker 4 (08:08):

Speaker 3 (08:08):
On the physics side, so what you're seeing in.

Speaker 5 (08:10):
The US here at the PGA show is what you
see in Japan, it's the same thing.

Speaker 4 (08:15):
Maybe a little different, but the core is the same.

Speaker 3 (08:18):
Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (08:19):
Another follow up question for you, John k is how
do you kind of along that vein how do you
kind of stay authentic to like our culture and our
heritage while not letting that hold us back from innovating
or thinking differently.

Speaker 3 (08:35):
You know. Yeah, so that's I mean to do that
in your leadership role.

Speaker 4 (08:38):
Definitely do a great job with that tough balance.

Speaker 5 (08:41):
Like I saw, like when I first became president, and
I think I was here and everyone, you know, what's
on your agenda, what you're gonna do, And I'm like, well,
the biggest thing is to not screw up. And you know,
we've got a great company here. We've had, you know,
at the time, fifty five years, sixty years of success, Like,
let's not mess that up. So we got a lot
of good things going with that. Said, we'd had had

some bad years. We had a tough years where I
think we just got a little slow on whether it's
adjusting to the industry like where you know, where we're
doing retail at all sorts of things. We were late
with metalwoods and titanium and stuff like that. So I
would say it's been a balance of like hanging on
to our heritage, and our heritage has always been about

performance and better performing product and then leveraging that to
make us better and to make us change and embracing change.
So I would say we had kind of gotten very
just content with where we were and not not falling
for that contentment and always challenging to do more so
without breaking the whole machine in the process.

Speaker 3 (09:46):
Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 1 (09:47):
You come into this position, you worked, as you said,
you interned for your granddad. Do you look at yourself
in terms of a leader more like your dad or
more like your granddad.

Speaker 5 (09:56):
And why a little bit of both, neither of them
or whatever. So like, so I would say it's like
just as a company, ages or whatever, like the next
generation of management is always a little different. So Carston
definitely was that entrepreneur, you know, risk taker, did everything.

Like I remember coming to the engineering department and being like, Okay,
I'm going to design putters and they're like, well, Carston's
on vacation, so we're not really doing anything.

Speaker 4 (10:28):
He was never on vacation.

Speaker 5 (10:30):
He was traveling in Europe or whatever, and they're like, yeah,
we're waiting for him to get back, and I'm like, really, like,
there's nothing to worry. It's like, well, I might be
exaggerating a little bit, but it was very much like, hey,
we need to wait for him to give us next
direction on what to do. And then I think my
dad came in loosened that up. What my dad I
think is really good at is like the super fine

points of the design. Like I was still because I
was always like, We've got this great design, and he
would always find ten things wrong with it.

Speaker 4 (10:59):
Yeah, I'd be.

Speaker 5 (11:00):
All upset, and then we do what he said and
then it's better, And I'm like, so it took me
like ten years to realize that's actually a pretty good
management skill, the strength of saying no and making people
go back to the board. So I would say, I'm
I'm more of an enabler, like a team builder, set
the vision and get you know, the guys like Marty

get the team on the bus, really pushing them and
leveraging all their talents.

Speaker 4 (11:28):
And I feel like I'm a pretty smart guy.

Speaker 5 (11:31):
Myself, but I realize if I get more smart people
with me, we can do more than what I saw
when it was just Carston because I guess I'm not Carston,
so like I need that big, strong team and we're
trying to do more. We got way more irons than
we used to have. We got more woods technology. We
were taken so much technology and information. With all the
player testing we do, we've got a lot of data

to process on a daily basis.

Speaker 4 (11:56):
That Marty builds all the apps.

Speaker 3 (11:58):
Yeah, we all software douts. There's software at the software yeah,
John K.

Speaker 2 (12:04):
One thing I've really liked about your leadership style has
been super inspirational to the employees is how hams On
you've been. You know, you were a designer, then you
were a VP of Engineering, and then you were I
remember you took a did a project engineer. You jumped
in there and were doing the tactical work running A
and T during COVID. We're all helping build clubs here
down there doing loft and live. I wasn't doing that.

I gotta admit that.

Speaker 3 (12:26):
You you so you get your hands dirty.

Speaker 2 (12:29):
Do you think that's come natural to you or are
you making like a conscious effort, like, you know, let
me go, he get my hands dirty.

