WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 wedge offerings add the “M” grind to three lower lofts (50, 52, 54 degrees) to its custom WedgeWorks lineup to join higher-loft options, which were an original part of Titleist’s SM8 stock lineup. The crescent-shaped grind is generally ideal for players who take shallower divots and those who play in firmer, sandy soils.
Price: $200 (custom order).
Maybe it’s not going to win him a Nobel prize (although he surely deserves one for positive attitude), but Vokey’s persistence in recognizing the sole shapes, curves, contours and angles that better players hit their best wedge shots with is not an insignificant skill. It’s also the basis for the constant reexamination of his wedge offerings, the latest being adding the “M” sole grind to the more full-swing lofts (50, 52 and 54 degrees) to Vokey’s custom WedgeWorks lineup. Previously, the M grind was only a stock option on the SM8 in higher lofts.
Vokey calls the versatile M grind his favorite because it works for a variety of setups and shot styles. He calls it ideal for players who opt to play two wedges after their pitching wedge, like a 52- and a 58-degree. It’s a grind currently preferred by No. 10 in the world Patrick Cantlay and recent Masters runner-up Cameron Smith.
The M grind offers a medium bounce with a crescent-shaped sole contour that provides heel, toe and trailing edge relief. It plays best in firm conditions, according to Titleist Vokey wedge tour representative Aaron Dill.
“The grind in the back allows you to open up the wedge and get under the ball a little easier, while the front of the wedge allows you to get out and produce that lower, stronger ballflight,” he said, noting the shape is ideal for players with a shallower, more sweeping swing.
The new models are part of the M Grind Collection in the WedgeWorks lineup, which offers multiple customization options including custom stamping, toe engravings and paint fills. These wedges come in Vokey’s “Raw” finish. Like all SM8 wedges, the grooves are 100 percent inspected for closer conformance to original design parameters and a heat treatment is designed to improve durability of those specifications, while the heads feature the same approach to forward center of gravity for more consistency.
The M Grind Collection is available for custom order ($200).