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Ping Glide 2.0 wedges: What you need to know

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Ping’s Glide 2.0 wedges are the sequel to the company’s original Glide wedges, which were released in 2015 to critical acclaim. With big shoes to fill, the Glide 2.0’s are pushing the boundaries of groove sharpness, and offer several other upgrades over the originals to help improve performance and feel.

The Glide 2.0 wedges are currently available for pre-order: $150 per wedge with a steel shaft, $175 per wedge with a graphite shaft. Here are 6 more things you need to know about them.

1) Sharper Grooves, and More of Them

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Ever since the USGA rolled back its rules on grooves at the turn of the decade, eliminating “square grooves,” golf equipment companies have been looking to create higher-spinning wedges through other means. With its Glide 2.0 wedges, Ping has upped the sharpness and number of its grooves to give golfers more spin. The company says the new grooves have “sharper groove edges than any previous Ping wedge.”

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Working within the USGA’s groove rules, Ping uses a wheel-cut milling process to create the sharper groove edges, which interact more with the cover of the ball to produce more friction at impact… and thus more spin.

Ping also uses different groove designs based on a wedge’s loft.

  • The lower-lofted wedges (46, 50 and 52 degrees) have 20-degree groove sidewalls with a 0.005-inch edge radius to improve full-shot performance.
  • The higher-lofted wedges (54, 56, 58 and 60 degrees) have 28-degree sidewalls with a 0.004-inch edge radius to impart more spin on shots around the green.

The company also spaced its grooves closer together so it could add an additional groove to its lower-lofted wedges, and two additional grooves to its higher-lofted wedges. For average golfers and Tour players alike, the results will be more spin and consistency. Golfers should also see a slightly lower launch angle and a more penetrating flight, according to Ping.

“These grooves are better than square grooves,” says Marty Jertson, Senior Club Designer at Ping. “And they’re very close to the [legal] limit.”

2) Hydropearl Finish, 431 Stainless Steel

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Ping used to design its wedges with what it called a “blast” finish, but the company discovered that a new “hydropearl” finish works better to fend off water and grass at impact, leading to more consistency.

The new finish has a high degree of “hydrophobicity,” or its ability to repel water. The finish is especially beneficial for golfers when they’re playing from thick grass, wet grass or in the morning dew.

Like the original Glide wedges, Glide 2.0 wedge heads are cast from 431 stainless steel.

3) Bounce Remains an Issue, Ping Clears It Up

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The two hottest issues in golf when it comes to wedges are grinds and bounce. Despite all the industry talk about those two words in recent years, Ping data suggests most golfers are still confused about them.

In an effort to clear it up, Ping has decided to advertise the bounce number on its wedges. The company encourages golfers to “use the bounce,” and make sure to get fit into a wedge that has the right bounce for their game and typical playing conditions.

4) All Four Grinds Available

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When Ping launched its original Glide wedges, it at first only released its three most popular grinds: Wide Sole (WS), Standard Sole (SS) and Thin Sole (TS). A few months later, it added its specialized Eye Sole (ES) grind. With the launch of the Glide 2.0 wedges, all four grinds are being offered from the start.

The ES (available in 54-08, 56-08, 58-08 and 60-08) is a bunker-specific grind inspired by the company’s Eye 2 wedge that can help golfers find more consistency. Its leading edge is made a bit sharper than Ping’s other wedges, but its sole has more bounce. That encourages the sole to dip below the below the surface of the sand and then glide through, which is particularly helpful on open-face shots from the sand or rough. Its thinner hosel also more easily moves through the sand, especially when the face is positioned opened.

Ping also made updates to the other three grind options in the line.

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WS (56-14, 58-14, 60-14): The already wide sole has been widened, but the bounce has been toned back by 1 degree compared to the original “WS” design. The new sole will be especially effective in powdery or fluffy sand, according to Ping.

TS (58-06, 60-06): After much testing with Tour players, a lot of research and many prototypes, Ping’s WRX-inspired half-moon sole design was implemented into the TS grind in the Glide 2.0 wedges. It has much more heel and toe relief than the original TS grind.

SS (46-12, 50-12, 52-12, 54-12, 56-12, 58-10, 60-10): The standard sole, which is the best grind for the majority of golfers, underwent only minor changes to the heel relief and leading edge. Ping says the changes make them glide even a little more easily through the turf and sand than the original models.

