Titleist Vokey SM8 wedge - what's new?

Thomas Tanner
Aug 04, 2020
4 minutes
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Bob Vokey. It is one of the most recognisable names in golf, a name synonymous with quality, dominance and excellence, a name you trust entirely. Yet, if you saw him walking down the street, the average golfer, (and probably most Tour players) wouldn't have the first clue who he is. The famous Titleist wedge maker, and he's been grinding away in his workshop for two years solid to bring us the Titleist Vokey SM8 wedges.

If you're expecting a fanfare when there's a new Vokey wedge, you're in the wrong place. One of the luxuries of having just about 50% of all PGA Tour pros already using your product and being already widely regarded as the best, is that you don't have to change very much, just make them better!

What about spin?

The beautiful thing about the marketing around Vokey wedges is that they don't tend to mention spin. What they do say is that Vokey wedges spin just as good as other wedges on the market. There is far more to a wedge than spin, the broader (and more critical) fascet of consistent distance control.

The SM8 wedge has machined grooves, and Titleist inspects 100% for conformity. Microgrooves between the grooves are added before the impact area undergoes a heat treatment to make them last longer.

The real engineering

So while Titleist doesn't bother with spin talk, they do talk about Centre of Gravity location. It started in the SM6 wedges and is now all but perfected in the SM8. As the wedge loft gets higher, the centre of gravity location on the face, aka the sweet spot, gets higher - this helps with trajectory control, and thus distance control.

Vokey wedges in lower lofts launch high, while the higher lofted sand and lob wedges fizz the ball away on a lower trajectory with tonnes of spin. Controlling all of this is the precise positioning of the centre of gravity.

One little anomaly Vokey has addressed in the SM8 is the problem, in high lofted wedges, of the ball running up the face in the strike, popping up and landing short. The CG in the high lofts was too far back and created too much dynamic loft. New variable-length hosels teamed with high-density tungsten in the toe pushes the centre of gravity forward and solves the problem.

1,000s of options

As always with Titleist, you get several lofts and grind options. There are six grinds to be precise, F K S M L D. We have a separate video, with Titleist's authority on grinds, Jeremy Stone, which serious players you should watch before you chose the right one - watch that below.

F-Grind: Think F for Full, wedges you want to hit with big full swing shots.

K-Grind: Think K for Kind, friendly wedges with high bounce for bunkers and chipping around the green.

S-Grind: Think S for Square, for players who like a square face.

M-Grind: Think M for Manipulate, for players who like to manipulate the face and play all kinds of trick shots.

L-Grind: Think L for Links. These are low bounce wedges, perfect for firm conditions.

D-Grind: Think D for Double. You get the best of the M and K grinds in high lofts and with high bounce in a players package.

There are also a number of finishes to choose from in the SM8 wedges - Tour Chrome, Brushed Steel and Jet Black.

What does Titleist say?

Further reading

A wedge is a wedge, right? Well, not so hasty! Do you have a steep or shallow attack into the ball, is the sand at your local golf course soft or hard, are the fairways rock hard – or does it always rain where you live; is the rough long or short, what sort of grass is it, do you prefer to run the ball up, or throw it up high?

Just when we’d got our heads around bounce on wedges, what it does, and how much we need, the manufacturers have thrown another variable into the mix. Grind. Like bounce angles before figuring out which grind is right for you can be extremely tough.