Speaker 5 (12:37):
So I get there are times where I'm like, yeah,
I got to get my hands dirty. I would say
it is kind of just a natural thing. Like when
COVID hit and we had we had, you know, more
golf clubs on order than we could build that one.
I was like, I remember talking to our CFO and
I'm like, well, I'm just gonna go down and start
helping build them. I think everybody can do that, And

he looked at me like I was crazy, and I'm like, well,
like a lot of these people they started in production.
They can just we can go back and work in production.
And I'm liking, to be honest, those engineers, I think
they'd get a lot out of building a club and stuff.
So I really push for that. And I was like, well,
I'm not going to ask people to do it if
I'm not willing to do it myself. And I would
say the people go to they they love doing it.

You interact with the people. I think there's something about
touching that product and like going, this putter is gonna
have a putt to win a club championship someday when
you just think about the customer arts going to and
how you're gonna make their day. So yeah, I definitely
like to be involved in getting my hands dirty, so
to speak. And to me, it's very rewarding what we
do calling golf clubs and stuff, so I never feel

like it's like just getting dirty for the sake of
getting dirty. Every role we have at the company is
providing value, so it's exciting to me to go provide
value in whatever role it is.

Speaker 1 (13:50):
John K we talked about the PG Show a little bit.
You talked about kind of the first time you saw
your putter at the show. What is it like coming
here every year, the development of it, and not just
the development of the show, but the involvement in ping
at the PG Show over the years.

Speaker 5 (14:03):
Yeah, So to me, it is like right when we
like to launch products, so it's great timing for that.
I'd like to think all the PGA pros, our reps
have already hit them with our new product and taking
their orders or whatever, so we're not writing a tonnel
orders here. But it is great to see the whole industry.
You know, golf'spin on quite a run as of late,
so it's nice to be, you know, within a healthy industry.

Speaker 4 (14:24):
Everybody's doing well.

Speaker 5 (14:26):
We see a lot of great faces, a lot of friends,
a lot of people I wouldn't normally see run into
at the show, so it's great for a lot of things.

Speaker 1 (14:33):
Is it a young person's show these days, or do
you feel like you still have the energy to kind
of run through it at the same clip maybe you
had a decade ago.

Speaker 5 (14:43):
It's definitely tiring. I would say, for whatever reason, my
back has gotten better with age. Okay, my back used
to kill me. Interesting, interesting and whatever. We're kind of
getting towards the end of the day here and I'm
still feeling pretty good. So I don't know's I would
think anyone could do it, but it is taxing to
my We had a little meeting ahead of time, and
I thanked everybody for their efforts because everybody's going to

be tired when they're getting on that plane to go home.

Speaker 4 (15:08):
And so it's a lot of work to be here,
you know what.

Speaker 1 (15:11):
I compare this a lot, and it's probably a bad comparison,
but the PGA show is almost Mini Vegas. Everybody shows
up and they're excited, and you know, everybody's they got
their new outfits and they're so excited to get here.
And then you go to the airport on Friday afternoon. Yeah,
they're kind of droopy and everything is a little bit
more tired.

Speaker 3 (15:27):

Speaker 4 (15:28):
Yeah, yeah, you get a lot of peother here. It's go,
go go.

Speaker 5 (15:31):
I like to kind of turn it down earlier or whatever,
because coming West coast to East coast the time change.
I got to make sure I get my sleep or
otherwise I'm want to be a train wreck and I'm
want to be in front of a camera.

Speaker 3 (15:42):
So just keep part of it. John K.

Speaker 2 (15:44):
How's the PJ show changed since you first started coming there.

Speaker 4 (15:49):
That's a good question.

Speaker 5 (15:51):
I would actually say it's more more focused on what
the PGA Show is for. So I would say when
I first started coming, there were way more gigantic screens,
loud stuff, multi story, just a lot of fluff and
hocus pocus type stuff, just like who could do bigger

and better boosts or whatever. I feel like the big
golf equipment brands have all kind of scaled back from that,
and it's a good mix of you got those brands
as well as you've got all the call apparel, all
the other stuff. So as you're a PGA pro, you
can really come here and get you know, what can
you stock in your pro shop that's unique to you

that your members are going to like. So to me,
I think it's gotten a little more balanced on what
we're here for the PGA member and what they're going
to have in their pro shop, and how do we
make the show speak to that.

Speaker 1 (16:46):
Do you still walk the floor.

