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..
"Players tested the SM7 prototypes and mentioned their soft feel, lower launch, and higher spin around the greens. All the key things that we strive to achieve in wedge development was validated in the first week. When a player tells you it's easier to hit wedge shots you know you have something special."- Aaron Dill, Vokey Wedge Representative
|WEDGE COUNT - 2017 RSM CLASSIC|
|Vokey Design SM7 prototype||102|
|Vokey Design SM6||69|
The Vokey SM7 is finally here! After months of anticipation, below are the final bits of information, and this IS what we now know! Get your juices flowing with the Titleist Vokey SM7 video below!
March 9th is the Official Availability and release date for the NEW Titleist Vokey SM7 wedges to golf shops. I know we'll have our fitting wedges about 2-weeks before the release, so Spargo Golf will be able to fit, and pre-order the wedges so that our customers will get their custom fit wedges in hand for the national release!
We'll be the judge of the performance. Stay tuned for our Performance BLOG, we'll put the wedge to the test as soon as they arrive to us. HOWEVER, it will most likely perform similar to the SM6, but tweaked and refined to the utmost level of performance. Any performance gain will be small, but just a little better in every category (is my guess). There is never HUGE performance gain from model to model, I anticipate that with the re-vamped Pro V1 ball, this wedge will gain some performance. Clubs and balls are like a "chicken or the egg" scenario, one technology will change forcing the other to follow, but which is it? The club chasing the ball performance? Or the ball chasing the club performance? Either say, if you plan on playing this wedge, play with a current Pro V ball too. I digress back to wedge performance, a simple tweak in the progressive MOI design, grooves (in texture, shape, and angle of groove design into the club-face) this is an area that would be tweaked to the highest available performance, again showing in a slight overall performance gain, tweaking the original SM6 design to the purest design. Also, stock shaft is the True Temper Dynamic Gold S200, which has been the stock shaft for years now.. That has not changed.
The SM7 wedge will be available in Tour Chrome, Brushed Chrome (which looks nearly identical to the SM6 Steel Gray, but a little darker shade), and Jet Black. The Jet Black is completely blacked out including the paint fill, and will be a raw wedge (meaning it will rust over time).
All the original grinds from the SM6 are available, however as I expected early in the anticipation, there is a NEW Grind available, expanding the tour tested line of grinds. The D-Grind (The player’s high bounce wedge. High measured bounce with the crescent shape of the M Grind for shot making versatility.) is available in 58º and 60º lofts (see picture). High bounce would benefit the player with a steep angle of attack and/or public course player with softer surfaces to play on. Obviously there are a lot of factors that determine grind, so don't take my advice on it, get fit if you can.
Probably what we've all been most curious about, the price... It seems to be a trend, new model = new higher price... Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge (with steel shaft) has a MSRP for $175, but nobody sells at the full price. The wedge will be available in golf shops for $159.
In my opinion, wedges are a club that have a life, and needs replacing at some point from high use and being the most abused in general (rocky bunkers, sand wear on the club-face, etc...). Wedges get chewed up from golf course conditions, unlike a putter, which you can use for the rest of your life, wedges will wear down. Also, like I mentioned above, are designed in direct relation to a ball design. There is a performance leak using older wedges with newer balls, and vice versa. Let us know your thoughts on the SM7 wedges! Comment below, trolls need not apply ;) Keep it clean, keep it productive.
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“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”
- Albert Einstein