Eight-time PGA Tour winner K.J. Choi, the first Korean to earn a PGA Tour card and to win on tour, has signed an agreement to play PING equipment, PING Chairman & CEO John A. Solheim announced today. Choi will make his debut as a PING Pro at the Sony Open in Hawaii, which begins Thursday.
Asia’s winningest golfer, Choi, 47, has amassed 22 victories worldwide since turning pro in 1994 and he’s spent 40 weeks in the top 10 in the world rankings. His first professional victory was the 1996 Korean Open. Since joining the PGA Tour in 2000, he has earned more than $32 million, his first tour win coming in 2002. His most notable title is the 2011 Players Championship.
“K.J. has played a lot of PING equipment in his career and been a friend to us going back to 2011, and he’s been a consistently strong performer on tour for many years. We’re proud to make him an official member of the PING team,” Solheim said. “He’s a friendly, highly likeable person and widely respected by his peers. He’s been on four Presidents Cup teams, playing in three and serving as vice captain of the International Team in 2015, so he’s competed at the highest level internationally. He’ll bring the PING brand tremendous exposure and credibility around the world, especially in South Korea, where he’s extremely popular among golfers.”
A powerlifter in his native South Korea before picking up golf, Choi said he’s had an ongoing connection with PING in Korea and the U.S. for years and is happy to formalize the relationship. “I have long admired PING equipment for its quality and I feel it’s a true collaboration when I work with the tour-player staff. I can be very particular about what I want from a golf club, and their attention to detail is as keen as mine, so they always find the right solution for me and my game. I’m truly excited to be on board with PING and very much look forward to the season ahead.”
As part of a multi-year agreement, Choi will play a minimum of 13 PING clubs. This week he’ll rely on a G400 driver and fairway woods, G400 hybrid, G400 irons, Glide 2.0 wedges, and a Sigma G Piper putter. Choi’s headwear and golf bag will feature PING branding.
Financial terms and the length of the agreement were not disclosed.