FIRST LOOK: Titleist’s Vokey SM8 wedges designed with new forward weight placement
With its previous Vokey SM6 and SM7 wedges, Titleist used a progressive center of gravity (CG) design that helped optimize performance of each loft. That meant that CG was lower in the low-lofted wedges for a higher trajectory on full shots, and higher in the high-lofted wedges for a more controlled, low trajectory on shorter shots.
Titleist’s new Vokey SM8 wedges have the same vertical CG system, except there’s one big change; overall CG locations for each of the wedges have been pushed forward. According to the company, the new CG location now “hovers in front of the wedge face.”
Master craftsman Bob Vokey said that the SM8 wedges have CG’s “in a place we never would have imagined 20 years ago.”
With the new, forward weight placement, Titleist says that the faces naturally want to square at impact. For golfers, that means the SM8 wedges are designed to have better distance and trajectory control, better feel, and increased stability.
“The first time I had guys hit SM8 was on the range at Riviera,” Vokey said, in a press release. “I always listen to the sound they’re making at impact, and it was phenomenal. ‘Solid but soft’ was how they described it… 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.”
To accomplish this shift forward, Titleist lengthened the hosels and added a tungsten weight in the lower portion of the toe sections.
The SM8 wedges also come in a variety of lofts, grinds and finishes to satisfy the needs and wants of every golfer. There are six different grinds (F, S, M, L, D and K) and four different finishes (Tour Chrome, Brushed Steel, Jet Black and Raw). The wide array of options allow golfers to find the right wedges that suit their swing style and typical course conditions.
Vokey prefers to match a high-bounce sand wedge with a low-bounce lob wedge for versatility, but make sure to visit your local fitter or trusted teaching professional to ensure the best fit for your specific game.
As always, spin is an important aspect of wedge design. To increase friction on the face and maximize shot control, the faces of the SM8 wedges are spin-milled. The grooves are individually cut, and there are microgrooves in-between the larger grooves to increase spin on partial shots around the green, too.
The cavities of the new SM8 wedges have a clean design to provide a larger canvas for custom design. Through Vokey’s WedgeWorks custom program, personalization options have been expanded. Check out this Aaron Dill stamp job to get your creative juices flowing.
Titleist’s SM8 wedges will sell for $159 each. Pre-order begins on February 11, and they will hit retail shops on March 6.
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