The Original Scottsdale Anser - History & All 8 Versions

lumpy

Active member
After returning home from the L.A. Open in January 1966, Karsten was determined to make the best putter on the market. He declared to his wife Louise " I've got to find an answer to those other company's putters" - realizing that he had to come up with an model to compete with popular blade designs being used by so many top PGA professionals.

Soon he sketched his design on a record sleeve but needed a name for the design. Louise suggested "Answer" in reference to his remarks made a few weeks earlier. Karsten did not agree at first since that was too many letters in his mind to fit on the toe of the putter. The next morning they settled on removing the "W" to make it fit & the name Anser was born.

The Anser debuted on February 7, 1966 & quickly gained popularity on Tour. Karsten would always ask Louise to take some putters with her in her travels to sell to pro shops. Louise stopped at the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco & was met with an unusual reception. "Where can we get some more of these"?? the club pro asked, referring to the Anser. Soon after, calls started coming in from all around the world & at all hours of the night requesting more Anser putters.

The Anser itself was produced with the Scottsdale address from Feb. 7, 1966 until shortly after the patent for the Anser ( D207,227 ) was issued on March 21, 1967. The Anser was assembled up until the fall of 1966 in the family garage. Karsten leased a small 2000+ Sq. Ft. building located on N. 21st Street in Phoenix & the operation then moved there. The Anser retailed for $20.00.

An extimated 4,000 Ansers were produced with the Scottsdale Address. No original Anser with the Scottsdale address has the D207,227 patent number cast into the cavity. This number did not appear until the cavity lettering was changed to the "Karsten Co." version. Karsten used existing patent numbers he had been awarded; most likely to deter design thieves.

Patents used on the Scottsdale Anser :

3,042,405 - IA putter
196,734 - 69 putter
202,715 - MLT putter
203,512 - B67 putter

Scottsdale Ansers were cast from Manganese Bronze. The basic composision of this alloy is as follows :

Copper - 63%
Aluminum - 6%
Zinc - 25%
Iron - 3%
Manganese - 3%

These putters were sancast. The sandcasting method of investment casting was not an exact science. Since the lettering was put into the mold before the casting, the lettering in the cavities of these putters can be hard to read or partially illegible. Casting flaws are sometimes also found on other areas of the putter heads themselves. These flaws are typically pits or small looking "craters". The cavity of any early Ping putter has a unique texture which is a result of the sandcasting.

As with all Putters Karsten produced, he chose only the best components. All Scottsdale Ansers were assembled with True Temper chrome plated steel shafts. These were assembled by driving a ball bearing down the shaft into the hosel of the putterhead thus expanding the tip oof the shaft to hold the head into place.

Original shafts typically have 7 ¾" or 9 ½" first steps. Longer first steps ( although uncommon ) are somtimes found on these putters. Most of the shafts have 3 ¼" steps thereafter but some will surface with 3" steps.

All Scottsdale Ansers have a slotline cut into the sole of the putter. These are referred to as having a "Floating Face". The cut floating face first appeared on the Kushin & Cushin models in 1965. Karsten's first brochure which included the Anser states as follows :

" The purpose of the Floating Face is to have the face of the putter supported only
by the heel & toe weights".

The toe & heel weights where the words "Ping" & Anser" are located are found in two varieties on these Ansers. One version is more rounded off than the other. The more rounded version ( Rocker sole or oval cavity ) has a thicker sole also. This version has distinct lines on the sole where the angles change. The other version ( Flat sole or square cavity ) has flatter slopes on the heel & toe weights & a thinner sole with a wider sole pad resting on the putting surface at address. The flat sole is the inspiration behind many popular designs today like the Cameron 009.

The Golf Pride Informer pistol grip was the standard grip on the Scottsdale Anser until the Pro-Only was introduced. The informer used on these putters no longer had the patent number & the word "Informer" on the butt as found on the Redwood City Ping models. It was a black rubber/cork grip with Golf Pride in script on the butt inside a golf ball on a tee. It is always found paintfilled in green on early Ansers. Karsten would grind the face of these grips flat. The Pro-Only later replaced the Informer as the standard grip after the USGA deemed the Informer illegal. The Line-Rite ( square on all four sides ) & the Grip-Rite ( Paddle shape ) were by special order only.

All Scottsdale Ansers were labeled with the Tuned Ballnamic Shaftband. There are 3 versions of this label found on Scottsdale Ansers - 2 with the Scottsdale address & the more common Phoenix version. All are very fragile & very hard to find intact. These were basically black gloss printed over a chrome base. The black overlay on this label was not very durable.

Most of these putters that survive today shows many signs of usage. Years of banging around in a golf bag with forged steel irons took its' toll & you will typically see these putters with plenty of dents & dings on them. Many collectors prefer an uncleaned exmple. These putters were a dull gold color when new but after many years of usage should be found with a nice dark patina. The color of the patina can vary based on where the putter spent its' life & how it was kept up.

