Two years ago, Bob Vokey’s SM6 wedges introduced the concept of progressive center of gravity. If anyone could follow up ground-breaking technology with an even better club, it’s Vokey. He said for SM7 to be considered a success, they would give golfers more versatility, added spin, and more control over trajectory. They’ve definitely accomplished that. We talked with Jeremy Stone of Titleist to get the story behind these wedges.
So what’s new with the SM7 wedges? It all starts with the progressive center of gravity. This feature has been refined for 2018. Center of gravity locations are even lower in the low lofts and even higher in the high lofts, dramatically improving the feel at impact. As the loft of the wedge goes up, the point on the face where you make contact moves farther up the face.“You want to align the center of gravity with the impact position to make more efficient energy transfer and give you more solid feel,” Stone told us.
The grinds have been updated as well. Vokey mostly made small refinements to the existing F, S, M, K, and L grinds. New for 2018 is the D grind. Titleist calls this their “player’s high bounce grind”, designed to fill a void for golfers who like the shape of the M grind but want more effective bounce for a steep angle of attack. Stone described it as “the crescent shape of the M with a higher effective bounce angle. It compliments the K grind by not having the big, wide sole. For the golfer who felt like the K wasn’t versatile enough, the D fits that void.”
So how does someone with the experience of Bob Vokey develop a new sole grind? “We say we have the best R&D department in the world: the PGA Tour. We got a lot of demand from guys saying they love their M but it doesn’t have enough bounce. That is the input that inspired Bob,” Stone commented.
Having six wedge grind options is important because there’s no one-size-fits-all concept for bounce and grind. In the simplest terms, bounce is a unit of measurement that allows a wedge to be fit properly to you. By matching these measurements to the way you swing, you can optimize impact and hit your best shots.
Finally, what would a new wedge be without more spin? The SM7 wedges feature Spin Milled grooves cut to even tighter tolerances, adding up to 100 rpm more spin on average. Titleist uses a process called 100% groove inspection. This means that every groove on every wedge is inspected at the manufacturing facility. There are two reasons for doing this. First is to make sure they conform to the rules of golf. Second, it allows Titleist to identify any inconsistencies in the machining process and take out any wedges that don’t meet the strict tolerances they set for their clubs.
When Titleist introduced SM7 to the professionals, it only took three weeks for them to become the most-used wedges on Tour. That’s a great way to sum up the performance of this year’s clubs. “It works for the best players in the world and they trust it. That shows us just how much of a success story this next generation of wedges is,” said Stone.