Putter? I don't see a putter...

PING PLD2 Camo Ketsch - 8

Today marks the beginning of PING’s courtship of Boo Weekly. OK, so that’s not a true statement, but it was the first thought that jumped into my mind when I saw that PING had made a camouflaged version of the Ketsch.

My second thought was that there are a whole bunch of clever invisible putter in the photo jokes that I can include in this article. Lucky for you, I just can't seem to dial in the delivery for any of them. Since I can't see any of the camouflage jokes working, let's just get to the facts about this new project from PING.

First, the PLD2 represents the second head shape to be launched under PING’s Putting Lab Design (PLD) branding, with the first being the PLD1, unveiled back in January. I was surprised to see another PLD putter, as all mention of the PLD1 seems to have disappeared from the PING site.

Perhaps this will be the characteristic of the putters that are produced with the PLD moniker. They are experimental in design, and they won’t be around for long, vanishing when PING moves on to the next PLD incarnation.

Instead of contemplating the fate of the PLD1, let's focus more on the PLD2, assuming that you can focus on it. Get it? It’s camo, so it’s hard to see! (I warned you that I can't get the delivery right.)

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Anyway, you probably noticed (or didn’t!, sorry again) that the PLD2 is camouflaged. Now loyal mygolfspy readers will know that this is not the first camouflaged Ketsch that we have shared with you. Labworx worked up some custom Ketsch putters a few years back for us, and one of them had a camo sole plate. You can see all three modified Ketsch’s HERE.

This Ketsch is a little different though. First, the camo design has been applied by the manufacturer, and not as an aftermarket modification. Second, the whole putter is camouflaged and not just the bottom. If you just checked the other camo Ketsch photos, you know that PING has taken camouflaging this Ketsch to a whole new level.

Specifications: PING PLD2 Realtree Ketsch

  • Authentic REALTREE XTRA® or REALTREE Muddy Girl® Camo Pattern
  • Permodize® Anodized Sealing Process Allows Quality Camo Graphics
  • Precision Milled From 6061 Aluminum at PING in Phoenix
  • Contrasting Sightlines, Easy to Aim
  • Patented True-Roll Face Technology Improves Speed Control
  • Face Speeds Up Off-Center Strikes For Fewer 3-Putts
  • Unprecedented Stability, Control
  • 17-4 Stainless Steel Sole Weights Create High MOI
  • Brushed Stepless Non-Glare Shaft
  • Price: $325.00
  • Available for Pre-Order Today (04/03/17)

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It’s Realtree Xtra Camo

If you hunt as much as I do, you probably thought that Realtree was the thing you bought at Christmas before you decided to go with an artificial tree. Thanks to the power of internet learning, I now know, and can share with you, that Realtree is a legit camouflage company, manufacturing unique 3D patterns of camouflage, with the XTRA pattern being especially effective in fall and early spring.

realtree-camo-pattern-realtree-xtra-03_0

Take a few minutes to check out the hunters using the camo on the Realtree page (HERE). This stuff blends in so well that it’s almost like looking at one of those old magic eye photos. The effectiveness of the Realtree camouflage is pretty spectacular.

Even if you have heard of Realtree, you may be wondering about the practical application of camouflaging golf gear. Me too. Rarely do I need to hide my gear from my foursome during the round. Sometimes I’d like to hide after a shanked shot, but actual camouflage usage seems unnecessary.

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I’m not sure about the official reason that PING chose to work with Realtree for the PLD2 Ketsch, but I have a feeling that one of the intentions was to show just how much detail one can add through Permodizing.

Permodize® Anodized Sealing Process

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The Realtree camouflage pattern really stands out, and doesn't stand out, because of its super detailed design. It’s not just a repeating series of irregular blobs. In the pattern, you can see leaves, stems, and all kinds stuff in the detailed pattern. That ability to add so much visual detail is really the big deal about this putter.

“The complex geometry of the Ketsch model really challenged us to execute the process to its fullest extent. We achieved unmatched image quality that would be impossible to replicate with other manufacturing methods. This type of technology has functional and decorative applications that we look forward to utilizing in the future.”

John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO

With the PLD2, PING has unveiled their new technique for changing the appearance of a putter. This level of detail means that PING can basically put anything they want on the surface. PING could print the Constitution of the United States on a Ketsch, and you could actually read the Preamble. The detail is amazing.

So what is Permodizing? According to the trademark, a Permodizing involves:

Screen printed coatings in the nature of non-architectural finishes for metallic sheet surfaces such as anodized aluminum which apply a decorative photo-realistic image to two or three dimensional consumer goods.

By incorporating photorealistic three dimensional graphics to their putters, PING is definitely poised to become the leader in seasonal/novelty putters. Packer fans should rejoice as the PLD3 Cheesehead Ketsch is now totally achievable.

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I’ll venture the guess that producing novelty putters is not really PING’s objective. At PING, engineering drives innovation. The Permodizing process will allow the putter designers to come up with a myriad of optical design variations, testing to see how address graphics can influence alignment. They can keep the same putter head, and just change the coating design. Remember, these new coatings can have tons of design detail. Permodizing is more than just a new way to paint a putter.

There are so many possibilities here that I can't even speculate about what PING has next on the Permodizing palate, but I am definitely excited to see what their engineers comes up with. I'm guessing it's not actually a Cheesehead Ketsch.

If you can spot a PLD2, grab it

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I’m not sure how many of the PLD2 putters PING is planning on producing, but if it follows the pattern of the PLD1, there won’t be many, and they won’t be around for long. If you dig the camouflage look, and you see one in your local shop (of course it's difficult because of the camo), you had better grab it because it may not be there next time.

If you are not a fan of the look of this one, you can still get excited about what this Permodizing process will look like in down the road putters. I’m betting that there are some pretty amazing looking, and performing Permodized putters moving through the PING R&D Department right now.