PING chairman and CEO John A. Solheim described himself as ‘honoured and delighted’ after being presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the HSBC Golf Business Forum.
Solheim was recognised for his contribution to the world of golf and for his achievements, leadership and innovation within the business side of the game.
He started working on early putter designs alongside his father, Karsten, at the age of 13. His passion to design golf clubs helped his dad to grow Ping into one of the most influential golf companies in the world. Now, in his role as chairman, Solheim leads the company’s strategic direction and oversees the design and development of Ping products.
This was the tenth successive year the award has been presented and Solheim joins a list of illustrious winners including last year’s recipient, Peter Dawson, former chief executive of the R&A, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, as well as standout contributors to the professional game, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.
“This prestigious award has been given to the game’s biggest names over the years, so I’m very honoured to have the Solheim name next to many of golf’s legends,” said Solheim. “I accept this on behalf of my family and the entire company because achievement is always the result of great teamwork.
“We have a lot of great team leaders at Ping who make my job easier and, together, we give Ping the reputation it enjoys in the golf world.”
The HSBC Golf Business Forum is the largest and most significant meeting of golf business executives and decision makers. During the ceremony, HSBC also applauded Karsten and his wife Louise for creating the Solheim Cup in 1990. Likewise, John was commended for his role in bringing it to the fore of global golf - with over 2.5million viewers watching the 2015 contest - as well as creating the Ping Junior Solheim Cup in 2002.
“My parents provided me so many wonderful examples of leadership through the years and creating the Solheim Cup has left a tremendous legacy,” added Solheim.
“They were committed to growing women’s golf and inspiring girls to take up the game. Along with my family and everyone at Ping, we continue to hold that event near and dear to our hearts because it’s the right thing to do and we truly enjoy being ambassadors for the game we love.”