5) Ping Encourages You to Grip Down

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As seen on the original Glide wedge, the Glide 2.0 come with a grip that’s longer than your typical club grip — it measures about 0.75 inches longer than a typical grip. That’s because the company encourages golfers to grip down on the club more often to improve distance and club face control, and the lengthened grip allows golfers to do so.

6) Shafts, Specs and More

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Glide 2.0 wedges come stock with a custom-engineered AWT 2.0 Wedge shaft that is optimized in weight (118 grams), flex and balance for wedge shots, according to Ping. Also available at no upcharge are the KBS Tour, True Temper Dynamic Dynamic Gold, Nippon N. S. Pro Modus 3 105, XP 95, and Project X shafts.

See more photos of the Glide 2.0 wedges in our forums, and join the discussion. 

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ball

    Sep 8, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Some of the best wedges I’ve ever played, very forgiving

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Equipment

The ‘game-changing’ Autoflex shaft: A year in review

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Last year in August, I introduced the now-famous AutoFlex golf shaft to the English-speaking world here on GolfWRX (Korea’s Autoflex shaft: Challenging the conventional wisdom of golf).

Created by Dumina Co. in South Korea, the upstart shaft challenged the commonly-held view that flexible shafts are not only straighter but longer as well. In the weeks that followed, the neon pink shaft exploded onto the golf scene fueled by a series of videos from TXG’s Ian Fraser and Matt Blois, who seemed equally amazed at the unexpected results. And from the depths of obscurity where so many would-be ‘game changers’ remained, the legend of the Autoflex was born.

Looking back, it may have been the perfect storm – an innovative, ultralight, and flexible shaft with a mysterious “Korea Hidden Technology” appearing at the height of the golf boom brought on by a pandemic. The fact that the manufacturer refused to patent their know-how to protect the technology only added to the intrigue.

Shortly after TXG first introduced the “mysterious Autoflex,” the pink shaft made its appearance on all the major tours. Some of the tour pros to put Autoflex in play included Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace, Ernie Els, Fred Couples, and Michelle Wie West, with dozens more requesting to try the new shaft.

Although the specific technology behind the shaft remains hidden, tens of thousands have since taken the plunge to track down the bright pink shaft despite the high price tag.

According to Dumina, Autoflex shafts are now available in most golfing countries and major OEMs such as Titleist and Srixon/Cleveland/XXIO have added the Autoflex to their premium fitting matrix.

So what have we learned in the space of one year? Recently, I spent several days scouring the Internet to see what the people have been saying about the shaft in posts, reviews, videos, forums, and testimonials.

From the thousands of actual golfers, club fitters, and pros who have tested or played the AutoFlex, the consensus is:

  • The majority of users seem to agree that the Autoflex driver shaft is the real deal in providing increased ball speed (as high as +8mph) with overall carry distance and accuracy, just by changing a shaft and without any additional effort (i.e. speed swing or physical training).
  • The shaft seems to work best when the overall swing weight of the driver is between C8 to D0. This is radically different from the ‘normal’ D2~D5 swing weight for heavier, stiffer conventional shafts.
  • Many raised the concern that swinging such a flexible shaft would not readily translate to swinging a stiffer shaft on the following shots. However, many users, including myself, reported that the swings felt no different going from Autoflex to a conventional shaft and back again during the round.
  • Despite the shaft feeling extremely whippy when waggled, golfers said they came to trust the clubhead to catch up to the ball at impact even when swung hard. A few golfers with an aggressive transition said the shaft actually helped to smooth out their tempo on all their clubs.
  • Initially thought to target the slow swing speed golfers with a smooth transition, the shaft has been proven by numerous users to perform well for faster swings in excess of 120mph with aggressive transitions.

The above summary may seem to paint the Autoflex as the new golf messiah, but not all reviews were glowing.

I would be remiss not to mention the handful of golfers who saw no increased benefit whatsoever with the Autoflex. There were also a few golfers who likened the shaft to “snake oil”, but most of them did not seem to have actually tried one for themselves.

Most famous perhaps is the video review by Rick Shiels, who was disappointed at the lower-than-expected results. However, many replies on the channel pointed out that the swing weight may have been too heavy (D4~D5), and needs to be fitted to the recommended balance as it is not a “plug and play” shaft.

There were also some instances where golfers reported their shaft breaking or cracks appearing along the shaft. Luckily, the shafts are equipped with a warranty sticker and many reported that the company was quick in response with a replacement. On their website, Dumina recommends utmost care during club fitting as the walls of the butt end and tip are quite thin (be careful when tightening that vice!).

