PING engineers combined the company’s extensive technical knowledge gathered over its nearly 60-year history with the needs of the everyday golfer.

When PING unveiled the Sigma G line last January, it explained that the Sigma name came from the mathematical usage of the Greek letter, where sigma represents summation. For PING, Sigma G represents the summation of more than fifty years of putter-making knowledge. Think on that for a second. How many putters are we talking about over that half-century? It’s going to take some time to calculate the number of models PING has brought to life over the years, and with the model count rising – more so if we include prototypes and other designs that never made it out of R&D – we may never know the anser…excuse me…answer.  With every putter it designs, PING manages to learn something new. Not every model achieves Anser-level success, but every model adds to the PING knowledge pool, enhancing the designs of the putters that follow.

It should come as no surprise that PING’s engineers didn’t stop tinkering with the release of the Sigma G line, but instead kept adding to the knowledge pool, ultimately coming up with the Sigma 2 line of putters; a line that represents the new sum of PING putter know-how.

PING doesn’t release new putters just because a year has past. It strives to release better putters. The Sigma 2 putter lineup represents the next level of PING engineering, featuring innovations and technologies not found in previous PING putters, or any other manufacturers’ for that matter either.

Let’s take a look at the models and features of the new Sigma 2 line.

Dual-Durometer Face

A soft, responsive feel in the Sigma 2 putters is the result of an innovative dual-durometer PEBAX face material. The softer front layer ensures the precision necessary for shorter, delicate must-makes. The firmer back layer offers the solid feedback and distance control required for holing longer-range putts and improving overall consistency. Touch and pace are further improved with PING’s patented TR face pattern, which varies in depth and pitch to speed up off-center impacts for consistent ball speeds.

The Sigma G insert featured an aluminum face supported by an underlayer of PEBAX. With the Sigma 2, it’s two layers of PEBAX. Why switch? In a word, softness. Read that text above and think about a golf ball instead of a putter face. How many of you play balls with more than one layer? With the ball, a soft outer layer provides spin on shorter shots, while a harder core helps you hit bombs. That’s the same idea behind the Sigma 2 insert. Different layers for different shots.

But does it work?

The data-driven answer to that question will come in the 2019 Most Wanted Putter tests, but I’ll give you my 2¢. I first spent a little time rolling these on the practice green surrounded by PGA pros at the Safeway Open in Napa (Talk about an intimidating putting experience!), and then spent some additional balls-on-grass time at my local course. Short insert story is that I could feel the difference of impact between short putts and long putts.

For me, the longer-distance feeling at impact was a welcome surprise. I typically like the feel of insert putters in close, but the finer points of that feel are often lost in the lags. Many inserts feel too soft for me to confidently control distance. The Sigma 2 insert has a much more satisfying, and to my touch, appropriate feedback on long putts than other inserts. That’s pure opinion based upon my experiences, of course, but you will feel the difference at various distances when you roll these.

PING Pistol Grip Options

Three proprietary PING grip design allows golfers to dial in their optimal fit and feel. Listed from smallest to largest diameter: The PP60 is midsize and lightweight, designed to fit the contours of the hands with flats on the top and sides. Slightly heavier, the PP61 has an exaggerated pistol shape and is inspired by the popular PP58 grip. The PP62, while still lightweight, has a larger, more rounded shape to promote quieter hands.

While other grip companies like SuperStroke garner most of the grip attention, PING’s putter grips tend to fly under the radar a bit. If you are not in the market for a new putter but are looking to regrip your current gamer, you should consider these PING grips. I am a huge fan of the PP62. The weight, texture, and geometry promote a comfortable putting stroke. There are no rules against putting one on your non-PING putter. You know who has had a Pingman grip on his Cameron for decades? Tiger Woods, that’s who.

Sigma 2 Putter Models

The PING Sigma 2 line-up features ten putter models. In the line, you’ll find the perennial  PING standard, the Anser, but the rest of the models are a mix of modifications of previous models and new designs. You’ve got blades and mallets, heavy and lightweight head, and straight, slight, and strong arc models. Those of you who complained about the lack of center-shafted putters last week should be a bit happier this time around.

The model offerings cover the putting spectrum. The odds are good that there is a model to fit your game. Lefties can celebrate the release as well since all ten models are available in left-handed configurations. Let’s take a look.

