Review: Ping Tour Wedges (w/gorge grooves)

Bomb and "Gorge"
In the last couple years there has been a way of playing golf called “bomb and gouge.”  The basic style is that you hit your driver as far as you can, not overly worried about dispersion and then relying on a wedge to gouge it out of whatever lie you might find yourself in.  It was really popular right near the end of the super-spin groove era.  Those grooves allowed the golfer to impart spin even from the deep rough.  Now that the USGA has banned super-grooves, some golfers have tried to dial back their driver so that they can keep it in the short stuff, maybe leaving an iron shot into the green instead of a wedge.

With the new Ping Tour Wedge w/gorge grooves I found myself playing a “bomb and gorge” style of play.  These wedges offer great versatility out of any lie and improved spin even out of the rough.  The control and consistency let me bomb away and “gorge” it on the green.

The first decision when buying these wedges is the sole grind.  I really like this option from Ping.  It was one of my suggestions with the Tour S wedges; in those they only offered one grind with a couple finish options.  These however have the Thin Sole, Standard Sole and Wide Sole.  Each sole grind will offer certain benefits based on either your swing or your playing conditions.  Since my rounds are in MN, which offers some of the widest varieties of conditions throughout the year, especially in the fall; I went with the Standard Sole.  We’ve had a very dry year, so some courses are very hard, yet others have watered like crazy creating very soft conditions.  The Standard Sole has some trailing edge relief, a blunted leading edge and very moderate heel relief.

The Ping Tour Wedges now come in one finish, a dark satin.  I really like the non-glare finish, it matches Ping irons very nicely.  They are also very similar in shape to the Ping Tour S Wedges from last year.  They are still fairly round in shape with a polymer bar in the cavity.  If you didn’t look real closely at them, you might have a hard time telling them apart. (See the picture at the bottom of the review)

In previous Ping wedges I have played I often had KBS wedge shafts in them to match my Ping irons, but this time I went with the stock Ping CFS wedge shaft.  I honestly didn’t notice much of a difference.  The CFS shaft is very stable, hits fairly high like the KBS and feels very smooth.  I can’t say I felt like the shaft added any spin, but just a consistent, smooth feel.  The consistency of trajectory and distance is really appreciated with these shafts.  As a stock option I don’t think you would be disappointed, but there are always custom options available if you wanted to match your irons shafts.

I ordered a 54* and 58* wedge.  I’ve made the shift from a 3 wedge set-up (52*, 56* & 60*) to the 2 wedge  set-up and feel like my short game has gotten much better.   It leads to less decisions or confusion as to which wedge to hit.

The 54* wedge is my 100 yard club.  The Ping Tour wedge has been about as consistent as any wedge I have ever played.  It is just predictable from any lie when it comes to distance and spin control.  I hit it from the fairway and rough equally well.  I can’t say I get to creative with this wedge, it is mostly used for full shots.

The 58* wedges is everything inside of 85 yards.  I use it to hit full shots, to chip short ones, to flop it over any obstacle, to blast it out of the sand, to pitch a runner onto the green or anything else that the course throws at me.  I think the control with this wedge is what has impressed my most.  I feel very confident when I have to use it that I know what the ball is going to do.

The big news on these wedges are the “gorge” grooves. I can’t say I noticed significant extra spin compared to the Tour S wedges, but I will say I think that the spin was more consistent and slightly better out of the rough.  These will not be like non-conforming grooves, but the ball seems to roll out or stop the same distance each time.  There were no surprises around the green.

The feel is still very Ping.  It is muted nicely by the polymer tuning bar in the cavity, but still a little on the firm side.  It really just depends on your preference.  If you want a wedge that is going to last a couple seasons, then these are the wedges for you.  I’ve nicknamed my Ping Tour Wedges the “tanks” because they hold up so well to the wear and tear of bunkers, hard pan, even small pebbles.  One local course is known for their small stones and rocks (it was built on a former quarry) and these are the only wedges I will play there.  I took a set of forged wedges there for one round and they were all banged up, little marks and dings, but I could play all season long there with the Ping wedges and they still have perfect grooves and no major marks or dings in the sole.

So if you want a wedge that will last, be incredibly consistent and allow you to play the “bomb and gorge” style of golf, these are your best option.  Ping Tour Wedges w/ gorge grooves are simply reliable from any lie.

Check the price online here

For more information: www.Ping.com

Quick Hits
+Consistent spin from gorge grooves
+Excellent control
+Multiple sole grinds
+Exceptionally durable

–Slightly firmer feel

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