2022 ushered in a highly anticipated release of Titleist’s latest wedges, the Vokey SM9s. Prior to their release, there was quite a bit of buzz in testing between tour players, influencers and anyone else who could get their hands on them before they came out. A Vokey is always an excellent wedge, so what’s new here, and should you get one? I can tell you, after testing, I switched into 2 new SM9 wedges without any hesitation. Let’s dive into a full Titleist Vokey SM9 wedge review below!
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Titleist Vokey SM9 Review | Full Rundown
When I went in to test out the SM9 at Golf Galaxy initially, I was pitting these wedges against my previous SM6 wedges, and immediately felt like these just looked a bit more sleek and modern in their design. In holding one of these wedges I felt like they were just a touch heavier than my previous wedge, with a little less rounded clubhead design.
In the looks department, this genuinely just looks like a newer, more up to date version of the last 2-3 releases by Vokey. The design of these wedges is effortlessly simplistic and elegant. They come with some nice and tacky Golf Pride grips as well that just feel good in your hands. Not much has changed in the little BV logo design, nor in the stamping of the Grind, Loft and Bounce, making this feel like a timeless Vokey Design.
Feel and Sound
In testing, I was moving from my SM6 56 degree into a SM9 54 degree, and moving from a stock gap wedge to a 50 Degree. I started my testing with the 50 degree, and after 1 swing it was pretty obvious how much softer the face feels at impact. The sound just makes such a crisp and satisfying “tock” when you strike it well, I was amazed at the difference between a stock gap and the Vokey. When comparing the feel on the SM9 to my SM6, it felt significantly softer at impact. It’s worth noting I also tried the SM8 during this fitting, and the difference between the SM8 VS the SM9 wasn’t huge. If anything, the SM9 was just a tad softer at impact, but you have to look for it.
Off center strikes feel a harder off the face, giving you pretty immediate feedback. I find I get a jolt of vibration when I mishit these wedges, which is to be expected given the blade look and feel they have. Overall, both SM9s felt immensely satisfying in testing, and remain my favorite clubs to hit in my bag. They just feel good.
Now to get to technical details behind what makes the Vokey SM9 one of the highest performing wedges out there today. One of the most unique things about Vokeys, first and foremost is their vast selection of different grinds, bounces, and lofts; this huge variation makes these wedges more customizable than any competitor out there. There is a grind, loft and bounce combination out there for every swing and any condition played in golf. We’ll get to this more later, but the sheer customizability plays a massive hand on making these such high performing wedges.
Now, there aren’t tons of jaw dropping upgrades from the Vokey SM8. There have been small adjustments to the cut of the grooves to maximize spin further, and the addition of a local heat treatment to make the grooves more durable. The difference in spin is evident in spin rates on a launch monitor and an overall lower launching wedge, making these things really zippy around the greens.
Another improvement on the SM9s is the upgraded CG placement; the SM9 features a calculated progressive center of gravity which has been moved forward and up based on the loft of the club. This new progressive system helps the player work the trajectory a little bit more, and have more control when they have a wedge in hand. After playing these wedges for about 4 months now, I feel like I have a ton of control both on a full swing and a touchy pitch shot, helping me place the ball closer to the pin. It’s just plain easy to hit these wedges solid.
Grind Options & Specs
The Grind Options available from Titleist on their Vokey wedges make the SM9s super customizable; there is a grind type and a bounce for every style of player or situation. Frankly, I highly recommend using Vokey’s homegrown wedge selector tool for the best, most personal results to your game.
Here are the grind options and what they might mean for you, as well as some other useful specs:
The F Grind is the most played Sand Wedge style on the PGA Tour, used by the likes of Justin Thomas and Ian Poulter. This is your standard all-purpose wedge that you can use for full shots, and shots hit with a square face. The F Grind suits players who like the look and feel of a traditional wedge sole.
The S Grind is pretty similar to the F Grind, with the main difference being trailing edge relief. This is a great option for someone who is mid to shallow in their delivery at impact. This is a great wedge for both square faced shots and full shots, and tends to provide a little more height when the ball comes off the face, however it’s really easy to control trajectory with your hands being either ahead of or behind the ball. This grind plays well on neutral to more firm golf courses. This wedge is in the bag of Jordan Spieth.
A personal favorite of Bob Vokey himself, the M Grind is great for players who love to manipulate the club face. This is a highly versatile wedge grind that performs well with an open club face, a closed club face, and everything in between. If you’re really creative and tend to manufacture shots when you’ve got a wedge in hand, this is the one. Important to note, this club tends to benefit players with a shallow and sweeping motion as they come into impact. Patrick Cantlay and Cam Smith both game the M Grind Vokeys in their bag.
This is naturally a high bounce grind, which is great for forgiveness and versatility around the green. This is a great wedge grind option for any player who has a naturally steep angle of attack, who likes to play the clubface a variety of ways. This wedge had full heel to toe trail edge relief helping you open the clubface up even more around the green.
This is the highest bounce option of all the Grind Types, and is billed as the ultimate bunker club. The K Grind features a very wide sole that stretches the length of the club with an enhanced curvature making this a really forgiving wedge in a multitude of conditions. You can play this wedge from the bunker, around the green or with a full swing. Both JT and Webb Simpson game the K Grind in their bags on tour.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the L Grind is the lowest bounce grind that Vokey offers to market. The grind of this wedge features heel, toe and trailing edge relief, making this a very versatile wedge around the greens. Given the lower bounce, this is ideal for firmer conditions; you typically see a more advanced player using the L Grind. This option is best if you want precision and maximum control at impact.
Lofts: 46°, 48°, 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 60°, 62°
Stock Shaft: TrueTemper Dynamic Gold
Flex Options: regular, stiff, X-Stiff
The SM9 Vokey Wedges had a lot of buzz around them leading up to their release earlier in 2022, and they did not disappoint. If you’re in the market for a high caliber wedge or wedge set, Titleist Vokey is the best of the best, thanks to highly flexible and customizable grind, loft and bounce options to suit every situation and every type of player. The SM9 wedges produce higher spin rates, lower launch numbers, and feel amazing when struck out of the center. In my opinion, the Vokey SM9 is a no brainer buy. Check the price for the SM9 at Golf Galaxy here.