On the whole, however, the online feedback seemed overwhelmingly positive, and that the Autoflex shaft can indeed improve driving performance when dialed into their specified swing speeds.

Co-founders of Dumina Co., Chairman Gun-yul Park and CEO Doona Jeong.

The inevitable questions soon followed. What’s their secret? Many guesses were thrown into the hat, ranging from non-Newtonian materials to KHT being an elaborate marketing scheme.

Could it be all along that golfers can benefit from using a much lower-flex shaft than their current gamers? I have tried several times to coax Dumina into giving me some hints, but so far, they gave nothing away other than stating that their tech and materials are capable of hundreds of new combinations.

According to its two-year product cycle, Dumina plans to release its new shaft models in the fall of 2022.

Other common questions I’ve seen were about their fairway and iron shafts. These shafts cost less than the driver shaft ($790) but are still expensive enough to give most golfers pause. The fairway wood and hybrid shafts retail for $675 each, while an iron shaft will set you back at $210 per shaft. Since becoming smitten with the driver shaft last summer, I managed to save up for the SF505 Autoflex shafts to be installed in all my woods and irons 6 months ago.

So are they worth the money? Below is my experience using the Autoflex SF505 shafts in all my woods and irons.

AutoFlex Driver and Woods

I have been using the SF405 shaft in my Cobra F9 since last year, and switched to SF505 with SIM2 Max 9° head early March. Despite the small fortune spent, I have been quite pleased with the results. When built to 45”, my driver came to C8 with the 24g stock weight in the head. It was good, but I wanted to feel the clubhead a bit more on the downswing. I
added about two grams of lead tape to bring the balance slightly past C9, and it is perfect for my average swing speed of 95mph. This setting is very comfortable to swing throughout the round, and my overall driving distance increased just under 20 yards.

As many users have attested online, one amazing benefit of the Autoflex shaft is that it allows me to feel the shaft loading as would a faster player swinging a much stiffer flex at 110+ mph. Thus, even at my slower swing speed I can feel the shaft actively loading and releasing explosively through the impact. The feeling is nothing short of glorious, and I believe this addictive feeling is a big part of the Autoflex charm. With the success of the driver shaft, I changed all the shafts in my woods and irons to the SF505 this March.

Driver: SIM2 Max 9° total 45” @C9; Fairway woods 3,5,7: Knuth High heat @D0; Irons: Yonex CB-301 5-P
@C9~D1

The distance gain with my 3-wood (210-220 yds) was barely noticeable, but the 5- and 7- wood carry distance increased by 10~12 yards. The fairway woods and hybrid are all from Knuth Golf, which came with Fujikura Atmos shafts at D2~D3. After switching to Autoflex, the lighter club heads coupled with the 46g pink shaft came to D0 swing weight. Just like the driver, the woods felt light and whippy compared to their conventional counterparts.

I find I don’t need to swing harder for the extra distance and the smoother tempo allows me to hit the center of the face more often. As a result, there is less chance of cold-topping the ball or pulling it left, and I am less afraid to pull out the longer clubs. The distinct kick at impact is also felt in the woods, but not as much as the driver. Depending on my condition and course, I switch out my 7-wood with the 4-hybrid. The hybrid feels a lot like a regular club, but a much lighter weight can be felt when compared to a normal hybrid club.

AutoFlex Irons

I tested both of the SF405 and SF505 iron shaft models and chose to go with the latter. I used Golf Pride Velvet Lite grips to get the swing weight between C9~D1 throughout the set.

Although the stiffer model of the two, the 505 shaft is still very light at 52g even when uncut. Unlike the driver shafts that range up to SF505XX flex for high-speed swings, the current iron shaft models are for average swing speed golfers between 80-100mph (driver SS).

Before switching, I played MFS Matrix Program 70 shafts weighing 79g uncut, and NS pro 950s steel shafts before that. My idea was to go lighter and still maintain adequate stiffness for control. I had pretty good success with the Matrix graphite shafts and carried on average 140~145 meters (153~158 yds) with my 7-iron on the course.

At first, the SF505 shaft actually didn’t feel too different. Perhaps I was already used to the lighter overall club weight from using the Matrix shafts. Also, the waggle test still produced a lot of whip, but not to the level of the driver and fairway shafts. Right away, I felt I could swing hard or smooth and still feel the clubhead following into the impact zone quite nicely.

