Maybe Bob Vokey and his design team look at the groove rule, which went into effect Jan. 1 for high level amateur events (mostly USGA for now) as an opportunity.
Because even prior to the time we had to start worrying about those little lines in the face of our irons, Titleist had come out with wedges marked "CC" for those tournaments where not using square grooves was a "Condition of Competition." Next came the SM4, with more new models and finishes, and grooves precision- engineered to get as close to the legal limit as possible.
With the new release of the SM5 wedges Titleist has taken yet another step forward. The new SM5 may just be the best performing, and best looking wedge that Titleist has ever produced.
Avid players love their wedge and putter finishes, and the SM5s bring three new finishes that are sure to please the eye: Tour Chrome, Gold Nickel, and Raw Black.
Additionally, the new TX3 groove design promotes better distance control by improving the contact between the ball and groove edge. The Vokey SM5 also offers various sole grinds and bounces that allow any golfer to execute various shots with precision; there's something for just about any shot type, technique, or course condition.
If you’re looking for a wedge to help you perform the rare “one-hop-stop” since the new groove rule, Bob Vokey's got your back. The SM5 series provides consistent feel and feedback that any master wedge player would want. The SM5 delivers it all from: feel, sound, performance, trajectory, and appearance. Like all Vokey wedges they offer the clean, sharp look that would give any golfer the confidence to execute any shot near or around the green.
On the course we found that the new grooves definitely offered increased spin compared to last year’s SM4. Bunker play with a sand wedge (In this case a 56.14) is what you would expect from a Vokey, not a lot of dig and not too much bounce.
REMEMBER WHERE 50% OF YOUR STROKES ARE TAKEN ...
We can definitely recommend the Vokey SM5 wedges for all levels of player. But replacing your wedges won't lower your score unless you learn the proper technique and commit the time around the chipping green and practice bunker. And don't forget those 50-75 yard shots that are so important. Randy Haag, a well decorated amateur from Northern California summed it up best as he described a typical day at his beloved Olympic Club in San Francisco.
On the range, there were 20 people hitting irons or drivers off the beautiful grass. On the putting green, there were about 5. But around the corner from the pro shop, in the short game practice area, he was all alone.
So, if you want to take strokes off your game be like Randy -- start from the green and work back. And if you are truly committed to being the best you can be, figure out the best wedge configuration, the lie and bounce that fits your style of play and the courses where you typically tee it. Your PGA professional can help you with all of this. Chances are he or she carries the Titleist Vokey SM5 series.