Speaker 5 (16:49):
If I get time to That's the one thing I
kind of want to do a lot of times. I
don't even have time to do it, but and I
want to go for the little knickknacks. But I see
I see all the other stuff all the time. I
want to see what that's the Uh, what's a unique
thing that I could say, Oh, I saw that at
the show.

Speaker 1 (17:03):
It's funny, Marty. I like the I like going and
checking out the headcover. Companies can always have so many
cool headcovers over that way, you know.

Speaker 2 (17:10):
Inventor's Corner and some someone poured their last two years
of their life and make it some little training aid
and some of them are good. I've picked up some
some cool little training aids over there over the years.

Speaker 1 (17:23):
I've got an easy one for you, John K. What's
your favorite ping club of all time? You can say
the putter you built. That's fine, that's an easy way
out of this.

Speaker 5 (17:32):
Yeah, those early ISO Pure putters. I would say my
favorite pin club of all time. Hmm, how about G
four thirty Max ten K Driver.

Speaker 1 (17:44):
There you go, Oh, there you go, transition into the
new stuff. I'm gonna say that might be my favorite
pink club of all time.

Speaker 5 (17:50):
I've had it for a couple of months now, and
I'm getting older, so everything had slowed down. So it
was very nice to see ball speed back up, just
the up substantially, in just all hitting all the fairways.

Speaker 4 (18:03):
I want so to me.

Speaker 5 (18:06):
I guess I've never had a big tie to an
old product. I've been the guy who kind of easily
switches a lot of times. I've been in the driver
and I'm like, I can't hit anything better, but I'm
gonna try it. I put it in the bag and
I'm like, sure enough. I like G four twenty five.
I didn't think I could hit it better, and I
got the G four to thirty Max, and I'm like,

that one's for me, and interesting, like I tried. I
wanted to play the G four thirty LST and I'm like,
I just it doesn't work as good for me. So
I went with the Max and I thought I couldn't
hit any better, and now I'm in the max ten
k and loving it. I've had some putters, Like as
a junior, I putted with a B sixty three a lot.

My dad designed that putter, So I would say, like
the sentimental value. If I could find that old putter
that I spent years with, I bet it's at my
dad's house, that would be something I'd be like, Okay,
this is this is one that now I look at
it though, it's all way heel shafted, and I'm like,
that was a lot that I was putting with down there.
But but for back in the I made a lot
of putts. All my memories from back then are good memories,

and they they made a lot of putts.

Speaker 3 (19:11):
In the ten k.

Speaker 2 (19:12):
From a fitting standpoint, you've gone a little bit longer
at length because the drivers I did.

Speaker 5 (19:17):
Get from listening to one of these podcasts, I was,
I was like, you know what, I gotta I gotta,
I gotta try the length. So I like literally came
in the next day lou Bebee, who like is my fitter.

Speaker 4 (19:30):
I'm like, hey, we gotta try.

Speaker 5 (19:31):
And I actually went longer, and I went a half
inch longer and settled on a quarter inch longer. Yeah,
beautiful and loving it because I got a little more
clubhead speed and ball still going in the fairway.

Speaker 4 (19:43):
And it's a big deal.

Speaker 5 (19:45):
One club in on every hole is a big deal
game change.

Speaker 1 (19:47):
I mean, Marty probably knows the answer to this, but
I mean you're probably saving three, four or five strokes
around if you just simply had one shorter club in everything.

Speaker 2 (19:56):
Oh yeah, no, Yeah, that's uh, that is huge in
terms of that compound interest when you get that ball
further down the fairway.

Speaker 3 (20:02):
Yeah, and it's fun to have all the fun fitting.

Speaker 2 (20:03):
Tools to be able to help everyday golfer kind of
make those decisions. Now, John k you've been influential in
kind of having us rethink our iron strategy and having
like a very pure blade iron.

Speaker 3 (20:15):

Speaker 2 (20:15):
I think we launched the Blueprint iron. Tour players were
kind of asking us for something like that. We kind
of had to really spend a lot of time diving
in with the tour players. Now, those irons have been
very good for the low single digit handicappers like yourself.
Avid golfers. Tell us a little bit about you know,
your thoughts on Blueprint ess, Blueprint te and just our

whole like better player iron family right now.

Speaker 4 (20:41):

Speaker 5 (20:41):
So to me, I think we've made a lot of
improvement there.

Speaker 4 (20:44):
I think.

