Titleist Vokey Design SM10 wedges: 5 things you need to know
Realizing not everyone has the time to consume endless content on product launch day, we’re trying something different and offering a fresh variation of our detailed tech write-ups that hits the high points. Here’s what you need to know about Titleist’s Vokey Design SM10, which will be available for pre-order on Feb. 15 and coming to retail on March 8th for $189 per wedge.
Tap here to view the full collection of the soon-to-come Titleist Vokey SM10 wedges (available in raw, chrome, nickel and jet black finishes).
Place two wedges with the same loft on the ground and you’ll likely find some subtle profile differences at address. Everyone’s eyes are different. But as Kevin Tassistro, Vokey’s director of wedge development, sees it, that shouldn’t be the case.
For the last several years, Vokey’s wedge team has been working on a way to remove the visual biases that exist and create a single profile that emphasizes how the different grinds perform during testing.
“They should look the same,” said Tassistro. “In the past when you measured blade length, it was measured from the edge of the toe to where the hosel intersects the ground plane. But if I add bounce to the club, the hosel intersection of the ground plane moved as I raised or lowered bounce. What we’ve done is take the profile and lock it in, then add the sole to the constant profile. Now if we were to measure them, they’d technically have different measured blade lengths, but the profile shape is the same.”
“When you put it down, some would like the look of one more than the other. Now it should be if I put them down, the only difference you might be able to see is the leading edge off the ground. You’ll notice that. But the profile from the leading edge to the toe doesn’t change. So instead of building everything off ground plane, we’re now building it off face profile.”
The profile work on SM10 could turn out to be Vokey’s most underrated design adjustment.
Making a comeback
Even Vokey is aware of the shift towards stronger iron lofts in recent years. It’s a necessary change, in some cases, to optimize launch and spin. It’s easy to look at iron loft changes in a vacuum and forget about how those tweaks might affect the rest of the setup, including the wedges.
To keep up with said iron adjustments, Vokey is bringing back some lofts and grinds. The recent loft and grind additions are centered around the 54-08M, 58-04T and 60-04T. The 54-degree, in particular, is for the golfer who’s using a stronger lofted iron set and needs to adjust their loft gaps.
“As iron lofts have gotten progressively stronger over time, we felt like there was a need for some players to use a 54-degree as their sand wedge,” said Corey Gerrard, Vokey’s director of marketing. “We felt like we needed them to have a low-bounce option at 54 degrees in the popular M-Grind.”
Adding a low-bounce 54-degree eventually led Vokey to do the same with the 58-04T, an option that’s offered on Tour but hasn’t been available to the masses until this year. And speaking of lower bounce options, the 60-04T — an extreme low-bounce lob wedge — is also part of the retail line this time around.
In addition to three new loft and grind options, Vokey’s SM10 is offered in six grinds (F, S, M, K, T and D) with a total of 25 unique lofts, bounce and grind combinations. The goal behind having so many options is simple: find the best wedge to compliment a golfer’s turf interaction and course conditions.
Tour feedback continues to drive Vokey’s product creation in specific areas that golfers likely won’t notice until they get a detailed product download or put them to the test. One of the more subtle improvements is a minor shift in center of gravity (.5mm) on the 46- through 52-degree wedges to remove a draw bias that some pros noticed on the lower lofts.
“Tour feedback confirmed we needed to reduce the draw bias,” Tassistro said. “In SM9 we reduced offset, and that helped. This time we’re actually moving [the CG] closer to where T100 CB and MB is, so the transition is better. Moving it closer to center face reduces closure rate, meaning it won’t turn over as much. Now we’re seeing less draw bias.”
It’s one of those small changes better players will no doubt appreciate.
Spin to win
Vokey continues to put a high value on spin with a TX9 groove that’s individually cut based on loft and finish. The Spin Milled cutting process, introduced last year with SM9, tightens tolerances by using a cutter to create the entire scoreline instead of a partial scoreline. The cutter is now cutting the groove to the end of the parallel texture, as opposed to the groove edge, to give it an even more precise geometry from one groove to the next.
“Now the cutter and scoreline groove are a one-to-one relationship,” said Tassistro. “Now the edge radius, which we are most concerned about being sharpest, we know that we’re going to get the most out of it with each cut.”
Micro grooves individually cut in between each groove add bite on partial shots around the green. The previous microgrooves were applied using a radial texture that covered the entire face. The problem with the radial process was depending on where you measured, the scoreline edge could’ve been in a valley or peak. In other words, it wasn’t necessarily in a consistent spot from wedge to wedge.
Instead of continuing on with a radial texture, Vokey went to a parallel micro-texture to solve the issue.
“In between the texture where we’re cutting is flat, so no matter where you put the groove, it’s always coming up to a flat portion. The variance from best to worst groove gets smaller and smaller. A smaller tolerance allows us to be sharper and get even closer to the legal limit.”
Once the grooves and texture are in place, a heat treatment is applied to the hitting area to extend the overall life of each groove. To put a number on groove life with a heat treatment, Tassistro said it doubles durability from 400 to 800 bunker shots without any noticeable changes in spin performance.
Already the most-used wedge on the PGA Tour less than a month into the new year, SM10 has already impressed several of the biggest names in the game, including Jordan Spieth (46.10F, 52.08F, 56.10S, 60.04T) and Max Homa (46.10F, 50.12F, 56.14F, WedgeWorks 60L), who wasted no time making wholesale changes to their Vokey scoring tools.
“The best players in the world know exactly what they want from their wedges. The smallest details matter to them and they are very specific when it comes to describing the improvements they want to see,” said Aaron Dill, director of Vokey player relations. “Their feedback is invaluable. We are constantly learning from them and it’s that constant collaboration which allows us to get even better with each new generation.”
“I flight my wedges really low,” said Jordan Spieth. “And as I got to the gap wedge and the pitching wedge (with SM10), I saw some more consistency in the flight, especially on the draw intent shots, just kind of holding a little straighter… kind of that more pinch-ier flight without it over-hooking. That’s always a benefit when we’re looking at these left pins and trying to attack them.”
The Vokey’s SM10 (Tour Chrome, Jet Black and Nickel finishes) standard stock shaft is True Temper’s Dynamic Gold S200.
A wide variety of custom options will also be available through Vokey’s WedgeWorks program, which makes it possible to choose from six toe engravings, WedgeWorks Flight Lines, stamping options (10-character Straight/Freestyle stamping; 15 characters around the toe, and two lines of 10 characters each) and custom paint fill.
Coming soon — available for pre-order 2/15
Titleist’s Vokey Design SM10 will be available for pre-order on Feb. 15 and is coming to retail on March 8th for $189 per wedge. Scroll to see more, or tap here to shop.
Titleist Vokey SM10 Jet Black Custom Wedge
Titleist Vokey SM10 Nickel Custom Wedge
Titleist Vokey SM10 Raw Custom Wedge
Titleist Vokey SM10 Tour Chrome Custom Wedge
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