With superstars from the PGA Tour like Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth on staff, Titleist always has a bright platform on which to showcase new equipment.
The company's master wedge maker, Bob Vokey, unveiled his latest batch, the SM7 Wedges, late in 2017 and the clubs quickly replaced the SM6 models in the bags of Titleist's top pros.
But Vokey also has hackers like us in mind when he crafts his wedges.
He designed a half-dozen different grinds and an array of bounce and loft options to help amateurs find the wedge that will deliver ultimate touch, spin and distance control.
Titleist also has a handy fitting guide on the Vokey website. With 23 different combinations available, the choices can be overwhelming if you don't have a guiding hand.
But let me throw a little cold water on you, the Vokeys may not be the best wedge for beginners. If you fall into that club, check out our guide to the best wedges for beginners and high handicaps.
Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedges Review
1. Spin Milled - Vokey’s Spin Milled process is unique, in that each finish and loft, is given the sharpest, most consistent groove edges.
2. Parallel Face Texture - The Parallel Face Texture is geared to improve tighter shot dispersion and maximize spin.
3. Varied Groove Design - The SM7 also features a distinct groove design between lofts: low lofts (46-54) are designed with narrower, deeper grooves, while higher lofts (56-62) have wider, shallower grooves.
4. Varied Center of Gravity - The center of gravity also varies, based on the lofts. It's higher in the higher lofted wedges and lower in the lower lofted wedges (PW and Gap).
The result is superior spin and control on all wedge shots. Additionally, a proprietary heat treatment process produces tremendous in-groove durability, although Titleist admits the spin qualities begin to diminish after approximately 70 rounds.
Vokey SM7 Stock lengths / weights
Lob Wedges (58-62 degrees) - 35 inches / D5 swingweight
Sand Wedges (54-56) - 35.25 / D5
Gap Wedges (50-52) - 35.5 / D3
Pitching Wedges (46-48) - 35.75 / D3
All of the Vokey SM7 wedges are available in either Tour Chrome, Brushed Steel or Jet Black Finishes.
The True Temper Dynamic Gold is the stock shaft for each, although an array of other options, such as wedge-specific shafts like the KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 or Dynamic Gold Spinner are available.
Golf Pride Tour Velvet White is the stock grip.
If you're looking to get your Tour Bling on, the Vokeys are available with Custom Ferrules, Hand stamping and Paint Fill through the Vokey custom shop.
Titleist Vokey Wedge Bounce Explained
Before we get started trying to find the perfect wedges for your game, it's critical that we understand exactly what Vokey means we he talks about the degrees of 'bounce' on a wedge.
Bounce is the difference in the angle of the leading edge and the trailing edge on the sole of a wedge.
Bounce affects how the club interacts with the turf.
In general terms, a lower bounce wedge (8-10 degrees) is better on firmer fairways while a higher bounce wedge (12-14 degrees) is ideal on softer or wet conditions because it will slide through the turf rather than dig into it.
A lower bounce wedge is better on tight, firm fairways. A higher bounce wedge is ideal for soft or wet conditions.
Again, there are other factors that contribute to selecting the best wedge for your game, such as angle of attack, overall skill level and preference on clubface position (open or square) when playing shots around the green. We'll dig deeper on that topic later.
Vokey Grinds Explained
Master craftsman Bob Vokey offers six different grinds for the SM7 Wedges. Here are the descriptions for each, as issued by Titleist:
F Grind - An all-purpose grind that's particularly suited for full shots and shots hit with a square face. Ideal for players who prefer a traditional wedge sole.
The F grind is the most played sand wedge on Tour. But that doesn't mean it's right for you. Carefully examine and test all the grinds.
M Grind - Club designers, like parents, probably shouldn't choose or identify favorites. But, when a man is as accomplished as Bob Vokey, he gets a pass.
The M is his pet, which tells us Vokey is a shotmaker or at least sees the game through that lens. If you like to hit a low, skipping shot on one hole and a high, soft floater on the next, the M Grind is calling your name.
