Solheim up there do
you?" He answered, "Yes I do. Why do you ask?" I replied,
"Check into it. I think you'll find that he's spending time and money
developing a putter" .
Bob Johnson also decided that he didn't need a putter designer and
again Karsten received a suggestion to look elsewhere! Meanwhile, Bob Shaw
had joined the Computer Department and moved to Phoenix and again learning
of Karsten's availability, hired him to move to Phoenix.
Sometime later the Computer Department got a new General Manager,
Harrison Van Aken, and Karsten couldn't wait to demonstrate his putter to
Van who was an avid golfer. This turned out to be a sizeable mistake!
Van came in one Monday morning after having watched a golf tournament
(I believe the Augusta National) on TV on Sunday and had seen Karsten
there demonstrating his putter. Van requested to see Karsten's expense
accounts for the prior six months and the correlation of
"business?" trips with golf tournaments was too much for Van who
was an ex auditor - and Karsten was asked to leave the GE Company.
Karsten then came to see me to ask about acquiring some $18,000 worth
of "surplus" machine tools which the Computer Department had.
(The now familiar "dynamic balancing" equipment, etc.) I set up
a meeting for him with a Valley Bank lending officer to see if he could
borrow the funds. When several days after the meeting I asked how it went
Karsten said "they want my personal guarantee and I won't give it to
them". I told him that any lender would require a personal guarantee
and that his other alternative might be to sell some stock in his company
and that he would probably have to give up 20% to 30% of the company for
$25,000. "I won't do that either!" Somehow he got the tools. I
suspect that they were moved to the loading dock, declared surplus, and as
the only bidder he obtained them for pennies on the dollar.
To this day Karsten, whose Karsten's Manufacturing Company is valued at
over a billion dollars, has never