PING S159 Wedges
Golf Wedges

PING S159 Wedges

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PING S159 Wedges

With the new S159 wedges, PING hopes to translate PGA Tour success into retail success, so it only makes sense that its new wedges leverage more inspiration and feedback from the Tour than any previous PING design.

With S159, PING took the options previously spread across its various wedge lineups and unified them into a single family. It’s the most complete wedge lineup to date.

Even with that, PING may not be the first brand that comes to mind when you think about wedges, but it shouldn’t be far from the top of the list. It’s not that the company doesn’t have plenty of history in the category (Eye 2, anyone?) but, for a brand known for its forgiving products, making noise in the wedge category presents a bit of a challenge.

That’s not to say the designs aren’t forgiving but PING gets there a bit differently with its other families and, while there’s a lot that goes into it, building the perfect wedge for any given golfer starts with the grind.

Grinds

PING S159 wedges are available in multiple grinds

While PING has always offered wedges, it has rapidly evolved into what I’d classify as a full-service wedge company. With its S159 wedges, PING will offer 25 different loft and grind combinations. Within the lineup, there’s the proverbial something for everyone. The upside is that there’s definitely a combination of wedges in the matrix that’s going to work for you. The downside is that variety can cause confusion and, for some, finding the right grind might feel intimidating.

Don’t sweat it.

We’re going to walk you through each of the grind offerings and give you an overview of what they’re designed to do and the type of golfer they might work for. Once that’s taken care of, we’ll step you through what PING has done to simply things dramatically and, hopefully, remove most of the intimidation from the equation.

H Grind

A PING S159 H Grind Wedge

One of two new grinds (B grind is the other) in the S159 lineup, PING’s H grind is a sand and lob wedge offering (54-60 degrees). It’s a shortened version of the half-moon grind, which happens to be the most popular grind ordered through PING’s custom WRX program. That kind of thing is usually an indication that it should be in the lineup.

With eight degrees of bounce, the H offers versatility in softer conditions. That means heel-and-toe relief with enough bounce to keep from digging when it’s a little wet out there. It’s a good option for the steeper player and golfers who manipulate delivery based on the shot.

B Grind

A PING S159 B Grind wedge

A lob wedge option (58 and 60), the B grind pairs low bounce with a wide sole. It’s designed for the shallower-swinging player who hits most shots with a square face. It’s well suited for neutral deliveries and firmer conditions.

S Grind

A PING S159 S Grind wedge

The S grind is PING’s self-described bread-and-butter option. That explains why it’s offered from 46 through 60 degrees – everything from a pitching wedge to lob wedge. The S works in a variety of conditions and a variety of delivery techniques. There’s plenty of bounce in the mid-section to help on square-faced shots but it offers some relief in the heel and trailing edge for versatility around the green.

The new addition to the S159 lineup is a 48-degree option. As iron lofts have gotten stronger, it has stretched out gaps on the shorter end of the bag. The 48-degree option should be in the consideration set for golfers playing PING’s G-series irons or anyone else with a strong-lofted (42-44) PW.

(Not that you asked but I’m moving to a 48 from a 50 because of my stronger-lofted irons.)

The 48-degree S grind is also an option for golfers looking for a comparatively weak (I’d call it “old school”) pitching wedge.

T Grind

A PING S159 T Grind wedge

We’ve talked quite a bit about another T grind so you may have some familiarity here. PING’s T grind is a lob wedge option, available in 58 through 62 degrees. It’s the most versatile grind in the PING lineup, which means there’s plenty of heel and trailing-edge relief to help the wedge sit tight to the ground when the face is opened around the green.

The T works well in medium to firm conditions but you might want to supplement it with a higher-bounce option (H grind, maybe) when conditions are soft.