It was designed for players who prefer to rotate the club face open and closed to manufacture shots around the green. Ideal for players with a shallower, more sweeping swing type who play shots from a variety of clubface positions.
S Grind - Best for square-faced shots. Touch more versatility than the F.
Players with simple mechanics will love the S Grind, which was designed based on suggestions from short-game master Steve Stricker. If your pitching and chipping mimics Stricker's pure, shoulder-driven technique, the S is probably suited for you.
D Grind - The newest edition to the Vokey lineup and is the player’s high bounce wedge. High measured bounce with the crescent shape of the D grind is ideal players with a steeper angle of attack who play with a variety of clubface positions.
K Grind - is the highest bounce wedge in the lineup,and is the ultimate bunker club. The K Grind is a wide, full sole wedge with enhanced camber to make it forgiving from a variety of sand and turf conditions.
Do you dig out a turf pelt the size of a small beaver's tail when you hit a wedge shot? Is your best bunker shot a quick, underhanded toss when nobody is looking? If so, the K is an A+ choice.
L Grind - This beauty features a narrow crescent shape allowing maximum greenside versatility. Perfect for firm conditions and designed for skilled players who frequently open or close the clubface to create shots around the green.
It has the lowest bounce of any of the SM7 Wedges. If you play most of your golf chipping and pitching on dusty, rock hard fairways, embrace the L Grind.
Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge Configurations
It's important to understand which wedge setup best fits your game. In short, you're either a 3-wedge or 4-wedge player.
And, along those lines it's essential to decide whether you want to use the pitching wedge that came with your irons set or if you want to go full Vokey in that section of the bag a la Jordan Spieth.
With the idea that we're working within the USGA maximum for 14 clubs carrying three wedges allows you to toss another utility club or fairway metal into the top half of your bag. (Or maybe a 1-iron, which can come in handy when chipping out of the woods or when applying butter to your toast.)
If you're hanging on to the wedge that came with your set, it's essential to have the loft measured. 46 degrees, or thereabouts, is standard these days. But even Titleist's own 718's have different lofts in the Pitching Wedge. So make sure you check!
If that's the case you want to use your iron set PW, you'd probably want to add a 52 or 54 degree wedge for your 'gap' or 'strong' sand wedge. Then, a 58 or 60 degree wedge for your 'weak' sand wedge or lob wedge.
If you're focused on dialing in every shot inside, say 130 yards, you're probably a skilled player and willing to sacrifice a club at the top for more scoring options at the bottom.
Your set up might look more like this: 46 degrees / 50/52 degrees / 56 degrees / 60 degrees.
Again, it depends on what makes you comfortable. PGA Tour veteran and Vokey staff member Jason Dufner prefers five degree increments throughout his bag, and uses four wedges.
"Wedges need to be versatile and every player is different. It’s never one size fits all for wedges. That’s why we have many grind options." - Bob Vokey
The Player’s Review of the Vokey SM7 Wedges
After testing, the SM7s had a significant amount more spin than the SM6 and SM5. However, in fairness both the SM6 and SM5 model had slightly worn grooves. If you can't spin a brand new ProV1 with an SM7 then we need to work on your swing!
The SM7 has that classic Vokey feel that many of us have come to love over the years.
From a technology standpoint, the SM7s are a slight upgrade over the SM6s and a significant improvement over the SM5s. Both of which were both as popular as any wedge on Tour when they were released.
With the multitude of configurations finding the right combo of loft, bounce and grind is quite realistic. The array of shots that one can hit with these wedges are endless.
Hearing the word, "Vokey" provides confidence you have a quality product designed by an expert who had you and every other type of golfer in mind when he crafted each club.
The SM7s are the latest in a long line of pure offerings from Bob and the team at Titleist.
Test a set, drop the right ones in the bag and you'll soon begin to chip, pitch and blast your way to lower scores.