Viktor Hovland, the most recent world #1 amateur, has signed an equipment contract with PING.
Hovland, who tied for 12th at last week’s U.S. Open in setting the record for the lowest 72-hole score (280) by an amateur in the event’s history, is making his debut as a PING staff pro at this week’s Travelers Championship.
The Norwegian won the 2018 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach, earning him an invitation to this year’s Masters and U.S. Open. He took full advantage of his Masters appearance, winning low-amateur honours, after which he rose to world #1 amateur.
By finishing low amateur at the U.S. Open, he became the first player in more than 20 years to hold the distinction of being low amateur in both events in the same year.
Hovland’s collegiate career at Oklahoma State culminated with the 2019 Ben Hogan Award, given annually to the top men’s college player while taking into account all amateur competition in the past 12 months.
The 21-year-old is from Oslo, Norway, a fact that brings great joy to the Solheim family, the owners of PING whose roots are traced to Bergen, Norway, the birthplace of PING founder Karsten Solheim.
“Viktor’s connection to Norway makes the relationship even more special. The country has been fully behind him since he burst onto the scene as a young junior, and he’s continued to impress on so many levels,” said John K. Solheim, PING President and Karsten’s grandson.
He continued, “he’s polite, humble and always smiling. His performance at Pebble Beach last week was a spectacular way to end his amateur career. I know my grandfather would be honored to have a Norwegian golfer of Viktor’s character and talent representing PING.”
“Joining the PING staff is really exciting for me as I’ve always had tremendous respect for the company and what it represents,” said Hovland.
He added: “The technology behind the equipment and the service they provide allows me to focus on getting better and not worrying about my equipment.”
At the U.S. Open, Hovland switched to PING’s new G410 LST driver and saw tremendous results – leading the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee by nearly two full shots.
“The G410 LST driver is a great fit for my game,” Hovland explained. “I don’t usually make significant changes to my equipment before such a big tournament, but after testing it during the week with the PING tour reps, it was clear the G410 LST driver was the best choice for me. I can swing with confidence off the tee knowing the results will be long and straight.”
As part of a multi-year agreement, Hovland will play a minimum of 11 PING clubs, including a driver and putter.