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Brent Kelley

Ping Fits Phelps With Gold-Medal Clubs

By January 30, 2013

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How many Olympic medals in swimming did Michael Phelps win? So many that he might occasionally lose track of the number. But if that ever happens, Phelps now need only glance down at his new irons.

Every one of his Ping G25 irons has "Phelps22" stamped on the clubhead. Twenty-two is the number of Olympic medals won by Phelps (18 of which were gold).

Phelps recently underwent a clubfitting with Ping - particularly necessary for a person like Phelps who has unusual proportions (very long arms, giant hands) - and is now officially a Ping staff member.

Ping announced on Wednesday it has signed Phelps to an endorsement deal. Phelps publicly debuted as a member of Team Ping at the Wednesday pro-am prior to the start of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, playing with a Ping partner in Bubba Watson.

"I know how difficult the game of golf is, but I'm really serious about getting better," Phelps said.

To that end, Phelps - who only took up golf about five years ago - is the subject of this year's The Haney Project, which premieres on the Golf Channel on Feb. 25.

Phelps' Ping clubs include the G25 driver, woods, hybrids and irons, plus Tour Gorge Groove wedges and a Scottsdale TR putter. In addition to the "Phelps22" stamp, Phelps' irons also use a red, white and blue paint fill.

It's not that unusual for non-golfers to sign endorsement deals with golf companies, although it's far more common for smaller companies to use non-golfers. For one of the major golf manufacturers to sign a non-golfer, the person in question needs to be a major star. Such as the all-time winningest Olympian, Phelps; or Justin Timberlake with Callaway.

(Photo: Ping Golf)

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