Speaker 5 (20:46):
We've got an awareness issue out in the field or
whatever because I play Blueprints and I you know, I'll
have a caddy or people I'm playing with and they're like,
I didn't know ping made a blade.

Speaker 3 (20:56):

Speaker 5 (20:57):
I'm like, yeah, we've been doing it for a while now.

Speaker 4 (20:59):

Speaker 5 (21:01):
But to me, you know, one, it's listening to the
tour player and then you know, I grew up, you know,
playing bigger irons and stuff like that, and I think
it was more just out of a like I wanted
to test it myself. So the original Blueprints, I just
had a set made up, went out and played like
back to back rounds, and I'm like a scratch golfer.
I don't shoot under par a whole lot, but I

think I had back to back under par rounds and
I'm just like, this is a game changer for me.

Speaker 1 (21:29):
Was it like a workability thing? Was it just comfort
with the look of the iron?

Speaker 5 (21:32):
Do you feel so my game, my miss is left
and on an iron, like a big forgiving iron. It's
left and long, so you kind of close the face
down and all of a sudden, you're you're.

Speaker 4 (21:45):
Kind of in the wrong zip code.

Speaker 5 (21:46):
And if you go look at a lot of golf courses,
you look what's left and long, A lot of times
there's no golf course nasty.

Speaker 1 (21:53):
Bunkers, especially in Arizona.

Speaker 5 (21:54):
Yeah, so so to me, the miss with the blueprint
is short, straight, Okay, So to me and I, you know,
unless there's a bunker right in front of the green
or whatever, it's usually a pretty easy chip from right
on the front of the green. So to me, that's
what I just started like looking at like my Arcos
data and stuff, and I'm like, yeah, this is this
is better. My location to pin is closer. So I

became a believer and then that got me, you know, going, well,
now I understand why the tour players are doing this
because when you do, you know, kind of hit a
pretty small space on the face like MOI definitely has
a lot of value. But if you control those misses
and if the smaller head help gives you better misses,
I think it makes a lot of sense. So now

I'm super excited with Blueprint T and Blueprint S because
now we've got two compact irons, one with the s
with a little higher MOI. And it's crazy how many
tour players, non paying staffers and ping staffers are quickly
gravitating to that. So I'm really excited, and I think
that one has a lot of place in the marketplace.
I think a lot of golfers are gonna benefit from the.

Speaker 3 (23:00):
Yeah, or doing mixed sets.

Speaker 2 (23:02):
We see a lot of that on tour, like Corey
Connors playing blueprint as four and five iron then going
to the t and it's fun now to have that
iron and the I two thirty.

Speaker 3 (23:12):
All with the same lofts.

Speaker 2 (23:13):
Yeah, and design them to be blended because it's such
a big deal. You can either play them all the
way down or blend them, which is super fun. So yeah,
I've never I've had the same feedback John k. You know,
I think a couple of accounts came by and said,
when are you guys gonna stop making those boxy irons?
And I show them the blueprints.

Speaker 1 (23:30):
They're like, WHOA, yeah, we did it at Yeah, I
need to ask what is in the bag? What does
your bag look like right now?

Speaker 5 (23:37):
So I've got the Max tank driver, I've got our
LST three woods, which is awesome. So I play at
I five thirty four iron if we even that's not
out yet, is it? No, that's no, But I've had
it for a while. That club is awesome.

Speaker 1 (23:53):
You somebody, you know, somebody paying then get it early, so.

Speaker 5 (23:56):
That club's yeah, that club's super flexible. I hit it
off the tee a lot now. And then I've got
so another four iron four I heard through of blueprint
t and then I've got s one fifty nine wedges.

Speaker 4 (24:12):
I've got a.

Speaker 5 (24:13):
Fifty so I get pretty precise bent to forty nine,
and then I've got a fifty four to fifty four
and a fifty eight bent to fifty nine, and then
an answer four K putter.

Speaker 4 (24:25):
I didn't know it had a name, and then I
just found.

Speaker 5 (24:27):
Out we call an answer four K apparently because my
middle name with the K, so it's an answer head.
It's a PLD putter with an answer for hozzle. So
I'm a little more open closed. So went in and
did the whole PLD fitting and beautiful. That was a
cool thing too, because I'm more used to seeing like
the numbers from track Man and Foresight on the launch
monitor with a driver, but now used to seeing numbers

with a putter and when I did that PLD fitting experience,
I'm like, oh, there's like numbers at show. This cutter
is better for me and I'm hitting it more consistent.
So that's all the confidence I needed to get it
out on the green and make some putts.

