Titleist launch new Vokey Design SM4 wedges

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Titleist have launched their newest Vokey wedge, the SM4 wedge, aimed at reclaiming some of the spin lost following the change of groove regulations in 2010.

The new Vokey wedge, called the SM4 because it is the 4th generation of Spin Milled wedge, features a new configuration with 17 grooves on the face with each one precisely milled right to the edge of the R&A's legal limit.

In fact, so close is each groove to the conforming limits of geometry edge radius that each one has to be individually inspected after it has been milled before it leaves the factory to go on sale.

Titleist say they undertook a painstaking R&D project to enhance the spin limits as close as possible to pre-2010 levels and the 17-groove configuration and design produced the best results - with more than 1,200 RPM reclaimed compared to Titleist's first conforming groove after the new regulations.

Elsewhere, the heads have been inspired by the shape of the original 200 series and offers 21 loft and bounce combinations and five different sole grinds Bob Vokey has developed over the years working with the best players in the world.

They are cast from 8620 carbon steel also feature a heat-treated face, which increases durability on the face and the groove edges, retaining more spin for longer. Wedges have also been designed progressively to ensure that different lofts are designed to do different jobs on the course.

 “Seventeen scorelines gives us more teeth on the ball, but it doesn’t impart so much spin that you lose versatility and shot control when accessing a middle to back pin,” said Vokey.  “I honestly think this pattern strikes a perfect balance.  At first, when the new groove regulations were announced, most folks were very reactive and wanted to hold on to every rpm of spin they could get.  The new SM4 groove allows the player to play high spinning shots with a controlled trajectory, or hit a shot with controlled spin and precise roll-out.

“I consider wedges a distinct set of clubs. We offer 10 different wedge lofts from 46 to 64 degrees.  Your pitching wedge should have a different shape, topline, bounce and leading edge than your lob wedge because you’re asking each club to perform very different jobs.  This is where CAD has been so valuable.  It allows us to produce a series or set of wedges that progress perfectly from loft to loft.”

The wedges are available in Oil Can, Black Nickel and Tour Chrome finishes and have an RRP of £102 per club.