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In case you’re on the lookout for a wedge (or a full set of wedges) to complement your bag and potentially shave some strokes off your short game, then you might want to check out this Ping Glide 2.0 Wedge Review.
As the astute readers might’ve already guessed, the Ping Glide 2.0 is supposed to replace the original Ping Glide as it phases out over the next couple of seasons. It’s not a revolutionary step up from the original wedge, but rather comes with a bunch of tweaks that will make your short game dialled in and more fun, overall.
For a start, Ping has done a superb job on improving the grooves.True enough, almost any manufacturer will point out they’ve come out with “new and improved grooves”, but with the Glide 2.0, the phrase doesn’t ring hollow, for a change. They’ve managed to squeeze in some extra grooves, giving you more bite on the ball surface, and, therefore, more spin.
Finding the right gaping progression has been a bane of many a novice player, and even some pros – the best way to deal with it is to play until you’ve found your bag configuration, and then some. Thankfully, the Glide 2.0 comes with plenty of loft-to-bounce combos, so you can find what you need all in one place.
You’ve got everything starting from 46 and up to 60 degrees, all in 2-degree increments (sans the 48, for some reason), so you’ve got all your major types of wedges covered – pitching wedges and gap wedges (lower lofts, 46 to 52, arguably 54), as well as the sand wedges and lob wedges (the rest of the range). Some might lament the lack of higher lofts for their lobs (up to 64, or thereabouts), but you can compensate for that by choking down on the 60 and opening up the face.
Ping Glide 2.0: The Second Generation
The best way to get to know the Glide 2.0 is to compare it with its older cousin, the Ping Glide, and go into a bit more detail where needed. The holy trinity we’ll be discussing here consists of three G’s – the grooves, the grinds, and the grip. However, if we had to sum up what the 2.0 is all about without referring to the original Glide, it would have to be – forgiveness, plenty of distance control, and great performance in wet conditions.
Austin Powers Approves! Groovy, Baby!
Compared to the Ping Glide, the Glide 2.0 comes with extra grooves that are spaced a little closer together. Basically, you get one in the lower lofts (48, 50, and 52) and two extra grooves in the higher ones (54 through 60), which should give you that little bit extra spin on chips and pitches.
Moreover, the engineers over at Ping have also relaxed the sidewall of the groove to make the edge radius sharper (Ping boasts that this is the sharpest edge radius they’ve ever put on a club).
But what does this technical mumbo-jumbo mean? Well, to put it simply, they’ve enhanced the friction between the cover of the ball and the clubface, which comes in handy when you need to play those pitches and chips for a nice, clean GIR. In other words, you can send the balls in there with more control and a wee bit lower trajectory than before, and really dial in your shots.
No Grind, No Glory
The Ping Glide 2.0 wedge comes with all the grinds we’ve come to know and love in the original Ping Glide, giving you a nice and varied choice of bounce. As an aside, the sole now features the bounce visual (they changed it up a bit), which does clear it up to some extent.
In a nutshell, there are four of them, going from lowest to highest bounce – the TS (Thin Sole), the ES (Eye Sole), the SS (Standard Sole), and, finally, the WS (Wide Sole). Let’s get to know each of these in a bit more detail.
The Thin Sole is available in a couple of higher lofts (58 and 60), and has a 6-degree bounce to it. Ping did change it up a bit in relation to the original Glide, so now the Glide 2.0 has a bit more relief on the heel and toe, which helps it pass through the turf without fear of getting caught up.
The Standard Sole (12-degree bounce) is pretty much what it reads on the tin – it’s available on pretty much all of the lofts, and should suit the majority of players just as is. It plays equally well off firm and soft turf, fairway and rough, as well as white and packed sand. Much like the TS, the SS has more relief, which helps it, for lack of a better word, glide through the turf.
The Wide Sole is available only in higher lofts (56, 58, and 60), and features a substantial bounce (14 degrees). The WS on the Glide 2.0 does come with a little twist – what was already a wide sole on the original Glide has been additionally widened (though, to be fair, they did tone down the back by a degree). With this tweaked design, this new grind should really come into its own when performing on fine, powdery sand.
The Eye Sole is a specialized sole that comes with higher lofts (54, 56, 58, and 60), with an 8-degree bounce. It’s designed with bunker shots in mind, and performs admirably in this regard. Heads with this grind feature a sharp leading edge and more bounce than you’ll find in other Ping wedges.
Moreover, the hosel is thinner, which all adds up to let the wedge simply slide through the sand (or glide, to overuse that pun), especially when you open up the clubface.
Get a Grip
Another thing that makes the Ping Glide 2.0 unique among wedges is the grip which is somewhat longer than you might be used to. We’re talking approximately 0¾ of an inch, which is there to encourage gripping down on the club. If you’re anything but an absolute novice, then you should be aware that this helps with controlling the distance and trajectory, and having an extra-long grip to help you with it is certainly a nice feature.
On a similar note, say you’re playing a shot that’s too long for your 54 but too short for your 50 – unless you have a 52 in your bag, you’ll need to choke down on your 50 and maybe open up the face a bit. In a word, you’ll always be able to stroke a 50 somewhat weaker and make the yardage of a 54, but you’ll never stroke a 54 for the yardage of a 50, no matter how good your swing is.
Play for Pearlfection
The Hydropearl finish on the Ping Glide 2.0 performs both an aesthetic and a functional role – on the one hand, it’s just there to look snappy (although, to be honest, it would be nice to have a wider selection of finishes than the one). On a similar note (as we already mentioned above), Ping added the visual of the bounce on the sole itself, so you can identify it all the easier.
They’ve also shifted the loft numbers to the toe of the wedge and away from what the players might be used to in their wedges. In a way, this does the head some justice, as it cleans up the looks, and makes it more appealing, but also makes polishing easier and the grinds more consistent.
On the other hand, the finish does an impressive job of repelling water, which allows the wedge to slide through the turf as if it weren’t there. Coupled with the extra grooves on the clubface, the finish pretty much gives you a modest amount of extra spin in dry conditions (about 200 rpms per stroke) and a whopping 1,000 rpms when it’s wet, essentially placing the Glide 2.0 in a class of its own.
The Final Verdict
The Glide 2.0 comes with plenty of loft-to-bounce options, which should suit the majority of players straight off the rack, irrespective of their handicap. Of course, if you don’t find any combo that suits you, you can always pay a little bit extra and have it custom-adjusted.
However, the selection is indeed quite varied, and an overwhelming majority of players will do just fine with off-the-rack clubs. All in all, it’s a great wedge that the majority of players, predominantly high and mid handicappers, should find most appealing. It has a fairly large profile, its grooves generate lots of spin, and, probably most important of all, it plays wonderfully in wet conditions.