 

Anser

The Anser is the winningest model in PGA Tour history, and its newest iteration has the traditional heel-toe ballasts that boost MOI, plus pleasing contours, a clean top rail, and simple alignment line. The blade design and medium head weight make this putter proficient from any distance. The mid-hang balance targets players with a moderate rotation in their stroke, and thus fits a large percentage of golfers. Available in Platinum and Stealth finishes.

  • Putter Type: Blade
  • Adjustable-Length Shaft: 32″ to 36″ range
  • Head Weight: 350g
  • Stroke Type: Slight Arc
  • Lie Angle: 20° ±4°
  • Loft: 3° ±2°
  • US MSRP $215

ZB 2

The ZB with a modern twist. The deeper center cavity and heel-toe weighting increase moment of inertia by more than 25% in this new model and make it as forgiving as an Anser. The heel-shafted weighting is engineered to fit players with more rotation in their stroke and those who have a pull tendency. This putter’s blade design and medium head weight provide versatility from anywhere on the green.

  • Putter Type: Blade
  • Adjustable-Length Shaft: 32″ to 36″ range
  • Head Weight: 350g
  • Stroke Type: Strong Arc
  • Lie Angle: 20° ±4°
  • Loft: 3° ±2°
  • US MSRP $215

Arna

Inspired by the timeless design of the Anser, this mid-mallet model features a flow-style hosel that complements the head’s soft arc shape and compact profile. The 360-gram head weight ensures stability on shorter putts while offering distance control on lag putts. The mid-hang balance fits golfers with a moderate rotation in their stroke.

  • Putter Type: Mid-Mallet
  • Adjustable-Length Shaft: 32″ to 36″ range
  • Head Weight: 360g
  • Stroke Type: Slight Arc
  • Lie Angle: 20° ±4°
  • Loft: 3° ±2°
  • US MSRP $215

Kushin C

This center-shafted model with added emphasis to the heel and toe ballasts will appeal to golfers drawn to the visual symmetry and stability of a face-balanced design. Prominent ball-width alignment features and micro-lines on the center cavity allow for easy alignment. The 360-gram weight and center-shaft design keep the head very stable on short putts in particular. The face-balanced design is optimized for players with very little rotation in their stroke or a push tendency.

  • Putter Type: Mid-Mallet
  • Adjustable-Length Shaft: 32″ to 36″ range
  • Head Weight: 360g
  • Stroke Type: Straight
  • Lie Angle: 20° ±4°
  • Loft: 3° ±2°
  • US MSRP $215

Fetch

A distinctive golf-ball-size center hole in this new design enables you to pick up the ball or remove it from the cup with the putter head and not have to bend down. This circular shape allows for efficient perimeter weighting, creating an extremely high MOI for a putter its size. Its 365-gram head is extremely stable on shorter putts. The face-balanced design works well with players who have little rotation in their stroke or a tendency to push putts.

  • Putter Type: Mallet
  • Adjustable-Length Shaft: 32″ to 36″ range
  • Head Weight: 365g
  • Stroke Type: Straight
  • Lie Angle: 20° ±2°
  • Loft: 3° ±2°
  • US MSRP $235

Tyne

Boasts a PGA Tour-winning design, back by popular demand for its stability and ease of alignment. New micro-lines visible from address provide added texture and a contrast that amplifies the ball-framing and parallel alignment. The 365-gram head stays extremely stable on short putts and delivers ample feel for longer attempts. The Tyne can be custom built as face-balanced or mid-hang to be optimized for straight or slight-arc stroke types.

  • Putter Type: Mallet
  • Adjustable-Length Shaft: 32″ to 36″ range
  • Head Weight: 365g
  • Stroke Type: Straight, Slight Arc
  • Lie Angle: 20° ±2°
  • Loft: 3° ±2°
  • US MSRP $235

Tyne 4

The stability and ease of alignment of the original Tyne are re-created in this heel-shafted version. The heavier 370-gram head is optimized for a smoother swing tempo and designed to improve consistency, especially on shorter putts. The short hosel offers a distinctive – and popular — look at address, and the heel-shafted balance is particularly effective for golfers with more rotation in their stroke or a pull tendency.

  • Putter Type: Mallet
  • Adjustable-Length Shaft: 32″ to 36″ range
  • Head Weight: 370g
  • Stroke Type: Strong Arc
  • Lie Angle: 20° ±4°
  • Loft: 3° ±2°
  • US MSRP $235

Wolverine H

Its angular shape combines with ball-shape geometries and a long alignment line to simplify aiming for improved accuracy. To promote consistency, the heavier 370-gram mallet head provides a very high moment of inertia for extreme forgiveness, especially on shorter putts. The mid-hang balance ensures better all-around performance for a wider range of golfers.

