GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Not often a man plays golf with the clubs that he designed, but that’s exactly what Marty Jertsen does.
Jertsen is an engineer who happens to be a really good golfer. He did both at the Colorado School of Mines.
“Right after graduation for a year, year and a half, I turned pro and was just full-time trying to make it on the tour,” Jertsen said. “I did decent, but it’s hard.”
It’s extremely hard, especially for a School of Mines grad.
“Most of my friends, my peers, went into the oil industry, oil and gas or petroleum exploration,” he said.
Not Jertsen — he wanted to play golf for a living, but golf had other ideas. So he decided to put his mechanical engineering degree to use. He landed a job with Ping engineering golf clubs.
“Ping was started by Karsten Solheim, an engineer who turned around and said, ‘This game is too hard, I need to put some physics into the game and make it better.’ ”
Jertsen is now one of Ping’s lead designers. He designed the new I-20 driver — he designed a lot of the clubs in his bag. Jertsen never lost that urge to play. Last year he qualified for the PGA Championship. He’s the only School of Mines graduate to ever play in a major.
“I struggled a little bit off the tee in Atlanta Athletic Club where I played. On TV it looked like a long golf course, but it was a tight golf course.”
But he did get to play with PGA pros — many of whom played the clubs he designed.
“When you’re in the moment as an athlete you need to turn your mind off and just react,” he said. “Before I hit the shot is where I use my engineering brain … I’ve been fortunate to have some of those tools there at Ping that kind of maybe give me a little bit of advantage from that standpoint.”
Interestingly, the one tool he did not design is his putter.