W Grind

A PING S159 W Grind wedge

A sand and lob wedge option (54-60), the W is billed as PING’s most forgiving wedge grind. The anti-T of sorts, the wide sole works to prevent digging which, in the world of wedge grinds, is where forgiveness comes from. The W works well in moderate to soft conditions, for steeper players, guys who deliver with plenty of handle lean or basically anyone who’ll take all the help he can get to prevent laying the sod over the ball.

E ‘Eye 2’ Grind

A PING S159 E Grind wedge

PING’s E or Eye 2 grind is the inspiration for those high-toe designs you’ll find in other lineups. PING describes the E Grind as the ultimate bunker club. In square to slightly open orientations, it presents with relatively low bounce but, as you open face, the trailing portion of the wedge engages, making it play like a wider-sole wedge. The E grind’s narrow hosel helps maintain speed through sand.

That’s not to say the E is exclusively for bunker play but if you perpetually struggle from the sand, it’s one to consider.

How Do I find the Right Grind?

Find the right S159 wedgesgrinds using PING's wedge fitting app

With the complicated stuff out of the way, we can dig into how PING is going to make it really simple for you to find the right wedges.

But before we get to that, let me hit you with what I think is a stunning stat. According to PING’s research, 75 percent of everyone who buys wedges buys them indoors without hitting them.

Way to dial in those grinds, guys.

Obviously, that’s problematic.

The PING Webfit app guides you through the grind selection process.

“We have all these grinds; it can be confusing,” says PING’s Jacob Clarke, “but all we’re trying to do with the different sole grinds we have and the different designs that we have is control the vertical impact location on the face for the golfer.”

Take all the nuance of face orientation, sole width and club delivery out of the conversation for a moment and ask yourself this simple question: If the grind works to deliver ideal impact, how is anyone supposed to find the right grind without hitting the wedge?

We’ve talked about the limited options for wedge fitting in the past. Coinciding with the release of the S159 wedges, PING is tackling that on a couple of fronts. First, it’s expanding its fitting packages to put more wedges in places where golfers demo clubs.

The other, and likely more impactful, piece is a consumer-facing web fitting app designed to help you find the right wedges. You just need to answer a few questions (well, a handful or two) and the app will provide loft and grind recommendations.

The app guides you every step of the way with simple visualizations along with an explanation of why each of the inputs it asks for matter.

When all is said and done, you’ll get a couple of recommendations, a “tale of the tape” style comparison between the two, gapping details and, for those who really want to dig in, a Wedge IQ section that details the factors that contribute to wedge performance.

The final loft and grind recommendation for the PING wedge fitting app.

If you weren’t going to hit shots before buying anyhow, PING’s fitting app will dramatically improve your chances of success. For those of you who will hit wedges before buying, the app will give you an outstanding starting point. Grab the recommended options and see what works best.

The fitting app is easy to use and is available to everyone. Just scan the QR code found on any S159 wedge and you’re ready to go.

Friction

A closeup of the grooves on a PING S159 wedge

We’d typically call this section “Spin “but this is PING and, well, they tend to be a bit more technical. So we’ll go with “Friction”, which PING says you can think of as MOI for your short game.

MOI … There we go. Now we’ve got a PING story.

To be clear, we’re not talking about MOI in the literal sense.

Instead, PING relies on a catalog of wedge face design technologies working together to create consistently high spin in a variety of conditions.

Finish – Specifically, PING’s hydrophobic Hydropearl 2.0 finish which helps shed moisture and maintain spin rates (and in some cases, increase them slightly) when moisture is present. Even for golfers who avoid the rain at all costs, moisture is a factor any time you’re playing in dew, out of the rough and even from fairways that may not be as tight as we’d like. Bottom line: Moisture is nearly omnipresent on the golf course.

Face Marks – The machining between the grooves that creates additional texture for increased friction on shorter shots.

Groove Geometry – How the grooves are cut, the depth, sidewall radius, that sort of thing.

Face Blast – A bit of post-finishing texture to further increase friction.

faces of PING S159 wedges

“You’ve got grooves at the macro level, milling at kind of the micro level, and then nano [level] is your blast,” says PING’s Erik Henrikson. “And all those need to work together along with the finish to get the performance you see in wet conditions.”

