Club: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 wedges
Price: $149 each with True Temper Dynamic Gold S200 shafts and Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grips
Specs: Cast 8620 carbon steel with six different sole grinds and lofts ranging from 46-62 degrees
Available: March 9
With the Vokey Design SM7 wedges, Titleist hopes to provide better distance control and more greenside versatility to golfers by offering wedges that have a progressive center of gravity and six sole options.
Titleist officially introduced the Vokey Design SM7 wedges to the PGA Tour in October in Las Vegas, but prototypes quietly were tested and put into play by select staff players earlier in 2017. Titleist soon will make them available to the public, and the company says they offer better versatility and consistency than previous models.
“From the 46 through the 62, our grooves have been designed at each loft to provide maximum spin,” said Jeremy Stone, director of marketing for Titleist Vokey Design wedges. “We have two shapes when it comes to grooves, which is consistent with the SM6 wedges because, frankly, we have not found shapes that deliver more spin.”
The grooves in the 46- to 54-degree wedges have iron-style grooves that are narrow and deep, while the grooves in the 56- to 62-degrees wedges are wider and deeper to remove water and debris from the face more effectively on chips, pitches and bunker shots.
The center of gravity in the 46- to 54-degree wedges is lower to make the progression from your shortest iron into the SM7 wedges smoother, while the center of gravity is higher in the sand wedges (54 and 56 degrees) and even higher in the lob wedges (58 to 62 degrees) because these clubs are often used on open-faced chips and pitch shots, as well as in rough and bunkers.
Available in three finishes – chrome, jet black and brushed steel – the SM7 wedges are available in six sole grinds, including a new offering, the D Grind.
“Whenever we see something being the most-often requested or most-played Vokey wedge on Tour that is not in our standard lineup, it gets our attention,” Stone said. “The D Grind made the starting lineup because of how good it was for a lot of players. It really fits a niche for players who have a steep angle of attack (and therefore need a lot of bounce).”
The new D Grind has 12 degrees of bounce and significant heel and toe relief, so it should work well in the sand while allowing golfers to open the face and get the leading edge under the ball on tight lies.
F Grind: Designed to be ideal for full-swing shots from the fairway, this sole is straight and iron-like. It is available in even lofts from 46 to 56 degrees, and according to Titleist, the 54 and 56-degree models are the most played sand wedge on the PGA Tour.
Other sole configurations include:
S Grind: Steve Stricker played a role in the development of this all-around performer. It is designed for players who like to hit shots from a square-faced position.
M Grind: Because it has plenty of heel relief, this grind is ideal for golfers who like to open the face and get creative around the green.
K Grind: The combination of 14 degrees of bounce and an extra-wide sole make this a great option for players who are looking for help in greenside bunkers and thick rough.
L Grind: With a narrow, crescent-shaped sole, creative players will appreciate how this club allows them to manipulate it and get the ball out of tie lies and awkward positions.