Titleist announces new Vokey SM4 Wedges
Born from the unique artistry and clubmaking experience of master wedge craftsman Bob Vokey, Titleist Vokey Design Wedges have earned the reputation as the game’s finest short game tools.
Since 1998, Vokey Design wedges have achieved overwhelming success as the favourite of more players across the worldwide professional tours and competitive golf and as a leader with serious golfers in the marketplace.
In fact, Vokey Design wedges have been the top choice on the PGA Tour in terms of player count and wins for eight consecutive years and counting.
Now, Titleist introduces a completely new line of Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges to maximise performance within the limits of the 2010 Groove Rule.
The new Vokey Design SM4 wedges feature 17 precise, individually cut and 100% inspected grooves that maximise groove geometry and push groove edge radius to the conforming limits. Using computer aided design (CAD), SM4 wedges also feature a new shape inspired by Vokey’s original 200 series.
With twenty-one loft and bounce combinations and five different sole grinds that Vokey developed through his research and work with the best players in the world, the new Vokey Design SM4 wedges represent the next generation of the most renowned scoring clubs in golf.
Like their Spin Milled predecessors, the new Vokey Design SM4 wedges are made from soft 8620 carbon steel and feature Titleist’s industry-leading Spin Milled technology.
The SM4 wedges have a CNC-machined perfectly flat face and precisely cut groove geometry using a formed cutting tool that creates a tighter tolerance on both the groove size and edge radius.
The face surface is also precisely machined with a series of milled micro edges resulting in greater surface roughness for improved spin on partial shots versus a polished wedge face. Regardless of the conditions or shot type, Spin Milled technology provides maximum spin and shot control.
Heat Treated Face
The new Vokey Design SM4 wedges undergo a unique, surface localised heat treatment that substantially increases the durability of the precise scoreline edge radius and face surface texture.
In comprehensive play tests that compared treated faces to untreated, Titleist found that the process helped retain both increased spin and lower launch angle for better shot control through the life of the wedge without altering the feel in any way.
New Groove Configuration
After the original C-C wedges were released, the Vokey Design team continued to investigate ways to recapture some of the backspin on full shots hit from the rough that was lost due to the new groove guidelines.
The new SM4 groove was designed to be narrower than the C-C design in order to accommodate more grooves, making use of a 17-scoreline pattern, a combination that proved optimal in player testing. In fact, the SM4 groove pattern reclaims over 1,200 rpm in lost backspin versus the original C-C design.
The SM4 groove radius is sharp and the tight manufacturing tolerances of the Spin Milled process allow the grooves to push right to the conforming edge radius limit.
New Shape, Expanded Offerings
The new SM4 wedges are inspired by Vokey’s original 200 Series designs. Created by Bob for Titleist in 1998, with shapes still widely used on Tour and recently made available to Vokey enthusiasts through Vokey.com’s WedgeWorks custom shop, the 200 Series featured a classic teardrop head shape with a high toe peak, shallow heel and a soft trailing edge.
Like the 200′s, the heads of the new SM4 wedges are slightly larger than the original Spin Milled and C-C wedges and feature dimension and shape progression through the lofts.
Model changes to the SM4 line include a new 46-degree pitching wedge and higher bounce models in lofts of 48, 50 and 52 degrees.
Ten models, ranging from 54 to 64 degrees, will now be offered with specialty sole grinds that Vokey developed on Tour.
In addition to the popular “M” grind (a versatile design suitable for many playing styles in a variety of course conditions that is characterised by a crescent-shaped forward bounce surface and relieved wrap surface), the “T” grind as well as the new “S” and “L” grinds have been added to the offering. The “T” and “L” grinds are modifications of the “M” grind, offering greater heel, toe and trailing edge relief for less effective bounce.
These models are suitable for players with shallow angles of attack and/or firm playing conditions. The “S” grind is named for Titleist Brand Ambassador Steve Stricker, with whom Bob worked to create a sole with heel and trailing edge relief but with a fuller toe to provide added effective bounce for bunker play.
In addition all full sole Vokey wedge models feature a new trailing edge ribbon that offers less resistance during takeaway and more consistent turf interaction at impact.
The new wedges are available in three distinct finishes: Tour Chrome, Black Nickel and Oil Can.
Available in both right and left hand beginning November 18, 2011 (USA), with a suggested retail price of US$140 per club/steel and US$165 per club/graphite.