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The new Titleist Vokey SM6 wedge is nothing short of what you would expect from Vokey Wedges. The latest update brings about the first design change for Vokey in years, and offer golfers a solid performing wedge with great feel and a variety of options to accommodate any player’s needs.
The new SM6 lineup has brought a ton of buzz in the wedge-game department this year, mostly accredited to the fact that it is the first time (in a long time) that the newest Vokey release has included a major change in design, rather than just a re-stamping of the previous year’s wedges. Shout out to Titleist and the Vokey team for straying from what has always done so well for them in the past, and coming out with something a little bit different than previous releases. The idea behind the wedge design refresh is to give golfers more consistent gaps through improved distance control and a more consistent ball flight. With these new changes comes a very solid feeling wedge that will continue to keep Vokey and Titleist on top the wedge market this season.
With the changes in weighting dependent upon loft, each of the new SM6 wedges has a slightly different appearance, while maintaining the classic pear shape that we would associate with a Vokey Wedge.
While the 54° and 56° maintain the same classic look that we have come to know from Titleist Vokey wedges, the changes in design come to the lofts outside of that, which range in options from 46° to 62°. The the wedges with a loft lower than 54°, Vokey and his team have moved some of the weight from the top end of the club, down towards the sole. This creates a slightly thinner top line, with a bit of a bulkier bottom half of the back of the club. The reverse is true for lofts higher than 56°, where the weight is removed from the bottom half of back of the wedge, and moved towards the top portion, giving it a bulkier topline.
The only other noticeable difference I saw in from the SM5 of last year was where the hosel of the club meets the heel of the club face. The new SM6 seemed to have a bulkier meeting-point with the club face, which gave the appearance of a bulkier hosel at address.
The new Vokey’s come in three different finishes: the Tour Chrome, the new Steel Gray finish, and Jet Black. The Steel Grey finish appears to be a darker version of last year’s Gold Nickel, while the jet black is the same as last year’s Raw Black. Keep in mind, that the Tour Chrome and Steel Grey are a plating, where the Raw Black is a finish applied to the metal, which will result in discoloration, and potentially rust, over time.
Sound & Feel
Although the Vokey SM6 brought about the most change that we have seen to a Vokey wedge in years, the same feel and sound still come wrapped up within the new cosmetic changes. The traditional “click” sound still resonates from the face, in coordination with the usual soft feel. As with previous Vokey models, the feel across the face is extremely soft, yet very responsive. The biggest difference I noticed in the feel off of the face of the SM6 versus last year’s model was that the face seemed to “grab” the ball off of the face, giving the feeling I would typically associate with more spin. This “grabbing” feel was replicated across various lofts on both full and partial shots.
The newest release from Bob Vokey’s camp is the first real technology design change we have seen from Vokey line in quite some time. In the SM6 line, Vokey has introduced the new Progressive Center of Gravity technology to help control trajectory, and make distances more consistent. The idea behind the change was that adding more weight to the bottom half of the club in higher lofts, and removing weight from the bottom half of club in the lower lofts, will help with distance control and trajectory.
For the lower lofted wedges, the movement of the weight towards the sole lowers the center of gravity, and puts more mass behind the ball at impact. With this in mind, the idea is to produce higher ball speed, with more feedback and feel, on full swings that you would generally see from a pitching or gap wedge. With the increase in ball speeds, the goal is to create a more consistent, even gap between your highest lofted iron and your sand wedge.
For the higher lofted wedges, the opposite holds true. Weight from the sole of the wedge is moved to the top portion of the club in order to raise the center of gravity. The reason for this? A golf ball usually strikes higher on the face of a high lofted wedge, then continues to roll up the face of the club. Moving the center of gravity higher, aligns it more consistently with the usual impact position of the ball, creating a more consistent trajectory and more predictability with distance control.
In addition to the movement of weight, the SM6 introduces Vokey’s newest grove design, the TX4, which are designed to create consistent edges across the groves with “tighter quality tolerances”. For the lower lofted wedges, the grooves are designed to be deeper and more narrow, where as the higher lofted wedges have wider grooves. While I didn’t notice much of a spin difference in the lower lofted wedges, the higher wedges produced a fairly noticeable change in spin numbers. While the numbers did not blow me out of the water, it was still a noticeable increase, which made perfect sense based on the feel I experienced of the club face “gripping” the ball at impact.
The SM6 also offers five different grind options to suit any golfer’s swing. The grind available off the rack are the F Grind (traditional – full shots), M Grind (Versatility around the greens), S Grind (both Full shots and around the greens), K grind (bunker play and greenside versatility), and The L grind (firmer playing conditions). You’d be hard pressed to not find a Vokey SM6 that fits your needs.
To be upfront and honest, I have had the likes the 200 Series, Spin Milled, SM4, SM5, TVD, and Cold Forged Vokeys in my bag at various points in time, so it’s safe to say I am a Vokey loyalist. With that said, I have also ventured to the likes of Cleveland, Nike, and Scratch wedges during that period, and I always find myself going back to Vokeys. Judging by the information above, it is safe to say that I cycle through equipment extremely frequently. Previously, my change from the SM4 to the SM5 was to replace “worn” wedge grooves/upgrade to the latest and greatest design. The SM6, on the other hand, has me considering an upgrade based on the improvements in design, performance, and feel, rather than because it is the hot new club that Titleist has to offer.
With Vokey finally making some major changes to their wedges, while still maintaining the classic shape and feel we have all come to know and love, I feel that there is enough improvement all-around to consider an immediate upgrade to the SM6, whether it be from the SM5 or any other wedges you may have in your bag. I was very impressed with the ball flight, consistency, spin, and overall look and feel of the new SM6 line, and will probably have these in the bag within the next few weeks. The biggest question for me is deciding between all of the different grind options, and picking out the right finish.