Among the rarest Ping Putters that Karsten Solheim ever made is this very Scottsdale 69BC croquet putter. Its shaft is curved across its entire length, not just near the head nor near the grip. Karsten installed the full length curve in this 35" shaft by hand, using heat and ingenuity. This curve is dramatically different from the angled grip found in the typical PIng Scottsdale 69BC croquet putter.
When working in his Redwood City garage, Karsten made only a few B5-C croquet putters and they typically had a full length curved shaft, just like this one. Only 4-5 of those putters are known and they are the most valuable Ping Redwood City putters ever made.
While this 69BC has the same Karsten-made full length curved shaft as the B5-C, it is the only such example that Karsten made in his Scottsdale garage that is known to the auctioneer and his contacts at Ping. Given the amount of time and work that it took to install a symmetrical curve across the full length of the shaft, Karsten soon figured out how to form a short angled bend in the shaft just below the grip, so the length of the grip would be set at an angle to the straight length of the shaft—and that’s how all the other known Scottsdale 69BC croquet putters were made.
The Ping Scottsdale Trainer is considered the most valuable Scottsdale Ping putter (and it is a great club for a variety of reasons), but they are neither as rare nor as visual as is this solitary Scottsdale 69BC with its full length curved shaft and original rubber grip.
If you appreciate the genius of Karsten Solheim—the only member of the World Golf Hall of Fame who made it solely as a clubmaker, the most influential club designer in the history of the game, and the visionary who made Ping into the largest golf company in the world in less than 25 years after he began making putters in his garage—this club approaches the ultimate “Karsten-made-this-himself” artifact that a golf collector can own. According to his son John, who worked along side his father helping him make putters from the very beginning, only Karsten would create the bends used in his earliest putters. His creative genius has long been understood and honored.
Simply put, this is an incredible club!