You say you want a revolution? Well, you know…
PING’s Glide 2.0 Stealth wedge – released in early 2018 – ran away and hid from the rest of the field in 2018’s Most Wanted Wedge testing. As it was, the 2.0 Stealth model was more an extension of and slight alteration to the original Glide 2.0 – which was released in early 2017 – than a complete upgrade. But whatever you choose to call it, it worked fabulously.
However, the calendar on the wall says Glide 2.0 Stealth’s 18-month run is up. So what do you do for an encore?
To paraphrase the Hippocratic Oath, don’t f**k it up.
For its part, PING is touting a grip-to-grind revolution to create a lower-launching, higher-spinning, and better feeling wedge. That’s true if you compare the new Glide 3.0 to the original Glide 2.0 and leave 2.0 Stealth out of the equation. If you compare the new Glide to the 2.0 Stealth, however, you have what appears to be a solid evolution to an already exceptional wedge, with a few compelling upgrades to get your attention.
The Glide Stride
PING’s press release announcing Glide 3.0 can be summed up thusly: they rock, go buy them.
As you know, that’s not how we roll, so let’s look at what’s new and what isn’t. First off, you’ll notice, they’re not black. The 2.0 Stealth wedges had a black QPQ finish (stealthy, get it?), the new Glide 3.0 has the same water repelling HydroPearl chrome finish of the original, non-stealthy 2.0’s. They’re also cast from 431 stainless steel, as were the original 2.0’s, while the Stealth models were 8620 carbon steel. In case you’re concerned about a feel trade-off, PING has that covered, as we’ll see in a bit.
The grind part of that grip-to-grind overhaul may be a bit overstated. The 2.0’s offered four sole grind options: Thin Sole (low bounce), Standard Sole (mid bounce), Wide Sole (high bounce) and what PING called the Eye Sole – a retro PING-style grind for 54- through 60-degree wedges with an 8-degree bounce designed for bunker play. The new 3.0’s are, for the most part, the same. The Eye Sole is now called Eye2, features the high-toe look of PING’s classic Eye2 irons from 40 years ago, and is still designed for bunkers.
The entire loft-grind matrix remains essentially the same, with the only addition a 54-degree option to the Wide Sole lineup.
Glide 3.0 still uses PING’s patented wheel-cut grooves and features the extra half-groove at the bottom of the clubface that helped 2.0 Stealth spin like the Tasmanian Devil.
That Feel Thing
One of the big differences between Glide 2.0 and Glide 2.0 Stealth was material. 2.0 was made from 431 stainless steel, while the Stealths were 8620 carbon steel. The Stealth was rated highly by testers for both looks and feel, while many golfers in the past felt the original 2.0 had a harsh-ish feel. As you’ve noticed, Glide 3.0 is 431 stainless, but PING is taking a page from its i210 irons to take some of that harshness away.
Glide 3.0 features a larger and softer Custom Tuning Port elastomer in the cavity. PING says the new insert covers more of the face, resulting in a softer, but still solid, feel. Additionally, PING says the new cavity and larger CTP allows for more perimeter weighting and a higher center of gravity for lower launch and more control.
The other big change is overall weight: Glide 3.0 is 15 grams lighter than its predecessors. Most of that weight reduction is courtesy of the stock grip and stock shaft. PING’s Dyla-wedge Lite grip is six grams lighter despite being 3/4″ longer than traditional grips, and the new Z-Z115 shaft – made by Nippon – is five grams lighter with a lower balance point for lower launch and more control.
Final Thoughts, Price and Availability
If you take the Stealth 2.0 out of the equation, then yes, the new Glide 3.0 does appear to be a grip-to-grind upgrade from the now 2-and-a-half-year-old Glide 2.0. Compared to the 2.0 Stealth, however, it has enough similarities to be considered an evolution, but enough differences to wonder if Stealth is going to become a thing for PING – kind of a mid-life jump start for the lineup.
PING’s new Glide 3.0 wedges are available for pre-order and for custom-fitting at authorized PING fitters starting today.
As mentioned, the stock grip is the Dyla-wedge Lite (available in three sizes), and the stock steel shaft is the Z-Z115 Wedge made by Nippon. The stock graphite shaft is PING’s Alta CB Red. There are several no-upcharge shaft options, including the Dynamic Gold, Dynamic Gold 105, Dynamic Gold 120, Project X LZ, True Temper XP95, Nippon Pro Modus Tour 105, and KBS Tour.
And one other difference between the new Glide 3.0 and its predecessors is price. MSRP for the unique Glides is $160 for steel and $180 for graphite, which is a $10 jump from the 2.0 models.