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New WedgeWorks 456.14 commemorates a very special Vokey anniversary

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In July 1997, Bob Vokey’s first wedge went into play on the PGA Tour at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. In the 20 years since, his wedges have become the most popular models on the PGA Tour. They are now dozens of Vokey wedge configurations available to golfers, but it all started with the one wedge that Vokey has recreated for a very special WedgeWorks launch.Vokey_45614_Limited_3

At the time, the special wedge that went in the bag of PGA Tour player Andy Bean in Memphis was just a prototype — the only markings on Bean’s wedge were the Titleist script and loft — but the wedge became known as the 456.14. The leading number (4) indicated that the wedge was a part of Vokey’s 400 Series, while 56 noted the loft and 14 noted the bounce (both measured in degrees).

”I had two in my bag, and let Andy try it,” Vokey says. “He canned the first one and lipped out the second one, and he says to me, ‘Voke, I’ve got to put this in play!'”

After confirming with Titleist’s R&D team that the wedge was conforming, Vokey obliged and Bean became the first PGA Tour player to use a Vokey wedge in competition.

The new, limited-edition wedges have the same rounded shape and increased offset as the original 456-14, and they’re currently available for purchase through Vokey.com or by custom order for $250. They have a polished-chrome finish, as well as Vokey’s new TX4 groove configuration, which are inspected for maximum sharpness and have a parallel face texture that the company says delivers more backspin and control. They’re also customizable with different stampings, characters paintfill, shafts, grips, shaft bands and ferrules.

Vokey_45614_Limited_1

Vokey says the added bounce of the 456-14 makes it best for golfers who play in soft conditions and soft sand, as well as those with steeper angles of attack.

Another important day for Bob Vokey this summer will come at the RBC Canadian Open, where the Verdun, Québec, native will be inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. Vokey was born in Montreal and joined Titleist in 1996.

“This is something I would never have dreamed of as a young boy growing up in Verdun, working in my Dad’s machine shop,” Vokey says. “I’ve never forgotten where I came from, so to see my name on the same list of Canadian golf legends is overwhelming. I have always been surrounded by passionate, hardworking people who love the game as much as I do. This honor really is a reflection of everybody that has provided me the opportunities to live out my passion over the past 50 years in golf.”

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Mad-Mex

    Jun 13, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Nah,,,, I’ll stick with Cleveland 588’s ,,,,,,

  2. Dave R

    Jun 8, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Ya but aren’t you supposed to change you’re wedges every year? I think I read an article about that somewhere oh ya it was here.

  3. Warrick Lawrence

    Jun 8, 2017 at 5:27 am

    $250 for a single wedge does seem a bit steep, but then it is a commemorative piece. I don’t think you would actually play with one, but rather have it over the bar or displayed in your “Man cave”
    Ideal father’s day gift..from dad, (me)… to dad(me).
    But wait , I see he also has a signature series??? Which is more collectable?

  4. Duk Koo Kim

    Jun 8, 2017 at 5:00 am

    Huh, whaaaa only $2500 for a wedge?! That’s peanuts!! Oh wait, I thought I was in year 2080!

    $250!!!! Ahahahahahahahahaha!!! Come on Voke, dude, really……..2 fiddy, for a hunk ‘o steel?

    Please!!! Get ‘th kuhp (backwards) outta here!!

  5. Com

    Jun 8, 2017 at 3:07 am

    Spoken like a person who truly knows nothing, again. Well done. Congrats.

  6. KC

    Jun 7, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    $250 for a wedge is insane. Love my Vokeys but I got both of mine for $250 and they perform exactly the same as this one.

  7. coastieyaker

    Jun 7, 2017 at 11:56 am

    I am so fed up with overpriced gear. Vokey/Titleist should be ashamed for gouging the consumer the way they do.

  8. Xav

    Jun 7, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Why not play the original release if one can be found in mint condition?

    • Tom1

      Jun 7, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      “if” this design is over twenty years old ya would have better luck finding a hooker with all her teeth.

    • C

      Jun 8, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      Doubt the grooves would be conforming.

  9. Tom1

    Jun 7, 2017 at 11:10 am

    one of the best wedge design. I will gladly try em’

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Equipment

Members’ Choice: The top-5 drivers that golfers want to test in 2018

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Golf’s “off-season” is upon us and the PGAM Show in Orlando is quickly approaching in January, which means it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming driver releases.

We’ve seen a few companies launch their “2018” lines already — such as Cobra with its new King F8 and F8+ — while speculation swirls around the companies who have yet to announce their newest products. For instance, we’ve spotted a new “TaylorMade M4″ driver, and a new “Rogue” driver from Callaway. If history repeats itself and Titleist remains on a two-year product cycle, then we’ll see a replacement for the 917 line sometime in 2018, as well.

The question we posed to our GolfWRX Members recently was, which new or unreleased driver has you most excited heading into 2018? Below are the results and a selection of comments about each driver.

Click here to join the discussion!

Note: The comments below have been minimally edited for brevity and grammar. 

Titleist (7.39 percent of votes)

BDoubleG: I know it’s well down the road, but the Titleist 919 is what I’m most looking forward to. I played the 910 until this year and loved it, but I realized that I wasn’t getting much in the way of distance gains with the 915/917, and I was just leaving too many yards on the table. I know it’s a cliche, but I was seeing considerable gains with my G400LS, then my M2 I have now.

