This 1A no model (the putter is like the 1A but not stamped "1A") is in
outstanding condition. It has a rich dark patina, typical of early PING manganese bronze putters.
Ping Redwood City 1A No Model putters were made before the Redwood City
1A-stamped putters. The No Models have an original hand-made leather
wrapped grips in the high majority of instances while the 1A typically uses a
rubber Golf Pride Informer Grip.
There is also a significant structural difference between a Redwood city 1A no model and a 1A: Karsten changed the socket location in the No Model putters, moving it slightly more to the heel before stamping "Model 1A" on his putters. Consequently, the shaft in the vast majority of the 1A No
Models is more in the center of the head when compared to the shaft position in
the 1A model. The auctioneer has seen a 1A no model with a socket location in the exact location as it is on a 1A. This most likely indicates that there was a small period of time after Karsten moved the socket closer to the heel before he began to mark those putters with "1A".
Further evidence of the exceptionally early nature of this particular 1A No Model
is the fact that the grip cap is original and does not bear the
"Torsion T" design Karsten drew up on March 29, 1959, and received from a
supplier shortly thereafter. (See PWP page 39 for Karsten's dated
drawing). But, again, this plain grip cap is original, which dates this
club to the first few months that Karsten was in business.
The original red/blue leather-wrap grip has its original black trim tape on the grip collar. As described in great detail in The Putter Went Ping,
these grips could survive nuclear winter. Engineered to be extremely
durable, each grip took a couple of days
to make, including drying time, and a significant amount of work.
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 are now the stuff of legend. They
creative genius of Karsten Solheim, the man who changed how the
entire clubmaking world designed and produced golf clubs. This putter
is absolutely one of his earliest, and it's in great condition!
The "8" stamped on the sole is Karsten's unique weight stamp. The 35" shaft is original.
For more information on this iconic putter and the other Redwood City putters, the entire second chapter in And the Putter Went Ping,
pages 26 through 53, tells the amazing story. This chapter highlights
in great detail the creative genius behind the 1A, how it came to be,
and the gigantic roll it played in bringing heel/toe weighting into the
world of golf.