Thirty-five years ago next week, Sandy Lyle won the 1988 Masters and set an equipment streak that has never been matched in motion. It was during that year Lyle (Masters), Curtis Strange (U.S. Open), Seve Ballesteros (Open Championship) and Jeff Sluman (PGA Championship) won all four major championships with a Ping putter in the bag.
Shortly after Sluman’s win, an advertisement was released celebrating Ping’s “Grand Slam of Golf” feat. Some of the models (Pal, Pal 2 and Zing 2) have since been retired, but for those who still remember Ping’s historic 1988 season, a whiff of nostalgia is coming with the release of the limited-edition “Ping Slam” PLD collection.
“It was a tremendous accomplishment,” said Ping executive chairman John A. Solheim. “When we realized we were one win away from having a Ping putter in the hands of every major champion in the same year, the PGA Championship took on added interest for us. When it happened, it was very special, and we celebrated by running one of our iconic yellow ads under the headline: Ping Putters Used To Win the Grand Slam Of Golf.”
On the heels of last year’s limited PLD Anser Patent 55 putters that celebrated the 55-year anniversary of the patent that changed the industry, Ping will do something similar around the 1988 major-winning putters with its new “Ping Slam” collection.
On Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET of the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and Open Championship, Ping will release 88 precision-milled versions of the four major-winning models (Pal, Pal 2, Zing 2 and Anser) for $990 via pingpld.com. Ping noted the limited Anser Patent 55 putters sold out in three minutes; they expect similar demand for the “Ping Slam” collection.
“Having been so involved with Karsten in designing and bringing all four of those models to golfers, it was a lot of fun for me to go back and work with our team to develop the fully machined versions of the iconic designs,” Solheim said. “A lot of what we did back then is still critical to our putter designs today, so we went to great lengths to maintain the subtleties of each model while giving them the precise details and strikingly clean, premium appearance made possible through the milling process.”
The Pal putter Lyle used to win the Masters is milled from aluminum/bronze alloy, which is an entirely different manufacturing process from the manganese bronze that was cast to create the perimeter-weighted head. Featuring a shorter blade length and Anser hosel, the Pal was used to win 100-plus Tour events, including three of the four majors (3 Open Championships, 2 Masters and 1 U.S. Open). Al Geiberger also wielded a Pal when he carded the PGA Tour’s first 59 at the 1977 Memphis Classic.
“We’re excited to offer these legendary putters to golfers,” said Solheim. “It’s a great way to pay tribute to Karsten’s success and all he brought to putter designs while celebrating with our loyal Ping fans. Whether golfers want to purchase one of the 88 individual putters during the week of the major or wait to until the end of the year to collect all four at once, we expect the putters to go fast, so we encourage those interested to plan accordingly.”
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