Karsten Solheim, with the able help of his teen-age sons Allan and John,
made this putter by hand in their Redwood City, California, garage.
Redwood City Ping putters, whlle few in number, are now iconic. They unleashed the creative
genius of Karsten Solheim, the man who changed the way the world both
designed and made golf clubs.
The head on this Ping Redwood City 1A no model is clean as can be. There no dents, dings, or damage of any significance, just a little wear to the finish on the sole. The
lettering on the sole is strong, and the inside of the cavity is clean.
The leather-wrapped grip is original and still has its original grip collar and Torsion "T" grip cap.
This head is alive! It really sings after striking a
ball—Piiiiiiinnnnnggggg!!! The "1A No Model" was Karsten's first
production putter. It preceded the 1A-stamped putters and is slightly different. The hosel/base of the shaft on the 1-A No Model is positioned slightly more towards the toe than it is on the 1-A stamped putters—At least that is what the auctioneer has consistently seen when comparing the two models. Karsten was continually fine tuning. Moving the hosel slightly back toward the heel of the club appears to be a change he made with he started producing putters stamped "1-A."
Another difference between the 1-A and 1-A No Model putters are the grips. In the summer of 1959, Karsten began to move away from using the leather wrap grips found on the vast majority of 1-A No Model putters and began using the rubber Golf Pride Informer grips found on the large majority of the 1A Redwood City putters. The leather wrapped grips were installed by Karsten's son Allan, and it was a significant amount of painstaking work to make a single grip. To make the grip on this putter Allan cut long triangular strips of cardboard, soaked them in glue, wrapped them on the shaft, let them dry, cut the flat surfaces on three sides of the grip and otherwise formed the grip to shape, wrapped on the leather, fastened it in place, installed the end cap, and finally installed the collar on the base of the grip. These grips are well made.
Before Allen left for the Marines during the summer of 1959, after he graduated high school, he gripped as many shafts as time would allow. Not long after Allan left Redwood city, Karsten began using Golf Pride rubber grips, which he would cut to shape by installing a flat surface down the front for the golfer's thumbs. This was the perfect replacement and became part of the Ping Putter production process thereafter, although for a short period he would provide leather-wrapped grips upon request.
For more info on the Ping 1-A and 1-A no model, see And The Putter Went Ping p. 28-49