Review: Titleist Vokey Design SM5 Wedges

The Already Popular Wedge Just Got Better
Bob Vokey has been designing the most popular wedges on tour for 10 years and year after year he introduces new features and shapes to retain that ranking.  The variety of grinds, finishes, shapes and grooves over the years has been astounding.  Bob Vokey is a true craftsman when it comes to wedges.  The 2014 SM5 wedges might be his best line yet.  The sheer volume of options help even the average golfer get wedges that fit their game right off the rack and allows them plenty of choices to get the look they want too.  While Vokey wedges are already popular, they just got better.
For me the most important factor in choosing a wedge is head shape.  I’ve found over the years that if the headshape fits my eyes, the performance almost always follows.  It creates confidence and results when I trust that the wedge will strike the ball the way I intend it to.  The hosel transition to leading edge and the toe shape translate into performance for me.  The Vokey Design SM5 wedges have the shape that I love.  They have a smooth transition from the hosel to the leading edge which works best for me as well as a slightly rounded toe all in a compact head size.

The wedge grinds also make a huge difference in performance.  While many average golfer might not be fully educated on all the different grinds and to be honest, personally I only understand about half of how the grinds function. I do know that finding the grinds that work for your game is pretty important.  The easiest way to find your fit is to use the fitting charts on Titleist’s or Vokey’s websites.  They really help narrow down your needs.  I went with a 54* S Grind in chrome and a 58* M Grind in chrome.  The grinds fit my needs and the chrome finish looks so clean, especially with my 712 AP2 irons.  They come stock with a DG s200 shaft and a tour velvet BV grip.  The looks are clean and the grinds are really great.

The talk of wedges still continues to be the grooves.  It has been a couple years now since the USGA made the groove ruling which limited the shape and sharpness of the grooves.  That hasn’t stopped wedge designers from pushing those boundaries with new grooves.  The Vokey Designed TX3 grooves are deep and offer great spin.  I was impressed with how much spin I could still generate with these grooves, even out of the rough.  Sure it isn’t like old box grooves, but these Spin Milled grooves can really get the ball rotating.

The Vokey SM5 wedges are cast for durability, but they still retain a nice feel off the face no matter the swing, full or half.  I might still prefer the feel of forged wedges, but these are not harsh.  The durability is going to be a real plus as I’ve been practicing more and playing on some fairly firm conditions.

When all is said and done, it probably isn’t too important how they look, how they feel, or how they spin; it really comes down to “How do they score?”  This is the part that I am most thrilled about.  With the Titleist Vokey SM5 wedges in the bag, my scores have been going lower and lower.  I’ve been able to consistently play in the mid 70s this season.  I’ve never been that low in my life.  I attribute this to a combination of practice and better fitting clubs.  The Vokey SM5 wedge are both.  I’ve spend more time working on my wedge game and I have perfectly fitting wedges.  My Flightscope testing help we dial in my distances and targets with these wedges.  As you can see below they offer great spin, consistent distances and a tight dispersion.

Bob Vokey has been making great wedges for a long time.  I’ve looked at them over the years and some I liked and some I didn’t.  The SM5 wedges I believe are his best designs yet.  The shape, grinds, finishes, options and performance make them an excellent choice to achieve lower scores.  Vokey wedges were already popular, and these just got better.

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Quick Hits
+Better Shape
+So many grind options
+Online fitting tools
+3 finish options
+TX3 grooves spin the ball
+Lower scores

–Cast feel