The point in all of this isn’t just chasing high spin rates. It’s about providing consistent spin rates (as consistent as possible) from any condition. That means avoiding significant drop-off in spin when it’s wet, when you’re hitting out of rough or basically any time the course or your lie is less than perfect.

New Shape

A PING S159 wedge at address.

Shaping is a trend in the wedge market this year so it’s no surprise PING has refined the shapes of its S159 wedges. What you’re most likely to notice is a significant reduction in offset. The reality is that a lot of better players don’t want offset and, for better or worse, a lot of average guys don’t like to see it either – at least not in our wedges.

The leading edge of the S159 is also straighter, relative to the Glide 4.0. The idea is to give the wedges a more modern look and a smoother transition from your irons.

PING has also improved the hosel transition, which you may or may not notice, but it should present as cleaner overall.

Materials (and Feel)

PING S159 B Grind wedges feature an elastomer insert for improved feel

PING S159 wedges are cast from 8620 steel. It comes up in nearly every article, so I’m guessing some of you are wondering (if not lamenting) why PING chooses to cast what many would describe as a feel club.

First, I’d remind you that feel is driven primarily from geometry, not the material used to form the shape. And, while 8620 isn’t the softest steel on the planet, as far as casting materials go, it’s pretty dang soft.

Most brands choose to cast their wedges because the steel used is typically more durable. While I’m guessing they’re not, your wedges (particularly those with higher lofts) should be the most frequently replaced clubs in your bag, so you want the grooves to last as long as possible.

Filed under “every little bit helps,” the elastomer insert PING uses primarily for swing-weighting purposes in the S159 wedge offers a small feel benefit.

My takeaway from all of this is that the best players in world, by a significant margin, play cast wedges. When you consider everything else that goes into wedge design, cast versus forged is among the last things to be worried about.

Finish Options

A PING S159 wedge with midnight finish

PING S159 wedges will be available in Hydropearl 2.0 Chrome and Midnight. Midnight is a black QPQ finish which should prove significantly more durable than PVD. The most notable difference with PING’s latest take on black is that face blast is applied after the finish step which results in contrasting face color.

All things being equal, Midnight will spin a bit less (about 200 rpm) than Chrome on full shots. It’s not a huge difference but it could be a factor in your finish decision.

Midnight will be available as a stock option on the S grind. All other grinds can be ordered through custom.

There is a raw option on Tour but with the cost of wedges these days, I’d argue raw only makes sense if you don’t pay for wedges, and you probably do. An unfinished wedge will wear faster which means you’ll need to replace them more often – at least you should. As a casual FYI, more than a few Tour players replace their higher-lofted wedges monthly.

Price, Availability and Customization

PING S159 wedges

Retail price for the PING S159 wedge is $179. Pre-sale and fitting begins immediately with full availability on Feb. 22.

Custom stamping, laser engraving and paint-fill options are available through PING’s custom WRX program.

For more information, visit PING.com.

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Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony is the Editor of MyGolfSpy where his job is to bring fresh and innovative content to the site. In addition to his editorial responsibilities, he was instrumental in developing MyGolfSpy's data-driven testing methodologies and continues to sift through our data to find the insights that can help improve your game. Tony believes that golfers deserve to know what's real and what's not, and that means MyGolfSpy's equipment coverage must extend beyond the so-called facts as dictated by the same companies that created them. Most of all Tony believes in performance over hype and #PowerToThePlayer.

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey





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      HikingMike

      2 months ago

      Wow these all look great and going by the info they sound like a fantastic wedge lineup. Well done to Ping for the increased options and the app to help figure out what to go with.

      Reply

      Garrett

      2 months ago

      Is the new H grind similar to a Vokey M?

      Reply

      Roger Carter

      2 months ago

      Very comprehensive review. Is this to say the Glide family of wedges has gone away?

      Reply

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