Bob Vokey first featured a progressive center of gravity in his wedges nearly five years ago with his Titleist Vokey Design SM6 model. He later refined that design in the SM7 and says he has taken things to an even higher level now with the brand-new SM8. That is because he and his research-and-development associates have moved the CG in these sticks forward to a position that they say encourages a more consistent, better feeling strike while also elevating moment of inertia.
“The first time I had guys hit SM8, I listened to the sound they made at impact, and it was phenomenal,” Vokey said. “ ‘Solid but soft’ was how they described it. And that means they are getting the proper feedback that you need to execute every type of wedge shot, whether you are in the fairway, in a bunker or around the green.
“They also talked a lot about flight. It’s in a better window, it’s more consistent and they have more control of it. Overall, guys kept telling me how easy it was to hit every type of shot. They just felt like they were getting more out of the wedge, and that is because Kevin Tassistro, our director of wedge R&D, and his team were able to push the CG forward to a place we never would have imagined 20 years ago.”
The SM8, which is currently being played by more than 100 tour professionals, is offered in six “tour-proven” grinds – F, S, M, K, L and D. That allows Titleist technicians to fit players of all skill levels precisely for their swing types (steep, neutral or shallow) and shotmaking styles, as well as for specific conditions of the courses they are playing.
The clubs also come in four finishes: tour chrome, brushed steel, jet black and raw (which must be custom ordered).
Though the new SM8 wedges will not arrive at retail until early March, they are available for pre-order in golf shops worldwide and through the company's website beginning Feb. 11.