Week after week on the PGA Tour, the eye-catching Lexus pearl white PING Tour Trailer, emblazoned with PING logos and new product images, rumbles along lonely stretches of country roads and inches its way through big-city gridlock, its destination the next event on the schedule. The 18-wheeler logs some 30,000 to 35,000 miles a year as the PING team crosses the country three or four times during a PGA Tour season.
The 42-foot-long trailer serves as a home away from home for PING Tour Technicians (who drive and build clubs), PING pros, and PING Senior Player Development Manager Christian Peña and his staff, who tend to players’ equipment needs on the range. (As one example of the dedication PING staff has for our players, see the story below.)
The work area in the back of the truck is effectively a scaled down version of PING’s production facility in Phoenix, this one dedicated to dialing in a precise fit for the world’s best players. There’s a gripping station, plus digital loft-and-lie and swing weight machines, both designed and built by PING, a grinding belt, and drawers brimming with all varieties of tools, weights and product components, including shafts, heads and grips.
Working on quick-turnaround times, often while a player or his caddie waits, technicians’ tasks can be relatively simple like adding weight to a driver head or re-gripping wedges, or more involved like building entire iron sets from scratch. Every adjustment, every build, is detailed in written reports for reference later.
The work area in the back of the truck is effectively a scaled down version of PING’s production facility in Phoenix, this one dedicated to dialing in a precise fit for the world’s best players.
In the foreword section of the trailer is a spacious, plush lounge that serves as a welcoming place for PING pros and guests to relax, visit, watch TV, even play video games while their clubs are worked on. Sometimes players will pop in just to put their feet up during the hustle-bustle of a busy tour event. The trailer’s refrigerator is kept stocked by the technicians with refreshments and snacks for the week.
Manufacturers’ trailers aren’t allowed on grounds during tournament play, so come Wednesday evening of a PGA Tour event, technicians close up the trailer, fire up the 505-hp diesel engine and set out for the next event site, beginning another week in the life of PING’s PGA Tour support team.
PING Tech Goes The Extra Miles at Major
In August of 2017, PGA Tour Master Technician Jack Ulrich was having dinner on a Saturday night with his parents in Pinehurst, N.C., when he realized PING Pro Louis Oosthuizen might need a new PING iBlade 8-iron, which was bent early in Saturday’s round at the PGA Championship after striking a tree root. About that time, Senior Player Development Manager Christian Peña called Ulrich to discuss the situation, and PING customer service was set in motion.
Ulrich awoke at 5:30 a.m. Sunday and drove 65 miles to Greensboro, N.C., where the PING Trailer was stationed for that week’s Wyndham Championship. He built the 8-iron there, then drove some 80 miles to Quail Hollow and put a new 8-iron in Louis’ bag by 11 a.m. local time Sunday.
Later that day, Oosthuizen went on to finish T2 at the major.