Speaker 2 (25:01):
Yeah, I mean putterfitny. You gotta fall in love with
the look of it. But then layer on the science. Yeah,
you know, it's like the marriage of art and science.
So that iping we you know, just that incentive to
you know, try to maximize someone's repeatability is super cool
that we're doing in there.

Speaker 3 (25:16):
Now, what about your lob wedge. What grind do you have?

Speaker 5 (25:20):
I do have a custom grind there, so it's the
standard soul and then it's got the dish like the
it grind.

Speaker 4 (25:26):
Ah yeah on that and that gives me.

Speaker 5 (25:30):
It gives me what I like for a full shot
ground impact wise in that bunker and full disclosure week.
Part of my game is my short game the bunker.
I go back to the old eye two days when
I was a kid and I didn't have a.

Speaker 4 (25:43):
Short game issue, and it gives me that same.

Speaker 5 (25:46):
Feel in the bunker when I get the dish with
the dish, just that nice Crisp comes out and has
some spin on it, So that's been a good combo
for me.

Speaker 3 (25:55):
Yeah, nice, John Cam.

Speaker 1 (25:57):
How much golf are you playing right now? Do you
get to play once a week? You get to play much?
I mean, you know, I feel like people within the
golf industry either play a lot or they don't play
much at all, you.

Speaker 5 (26:04):
Know, So I play way more. My kids have gotten
a little older, so I don't have as much commitments
on the weekends and stuff. Uh. I've got one pretty
into it. He goes to school at Saint Andrews, gets
out on there quite a bit. He was just at
home for Christmas and stuff, and we got some golf
in together. My youngest son plays a little bit, and

then my girls they do other sports. So but I
would say I play once or twice a week, so
I get a fair amount of golf in. But sometimes
I'll go three weeks without playing. But then I'll make
like I'm playing twice this week or whatever, and then
I think of twice the next week.

Speaker 4 (26:44):
I already got it all.

Speaker 5 (26:45):
Scheduled, so I gotta It's golf season in Phoenix, so
there's there's a decent amount of golf coming.

Speaker 1 (26:51):
Up if you're gonna play play Now, Marty, what are
you a week? I've never really asked you this. How
often are you playing the eighteen holes of golf? I
feel like you're a practicer.

Speaker 2 (26:58):
I'm a practicer, and then I'll go play like I'm
Some people at my course are like, I never see you. Well,
I go out at dark and I play like four
or five holes. I hit a bunch of t shots
and I'm out of there.

Speaker 3 (27:08):
But it's all.

Speaker 1 (27:09):
Work or you played? Do you play much?

Speaker 5 (27:11):

Speaker 1 (27:11):
Is there much casual golf in your life?

Speaker 3 (27:13):
Not a ton, I'm not.

Speaker 2 (27:14):
I just prep for the tournaments and the occasionally I'm
a sundowner.

Speaker 3 (27:19):
I go out at sundown.

Speaker 5 (27:20):
That's why I'm kind of cause I get that at
the golf course too. We never see you, and I'm like, well,
I play earlier. I play earlier, but I'm not a practicer. Yeah,
because those premium tea times. I'm like, well, that takes
up your whole day. I like, gotta I gotta get
two things in of the day or whatever. But I
don't practice a ton. Fortunate enough, we do a lot
of like player testing it thing, so I, you know,

make myself available to that, so that'll get me hitting
balls not every day, but twice a week or whatever
at work, So.

Speaker 4 (27:48):
That gets me swinging.

Speaker 5 (27:49):
And then you know, once a week or maybe twice
a week out on the golf course.

Speaker 4 (27:53):
But earlier late.

Speaker 1 (27:55):
When your son decided to go to Saint Andrew's. How
excited not just as a dad but as a of
for were you that you got to potentially go over there?

Speaker 5 (28:02):
You know, yeah, I love you. So we went and
visited him in September for the first time. My wife
plays a little bit of golf, but not much. She's like, well,
what are we gonna do. We're in Saint Andrews. And
I looked at her, like.

Speaker 3 (28:14):
You do one thing.

Speaker 5 (28:16):
We're going to see her son and we're gonna play golf. Yeah,
Like she did not get that. And then I'm like
we did. Like we had a trip to Mexico and
she's like, well, where do you want to play golf
in Mexico. I'm like, I don't need to, that's not
Saint Andrews.

