A funky finish catches your eye first but deep within the new Glide 2.0 Stealth Wedges are plenty of thoughtful ideas meant to help golfers perform better on approaches and around the greens.
It’s hard to deny the appeal of the “murdered” look of the wedges with their highly durable and dark QPQ (Quench Polish Quench) finish. Not only does it look good but it is functional in that it reduces glare while making the head seem to “shrink” in profile. Trust me, they are slick in person.
“The tour player response has been exceptional,” said John K. Solheim, PING president, of the wedges. “The players first comment about the Stealth finish, which not only looks cool, they like how it makes the head appear smaller and it limits reflections on bright days. Once they feel it and see how much spin and control the grooves provide, the wedges go straight in the bag.”
That spin and control comes primarily courtesy of a variety of groove configurations and inclusions across the range of wedge lofts, which start at 46° and run through 60°.
The highest lofts, the 56⁰, 58⁰ and 60⁰, each feature a half groove at the bottom of the face which the company engineers we spoke with say will increase spin up to 200 RPMs for contacts on that area out of standard lies.
The half-groove, like the other full grooves on the face, is created using a “wheel-cut” milling process the company says allows them to cut grooves with a sharper edge radius for increased ball interaction.
The grooves in the lower-lofted wedges (46°, 50° & 52°) are milled with a 20° sidewall and a .005″ edge radius for optimal full-shot performance. The higher-lofted versions (54°, 56°, 58° & 60°) are milled to a .004″ edge radius and a 28° sidewall to impart more spin, especially around the greens.
Overall we were told the wedges now have up to 30% more groove area, potentially increasing spin by as much as 400 RPMs in wet conditions.
To enhance the fitting process, the wedges will be made available in four different sole grinds – the SS, WS, ES and TS.
The company descriptions for each grind:
SS GRIND (46°/12°, 50°/12°, 52°/12°, 54°/12°, 56°/12°, 58°/10°, 60/10°)
An all-purpose mid-bounce sole with heel and trail edge relief to create versatility on touch shots around the green. Ideal for moderate attack angles and divots. Fits most golfers.
WS GRIND (54°/14°, 56°/14°, 58°/14°, 60/14°)
Full-sole design that provides turf security for players with a steep angle of attack. The reduced camber and added width prevent digging.
TS GRIND (58°/6°, 60°/6°)
A PING WRX-inspired design based on the Tour-proven half-moon grind. The TS grind facilitates shot making and precision from even the most difficult lies. The heel relief allows shots to be executed with an open face to difficult pins or from firm lies without fear of the lead edge sitting too high.
ES GRIND (54°/8°, 56°/8°, 58°/8°, 60°/8°)
Eye 2-inspired sole design provides the ultimate in bunker performance, resulting from the classic dish profile and the tapered hosel. A refined lead edge upgrades all-around performance with the iconic ES grind.
There will be shaft options in both steel and graphite. The PING AWT 2.0 Wedge shaft is the stock steel option while the stock graphite shaft will be the PING CFS 65/70/80 (Soft R, R, S).
Additional no up-charge steel shaft options include: True Temper Dynamic Gold (S300, X100), Dynamic Gold 105 (R300, S300), Dynamic Gold 120 (S300, X100) Project X LZ (5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5), True Temper XP95 (R, S,), Nippon NS Pro Modus 105 (S, X), and KBS Tour (R, S, X).
They will be available at retail on February 8th.