Ping's PLD Limited Pal 2 putter commemorates win in 1988 PGA
As we come up on this year’s PGA Championship, Ping is readying the second release in its Ping Slam collection, the PLD Limited Pal 2, commemorating Jeff Sluman’s win at the 1988 PGA at Oak Tree G.C. in Oklahoma.
The Ping Slam collection pays homage to the fact that only once in golf history has a single putter brand been used to win all four men’s major championships in the same calendar year. That was in 1988 when the four champions (Sandy Lyle, Sluman, Curtis Strange and Seve Ballesteros) used Ping putters in their victories.
The company is producing precision-milled versions of the four winning models (Pal, Pal 2, Zing 2 and Anser, respectively) that become available the Tuesday of this year’s four major championship weeks; the latest offering drops May 16 at 2 p.m. EDT at pingpld.com.
Only 88 of each model will be available for $990 (limit one per customer) during each corresponding major’s week. On Dec. 5, collectors will have the opportunity to purchase one of 35 complete sets of the PLD Limited Ping Slam putters for $4,990 (limit one per customer), which will come with a custom-designed display unit.
“The buildup and attention the ‘Ping Slam’ PLD Limited Pal model received during last month’s Masters was fun to see,” said Ping Executive Chairman John A. Solheim. “We even gave one to Sandy Lyle at Augusta, and he used it to sink his final putt of his last Masters. It was Sandy’s win with the original Ping Pal putter at the 1988 Masters that put us on the path to this amazing accomplishment. That brought back some very special memories for me, and we were very honored by his gesture on his last hole.”
Jeff Sluman helped close out the Ping Slam in 1988 when he used a PAL 2 to win the PGA Championship at Oak Tree.
In consultation with Solheim, Ping’s engineers and historian scoured the company archives, reviewing old images and carefully measuring putter heads to retain the integrity of the four classic designs during the milling process. They even visited the Ping Gold Putter Vault to study and analyze each model’s intricacies to ensure Karsten Solheim’s original designs remained intact.
The putters are fully machined and custom built by Ping WRX master craftsmen at the company’s Phoenix headquarters. Each putter is serialized for authenticity and includes a custom headcover unique to each of the four major events.
The Pal 2 is fully milled from 303 stainless steel with a natural silver-color finish. Although the PGA is now played in May, in 1988 it the last of the four played, making this putter the one that has the distinction of being the model that secured the Ping Slam, earning it a unique place in Ping’s history. Distinguished by its Zing-style hosel, the Pal 2 was cast in stainless steel and featured a white sightline along the trailing edge—making it a favorite on tours around the world. Its first major win came a year earlier when Nick Faldo won 1987 Open Championship and it was also in the bag of John Daly at the 1991 PGA Championship.
“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.”
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