Titleist has introduced the new Vokey Design SM8 Wedges, with a brand new CG design which is set to make it the most accurate and forgiving model of the most popular wedge on the PGA Tour for the past 15 years.
The brand, led by the efforts of Master Craftsman Bob Vokey, have been working hard on a Progressive Centre of Gravity design for a number of years, since the SM6 and later SM7 models.
For the new SM8, the CG has been moved so far forward the it 'hovers in front of the wedge face' and which makes it much easier to square up the face. The result of this is better distance and flight control, improved feel and more stability.
These adjustments have clearly gone down pretty well with the tour pros, as the SM8 is already the most played wedge model on the PGA Tour this season.
Master Craftsman Bob Vokey said:
When Kevin Tassitro (Director of Wedge R&D) brings me new prototypes, he knows I won't have feedback until I've watched tour players hit them. The proof is in their results and their reaction. That's been my validation process from day one.
The first time I had guys hit SM8 was on the range at Riviera. I always listen to the sounds they're making at impact, and it was phenomenal. 'Solid but soft' was how they descrived it. They loved it. That means that they're getting the proper feedback that you need to execute every type of wedge, whether you're in the fairway, in a bunker or around the green.
They also talked a lot about the flight. It's in a better window, it's more consistent, and they have more control of it. Overall, guys just kept telling me how easy it was to hit every type of shot they wanted to hit. They just felt like they were getting more out of the wedge - and that's because Kevin and his team were able to push that CG forward out in front of the face, to a place we never would have imagined 20 years ago.
Reimagined Progressive CG
This theory matches the centre of gravity with the impact position - lower on the face in the low lofts, higher on the face in the high lofts - which produces better trajectory and distance control. In the SM8, the CG is pushed right forward whilst retaining the correct vertical position for each loft, for a more consistent strike.
To do this Titleist have lengthened the hosels, and counterbalanced that by adding in tungsten low in the toe. This moves the CG forward and up, improving MOI by up to 7%.
Refined Sole Grind Options
Vokey's six sole grinds, which have been developed over decades thanks to the input from tour players, allow golfers of all swing levels to find the wedge setup which fits their swing type, shot style and course conditions.
100% Inspected Spin Milled Grooves
Patented Spin Milled grooves are meticulously engineered and 'cut to the edge', maximising spin and shot control. Each groove on every head is individually cut and inspected to ensure conformity to the rules of golf.
Micro-grooves are individually cut in between grooves, to maximise spin on pitch and chip shots. A new heat treatment is applied to the impact area to add durability without impact feel- something which Titleist says makes it the most durable groove in golf.
Golfers can choose from four different finishes available in the new SM8. The new Tour Chrome features a softer chrome finish than the prior generation. The darker Brushed Steel is more textured and dynamic than the polished SM7, while maintaining a non-glare finish at address.
The raw Jet Black is enhanced with black paint fill in the logos and graphics. Raw – the most popular option among tour players, in which no additional finish is applied to the 8620 carbon steel – is available through WedgeWorks on the Vokey website.
The new Vokey Design SM8 wedges are available to be trialled and fitted from February 11th, and will be in stores on March 6th at an SRP of £160.