Speaker 4 (28:28):
Like we could go to the beach, we could do
those sort of things. So yeah, I was excited.

Speaker 5 (28:33):
We had We played King's Barn in the old course,
the last time we were there, we played in pouring
rain and wind at the old course. So I was
like under par on the way out down win and
you couldn't even tell. Yeah it was, but created a
great memories. Yeah it was a lot of fun.

Speaker 3 (28:49):
Yeah so cool, John K? What are you doing outside
of work these days?

Speaker 2 (28:51):
I remember, you know, before you moved to Japan, you
were doing triathlons. I'd come into work, Shane and John
K would have already rode ridden his bike sixty you know,
and I'm like, oh boy, okay.

Speaker 4 (29:02):
Yeah, those were the days.

Speaker 5 (29:05):
I still would say, I've got like the workout bug.
I would say, it's gotten a little bit more like golf.
Focus on trying to do things to maintain the golf swing.
If anything, speed it up a little bit. Still get
the cardio in, but have it. My knees don't love
running anymore, so I kind of had to slow that
down because I'm like, I I don't want to be
the have.

Speaker 4 (29:25):
Knee issues, So.

Speaker 5 (29:28):
I like so golf, I would say, is a big
like spare time thing. Still got one kid at home,
so I'm doing my park to shuttle him back and
forth to his uh practices and whatever. Pickups or take
him to school, so that sort of stuff. And yeah,
just to join some family time and yeah, playing golf and.

Speaker 1 (29:48):
Outside a lot of work outside of this podcast obviously,
which I know you consume a lot. You're a podcast listener,
I'm guessing, and you're a book reader. You a little bit.

Speaker 4 (29:58):
Just finish the Elon Musk book.

Speaker 3 (30:00):
How was it?

Speaker 4 (30:01):
Uh, it was good. It was good to me.

Speaker 5 (30:04):
I Uh. It was actually my pastor at church that
recommended it to me, and I was like, Okay, I
read it, I got done with it. I'm like, okay,
I read it, but I don't think I want to
do all this stuff. He's like, no, it's not like
the example of what to do. It's like all the
stuff you could do and what costs. So to me
it was pretty powerful because like he you know, puts

it in NonStop, but also kind of like level setting
of that.

Speaker 4 (30:30):
There could be a too much or whatever and what cost.

Speaker 5 (30:34):
So but I thought it was a great read, super
interesting because we're like living through it right now and
we're still like in the middle of Tesla SpaceX and
all this stuff. So it's like the book's already out,
but it's not finished. So that was interesting. And then
I'll just like I'll listen to podcasts that people send
to me. I do listen to like some Joe Rogan
podcast here and there. Just got some interesting stuff on there,

and it's.

Speaker 1 (30:58):
Always kind of guest depend it. Right, It's like, you know,
I feel like there's the massive podcasts, you know, you
kind of are scrolling through and it's like, Okay, I
want to hear what this.

Speaker 4 (31:06):
Podcast is great?

Speaker 5 (31:07):
Like I love listening to this one and taking a
bunch of stuff here, Like by the chipping, I've become
a much better chipper.

Speaker 4 (31:15):

Speaker 3 (31:17):
That's right, thank you.

Speaker 5 (31:18):
Take the math in my head of I need that
negative angle of attack. I've been trying to sweep it
and the grounds just getting in the way. And now
I'm like, the ground's not in the anymore.

Speaker 2 (31:29):
So, yeah, that last last night he wore a shirt,
he had a jacket, he unzipped it, he had a
spin loft.

Speaker 3 (31:35):
He's like, where are you gonna point the spin loft?
You know?

Speaker 1 (31:38):
So this is open for on brand for Joe right there,
I'm gonna make a shirt for the open form and
get dial John K. We really appreciate you doing this
and appreciate the time, appreciate everything you do at Pinging
with the brand. It's been very cool to see the
recent developments. I mean just in terms of the irons
that you talked about. The new wedges are so great,
the driver's awesome. So thanks for the time and thanks
for everything you.

Speaker 4 (31:59):
Yeah, thanks for having me on a great path.

Speaker 5 (32:01):
We've got great product this week we're introducing, and then
the future looks very bright. We got a great pipeline,
we've got great people working on products, so stay tuned.

Speaker 1 (32:11):
The boss Man, John k. This is the Pink Proven
Grounds Podcast
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