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John Solheim, Chairman and CEO of PING announces Dietmar Hopp, Founding President of St. Leon-Rot Golf Club and dedicated youth sponsor, to be a Patron of the 2015 PING Junior Solheim Cup. The event, inaugurated in 2002 by John Solheim and taking place at St. Leon-Rot from September 14-15, 2015, features the twelve best European against the twelve best American amateur girl golfers between the ages of 12 and 18. Thanks to Mr Hopp, the PING Junior Solheim Cup will for the first time be played on the same venue as The Solheim Cup.

“It is a great honor to be allowed to be a Patron of this tournament,” said Hopp. “My gratitude and recognition go out to John Solheim, the Founder of this tournament. The PING Junior Solheim Cup provides a great platform for young people and gives them the attention they deserve.”

The PING Junior Solheim Cup is seen as a springboard for a professional career. Many Solheim Cup players such as Paula Creamer, Caroline Hedwall, Charley Hull, Caroline Masson, Beatriz Recari and Azahara Munoz have all featured in the PING Junior Solheim Cup. The fact that both events will be played for the first time at the same club will now bring the PING Junior Solheim Cup more into the center of the entire Solheim Cup event. “We would like to inspire our young players and offer them the best possible conditions in which their talent can unfold,” said Hopp. “I consider it my duty as Patron to position our youth more strongly in the focus of public attention.”

John Solheim thanked Hopp for his commitment stating, “We’re happy to welcome Dietmar Hopp as a Patron of the PING Junior Solheim Cup. His on-going dedication to helping bring young people into the game of golf is unparalleled and he will give our event even more visibility through his involvement.”

As Patron and Sponsor, Hopp has been actively involved in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan region in the areas of sports, education, society and medicine through his Dietmar Hopp Foundation. He initiated a holistic concept for youth development with his ‘Anpfiff ins Leben’ (Kick-off in Life) association that has garnered nationwide recognition. Also at the St. Leon-Rot Golf Club, where he is the Founding President, he has made his mark in the area of youth development. The Allianz German Boys and Girls Open, one of the eight qualification tournaments for the PING Junior Solheim Cup, will take place in St. Leon-Rot. For many years, the St. Leon-Rot Golf Club, together with its partner Allianz, has also organized the successful tournament series Lucky33 in which over 25,000 youth have participated in up to date.

For 2015, the St. Leon-Rot Golf Club together with its partner, Allianz, and the German Golf Association have created a new initiative, ‘Germany goes to The Solheim Cup’: ‘Lucky33’ Pitch, Chip & Putt. In this format, emphasis is placed on the fun factor in order to introduce even more young people to the sport of golf. The finals will take place during the PING Junior Solheim Cup week at the Golf Club St. Leon-Rot.

In collaboration with the German Foundation for School Sports, schools throughout the country are being encouraged to bring topics such as the PING Junior Solheim Cup into the classroom in order to learn about Olympic values and to experience top golf live. The organizers also want to reach a younger target group in its tournament communication efforts through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as well as The Solheim Cup 2015 Mobile App, which was developed by the global partner SAP. Admittance to The 2015 Solheim Cup, which will take place from September 18-20, 2015 in St. Leon-Rot, is free for children up to 16 years of age when they are accompanied by an adult.

PING designs, manufactures and markets a complete line of golf equipment including metal woods, irons, putters and golf bags. The family-owned company was founded in 1959 in the garage of the late Karsten Solheim, a mechanical engineer with an extensive background in the aerospace and computer industries.  His frustration with his putting inspired him to design his own putter, which created a “pinging” sound when striking a golf ball.

This sound was the source of the name now synonymous with innovation, quality and service throughout the world of golf. Solheim and his company are credited with numerous innovations that became industry standards, including perimeter weighting, custom fitting and the use of investment casting in the manufacturing of golf clubs.

His insistence on adhering to strict engineering principles and tight manufacturing tolerances raised the level of product performance and quality throughout the golf industry. Solheim is the only person to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as a golf club manufacturer. Today, the Phoenix-based company is under the direction of Solheim’s youngest son, John A. Solheim. PING game-improvement products can be found in more than 70 countries.

About the PING Junior Solheim Cup –