In day-to-day business, you don’t stop to think about how long you’ve been doing what you do until you aren’t excited about your occupation anymore, or somebody reminds you.
I still enjoy what I do, so I don’t have any inclination to slow it down anytime soon, but I was reminded by somebody on Friday how long I’ve been in journalism, which is 34 years in a couple of weeks. One of the names in golf who I’ve always enjoyed chatting with over the years is a well-known one, PING chairman and CEO John Solheim.
I remember being with John on 9/11, when he was visiting Toronto for a presentation at St. George’s Golf and Country Club and chatting with him in St. Augustine, Fla., after his dad/company founder/noted innovator Karsten Solheim was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Those chats were frequent, either on the phone or on regular visits with him in person at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando each year. Topics ranged from new products to issues in golf to the economy to tour players and about anything to do with the game.
So, I looked forward to my most recent session with him on Friday as he wound down a visit at the company’s Canadian HQ in Oakville, Ont. This visit will also stand out in my mind.
“Before you go …” he said, taking a handoff from Dave Wilson of PING Canada, which he then relayed to me, saying it was something to recognize the years we’ve been working together.
It was a PING Anser putter that commemorated what would have been Karsten’s 100th birthday on Sept. 14, 2011. Interesting to note that it was being presented on Sept. 14, 2012.
Every component was made in the USA from the machined clubhead to the shaft to the grip to the tape under the grip and the epoxy used to hold the clubhead to the shaft. Only 100 of these Ansers, which came with a leather head cover with Karsten’s name on it, were made.
Mine is No. 47 and from what I understand, most of these keepsake putters went to family members, key employees such as Dave Wilson and those who have worked closely with the company for years.
I’ve been in the PING putter vault at company HQ in Phoenix and seen all of the golden keepsakes of company putters used to win tour events and other championships, so I’m aware of the symbolic value of the one that was in my hand.
I also know the special memories that John Solheim has of his relationship with his dad, so this has special meaning.
First order of business is getting something to put this putter in a special place of honour on my wall.
Links to Sun Media: My latest Sun Media column discusses Rory’s McIlroy’s recent hot streak that has put him into a sure bet to win Player of the Year honours, something we couldn’t have envisioned just six weeks ago. Also, this Sun Media video discusses how the tour lucked out with the timing of McIlroy’s arrival.