We've had a few golfers asking if we know anything about the new Titleist Vokey SM7 wedges.. When will they be released? What has changed about them? Frankly, at this time we don't know much, but we can make some pretty good educated guess's to how Titleist is handling the release of the NEW Vokey SM7 wedges. Here is what we know and don't know..
At the moment, we know the tour is starting to get seeded with the wedge prototypes. A typical launch for Titleist, the PGA/LPGA Titleist Tour Staffers (a.k.a. Titleist Ambassadors) are starting to receive the SM7 proto's at last weeks Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The winner was Patrick Cantlay, a Titleist staff member. At this time, I can not verify if he won with SM7 wedges, altho this would have been the tournament he was at least introduced to them by Bob Vokey himself on the practice range prior to the tournament. I would guess that he was not using them, only becuase most Pro's want to practice a lot with new equipment first, before putting them in the bag to play for a million dollar prize. Anyways, this "Tour Validation" process, the players will provide feedback about what they like or dis-like about the wedges before they go into mass production and available to all of us. Any final tweaks will be made now.... So, the Vokey SM7 wedges you see in the bag now at some tournaments (or practice range) may not be an exact duplicate how they will be released to the public. However at this point, Bob Vokey knows the club is pretty well done, major tweaks are not expect.
"We design the best product possible and take it to the tour. If the tour players accept it, then we say this must be awfully good."- Bob Vokey
The purpose of the Professional feedback is merely to hype up the wedge for the release. Titleist can get that quote from Jordan Spieth that says "the SM7 is the best wedge Bob Vokey has ever designed to date, I love my SM7 wedges "....
At first glance, the wedge looks nearly identical to the SM6, except for a few aesthetic tweaks. First, moving the "grind" designation to the toe of the club where loft and bounce is labeled. Second, they moved the SM7 Logo beneath the BV logo on the back of the wedge. Lastly, progressive MOI design looks to be similar to the SM6, with the exception of the design of the "wave" on the back. Rather than the SM6 design where those "cuts" or "waves" on the back of the wedge are going more straight across, the SM7 seems to have more of a arch or radial design for a more pleasing aesthetic look. Basically, the Vokey SM7 wedge will have a more refined appearance than previous SM6. Will it perform better by doing that? Probably not... The MOI design introduced with the SM6 was revolutionary. By moving the mass of the club to where impact is most likely to happen, Vokey was able to design a wedge that controlled flight and spin to a more accurate degree than ever before. I myself am NOT a professional (11 handicap), but even I was able to appreciate the Vokey MOI design. The feel at impact was awesome... I am positive the SM7 will not disappoint.
I would expect a new grind will be introduced, or at the very least, an expansion of loft/bounce options within those grinds that already exist. This would allow for a better fitting experience, and just having more options available. With the introduction of the new Titleist 718 AP3 iron, which has strong lofts, having a couple more strong lofted wedges with grind options to pair with the AP3's would be nice to have. Currently, you can only get 46º loft to 52º loft wedges in F-Grind only, no other grinds are available.
I am curious to see what finishes Vokey will offer in the SM7. Vokey seems to always have an edition of his Chrome, whether its a flat matte chrome or a high polish chrome. At least from the pictures we have already of the SM7 prototypes, it looks like a shiny chrome, but shows a brushed aluminum look to remove that high-gloss or mirror refection that can sometimes give you that sun-flash that renders you blind for a moment just as you're over the ball chipping onto a green... The Black finish has always been an option in the Vokey SM wedge series, sometimes flat matt black (raw), other times resembling the steel grey finish that is available in the SM6 wedges. So, Im sure there will be a Black finish available, just with no idea of what exactly it will look like. The Nickel finish was absent from the SM6 line, perhaps that finish will come available again with the SM7. I enjoyed the SM4 Nickel finish the best as it looked more copper than gold. It was a nice deep color that just seemed classy to me. However, I am keeping my fingers crossed for an Oil Can option. The SM4 was last wedge to sport that look, I really hope it returns for the SM7. With the surging evolution of club customization from custom stamping and paint-fills, back-yard wedge torching to get the wedge color to change, and even custom shaft graphics and shaft bands, Vokey should seriously consider adopting a business plan similar to Scotty Cameron. Being able to customize your wedges to such a high degree would be fun for golfers.
Titleist will announce and show off the Vokey SM7 Wedges at this upcoming PGA Show in Orlando, FL, scheduled for January 24th - 26th. Normally, we get our shipment of fitting wedges delivered to us that following week after the show (so maybe first week of February?). However, retail will not actually start for about 30 days after that... We have a month with the wedges before they officially go on sale, which in that time, we can do fittings and place pre-orders for customers to be able to deliver the wedges to them within the first few days of the official sales launch, being among the first to get the wedges. Most likely Mid-March will be when the Titleist Vokey SM7 wedges will be available for purchase! At the PGA show we'll get all the information, like what finishes will be available, and what loft/bounce/grind options will be available. We can not wait!
The Vokey SM7 wedges will be great, I am sure of it. I am intrigued if any new design aspects are introduced. What will the SM7 have that we haven't seen before. Obviously the face is still spin milled, becuase its in the name "SM". The SM6 introduced both the progressive MOI design and the parallel micro-grooves. What more can be done? Will there be tungsten weight somewhere in the wedge? Who knows!? Altho, I bet that would have leaked out already if there was... Will they become forged? Still so many questions and not enough answers. Until we actually know, we just have to wait... You better believe that when these wedges finally arrive in shop, we'll be giving them a Review and Performance test.. Till then
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