Glide wedges proved to be an extremely popular offering from PING, but the company felt that improvements could be made in terms of playability and being able to better optimize spin.
That belief led to the creation of the Glide 2.0 line, which has garnered an impressive number of accolades in a short period of time, as well as a strong adoption rate on Tour since being introduced last November at the PGA Tour’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.
“The players just absolutely loved it,” PING Director of Product Development Marty Jertson said. “They were seeing that lower flight and sometimes up to 2,000 RPM more spin on a 50-yard shot, which they love. We’ve seen massive adoption by our PGA Tour players around the world.”
From an appearance standpoint, players will notice immediately that Glide 2.0 wedges have the same clean, elegant look as their predecessors, which from a shaping standpoint were the model for PING’s highly successful iBlade irons.
Also the same when it comes to Glide 2.0 is the availability of four unique grinds that have been designed to fit the needs of any player. Those specific grinds will be discussed in more detail shortly, but as Jertson said, “We have four sole designs and they have different characteristics and they’re for different kinds of players and turf conditions, bunker conditions.”
Additionally, Glide 2.0 wedges, as was the case with the original Glide wedge, will feature PING Dyla-Wedge grips, which are 3/4 inch longer than standard grips to make it easier for players to grip down on the club to play wedge shots.
They also will come stock with PING AWT 2.0 wedge shafts, which have been designed to promote lower launch conditions for enhanced control. There are, however, other premium shafts available at no upcharge.
That, however, is pretty much where the similarities end.
Most notably, Glide 2.0 wedges feature grooves that have sharper edges and that have been positioned more closely together, both of which create more friction and enhanced spin.
Additionally, with the grooves closer together, the number of grooves for Glide 2.0 has increased. In lower-lofted wedges, a single groove has been added to encourage control on full shots, while higher-lofted models have two additional grooves to generate as much spin as possible on short shots and shots played from around the green.
And the results that have followed the introduction of additional grooves have been dramatic, as increases in spin of 500 RPM on full shots and more than 1,000 RPM on partial shots has been a common occurrence during the testing that PING has done.
In terms of the changes that were made to the actual grooves, in wedges with lofts between 46 and 52 degrees, a 20-degree sidewall and edge radius of .005 Limited expectations delivers optimal flight and spin conditions on full shots, while a 28-degree sidewall and edge radius of .004 inches creates maximum spin around the green from wedges with lofts ranging from 54 to 60 degrees.
“We worked really hard on the groove design,” Jertson said. “It’s not only spacing them together that gets us more spin, we also have relaxed the sidewall and created a tighter edge radius. It’s actually the tightest edge radius we’re ever launched.”
“So we’re getting that much more grip and we’re enhancing the friction between the golf ball and the clubface. The result is (on) full shots, lower flight, more spin. Pitching, chipping around the green … lower trajectory with a lot more grab and check.”
Also of note, the soft 431 stainless steel clubheads utilized in the design feature a hydropearl finish that repels moisture, which limits sole friction and prevents fliers in wet conditions.
As mentioned previously, also a differentiator from a fitting standpoint for Glide 2.0 wedges are the four unique grind options that are available to fit a player’s swing or the course conditions they most often encounter.
Here’s a closer look at each of the four grind options:
SS Grind: The SS is the most versatile of the four Glide 2.0 grinds and as an all-purpose wedge will fit the widest variety of players. A mid-bounce offering, the SS will work well from varying turf and sand conditions, as well as prove to be a good fit for players with different swing characteristics. As compared to its predecessor, a little bit of bounce has been removed from the heel of the Glide 2.0 SS wedges to improve bunker performance.
TS Grind: As a low-bounce wedge, the TS will work well for players who have shallow angles of attack, as well as from firm sand or firm fairway and greenside turf conditions. The heel relief provided in the tour-proven design of the TS also makes it a great option for players who like to play a variety of shots around the green with an open clubface. In short, this grind is the perfect option for true shot-makers.
WS Grind: The WS is the highest bounce wedge in the Glide 2.0 line, and it will work especially well for players with steeper angles of attack and players who often face soft sand and turf conditions, as well as heavy rough around the greens, at the various courses they play. Its wide sole also offers exceptional forgiveness in terms of turf interaction.
ES Grind: Inspired by the cult classic Eye 2 wedge, the ES is a mid-bounce wedge that excels from any sand conditions thanks to its tapered hosel and refined leading edge. The ES is also a versatile short-game wedge that will help players execute a wide array of shots around the green with either a square or open clubface. Its design has also been tweaked slightly to deliver improved performance on full shots.
PING Glide 2.0 wedges are available in lofts ranging from 46 to 60 degrees and swing weights between D2 and D4, depending on the loft chosen.
Additionally, lofts between 46 and 52 degrees have a stock length of 35.5 inches and a 64-degree lie angle, lofts of 54 and 56 degrees have a stock length of 35.25 inches and a 64.25-degree lie angle, and lofts of 58 and 60 degrees have a stock length of 35 inches and a 64.5-degree lie angle.