PING Glide Forged Pro Wedges – Key Takeaways
- Glide Forged Pro replaces three-year-old Glide Forged wedges
- Glide Forged Pro wedges offered in two grinds and multiple lofts
- Presale and fitting starts today, retail availability later in September
You could say the updates to the new PING Glide Forged Pro wedges are only skin deep. But it’s more accurate to say they’re sole-deep.
It’s been a little over three years since PING introduced its first forged wedge, the PING Glide Forged. The new PING Glide Forged Pro wedges are a logical evolution of the original design with the goal of expanding the wedge offering for better players.
“We think there are a lot of options we can do off this design, both with lofts and sole grinds,” says Stokke. “We also wanted to focus on a smaller size to get into the better player’s size and proportions.”
And, as you’d expect, PING is promising more spin and better turf interaction, along with a forged feel.
PING Glide Forged Pro: A “Shotmaker’s Wedge”
Like its predecessor, Glide Pro Forged is an 8620 carbon steel forging. A typical 8620 forging is generally cast and then finished into its final shape by a forging process. The method produces far less material waste but some forging snobs consider 8620 a forged wannabe.
And while 8620 isn’t downy-soft like 1020 or 1025, it is more durable, which isn’t a bad thing for a wedge. Additionally, material does play a role in feel but items such as head design, geometry and manufacturing process are just as important, if not more so.
There are plenty of similarities to the original Glide Forged wedge. Offset is similar (slightly less) but Glide Pro Forged is noticeably shorter in heel-toe length with a shorter “Hosel-X” length. That’s what PING terms the length between the hosel and score lines.
“That’s similar to what we did with the G425 irons to help make the overall club length feel shorter,” says Stokke. “It has that ‘captured’ look at address and has the proverbial shotmaker’s wedge feel.”
New Lofts and Grinds
One drawback of the original Glide Forged was you could any sole grind you wanted—as long as it was PING’s S Grind. If you’re only going to offer one grind, S is the way to go. It has plenty of bounce with enough trailing edge and heel relief to be versatile enough for most golfers.
PING staffers, however, asked for a bit more versatility, hence the new T Grind for the higher-lofted models.
“It’s a narrower sole with less bounce,” says Stokke. “This one allows you to hit more shots around the green.”
The S Grind will be available in 50- through 60-degree models, in two-degree increments. The listed bounce on each is 10 degrees.
The T Grind will be available in 58-, 60- and 62-degree models, each with six degrees of bounce. The 62-degree option is something PING’s Tour staff has asked for, particularly for events such as one well-known spring invitational held annually in August, GA. It’s a thin, low-bounce, high-loft offering with high greenside versatility. PING expects staffers to put this wedge in their bags for certain events based on conditions.
The outlier in all this is the 59-degree loft/eight-degree bounce S Grind. It’s a nod to the original high-toe wedge, the iconic PING Eye 2.
“It has a little less bounce than the standard S Grind and appeals to the high-toe customer,” says Stokke. “It has more traditional hosel shaping and blending, and a more traditional sole design.”
And, if you’re a purist, it doesn’t have full-face grooves.
Speaking of Grooves
When PING talks about Friction Face, as it does with both the Glide Forged Pro wedges and the i59 irons, it’s talking more about an attitude than actual technology.
“It’s about how we get the best interaction between the golf ball and the face,” says Stokke.
The Glide Forged Pro wedges feature a machined face texture with wheel-cut grooves. The non-forged Glide wedge models feature an extra half groove at the very bottom of the clubface. That’s something PING is adding to Glide Forged Pro but with a twist.
“This one extends longer heel to toe,” Stokke says. “By narrowing it a little bit, we can get it closer to the leading edge.”
As with PING’s other wedge models, the groove profiles are loft-specific. The 50- and 52-degree models, since they’re used mostly for full shots, feature a 20-degree groove profile. The higher lofts feature a more pronounced 28-degree profile for more spin on partial shots.
PING Glide Forged Pro Customization, Price and Availability
If the two standard sole grinds aren’t enough for you, PING has done you a favor by removing the tungsten toe weight from the Glide Forged Pro. That opens up eight different sole grinds courtesy of the PING WRX customization department.
Also gone is the aggressive lattice milling on the back of the clubhead in favor of a clean, sharper look that fits well with the PING i59 and Blueprint irons. You can, if you’re so inclined, pimp your wedge with your choice of six stock graphic laser etchings, custom stamping and up to 13 colors of paint-fill.
As always with PING, fitting is important. The company has developed several new fitting tools to help golfers determine the right sole grind as well as the right mix of wedges for their set. The stock steel shaft is the PING Z-Z115 while PING’s Alta CB Slate is stock graphite. There are plenty of aftermarket options.
The stock grip is a little different. It’s the Golf Price Arccos Lite Tour Velvet 360.
“Over the past couple of models, we’ve removed roughly 15 grams out of the full build,” says Stokke. “We’re aligning head weight with the shaft as well as the grip. That just gives you a better feel of the head, better control and the ability to hit more versatile shots.”
PING clearly thinks highly of these wedges as Glide Forged Pro sits firmly alongside the i59 irons in the premium category. They’ll retail for $217.50 in steel and $232.50 in graphite, the same as its predecessor.
Fitting and pre-sale started today. Retail availability will be being later in September.
For more information, visit PING.com.