PING Golf Wedge Reviews
Glide 2.0 giving players more spin, more control on full shots and around the green
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.
TGW Staff Writer
Chris Wallace has more than 15 years of experience as a sports writer and editor. He started his career in the newspaper industry, winning three Virginia Press Association awards at the Daily Progress in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he covered college sports and golf on a local, state, and national level. Wallace also spent nearly 10 years working for Rivals.com, and he later managed and created content for the GolfChannel.com Instruction Blog. His work has also appeared on GolfAdvisor.com and in Carolinas Golf Magazine. Wallace was a three-year captain of the golf team at his alma mater, Lynchburg College, and spent two years serving as the assistant men’s golf coach at the University of Virginia.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’d have to admit that it wasn’t until the release of the Glide line that PING really grabbed my attention when it came to wedges.
Prior to that and in spite of their reputation for stellar playability and performance, which is always a strong suit with PING products, most of the PING wedges I had seen just didn’t suit my eye.
Glide, however, offered what I found to be a more compact, elegant look, and I believe PING has raised the bar even further aesthetically with Glide 2.0.
That being the case, I was both curious and excited to test the new Glide 2.0 wedges, which I was able to do recently over the course of a couple of days at the practice facilities and on the course at Terradyne Country Club here in TGW’s homebase of Wichita, Kansas.
Here are some more detailed thoughts based on my experience that might help answer any questions that you have about Glide 2.0:
As mentioned at the outset, it was from a look standpoint that I had by and large through the years discounted PING wedges as an option for my bag. And I knew other golfers, even loyal, dedicated PING iron players, who were in the same boat.
That, however, is no longer an issue. As good as the original Glide wedges looked, Glide 2.0 wedges look even better. In fact, they’re quite stunning, especially at address.
More specifically, I like the compact, rounded profile of these wedges and their clean lines from a design and shaping standpoint. Additionally, the hydropearl finish exudes elegance.
Also notable in my book is the clarity with which you can see the detail and variations in the different sole designs, and having the majority of the stamping positioned on the back of the flange only adds to the overall aesthetic appeal.
Glide 2.0 wedges offer what I find to be a unique feel. I could best describe it as slightly firmer than some other wedges I’ve hit while at the same time being more explosive, which was obviously more apparent on full shots.
That was also evident in the acoustics on full shots, in my opinion, as there was a noticeable yet powerful click at impact. That said, there was absolutely no vibration in my hands regardless of the quality of strike.
Equally impressive was the consistency of the feel from impact points across the face, especially on shots hit toward the toe, which is a common miss with a wedge for many golfers, myself included.
Around the greens when chipping and pitching, however, the feel was significantly softer, which inspired confidence that I could play whatever shot was called for.
All that said, feel obviously comes down to player preference and reasonable minds can disagree, but I would find it hard to believe that anyone would rule out a Glide 2.0 wedge based on feel.
Admittedly, the look of Glide 2.0 is what initially piqued my interest, but it’s from a performance standpoint that these wedges excel.
Of course, there are four unique sole shapes/grinds that have been developed to suit the needs of different types of players, and there will be golfers with far different needs than mine.
While I had the chance to experiment with each of the different grinds (SS, TS, WS, and ES), for me, as someone with a shallow angle of attack, I ultimately focused the majority of my attention on the TS, ES, and SS grinds, all of which are low- or mid-bounce wedges.
I will say, however, that I was impressed with the turf interaction and forgiveness that the WS wedge provided, and I think it would prove to be a great option for players who have the steeper angles of attack that the high-bounce WS was designed to accommodate.
Moving on to the models I worked most with, the low-bounce TS is available as a lob wedge in lofts of 58 and 60 degrees and proved to be magical around the greens. I was blown away with how easy it was to play different types of shots, especially when I wanted to open the face.
Equally impressive was how much spin I could impart on a short shot, which was a primary goal for the Glide 2.0 line, a goal that was ultimately realized by including both new grooves and additional grooves in the design. The TS also excelled out of the firm sand at Terradyne and delivered a piercing, controllable ball flight on full shots.
The SS, meanwhile, was at its best on full shots. The ability to control trajectory with that grind stood out, as well as its impressive turf interaction. I also found that the SS worked extremely well playing straight-faced chip shots around the green.
And finally, there was the ES. In a word … wow! Its design was based on the original Eye 2 wedge, which has been a cult classic among golfers for decades. Having read PING’s description of this club, I was left thinking that this wedge might be something of a one-trick pony, with that one trick being the ability to escape a greenside bunker more easily.
And the ES did perform wonderfully from the sand. But it was so much more versatile than that. I could play all sorts of short shots around the green with a closed or square face, flighting down chips or pitches or hitting soft, high lob shots. It was equally good, however, when hitting full shots, which came as a huge surprise, and I actually found it to be the easiest of the four models to control trajectory with on a full shot.
Limited expectations might have played a role in how I came away feeling about the ES, but this wedge was a revelation, and I could see it being a true game-changer for a wide variety of players.
Playability and performance have been hallmarks of PING products since the company was founded by Karsten Solheim more than a half century ago. And golfers will find those attributes readily available in the Glide 2.0 wedge line.
With its four unique sole shapes, PING is also making it easy for players to get wedges that will fit their swing and allow them to execute the shots they face most often at the courses where they play.
Better yet, the promise of increased spin and enhanced control has been realized, performance across the line is exceptional, and these are wedges that truly look fantastic.
This is a wedge line that I expect to perform very well commercially for PING, and golfers who are considering new wedges this year need to have Glide 2.0 on their list of contenders.
PING WEDGE REVIEW. 2016 GLIDE: PUTTING MORE SOLE INTO YOUR WEDGE PLAY
Four different sole options (SS, WS, TS, and ES), each designed to work well for a specific type of player and different types of course conditions, combine to give PING what it believes makes Glide the company’s most versatile and consistent wedge lineup ever.
SS (STANDARD SOLE): The SS is a mid-bounce, versatile wedge that will work best with more neutral angles of attack. It will perform well with varying turf conditions and comes in lofts ranging from 47 to 60 degrees.
WS (WIDE SOLE): With the most bounce in the Glide line, the WS is a good option for players who have a steep angle of attack or for shots played from heavy rough, soft sand, or softer turf conditions. This sole design is available in lofts ranging from 54-60 degrees.
TS (THIN SOLE): The TS is the most versatile wedge in the Glide line and features the least amount of bounce. The thinner sole allows golfers to play a variety of shots around the green, and the TS, which comes in lofts of 58 and 60 degrees, will fare best from firmer turf and sand conditions.
ES (EYE SOLE): Based off the classic and highly popular original PING Eye2 design, the ES features a thinner hosel and a dish cavity that make it the most effective Glide wedge from the sand. On full shots, its profile It would fall somewhere between the TS and SS, and it’s available in lofts ranging from 56 to 60 degrees.
MORE ON THE GLIDE WEDGES: Glide wedges feature loft-optimized grooves. Less spin is imparted on full shots with pitching and gap wedges, while sand wedges and lob wedges create more spin around the green. Additionally, a slightly longer grip comes standard on the Glide wedges to make it easier for players to “grip down” for more control, and they also come stock with 118-gram CFS wedge shafts that were designed to produce lower launch angles for greater control.