If one name in golf is synonymous with wedges in the game of golf, it’s Bob Vokey.
The 82-year-old master wedge crafter joined Titleist in 1996, with his Vokey Design wedges quickly becoming the most used on the PGA Tour by 2004. Vokey continues to innovate, as Titleist releases their SM9 model, with their most optionality ever.
The clear emphasis with the SM9 is providing players choices when they buy their wedges to fill out their short game toolbox. The Vokey team rolled out 23 different loft/bounce models, to try to provide players different options when buying a pitching wedge, lob wedge, or a wedge they are going to use predominantly from bunkers and heavy greenside rough. Providing this many options is one of Vokey's innovations, and one of the reasons his wedges became popular among Tour players. Twenty years ago, the idea of endless bounce, loft, and grind choices was far from the. norm.
“It sounds simple,” Vokey said in the press release, “but having the correct wedge and knowing when to use it has a direct impact on scoring performance. The most important thing for golfers at every level is to know when and where to use the variety of wedges in their bags. That can be achieved by being properly fit based on swing and style of play, and understanding the roles for each.”
It can be overwhelming to look over so many options for a casual player. Vokey’s wedge selection tool provides another instrument to help pick the right club, by answering ten questions to find the right clubs with the correct loft/bounce/grind for each of the four wedges players might place in their bag without having to get fit.
If you’re like me, the grind system might be confusing on its face. Golf is a game of numbers, and Titleist is labeling grinds with letters. F, M, S, D, K and L are the options available. To further explain, Titleist has a dedicated web page
with an overview of what each one means, and a short 30 to 45 second video to succinctly explain. Vokey himself leads the voiceover on the F grind, for example.
“F grind is designed for full swing shots,” Vokey explains, “what I really like about it is it gives the proper resistance to digging.”
They further tweaked the SM9 by raising the center of gravity by adding weight to the topline designed and adding progressive hosel lengths in the higher lofts.
And of course, if spin milled grooves don’t come to mind when Vokey pops into your head, you haven’t paid attention to these wedges. Each model has its own unique groove cut, with lower lofts having narrow, deep groves and higher with wide, shallow grooves.
FINISHES, LOFTS, BOUNCES, GRINDS
Vokey SM9 wedges are available in three finishes, nine lofts, three bounces and two grinds: They come in tour chrome, brushed steel, and jet black (more simply, bronze, silver and black.) There are 46°, 48°, 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°, 62° loft options. They have 8, 10, and 12 degrees of bounce, with six different styles of grinds available for 23 different loft/bounce SM9 models.
For those wanting to personalize their wedges, stamping and custom paint options are available as well.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Available at Retail: 3/11/22
Pricing: $179 per wedge