I came into this review looking to answer one main question - is this the best wedge that Ping have ever made?
The brand are going out with their latest range of specialist wedges that feature a whole host of loft, lie, grind, sole and bounce options. These new wedges are are custom fitter's dream.
Traditionally Ping have kept things pretty straightforward with their wedges but not this time...
The new Glide Forged Pro is aimed at better golfers looking for precision and versatility around the greens. You'll see them in the bags of the likes of the big boys like Viktor Hovland, Cameron Champ, Lee Westwood and Tyrrell Hatton in the professional game.
What's It All About?
The new Ping Glide Forged Pro is a more compact, precise version of the Glide Forged wedge that Golfalot reviewed back in 2018.
You can see full details on all of the new technology via our article here, but here's a brief rundown on the latest additions to the Glide wedge line:
The Glide Forged Pro uses the same forged 8620 carbon steel body as the previous model, but with a smaller shape from heel-to-toe which is said to provide a more 'captured' look that encourages more manipulation of the head.
New fully machined, wheel-cut grooves are more angled with a wider first groove to ensure that shots struck lower from the face still perform well.
The emery face blast finish adds more texture to the club's surface, creating more friction and therefore more spin on every single shot, whilst the hydropearl 2.0 chrome finish works to give consistent results in both wet and dry conditions, whether hitting from the fairway or the rough.
The wedges feature two main stock grinds: 'S', which will appeal to most golfers with a traditional sole shape, and 'T', with a narrower sole and less bounce that allows for more versatility.
Eight custom grinds are available through Ping's Wrx service, whilst the brand have also introduced an Eye2 Toe 59° with a shape inspired by the high toe design developed by Karsten Solheim in the early 1980s.
To put these new wedges to the test I first headed to Mercedes Benz Stockport, using my Trackman 4 simulator to compare their performance against my existing Titleist Vokey SM8 wedges.
I then headed out to Stockport Golf Club to test them out in 'real-game environments' on the golf course, as well as spending some extra time around the greens hitting a variety of chip and pitch shots to get a better idea of whether they could really save your short game.
You can watch my full review via the Golfalot YouTube channel here:
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Ping Glide Forged Pro Wedge Review
Looks and Feel
The first thing I thought when I put these wedges down by the ball was that I loved the look of the new face - the emery face blast is a smart addition whilst it seems like there are more grooves than on most wedge faces, giving you the impression that they are going to spin much more than most.
The Glide Forged Pro presents a smaller and more rounded profile than the previous Glide Forged.
It's a different look to other manufacturers too, because it seems much fuller between the hosel and the head, whilst the toe is much more rounded than I've been used to.
The wedges felt incredibly reliable during my testing, and the ball flight was consistent whilst also being workable too, something that I occasionally do struggle with when hitting my wedges.
It's a nice feeling when the ball comes off the face too, like you are gathering the ball before the letting it fly through the air. The face itself feels rough to touch, and Ping have followed in the footsteps of the likes of TaylorMade and Callaway in introducing this.
Starting off indoors, the theme of consistency continued. It may not have reached the heights of a Titleist Vokey SM8 in terms of maximum spin rates when I compare the numbers together, but I didn't suffer the big disparities either and I think I'd rather have that reliability instead.
The spin variation between my best and worst strikes was just 300rpm, which is really fantastic. As to be expected with any Ping products the consistency and reliability was brilliant.
I spent a fair bit of time around the greens with these wedges, hitting four of five balls from each different position and each
produced pretty much the same shot each time which was great.
Same flight, same landing spot, same amount of release - exactly what you want in your wedge game.
Ping have also really gone big on 'Spinsistency' in their long game recently and this is highlighted again here.
On top of this, I was a huge fan of the hydropearl technology which really did seem to perform well in the wet conditions. This is not brand new for Ping in these wedges but it works really well and I'm surprised that more companies haven't jumped on board with it.
Ping Glide Forged Pro Wedge Verdict
Everything about these wedges appears to be a step up from what Ping have done previously. Having said that, you do have to pay for this improvement, as the price tag of £199 is £40 more expensive than the other big boys in the wedge department: Vokey, Callaway Jaws and TaylorMade Milled Grind etc etc...
To be honest I struggled to see where this extra £40 is spent, and if anything it meant that I was expecting these wedges to be much better than their rivals' so I was probably even more judgemental than usual during this review.
I'm not normally so price sensitive, but I really can't help it in this instance as I just can't see why it has been priced so much higher than any other wedge in the market.
If you can look past the price, these wedges should really get Ping back into the conversation when it comes to golfers wanting specialised wedges. I always felt that Ping wedges would only really be used by those golfers who use the irons, but the new Glide Forged Pro's are really up there as one of the best now, if you're not bothered by the price these are arguably the best better play wedge on the market.
Who Are They Aimed At?
Again, these are certainly more suited to better players thanks for the compact head shape which is even smaller than the previous Glide Forged.
That's not to say that other golfers couldn't use them too though, and I'd recommend that you go for a full Ping wedge fitting both from grass and in bunkers if possible, as there are so many different options for you to decide on.
They're also probably aimed at golfers who don't mind splashing out on your golf equipment either - a four wedge setup is going to set you back the best part of £800 which is MEGA bucks!
Would I Use Them?
Performance and looks-wise - yes definitely, but I'd struggle to part with £200 per wedge if I was buying them out of my own hard earned cash.
Maybe the price is due to materials going up in price or demand, but I just can't quite get my head around it...
⁃ Hydropearl 2.0 finish is fantastic
⁃ Consistency of flight and shot patterns
- Looks will appear to better golfers
- Ping's best ever wedge
⁃ Price is extremely expensive
⁃ Very compact shaping may put some golfers off
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