As a compliment to their Glide wedge lineup, Ping has introduced the Glide Forged wedge for late 2018. It is a highly customizable tour inspired profile that has versatility greenside and technology driven spin. THP has had an opportunity to experience not only the customization available (and gave away one to a lucky THP community member), but also the loft variety as I had a chance to experience both the 52 and 58 degree options during this review.
While there is plenty to say about the Glide Forged wedge from Ping, the immediate visual intake is the beautiful milling patterns on the back of the head. Ping’s goal was to make a distinct appealing pattern and they accomplished that in a big way. We have certainly seen some elements of wedges have milling on the back of the head, but I am not sure I have ever been drawn to it so completely on a profile that would otherwise be quite blank/neutral.
With the weight dispersed evenly across the head, Ping opted to include a tungsten weight on the bottom of the toe in order to improve on forgiveness. This is certainly something we have seen utilized by plenty of manufacturers, but I am not particularly familiar with it occurring visually in a wedge like this. For those who are a fan of visual technology, this is a great sample of a subtle change that benefits the golfer. The remainder of the wedge was built using 8620 carbon steel for a really sharp, impressive feedback on well struck shots.
Ping has “patented, precision-milled, wheel-cut grooves” that produce sharper groove edges, which inevitably are designed to increase spin. Speaking from experience, I am not sure I have ever had a conforming wedge produce the exceptional amount of spin that Ping Glide Forged creates. With the stock S300 shaft setup, typical swings promoted spin of 5-15 feet with slight declines increasing the green ‘zip’ dramatically. Even greenside, pitch shots seem to drive into the ground with a lot more bite, stopping aggressively after the first hop which is fantastic for distance control. As far as active wedges on the market for 2018, I would have a lot of comfort in suggesting these are some of the liveliest in terms of overall spin production.
There is also something to be said about the compact head shape advertised by Ping as a tour inspired smaller profile. It combines with a gooseneck shape tapered hosel to really frame the ball well. It will blend very well with a more conservative sized players iron rather than the elongated teardrop shaped wedges that are prevalent on the market. This does come at the cost of a bit of lateral freedom upwards on the face, especially when the face is open for creative shots around the green. Of course, the sharper than average leading edge drives the head through the ground easily, opening the door to a much greater risk/reward experience. The lack of excessive grinding does reduce the ability to open the face while keeping the leading edge low to the ground, but the trade off is the ability to still drive the head downwards while passing through the zone. This is also well received during bunker play, with the ever-lively spin production supporting the accuracy after green contact, and in some cases actually spun backwards on longer bunker pitches.
Moving back into the customization opportunities, there are four distinct graphic designs you can apply to make them unique. Per Ping’s website, golfers can select from the Ping Man logo, a desert landscape, the American flag, and boomerang shapes. Additionally, there are some stamping and paint fill options that make the Glide Forged unique and your own. The head/loft options available are 50, 52, 54, and 56 degree with 10 degrees of bounce, with the 58 and 60 degree heads offered in an 8 degree bounce. There are plenty of shafts to select from at no upcharge, as well as Golf Pride Tour Velvet and Tour Velvet cord in various sizes.
The ultimate takeaway from the Ping Glide Forged wedge experience is that of a highly customizable, tour shaped, spin manufacturing shot maker. It is a great compliment to their overall wedge lineup, and opens the door to very unique bags thanks to the visual customizations. It is both demanding and rewarding, promoting workability and creativity especially around the greens. For more information on the Ping Glide Forged wedges, visit www.Ping.com.