It took about a week to get better acquainted with the new swing weight, but the overall transition into the new shaft was quite easy. I now average 150~155 meters (164~169 yds) with the same 7 iron (34 degrees loft). The spin is about the same as before at a low 4000rpm range, but the ball launches a tad higher for that extra carry distance. For those who play often in windy conditions, the added peak height may not be beneficial.

On the whole, the Autoflex iron shafts did improve my distance, swing tempo and accuracy over the last two shafts I’ve used. While I have seen equally good distance gains with other premium carbon shafts such as Steelfiber and MCI, there is no doubt that my dispersion got better. My iron play from within 150 yards improved noticeably, and I can swing more uniformly throughout the round.

Also, dropping down one club into the green helped both my GIR and putting average. I was a decent iron player to begin with, but the added distance with less exertion made the game easier on the body and the scorecard.

Looking at my past five-game average on a GolfZon simulator, I saw significant gains in all aspects of my game. To be sure, it is a simulated golf round and can’t compare to the actual course, but my numbers have all jumped up.

Compared to the tens of thousands of Korean golfers in my handicap/skills bracket, I am well above average except in putting. My driver averaged 226.8 meters (about 250 yards), launching at around 12~13° with 1900~2000rpm. This is an increase of about 20 yards B.A,

(Before Autoflex) and FIR has also jumped from the previous 55% to 74.2%. Greens in regulation improved by about 11% to 76.6%, and this is the indication that my iron play has gotten much more effective in terms of distance and dispersion. I have played over 370 virtual rounds on GolfZon over the past 12 years, and I can honestly say that my numbers
have never looked better. If I can only take these numbers onto a real course, I’d be golden.

Conclusion

If I had to list the Autoflex shafts in order of performance for my golf game, it would first be the driver followed by iron, fairway, and hybrid shafts. The driver shaft is simply like nothing I had ever used and has proven to be worth every penny. The rest of the shafts are honestly equally good, but in terms of cost and the amount of use during a round, I figured that iron shafts are the better value.

So is Autoflex the answer for all? Of course not. No single product can possibly satisfy the countless number of unique golfer swings in the world. The price of the shafts alone would be a big pill to swallow for most golfers, and the gains may not be enough to justify the cost for some.

But as high-end club manufacturers have shown recently, more and more consumers are willing to pay for products that provide real-world performance. At the end of the day, it’s up to each individual to decide where price and performance intersect for their own budget and golf game.

Moreover, the Autoflex shaft taught me that we may be missing out on playing better golf, simply because we take certain notions in golf to be true without really questioning them. To be sure, I never believed that a more flexible shaft could be both longer and straighter, but I am more than happy to be proven wrong. For me, the Autoflex shafts truly delivered what it promised, and stands out among the dozens of “game-changer” products I have tried over the years.

Lastly, I hope the story of the Autoflex further helps to encourage all golfers and manufacturers to re-think and reexamine other previously-held notions in golf. For, who knows what other benefits we may be overlooking to take this amazing game to the next level?

How about it? What has been your game-changer of late?

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Equipment

Most forgiving driving iron without much offset – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing driving irons. WRXer ‘Gentles’ is on the hunt for the biggest and most forgiving driving irons that don’t have much offset, and our members have been sharing their best picks in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Boogeyman: “SIM DHY has very little offset and is definitely on the bigger side. Maybe even too big for your liking? It’s basically the replacement for GAPR Mid without adjustability but with much-improved looks and feels”
  • Bunkersarebigcups: “U510 is as big and forgiving as it gets. Offset is not minimal but less than the Crossover for sure.”
  • cflo2382: “The New Level NLU-01 might be a good option. They removed a lot of offset compared to their first utility (4995HB). Fantastic feel too.”
  • Spankopotamusredux: “GAPR is money. Like it better than both the Srixon and the Titleist for my game. I think it’s quite an underrated club. Can be found new old stock for $100 or less.”

Entire Thread: “Most forgiving driving iron without much offset”

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (10/1/21): Tour-Issue SIM2 Max Driver

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At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Tour-Issue SIM2 Max Driver

From the seller (@HoganHQ): “TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Tour issue 8 degree (tour only head) with Ventus Black 5x, plays a hair over 45 inches length, includes original wrapper with detailed specs, built by People’s golf, mint. $900.

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Tour-Issue SIM2 Max Driver

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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