Former Managing Director of PING Europe, John Clark, has been named the latest recipient of the CPG Special Recognition Award at the CPG Annual Awards Supported By Rolex for his extensive support of the CPG, Member Country PGAs and their PGA Professionals.
In late 2020 Clark stepped back from PING after 24 years in the role where he oversaw continued growth and development of PING across a broad international territory, and remains as a Board Director for PING Europe and PING Inc. in the USA.
“I am very, very honoured. It feels strange winning an award for myself, to be honest,” said Clark. “Everything I have done for the last 27 years has been on behalf of the Solheim family and for the good of PING. But I feel very proud.
“Whilst we have a base in the UK, we are an international company, so via the CPG we have been able to connect to National PGAs and their individual Members to service the customer, and give them the best clubs they can get, so it has been a natural relationship for us to develop.
“Without the support of PGA Members PING would not be where it is today – we have common interests and goals and that has meant for a truly long-term beneficial relationship on all sides. It has been a pleasure to work with and support the CPG and its Members for such a long time.”
Since the partnership between PING Europe and the CPG began in 2008, Clark has continually provided both personal and organisational support across the CPG’s network with the end goal of ensuring golfers of all abilities play with the best possible equipment.
The CPG partnership is exemplary of many others created throughout his time that support various aspects of the sport including disability golf with EDGA, women’s and junior golf through the Solheim Cup and PING Junior Solheim Cup, as well as his role on behalf of PING as part of the All-Party Parliamentary Golf Group in the UK.
Clark was instrumental in the development of PING’s international business from early on in his tenure, and has fostered the company’s corporate culture that looks at the long-term view both in the care of its staff internally, but also externally to its customers:
“I’d have to thank John Solheim [pictured above] and the rest of the family for the opportunity – within a few days of starting I knew that the culture was something I was very comfortable in,” added Clark. “John’s never given me a financial target; he’s always just told me to take care of the long-term. If you focus on the quality of what you do, the quantity will come.
“It’s a great culture to work in – we still like a challenge, we still want to grow, but we would never put the PING brand at risk. We do not release anything that does not show measurable improvement over previous models, this allows us to maintain our product lifecycles, so they respect the investments made by our customers.”
Along with his continued part-time role with PING, Clark continues with his other passion in rugby as a Chairman of Newark Rugby Union Football Club:
“The main reason I retired is my grandchildren…I was determined not to miss that window of opportunity. So that’s what’s next. I’m also getting involved more in the rugby club as it’s time to put back there as well. But I’ve got to try and find some leisure time in there…my wife would probably tell you I haven’t really retired yet, so that’s my challenge, to try and retire…!”
For more information on the CPG Annual Congress visit https://cp.golf/2022AnnualCongress.