50 Words or Less
The Titleist Vokey SM8 wedges feature forward center of gravity for improved accuracy and repeatability. Six grinds offer versatility. Stellar looks and personalization options up the desirability.
I commend anyone who is good at their craft, but the mark of a true craftsman is the always present desire to do “it” better. For Bob Vokey, the man whose name is synonymous with Titleist wedges, that “it” is making wedges for the short game. His pursuit of making the best wedges in golf took another step forward with the new SM8.
If you’re familiar with previous models of Vokey wedges, the channel on the backside of the SM8 will really stand out. Framed in the channel, the modern font utilized for “VOKEY DESIGN” has an architectural quality that evokes precision and accuracy.
I was glad to see the winged BV that’s adorned Vokey wedges for over two decades back to a prominent position. Although relegated to the hosel, the script Titleist looks like it was always meant to be there.
The Vokey SM8 wedges are available in four finishes: tour chrome, brushed steel (featured in this review), jet black and raw. For customization, Vokey’s WedgeWorks is tough to beat – and a lot of fun. For personalization, the number of options and combinations for stampings, paintfills, ferrules and even shaft bands is dizzying. But to hone in on performance, WedgeWorks is also the place to select shafts and grips, as well as adjust loft, lie, length and swing weight.
Sound & Feel
The one word that repeatedly came to mind on short, mid, or full shots with the Vokey SM8 wedges was ‘solid.’ Solid as in stable and controlled, not solid like a slab of granite. That’s not to say that I couldn’t feel when I caught a ball off center, but feedback was nominal.
Hitting shorter chips and pitches around the green, the sound was a crisp tick. On mid to full shots, I felt like the club face grabbed the ball adding an extra “i” in both descriptors for a resultant criisp and tiick. Ball type made a perceptible difference, but in that intersection of sound and feel, the SM8 was wonderfully appealing.
The main technological difference from the SM7 [review HERE] and the new SM8 wedges is the movement of the center of gravity (CG) forward and in front of the club face. Vokey “reimagined” the CG by utilizing tungsten weight in the toe and varying hosel length. With a higher MOI and forward CG, the SM8 has a “club face that simply wants to square up at impact.” I couldn’t perceive any squaring up, but there was notable accuracy in terms of the ball going where I was aiming.
The CG varies depending on the loft/designation of the wedge – low CG in the pitching and gap wedges (46-52°), mid CG for sand wedges (54-56°) and high for lob wedges (58-62°). This progressive CG design provides more consistency in distance and trajectory.
Versatility via grinds has long been a hallmark of Vokey wedges, and the SM8 are again wonderful examples. The six grinds give golfers plenty of options for aligning selection with purpose, swing type, and typical turf conditions. And if all the variables seem daunting, Vokey’s online wedge selector tool is super helpful. Even better, work with a qualified fitter. For my short game, 50°, 54°, and 58° wedges provide the gapping I need. I typically hit full shots with the pitching wedge, and the all-purpose F grind was very repeatable from the fairway or rough. The 10° mid bounce of the S grind gave me plenty of versatility around the greens in the 54°. When my ball found the sand, the high bounce of the D grind in the 58° allowed me to execute shots with tons of confidence and stress free up and downs.
If you’re a fan of spin – and what golfer isn’t – the Vokey SM8 is right up your alley. Spin is so important, it’s fundamental to the name – Spin Milled (SM). Cut to maximize spin while conforming to the rules, each groove is 100% inspected for conformity. Vokey also incorporates two groove designs in their wedges: narrower and deeper in 46-54° wedges and wider and shallower in 56-62° wedges. Plus all wedges have micro-grooves between the main grooves to impart spin even on partial shots. I loved seeing my ball stop where it landed on high shots and grab quickly on bunker shots.
The Titleist Vokey SM8 wedges offer distinctive improvements in both looks and performance. Developed by the gifted hands of Bob Vokey and with input from Titleist tour staff, the variety of grinds and lofts allows golfers to dial in the SM8 wedges that will best benefit their game. And for those who enjoy a little personalized flair, or desire customization, Wedgeworks is worth the experience.
Titleist Vokey SM8 Wedge Price & Specs
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