  • Putter Type: Mallet
  • Adjustable-Length Shaft: 32″ to 36″ range
  • Head Weight: 370g
  • Stroke Type: Slight Arc
  • Lie Angle: 20° ±4°
  • Loft: 3° ±2°
  • US MSRP $235

Valor

A new model, this high-MOI mallet features a uniquely designed heel-toe ballast profile that contributes to its incredible stability and ease of aiming, with help from a long, contrasting alignment line. On shorter putts, in particular, the added stability of the 365-gram design offers a big performance advantage. This putter can be custom-built as either a face-balanced or mid-hang design to be optimized for golfers with almost any stroke type.

  • Putter Type: Mallet
  • Adjustable-Length Shaft: 32″ to 36″ range
  • Head Weight: 365g
  • Stroke Type: Straight, Slight Arc
  • Lie Angle: 20° ±2°
  • Loft: 3° ±2°
  • US MSRP $235

New USGA-Conforming, Adjustable-Length Shaft

The adjustable-length shaft is a lightweight, easy to use technology that is sleekly concealed beneath the grip, allowing golfers to customize length between 32″ and 36″ to fit their stroke and posture. The process is quick and intuitive through the use of an adjustment tool that inserts into the top of the grip. One full turn causes approximately a ¼” adjustment up or down, and the grip remains perfectly aligned during the adjustment process. It allows golfers to experiment with various lengths and ultimately self-fit themselves. They are no longer limited to a specific length measurement. They simply adjust it until they’re comfortable, ideally with their eyes directly over the ball.

I’ve kept this knowledge nugget for last because I believe this new shaft will be the lasting legacy of the Sigma 2 line. It’s an amazing piece of engineering! Many of you will recall that PING has previously offered an adjustable shaft option, and you may also remember that the prior adjustment system was not exactly awesome. The system required a big silver ring that you loosened with a tool, thereby allowing the shaft to slide up and down. It also allowed the head to spin out of alignment with the grip. I loved the concept but didn’t love the implementation. It was a pain to adjust, and difficult to get the putter head squared to the grip.

Not this time. Gone is the big silver nut. With this new shaft, most of the adjustment mechanism is hidden inside the grip. A small tool not entirely dissimilar from the wrenches used to adjust your driver allows or easy adjusting via the butt end of the grip.

When you turn the adjustment tool, the internal workings can move through an impressive four-inch range of adjustability. What’s amazing is that the putter head and grip orientation relationship does not change. You change the length, and the grip and head remain perfectly aligned. I hesitate to call it an engineering marvel, but it’s an engineering marvel. So smooth and idiot-proofly easy to adjust.

PING’s research indicates 8 out of 10 golfers are playing the wrong-length putters and losing strokes as a result.

So why is PING offering this adjustable shaft option? Its research determined that most golfers are playing the wrong length putters, and as a result, actually adjust their body position and stroke to fit the wrong length putter rather than having the putter fit them. With this new adjustability, club fitters, and recreational tinkers, can very easily change the length of the putter, observe the effect on making putts, and dial in the ideal length.

People play the wrong length putters because they don’t know their correct lengths, and also because it is pretty difficult to adjust the length of a traditional putter in the shop, or by yourself. Now you don’t need to remove the grip, cut the shaft, or add an extender. All you need to do to change the length is to turn the adjustment tool.

Play Time With the Sigma 2 Anser, ZB 2, and the Fetch

As I mentioned above, I was lucky enough to roll these at the Safeway Open a few weeks ago. As amazing as that experience was, it was tough to concentrate on the putter in that environment. Fortunately, I have been able to spend some quiet alone time at my home course with the Anser, ZB 2, and the Fetch. Here are some of my takeaways from my rollings.

Sigma 2 Anser

The Vault Anser 2 is my favorite Anser ever. I think I said that when writing about it, and I still feel that way two-ish years later. Right away though, the Sigma 2 Anser was a threat to its reign.

