When most golfers think of Ping, forgiveness usually comes to mind. More so with the metalwoods but deserves more credit for what it produces in the wedge category. Ping has released some of the best golf wedges in recent times and the S159 wedges look to continue this trend, following on from the Glide 4.0 and Glide Forged models.
After the recent release of the Blueprint T and Blueprint S – both already considered some of the best irons for low handicappers, Ping is treating us with the blade-style S159 wedges and they look amazing. As soon as I took the wrappers off these heads, I stood and marvelled at them for a good five minutes. A clean, simplistic design is something I look for in a wedge and the S159 wedges certainly deliver on that brief.
I opted for the ‘hero’ chrome satin finish and you’d be hard pushed to find a better looking wedge. The black banner on the rear highlights the classic Ping logo and there is a subtle ‘S159’ stamp down on the hosel. While these wedges look good in hand and in the bag, they also look great down behind the ball too, which is as important to me as it is most golfers.
I’ve had my fair share of short game issues over the past few years and so having a wedge that looks great behind the ball and gives me confidence is huge. While the topline is slim and, relatively speaking, they’re fairly compact, the profile is a little larger than the new Titleist Vokey SM10 wedges. I think this will promote added confidence when faced with more challenging approach shots, which was my experience when stood over the ball. The wedges were designed in conjunction with the Blueprint irons and so blending the S159 wedges with the Blueprint irons will offer a seamless transition from your irons down into your wedges.
After getting these wedges out on the course and having a play around, I became even more impressed. The feel from the face, particularly with fuller shots, was soft and despite a vibration dampening slot placed on the back of the head, these wedges offered plenty of feedback – something nearly every golfer will love. The Ping S159 wedges produced a really consistent, mid-high trajectory, which allowed me to attack pins and be really aggressive with my short game.
Despite playing on fairly soft greens when testing on the course at North Hants Golf Club in Hampshire, the Ping S159 wedges produced frankly a ludicrous amount of spin on chip and pitch shots (more than any other wedge I’ve tried in the last year), but thankfully didn’t over-spin when it came to fuller wedge shots. These wedges are easily some of the best wedges for chipping I have used in the past few years, allowing me to predict exactly how my ball was going to react when chipping and pitching and send the ball further up the green in the knowledge the ball would stop almost immediately.
The S159 wedges will come in what Ping is calling Hydropearl 2.0 chrome finish as well as a ‘midnight’ darker finish. The cleverly spaced progressive grooves help produce more friction on the face and therefore generate better spin, particularly when playing in conditions where moisture is likely to get between the ball and clubface. This is something other manufacturers have also tried to do, like TaylorMade with its MG4 wedges.
While these wedges don’t provide the full forgiveness on offer like some of the most forgiving wedges or best wedges for beginners, that isn’t what they were designed for. The S159 wedges are targeted towards the mid-low handicapped golfer and more confident ball striker who is looking for a classic looking wedge with the addition of some of the latest technology to help with performance. Needless to say, I was very impressed with these wedges and there’s a very strong possibility these will be going straight into my bag for the upcoming season.
The Ping S159 wedges will be available six different grind options and a new online wedge selector app allows golfers to get a really strong understanding of what grinds and lofts will suit their game best. The S159 wedges will come to retail at $197 (steel) and $212 (graphite).