PING do not dish out support willy nilly. For instance, they are the main sponsors of Lee Westwood, the Close House attached world No 7, and he has used their clubs since he was 13 which was over a quarter of a century ago.
Now Ping have agreed backing worth £1,000 for Mathew Webb, the most recent Northumberland county champion to turn professional.
The arrangement with Webb, 23-year-old son of the Bedlingtonshire club professional Marcus Webb, provides Mathew with eight Ping Collection outfits a year.
The last deal Ping announced concerning Westwood involved him signing a three-year deal worth £5m!
Yet to a new young pro like Webb, the psychological lift of association with a blue-chip golf company is priceless in terms of encouragement and prestige.
He said: “I shall wear the Ping livery with pride.”
This follows magnificent assistance from backers in his home county, mainly at his club Bedlingtonshire.
A shares option masterminded by his father has attracted £15,700 from investors within a month of being launched.
The ultimate target is £25,000, with a maximum of 250 shares being issued at £100 a share.
Should Webb start making a profit on his golf career, his investors will share the success.
Marcus Webb, a fellow of the Professional Golfers’ Association, is part of their management team for the PGA Foundation Degree course, the modern version of the old golf apprenticeship.
One of the instructors, he goes down to the Belfry in the West Midlands four times each winter, for days at a time, to teach assistant professionals. Golf business management is one of his specialist subjects.
The support Webb has inspired on behalf of his son comes into play tomorrow when Webb junior flies to South Africa to attempt to qualify for the Sunshine Tour.
Marcus said: “The financial investment is enabling Mathew to go about it in a professional manner.
“The five-day Qualifying School does not start until January 15, but Matty will play in a warm-up event and be in a hotel on site for the Q School tournaments at Schoeman Park and Bloemfontein.
“That means he will be thoroughly prepared, which would not be possible without the shares option.”
Webb, an old boy of St Benet Biscop High School in Bedlington, was forced to pull out of European Tour qualifying at the last minute after injuring a shoulder in a minor car accident.
His mission to become a Tour player began five years ago with a two-year stint in US amateur golf.
He captured three top-10 finishes in both Texas college events and the university circuit and reached the national finals.
The following year Webb had nine months blanked out when a club snapped in his hand, tearing a tendon.
He fought back to capture the Northumberland county and strokeplay titles over the past two seasons, supporting his golf with part-time jobs.
ANYBODY who is interested in buying a share in Mathew Webb can email email@example.com or phone 01670 822 087 or 07714 612 177.