Goodbye USA, bienvenidos en Mexico!
Safe full of Golf Putter
In Phoenix we had the opportunity to visit the PING golf factory. To see the high-tech manufacturing process from metal blocks to putter and golf clubs was unbelievable.
Karsten Solheim, the founder of the business started his client-orientated enterprise in a garage. Now the PING factory is huge employing about 800 people, many for decades already. A shop is not to be found here. The PING clubs and putters are exclusively manufactured on order after Golf Club Fittings.
As special highlight at the end of the tour we were allowed to enter a special vault. Here more than 3000 gold-plated and solid gold putters for all victorious professionals are being stored. What started as a token of appreciation has developed to the probably most valuable putter collection worldwide. In the seventies Karsten Solheim looked for an exceptional way to thank professional golf players for using a PING putter on their road to success. He decided to commemorate every victory by producing two gold-plated replicas of the wining putter. One was given to the winner of the tournament and the other was kept at the headquarters of the factory in Phoenix, Arizona. Both were engraved with the name of the golfer and of the tournament won.
For the victory of a Major Golf Tournament even two 24 carat gold putters valued at approximately 44’000 USD were produced. The collection grew fast as more and more professional golfers won their tournaments with PING putters.
Everything is possible in the USA!
With the necessary assertiveness and lots of patience.
Friends of ours wrote to us about their experiences in Australia and complained about the non-adherence to appointments and the poor quality of the repair works performed. We had to smirk and replied: Why don’t you come to North America, where you can top that.
Example: A former executive of ZF-Gear Factory told how relieved he was when he got transferred from South Africa to the USA, as he thought he would now find better working conditions than in the third-world-country. Far from it! The circumstances in the USA for him were worse than in Africa.
Example: We drove to a large RV supplier. The first time there I wanted to have a look when the hydraulic jacks of our truck were greased. A job that takes about 15 minutes. The workshop chief asked his 10 colleagues, if they would be able to squeeze the job in. No, we would have to come in the next day, as they were completely overloaded. The next morning the workshop chief came with his foreman to our vehicle. They were so sorry not to be able to help us as they were not familiar with this type of camper! It took them 24 hours to reach this conclusion.
Example: In Phoenix we furthered our golf playing practice on a golf driving range. During the curse of two weeks we trained taking turns: one day with pro and one day on our own. The Top Golf Centre is technically up to date. After a week we per accident saw an add in which the Centre offered an hourly special between 09:00 and 12:00 for a thrid of the price we had paid.
After inquiring we received the American answer that we did not specifically asked for the special. The second week we did not forget to ask for it. For us European orientated golfers a lot takes getting used to in this 3-story driving range. Every tee bay has three large TV screens on which all data, advertisements and soaps are being shown. This is okay.
The Centre is not playing soft background music, on the contrary it is rather loud. Service personnel were asking every 7 minutes if we needed something. Drinks and food are served. As we only played during the day, we did not experience how the Centre would change into a party place in the evenings.
IQ Test seatbelt
For the third time we saw something unbelievable for us in this safety conscious America. Standing at a robot looking at the car next to us we have several times seen how women let their dogs drive with them on their lap. Which is fine! Poor dogs, they were also fastened under the seat belt with their owners.
Border crossing USA/Mexico
We again crossed the border into Mexico at Tecate. We were still familiar with the border post from the previous year.
A young, very nice and good-looking female customs officer inspected our camper with Brigitte. She inspected the fridge and was fascinated by the large mirrors on the toilet door and on the fridge. As good wine is more expensive on the Baja and on the Mexican mainland than in the USA, we did some extensive shopping before and stored everything well. Our large stock of Swiss cheeses could also have led to some need of explanation if discovered. Brigitte got along well with the lady, also thanks to her Spanish and after a few minutes we were allowed to drive onto a reserved parking spot for the formalities.
We had already filled in, printed and payed the immigration form electronically. Our passports were swiftly stamped for 180 days stay.
Fot the TIP (temporary import permit for vehicles) we had to provide the ownership certificate, vehicle registration, copy of passports and tourist visa permit and a deposit payment of $ 400.
After one hour we entered Mexico with all required documents. Having read of 4-hour crossings at the same border post, we were happy with our result.