John A. Solheim, PING Chairman and CEO, was honoured today with the distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award at the HSBC Golf Business Forum in Shanghai, China.
Solheim was recognised for his contribution to golf and for his achievements, leadership and innovation within the business side of the game. He got his start in the business when he was only 13, working alongside his father, Karsten, on early putter designs in the family’s garage. He aspired to be an architect, but as PING’s business expanded, he turned his passion to designing golf clubs and helping Karsten grow the privately-held entity into one of the most influential golf companies in the world. As chairman and CEO, he leads the company’s strategic direction and oversees the design and development of PING products.
“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,” Solheim said. “I accept this on behalf of my family and the entire company because achievement is always the result of 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.”
In particular, HSBC saluted the Solheims (PING founder Karsten Solheim and his wife, Louise) for creating the Solheim Cup in 1990, and for John Solheim’s role in elevating it to global success and 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,” Solheim said. “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.”