Karsten Solheim’s Anser putter introduced in 1966 was an overnight sensation that eventually became the most popular and copied putter in the history of the game. Believing in the virtues of his Anser putter with its perimeter heel/toe weighting, Karsten came out with a set of Anser irons one year later, in early 1967. He produced only 300 sets, and the cavity on every single iron was hand milled by Karsten’s son Allan. You can still see the milling marks in the back of each cavity, under the white paint. Today, of all the millions and millions, and more millions of cavity-back irons that followed PING's lead, Karsten's Anser set helped prepare for the revolution.
This Anser iron set consists of a 1-iron through PW and SW—eleven irons, all matching. They show only light wear. The heads have been beautifully detailed, with new paint in the sole stamps and cavities. Each club is stamped “23” in the back cavity. Each club has a black chrome shaft with Karsten’s famed two-way bend at the base of the grip, which the USGA ruled non-conforming just a few months after the Anser irons were introduced. The classic cord grips appear to be original to the set. The chrome on the sole of every iron, except for the 2-iron, has been lightly brushed. The net effect is it slightly softens the bright reflection of the original chrome. In the image of the soles of this iron set, you can compare the sole of the 2-iron to the others and see that the difference is small. The writing on the sole and the back cavity of each iron has been restored.
This set of Anser woods was sold in 1967. The heads were originally purchased and re-weighted under the soleplate by Karsten in 1962. Early Ping woods, however, were not in demand. Karsten still had a few sets left in 1967, so he stamped “Anser” on the soleplates of those clubs, so they would match up with the Anser irons produced in 1967.
The Anser wood set here consists of a 1, 3, and 4 wood. The original shafts have Golf Pride classic DTA grips. The Driver and 3-wood shafts have a small one-way bend, which tilts back towards the golfer, at the base of the grip. The woods have been refinished as is often the case with classic clubs originally made in the 1960s.
Today the early Anser irons are among the most sought after clubs that bear the PING name. I do not believe an Anser iron set with matching Anser woods has ever come up for auction, let alone an 11-club set that includes the exceptionally rare Anser 1-iron.
And The Putter Went Ping. p 87-88.