Golf Blog Feature
Vokey Wedge Review and Selector for Grinds and Lofts
In February 2018 the SM7 wedge was launched by Titleist and it was a giant step forward in the already stellar track record of the Vokey wedge line. Our Vokey wedge review brings you the definitive guide on the features and specifications you'll want to know when you shop for this club. There are many variations available so it's good to know why you might want a particular version of the club.
Vokey Wedge Buyer Guide
It's described by Titleist as the "highest level of wedge performance". If you are looking for a new wedge, or want to add an additional loft to improve your game, then the SM7 is among the best options in the golf industry!
SM7 Wedge Overview
From a design perspective, this is a stunning club to look at, it comes in a choice of Jet Black, Brushed Steel, Tour Chrome and even a special order "Raw" finish - a pure silver metal with a heat treated finish to keep it looking smart. The designer behind the club, Bob Vokey, believes wedges should not be a one size fits all club, that different wedges suit different types of players and we agree with that 100%. The hard part for a golfer can be cutting through the jargon to find the club that's suitable for you. We've got you covered, starting with the different grinds.
Guide to the Grinds on the Vokey SM7
"The most played sand wedge on tour" is how Titleist describes this club. In our opinion, the average golfer would benefit more from an M Grind as a sand wedge, but a lower handicapper (under 10) may see more of a benefit to the F Grind. This version is more of a traditional wedge, perhaps closer to a pitching wedge than a sand wedge.
Starting at a 46-degree loft for longer approaches the F Grind is available up to 56-degree loft with different bounce levels. This club doesn't have a lot of bounce so as Titleist points out it's better suited for square face shots, not the open face spinners.
If you want an SM7 Vokey sand wedge, for handicappers 10-36, then the most common option is a 54-degree M Grind with .08 to .10 bounce. You'll see this stamped on the club as 54.08 or 54.10.
This gives you enough loft to open the face slightly but still maintain control over the shot - without getting too much loft. The versatility of this option means you can use the SM7 not only as a sand wedge but also around the green. It can still be hit for full shots. (See my guide to bunker shots here)
If you are looking to buy one of these wedges, then the M Grind 54 is an all around option to select. The main man himself, designer Bob Vokey, lists the M Grind as his favorite of all the SM7 collection.
The M Grind comes starts at 54 degrees loft and is available up to 62 degrees, making it a wedge more suited to the short game for most players. The higher degrees are well suited to players who are good around the green and can use the loft and open face with decent control over the shot.
The S Grind option is designed for what Titleist class as a "neutral" player - a player who likes to keep the clubface square, with not a lot of face manipulation on the shot. Steve Stricker helped designed the S Grind around his short game philosophy.
This club only comes with a standard .10 bounce and is available in 2-degree increments of loft from 54 to 60. At a 60 degree loft, this is the closest to a standard lob wedge for flop shots or clearing bunkers near the green.
The D Grind option is is high bounce option, with a very pronounced bounce for players who like to use the bounce for chips, pitches and bunker shots.
The D Grind is available in 58 and 60 degrees with 12 degrees of bounce. If you don't how to use the bounce properly, this may be a tough club to hit from a tight lie.
This is a new grind added to the collection for the SM7 and is described as "the ultimate bunker club". This is a high bounce club! I'm expecting to see a lot of these used on the tour this season as more players pick them up and get used to them. While the F Grind is still going to be a popular all around club I'd say this could be the sand wedge of the future.
This is designed specifically for the sand and only comes in 2 options of loft - a 58 degree and a 60 degree both with a high 14 degrees of bounce. This level of loft and bounce will really help you aggressively splash the ball out of the sand and get some backspin on your wedge shots.
The L Grind is an interesting club, better suited to low handicap players. Titleist even says it's the "least forgiving wedge in the lineup" because it has loft, but very little bounce. This is a good club for the better player who regularly plays on a very firm course. It's designed to be used with a square to closed face around the green and comes with just the option for a 4 degree bounce at a 58 or 60 degree loft. This means you've got to hit it really cleanly to get the perfect strike!
Vokey SM7 Review
There's a lot to love about the Vokey wedges and not a lot to dislike. Since the first SM launched they've continually improved the club through to make them more suitable for different shots as well as different types of golfers. Bob Vokey has been a pioneer of wedges for many years now - gone are the days when us golfers just carry a SW and PW in the bag for around the green!
Centre of Gravity
For the SM7 range, this has been moved to be perfectly positioned for each wedge, loft and bounce option in the range. This means that each club is perfectly balanced for the required shot. The lower the club the lower the center of gravity giving the same feel of shots regardless of the swing.
The SM7 features a different groove on different clubs to enable more spin when closer to the green. The lower loft clubs have a sharper deeper groove that generates more spin than a wider more open groove - which can be found on the higher lofted clubs. These will still get a level of spin but it won't be as sharp as the lower lofts. Titleist show this below:
Professional Golfers who use the Vokey Wedges
Here at reachthegreen.com we're always interested in what the world's top golfers are hitting and the latest trends. Whether it's balls being played by professionals, or clothing, or putters we all want to know what's in the bag. Titleist sponsor a number of golfers on tour including Jordan Speith, Justin Thomas and Ian Poulter. These players all carry multiple Vokey wedges in their bag and all hit the Titleist Pro V1x ball. It's important to remember that the ball is just as important as the club. Pairing the softer Pro V1x ball with a high loft wedge will really help you get more spin and control on the ball, especially in the bunker and tight to the green where you need it most.
Jordan carries 4 wedges for different approach shots. Here's what's in his bag and a quote about why he uses them -
Justin feels the same way about these clubs and Bob Vokey and his team as Jordan does. Here's what's in his bag and a quote from him for Titleist.
What I find interesting about Justin Thomas is his option for a K Grind in the higher loft compared to Speith who hits the L Grind at a 60-degree loft. That takes some real skill to play such high loft with so little bounce. As you can see from above, even the best players in the world find what works best for them, not just what others are doing. This really helps to show how selecting the right wedge for your game is really important.
Through the Vokey website, you can customize your SM7, however the costs might not be worth it to most player. However, if you want to control the specs, you can choose varying options such as a choice of shafts, grips and even engraving on the back of the club. It's costly, but I can see how a personal message on the back of the club would make a nice gift. This is done via a service of Titleist called WedgeWorks and used to only be available for the sponsored golfers on tour - but now everyone can purchase these options.
Loft and lie adjustments and swing weight adjustments -
These are the options for the really technical golfer who's looking for a specific custom loft and lie. There are various options to select and you can customize every little detail until you have the perfect club for your game. Again this comes at a price and would only be recommended for a very low handicapper who really understands how the changes will affect the club.
Laser etching, hand stamp, and paint fill
This is more a design option for the back of the club face and doesn't affect the performance of your wedge. Laser etching can get you up to 20 letters on selected clubs. Hand stamping and paint fill comes with a wider range of options including a choice of letters, designs, and different colors. This is the option for a nice present, maybe for a retirement or major birthday. I'm personally tempted to get one with #Reachthegreen laser etched on the shaft....
Here are some ideas:
Our own personalization - brass color with white skulls
Or a potential 60th birthday gift:
Other customizations - There are a few other options you can have which are more standard things like a choice of shafts and grips.