Sportress of Blogitude

Bad Ass: Ping Makes Set Of Custom Golf Clubs For Quadruple Amputee

You have to head over to The Arizona Republic’s site for the absolutely fascinating and inspiring story of Jeff Lewis of Mesa, Arizona. Lewis, a quadruple amputee, after efforts to work with other golf manufacturers, found a willing partner when Ping built a custom set of golf clubs built for him.

A primer:

“I contacted several of the major golf manufacturers,” Lewis said. “They all told me they couldn’t help me. I contacted Ping and they said, ‘Can you be here tomorrow at noon?’ “

Not that the project required a rocket scientist, but Wood, who attended University of St. Andrews in Scotland, does hold a doctorate in solar-particle physics.

He challenged his engineers and summer interns to come up with a solution for Lewis.

“We had some real outside-the-box thinking,” Wood mused. “One of our engineers asked if we could attach a metal piece to his bone. Jeff’s wife said, ‘Do you have any idea how painful bone surgery is?’ “

Lewis said the first brainstorming session lasted more than three hours.

Krista Schnell, a mechanical-engineering student who is finishing up her undergraduate work this year at Stanford, came up with a workable prototype that would allow Lewis to lock different clubs into a prosthetic arm.

Ping produced a set of five clubs – driver, fairway wood, 7 iron, wedge and putter – that Schnell’s device could lock into his right prosthetic arm, which had a longer stump and thus more stability.

Incredible. Perhaps the best thing to come out of this story is that Ping’s work with Lewis inspired them to incorporate what they learned designing Lewis’ clubs into their already existing work they have been doing with veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of Ping’s  involvement with the Wounded Warriors Project. Great stuff.

Ping makes custom set of golf clubs for quadruple amputee [The Arizona Republic]