Titleist Vokey SM9 T Grind and lightweight options: What you need to know
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Titleist’s Vokey SM9 line grows with the addition of the low-bounce T Grind in 58- and 60-degree lofts. The grind is designed for players with shallow swing paths or those playing in firm conditions. Vokey also has added lightweight steel and graphite shaft options in an effort to make it easier for players that use such shafts in their irons to match their wedges to their iron set.
PRICING/AVAILABILITY: All Titleist Vokey SM9 wedges cost $180 in steel and $195 in graphite. The lightweight shaft options are available starting March 10, 2023.
1. Grinding it out
If the Titleist Vokey SM9 line is known for one thing, it is the number of loft/bounce/grind options it makes available in an effort to get players into the best fit for their game. The company has expanded on that by adding the T Grind—previously available only through the company’s WedgeWorks custom program—to its main lineup, making it the seventh grind in the SM9 family.
Offered in SM9 58.04T and 60.04T models, the T Grind is a low-bounce wedge with a narrow crescent surface and wider back flange that is a good fit for players with shallow swing paths, as well as those playing off firm conditions. Compared to the L Grind, another low bounce option, the T Grind features a narrower forward sole and more aggressive heel, toe and trailing edge relief.
“Wedge play is an art, and the T Grind brings out the best in the artist,” said Bob Vokey, Titleist’s master craftsman for wedges. “The leading edge stays low to the playing surface as the wedge is rotated, which allows the golfer to hit a variety of shots from tight lies.”
The T Grind has proven a popular wedge on the pro tours, winning nine events on the PGA Tour last season. Among those using the grind are Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Will Zalatoris, Cameron Young and Cameron Smith, the latter using it during his win at the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews.
2. Lightening the load
Many golfers use lightweight steel or even graphite shafts in their irons but use heavier steel shafts in their wedges that creates a disconnect. Vokey attempts to solve that problem by offering a lightweight shaft program with the goal of allowing players to have a consistent shaft profile throughout their bag.
“Every golfer has a unique swing and requires a unique wedge,” said Vokey. “Finding the right option for your swing type can allow you to hit any kind of wedge shot, in all conditions. Playing the right shaft can make a massive difference in performance.”
As such, Titleist is making available the KBS Tour Lite 95 wedge shaft in steel and the Mitsubishi Tensei AM2 Red graphite shaft in regular and women’s flexes.
3. All the SM9 tech
Although extensions to the Vokey SM9 lineup, the T Grind and lightweight versions lack none of the tech of previous SM9 models. That includes a center-of-gravity position in front of the face that assists squaring the clubhead at impact. Progressive hosel lengths help raise the CG, particularly in the higher lofts, to producing a lower, more controllable flight and the “spin milled” cutting process that creates the entire scoreline instead of just part of it to deliver a more consistent scoreline edge radius, allowing the grooves to be sharper and closer to the USGA limit.