Marked “Karsten Mfg Co.” in the back cavity along with "Phoenix" and an 85029 Zip code, this is the very putter pictured and discussed on page 95 of And The Putter Went...Ping. The book presents the Anser putter in great detail, noting that the rarest of all the Scottsdale Anser putters is the Anser X. These putters were originally cast to be standard Ansers, but the hosel did not turn out right. All was not lost, however. The deformed hosels were removed, the remaining heads were ground and tumbled, then drilled and shafted.
A modified “Anser reject" was simply termed an “Anser X.” Only an extremely small number of early Anser X putters were made, and none were offered in a catalog or acknowledged to the public. The Anser X gained legendary status and was finally put into production decades later in 2000. Note that the back cavity on the Anser X made in 2000 are simply marked "Karsten"—not Karsten Co, Karsten Company, nor Karsten Mfg. Co. like it is on this club. Plus the later models came pre-tarnished.)
The book goes on to state, “Due to the improved casting processes, the early Phoenix 85029 Anser X putter is even rarer than the Scottsdale-marked Anser X." When the auctioneer had the opportunity to discuss this 85029 Anser putter with the powers that be at PING prior to the printing of the book, it was noted that this was the only early Phoenix Anser X that they had seen, at least within memory. (For reference the first Ansers that were marked with the Phoenix address bore the 85029 Zip code on the back. This occurred around 1967, when Karsten replaced the Scottsdale address on the back of the Anser to a Phoenix address. In 1972 Karsten changed the Zip code on the back of the Anser again. A Ping ad that year showed a Phoenix Anser with the 85020 zip.)
The word “Anser” on the back of the head of the putter offered here is cast in place, but an X has been hand stamped right after the word “Anser.”
Not only is this putter unused, it looks just like it did when it was made. It has not developed a dark patina which happens naturally, in a matter of weeks, after manganese bronze putters are put into play. This club has its 35” original double bend shaft, its original early Ping black shaft band, and its original Ping Golf Pride Pro Only grip that includes its original grip collar.
This is a special club—possibly the rarest of all early Ping Anser putters.
For more on the Anser X and zip codes, see And The Putter Went Ping, page 95 and endnote 3 on p. 535-536.