Hey everyone. Today we’ve got some news to share about Titleist’s new SM4 wedges, after their official release. These new wedges feature durable, conforming grooves, 8620 carbon steel construction, a slightly larger teardrop profile, micro edge face texture for partial shot spin, and a variety of finishes and loft options to choose from. They will be available in right and left handed on November 18, 2011. These wedge retail at $140 steel and $165 for graphite. See the more details and plenty of pictures below.
NEW ADVANCES IN THE SM4 VOKEY DESIGN WEDGES: Like their Spin Milled predecessors, the new Vokey Design SM4 wedges are made from soft 8620 carbon steel and feature Titleist’s industry-leading Spin Milled technology. The SM4 wedges have a CNC-machined perfectly flat face and precisely cut groove geometry using a formed cutting tool that creates a tighter tolerance on both the groove size and edge radius. The face surface is also precisely machined with a series of milled micro edges resulting in greater surface roughness for improved spin on partial shots versus a polished wedge face. Regardless of the conditions or shot type, Spin Milled technology provides maximum spin and shot control.
HEAT TREATED FACE: The new Vokey Design SM4 wedges undergo a unique, surface localized heat treatment that substantially increases the durability of the precise scoreline edge radius and face surface texture. In comprehensive play tests that compared treated faces to untreated, Titleist found that the process helped retain both increased spin and lower launch angle for better shot control through the life of the wedge without altering the feel in any way.
NEW GROOVE CONFIGURATION: After the original C-C wedges were released, the Vokey Design team continued to investigate ways to recapture some of the backspin on full shots hit from the rough that was lost due to the new groove guidelines. The new SM4 groove was designed to be narrower than the C-C design in order to accommodate more grooves, making use of a 17-scoreline pattern, a combination that proved optimal in player testing. In fact, the SM4 groove pattern reclaims over 1,200 rpm in lost backspin versus the original C-C design. The SM4 groove radius is sharp and the tight manufacturing tolerances of the Spin Milled process allow the grooves to push right to the conforming edge radius limit.
“Seventeen scorelines gives us more teeth on the ball, but it doesn’t impart so much spin that you lose versatility and shot control when accessing a middle to back pin,” said Vokey. “I honestly think this pattern strikes a perfect balance. At first, when the new groove regulations were announced, most folks were very reactive and wanted to hold on to every rpm of spin they could get. The new SM4 groove allows the player to high spinning shots with a controlled trajectory, or hit a shot with controlled spin and precise roll-out.”
NEW SHAPE, EXPANDED OFFERINGS: The new SM4 wedges are inspired by Vokey’s original 200 Series designs. Created by Bob for Titleist in 1998, with shapes still widely used on Tour and recently made available to Vokey enthusiasts through Vokey.com’s WedgeWorks custom shop, the 200 Series featured a classic teardrop head shape with a high toe peak, shallow heel and a soft trailing edge. Like the 200’s, the heads of the new SM4 wedges are slightly larger than the original Spin Milled and C-C wedges and feature dimension and shape progression through the lofts.
The Vokey Design team uses Computer Aided Design (CAD) to dial in proper dimension and shape progression as the models advance in lofts. In SM4 wedges, the clubhead size increases and toplines grow rounder, as do the leading edges of the wedges, as the lofts move from the 46-degree strong pitching wedge up to the 64-degree lob wedge. This progression follows functionality – squarer toe and leading edge in the wedges that are used to play more full-shots, and rounder toe and leading edge in wedges that are frequently used for partial and touch shots where the club must perform well when played in either an open or closed orientation. CAD allows the Vokey Design team to blend the visual features that players require in designs that also deliver functional performance.
Model changes to the SM4 line include a new 46-degree pitching wedge and higher bounce models in lofts of 48, 50 and 52 degrees. Ten models, ranging from 54 to 64 degrees, will now be offered with specialty sole grinds that Vokey developed on Tour. In addition to the popular “M” grind (a versatile design suitable for many playing styles in a variety of course conditions that is characterized by a crescent-shaped forward bounce surface and relieved wrap surface), the “T” grind as well as the new “S” and “L” grinds have been added to the offering. The “T” and “L” grinds are modifications of the “M” grind, offering greater heel, toe and trailing edge relief for less effective bounce. These models are suitable for players with shallow angles of attack and/or firm playing conditions. The “S” grind is named for Titleist Brand Ambassador Steve Stricker, with whom Bob worked to create a sole with heel and trailing edge relief but with a fuller toe to provide added effective bounce for bunker play. In addition all full sole Vokey wedge models feature a new trailing edge ribbon that offers less resistance during takeaway and more consistent turf interaction at impact.
Full Club Features
- MAXIMUM CONFORMING SPIN through tour extreme grooves that feature 100% inspected, tight tolerance, aggressive groove edges at the limits allowed by the Rules of Golf
- SUPERIOR FULL SHOT CONTROL from precise individually cut Spin Milled grooves that deliver optimal spin and predictable launch and flight
- MAXIMUM PARTIAL SHOT SPIN and control from the milled micro edge face texture that provides grip on less than full shots
- DURABLE GROOVES from a surface localized heat treatment that preserves the precise milled grooves and micro edges
- IMPROVED TURF AND SAND PERFORMANCE through a neutral entry angle, trailing edge ribbon and tour validated sole designs taken straight from Bob’s tour grinds
- MORE CHOICES of models, lofts, bounce and sole grinds to cover yardage gaps and all designed to help you hit it close
- IMPROVED APPEARANCE with a slightly larger teardrop profile and CAD generated progressive leading edge, toe profile and topline radius
- GREAT LOOKS in three distinct finishes: Tour Chrome, Black Nickel and Oil Can
More details: http://www.titleist.com/