The first two putts that I rolled with the Sigma 2 Anser were 25 foot, right to left, downhill breakers, and of course, they both found the cup. If I were at a PING demo day, the debit card would have taken a hit immediately after those dropped. For comparison sake, I brought along my PING Vault Anser 2, again, a putter that I adore and game frequently. That Anser 2 was not happy to come along, because after rolling the Sigma 2 version, the all-milled Anser felt very firm, and almost a little harsh. Not once have I ever thought this about that putter before. I suspect that the Sigma 2 insert feels so soft that any milled putter will feel harsh by comparison.

My new preference for the Sigma 2 Anser over my beloved Vault Anser 2 was a huge surprise for me.

Last note on how good this putter is for my game. Those of you who follow me on Twitter and Instagram know that I spent last weekend playing golf in Monterey. I packed the Sigma 2 Anser, and a back-up putter, for the three days of golf. When all was said and done, I played all 72 holes of golf with the Sigma 2 Anser. My initial impressions of the putter were spot on, perhaps even a little conservative considering how well the putter rolled the ball once I really got comfortable with it. Lots of putters are going to be relegated to my garage if this Anser keeps performing like it did this weekend…

Sigma 2 ZB 2

The Vault 2.0 ZB is another one of my favorite putters in my gamer rotation, and I was curious to see if the Sigma 2 ZB 2 could achieve similar status. The ZB 2 shares some DNA with the Vault ZB, but has some unique design tweaks. PING’s engineers pushed the metal around with the ZB2, keeping the general ZB aesthetic, but producing something new as well. Here is a shot of the two of them side by side at address.

You can see how the geometry is stretched a bit here and there with the Sigma ZB 2. By removing metal from the middle and pushing it to the perimeter, the engineers were able to give the ZB 2 the MOI of an Anser. Those of you strong arc folk wishing that PING would have included a flow neck Anser in the line will need to take a long look at the ZB 2.

When comparing the Vault ZB and the ZB 2 head-to-head, you can feel the difference that the insert makes. Once again, the Vault ZB is very firm compared to the ZB 2, but the feel difference on longer putts is not as significant as one might expect. Both are pretty firm. Unlike the Anser, the ZB 2 did not immediately jump in front of the Vault ZB in my gamer queue. After rolling them side by side, I’ve come to the conclusion that the ZB 2 is really a unique design, and that it will probably take me a bit of time to get used to its unique feel and looks.

Sigma 2 Fetch

I have never seen a putter generate social media anger like the Fetch did when I posted sneak peek photos from Napa. Many of you expressed concerns about the hole surviving balls being Fetched out with the putter. While I understand what you are saying, I think that some of the early concerns may prove to be unfounded. Sure, someone who jabs the putter into the hole could do some damage, but the Fetch’s shape really makes that happening less likely than someone who jabs an Anser into the hole to retrieve the ball. It just feels like it belongs in the hole.

Someone commented that the person should bend over and get the ball out of the hole instead. That’s a solid suggestion, but one must realize that for a large number of golfers, the bending down motion is not an easy one. For those folk, the Fetch will be a welcome tool.

Ball-retrieving feature aside, the Fetch is an interesting design. The hole in the middle allows weight to be pushed to the edges, increasing MOI and putter stability. If you look closely, you will see that there is also a ridge of material at the rear edge of the putter. When you remove the weight from the middle, you then have extra discretionary weight to put in other places to improve performance. That is really what the Fetch is all about. Ball retrieving is just a bonus.

I found the Fetch to play smaller than it looks. The taper in the front part really draws in my eye toward the ball at address. I just don’t see most of the bulk when putting with it. The strangest thing is that I never really noticed the hole in the putter either. It seemed like that should be a big eye-catching thing, but it isn’t. The Fetch also has a great alignment system with the two ball-spaced sight lines. Though PING probably won’t mention it, the hole can actually give you a bit of 2-Ball alignment effect as well. It’s exceptionally easy to aim at the hole. I suspect the Fetch will be very well received by mallet players. Seriously though, be careful if you use it to get the ball out of the cup…

Summary

So let’s recap what we get from PING with the Sigma 2 putter line. First, we get ten different putters, most of which are either redesigned classics or completely new designs. Second, we get the new dual layer insert, promoting better feel in close, and at a distance; with the TR Grooves helping out should you wander the face. Third, we get the game-changing adjustable shaft. I know that you will love the ability to adjust the shaft in the shop when you are demoing putters, and also on the practice green to truly see what length helps you to make more putts.

With the Sigma 2 putter line, PING has set the putter standard for the coming 2019 season quite high, but what else would we expect from a company that has been doing this for fifty years.