Some examples appear with a small "circle" on the cavity side of the neck. This is simply a mold mark - the point where the alloy was poured into the sand mold.

If you include both versions of the Gary Player model, there are 8 versions of this putter that I have come across. Some are very rare but all are icons. The versions are basically lettering variations & are listed below by cavity lettering :

( All versions are found in both flat sole & rocker sole varieties )

Version 1.

U.S. PAT. 202,715 & 203,512
PING GOLF CLUBS
P.O. BOX 1345 SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.
MADE IN U.S.A
OTHER PAT. PEND.

Lettering is badly off-centered to the left in the cavity.

Version 2.

Same lettering as Version 1 but perfectly centered in the cavity.

Version 3.

U.S. PAT. NO. 3,042,405 & 196,
PING GOLF CLUBS
BOX 1345 SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.
OTHER PAT. PEND.

Lettering is off-centered to right & last 3 digits of second patent number is missing.

Version 4.

U.S. PAT. NO. 3,042,405 & 196,734
PING GOLF CLUBS
BOX 1345 SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.
OTHER PAT. PEND.

Lettering is centered & lower in the cavity.

Version 5.

U.S. PAT. NO. 3,042,405 & 196,
PING GOLF CLUBS by KARSTEN
BOX 1345 SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.
OTHER PAT. PEND. MADE IN U.S.A

Large Lettering version of the "By Karsten" Scottsdale Anser.
Last 3 numbers of the second patent number didn't fit into the mold.

Version 6.

U.S. PAT. NO. 3,042,405 & 196,734
PING GOLF CLUBS by KARSTEN
BOX 1345 SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.
OTHER PAT. PEND. MADE IN U.S.A

Small lettering version of the Scottsdale Anser.

Version 7.

U.S. PAT. 202,715 & 203,512
PING GOLF CLUBS
P.O. BOX 1345 SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.
MADE IN U.S.A
OTHER PAT. PEND.

Same as Version 2 but with Gary Player's signature impressed into sole.

Note : In 1967 John Solheim took a Cessna plane ride with a few boxes of Ping putter heads of different models to California to have Gary Player's signature impressed in the sole. The name was not cast into the sole, it was impressed under pressure with a roll die. Regarding the Anser, there was a mix of Scottsdale heads & Karsten Co. heads. It is estimated that about 300 total Anser heads were impressed with Gary Player's signature. There is no way to know how many of each address were done. These putters were available for sale in South Africa at Gary Players' request.

Version 8.

U.S. PAT. NO. 3,042,405 & 196,734
PING GOLF CLUBS
BOX 1345 SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.
OTHER PAT. PEND.

Same as Version 4 but with Gary Player's signature impressed into sole.



Pictures below are in order of the above listed versions are posted below.

Version 2 is included with it's later Karsten Co. & Karsten MFG. Corp. family members.

I will post the Gary Player verions in another post.

I am out of breath now...


:) :) :) :) :)
 
R

Ronsports8

Guest
What they said...

Very nice pics! I can only imagine what it would be like to have a collection of all the versions... Priceless!

Catch your breath... We are all waiting. :)

RJ
 

Herd8497

6 1/2 lbs.
I'd love to sit down over many beers and listen to your putter knowledge for hours. Very informative.

Thanks.
 

kiwiSouthPaw

"If I got a swing I got a shot".
Funny I was just reading about this in "Karsten's Way" (Page 139).

The Anser design was Karsten's "Answer" to the Arnold Palmer putter that was used by many pros at the 1966 L.A. Open.
 

oldmannoodles

Active member
Kenneth, you truly embody what this site ought to be about. Informative, well-researched, a wealth of personal experience, passion for the putters themselves (not necessarily their makers), and an obvious love of the great game of golf.

Sometimes it's easy to get carried away with differences of personal preferences/biases and forget about the similarities that we all have in common.

Cheers to you buddy! :thumb:
 

MoaningM

Old Tom Morris...
Lumpy, you are the font of all PING knowledge! absolutely amazing piece of research, and can't wait untill you bring out this book, I intend to be first in queue.
 

MoaningM

Old Tom Morris...
Lumpy,

I have one question, did all 8 models of the scottsdale come in BOTH the Flat sole and the Rocker Sole, or was it a case that some models had one or the other??
 

oldmannoodles

Active member
lumpy said:
( All versions are found in both flat sole & rocker sole varieties )
Dave, I think Lumpy answered this one in his initial post (not hard to miss one line in such a beautifully detailed post!)
 

MoaningM

Old Tom Morris...
oldmannoodles said:
lumpy said:
( All versions are found in both flat sole & rocker sole varieties )
Dave, I think Lumpy answered this one in his initial post (not hard to miss one line in such a beautifully detailed post!)
Aha! cheers Ben - It's me eyesight ya see, that and me 18 month old screeming in me ear ole while I was reading!

The best post of the year in my opinion!
 

Reebus

New member
I hope this thread gets put in a "special" place where it can be referred to easily. This is great information. Thanks so much!
 
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