LPGA professional and Korean star In-Kyung Kim has signed an endorsement agreement to play PING® golf equipment worldwide, company Chairman & CEO John Solheim announced today.
Kim, who goes by I.K., debuts as a PING professional at this week’s Safeway International in PING’s hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. The 20-year-old will carry a PING staff bag, wear head gear with the PING logo on the back and side and play 14 PING clubs, including a Rapture® Driver, two G10™ fairway woods, a G10 hybrid, a combination set of G10 and i10™ irons, three PING Tour-W™ Wedges and a Redwood® D66 putter.
She earned her LPGA playing privileges as co-champion of the 2006 Qualifying School. As a rookie, she made an immediate impact with four top 10 finishes, including a playoff loss to world number one and fellow PING professional Lorena Ochoa at the Wegman’s LPGA. Kim finished the season 31st on the money list and was runner-up in the rookie of the year race. This year, she has two top 10s and currently ranks 15th on the money list.
“I.K. is another extremely strong addition to our LPGA team,” said Solheim. “She’s blessed with a great talent and plays with joy and determination. Her youthful approach to the game is very refreshing to see. Her appeal in Korea is tremendous so she’ll bring our brand great exposure in a key international golf market.
“I.K’s record at every stage of her young career is evidence of her world-class ability. She’s proven she can challenge the best in the game and bring even more excitement to the LPGA Tour.”
On Monday, Kim visited the PING facility and spent several hours on the company’s test range fine-tuning her clubs.
“I’ve always known PING to be a great golf company,” said Kim, who begged her father to take her to the driving range when she was only nine years old.” A lot of golfers in Korea had PING putters, so I knew I wanted to play PING someday. They provide their players the best service and make you feel like part of their family. I’m excited to be joining a company that has such a strong reputation and heritage in the world of golf.”
Kim’s stellar junior record includes a win at the 2005 U.S Girl’s Junior Championship and medalist honors at that year’s stroke-play portion of the U.S. Women’s Amateur. She was a member of the Korean National Team in 2003 and 2004.