I feel like Titleist has been hurting in the driver market share category (and probably elsewhere), as I think a lot of people think that the 913, 915 and 917 have been minor refreshes in a world where almost everyone else has been experimenting with structure (jailbreak, turbulators) or with COG (spaceports, SLDR, G-series extreme back CG). I think if Titleist is going to recapture some of their market share, they will need to start taking an interest in stepping outside of their comfort zone to catch up with everyone else. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but a D2-style head with ample forgiveness and low-spin (maybe a back-front weight), with the same great sound of the 917, and hopefully getting rid of the “battery taped to the sole” look would be a huge hit in my book.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with…and I hope I’m not disappointed.

Mizuno GT-180 or otherwise (8.87 percent of votes)

mrmikeac: After thoroughly testing the Mizuno ST-180 and seeing the distance gains I was getting from my Epic, I can’t wait for the GT to get here. Cobra would be next in line for me, but Mizzy really did something special with that JPX-900 and it seems to look like they’re going the same route with these drivers. Excellent feel, forgiveness and simple but effective tech. 

Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero or otherwise (17.73 percent of votes)

cvhookem63: It seems like we’re not getting a lot of “NEW” this time — just some same lines “improved” on a little. I’m interested to try the Rogue line and M3/M4 line to see if they improved on their previous models. The Cobra F8+ is intriguing to me, as well. I’d like to compare those three to see how they stack up. 

tj7644: Callaway Rogue. It’s gotta make me hit straighter drives right? It sure can’t be my swing…

Equipto: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, and that’s about it. Most of my testing will be with shafts I presume. 

bangabain: Excited to give the Rogue a shot, although with the hope that there’s a little more fade bias despite the lack of sliding weight.

TaylorMade M3, M4 or otherwise (27.09 percent of votes)

DeCuchi: TaylorMade M3 of course, and the F8+. I’m more interested in the fairways this year though. TaylorMade M4 fairways and Rogue fairways are top of my list. 

elwhippy: TaylorMade M3 and M4. Not owned a TM driver for several seasons and want something with a bit more power than the Ping G Series…

cradd10: M3. Still rocking an OG M1. Super solid driver. Curious to see if the updated version can beat it. 

Cobra F8/F8+ (33.66 percent of votes)

WAxORxDCxSC: I sure want to like the F8 based on looks (I understand I’m possibly in the minority on that one at GolfWRX).

TWshoot67: For me, it’s three drivers: the Cobra F8, F8+ and TM M4. 

The General: Cobra F8 is going to dominate everything, just wait, on the F8

Ace2000: Definitely F8/F8+. Love my Bio Cell+ and can’t help but wonder if these perform as good as they look. 

Click here to join the discussion!

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Equipment

True Linkswear goes back to its spikeless roots

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True Linkswear is getting back to its roots, while expanding the singular golf shoe brand’s reach at the same time.

The Tacoma, Washington, company’s Director/Partner, Justin Turner, told us that with the release of the two new models, the company is course-correcting from a move toward the mainstream, spiked golf shoes, and a loss of identity.

In addition to durability issues, Turner said the core True Linkswear customer didn’t appreciate the shift — or the deluge of models that followed.

So, in a sense, the two-model lineup both throws a bone to True devotees and casts a wider net.

Turner and company asked: “If we wanted to restart the brand….what would we value?” A commitment to the brand’s core outsider identity, style as articulated in early models, and an emphasis on quality led Turner on multiple trips to China to survey suppliers in early 2017. Eventually, the company settled on a manufacturing partner with a background in outdoor gear and hiking shoes.

“We’ve spent the last few years scouring the globe for the best material sourcing, reputable factories, advanced construction techniques, and time-tested fundamentals to build our best shoes yet. No cheap synthetics, no corners cut.”

Eventually, True settled on two designs: The Original, which, not surprisingly, has much in common with the zero-drop 2009 industry disrupting model, and the Outsider: a more athletic-style shoe positioned to attract a broader audience.

True Linkswear Original: $149

The company emphasizes the similarity in feel between the Original and early True Linkswear models, suggesting that players will feel and connect to the course “in a whole new way.”

  • Gray, White, Black colorways
  • Waterproof full grain leather
  • Thin sole with classic True zero-drop heel
  • 12.1 oz
  • Sockfit liner for comfort
  • Natural width box toe

True Linkswear Outsider: $169

With the Outsider, True Linkswear asked: “What if a golf shoe could be more? Look natural in more environments?”

  • Grey/navy, black, white colorways
  • EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Full grain waterproof leather
  • 13.1 oz (thicker midsole than the Original)

The company envisions both shoes being worn on course and off.

True Linkswear introduced the more durable and better-performing Cross Life Tread with both models. Turner says the tread is so good, you can wear the shoes hiking.

Both models are available now through the company website only. True Linkswear plans to enter retail shops slowly and selectively.

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Equipment

Sean O’Hair and Steve Stricker’s Winning WITBs from the 2017 QBE Shootout

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The team of Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair closed the QBE Shootout with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot win over Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. O’Hair made a timely eagle on the par-5 17th hole at Tiburon Golf Club to lock up the first place prize of $820,000 ($410,000 each).

Here’s a look at their bags.

Sean O’Hair

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Prototype 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Limited Edition 70TX

5 Wood: Titleist 915F (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ Limited Edition 80TX

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4-iron), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 prototype (50, 54 and 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron prototype

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Related: Sean O’Hair WITB

Steve Stricker

Driver: Titleist 913D3 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 8.2X

3 Wood: Titleist 915F (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK Pro White 80TX Prototype

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 (17.0 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2X

Irons: Titleist 718 CB (3-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour Prototype

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (46, 54 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 w/ Sensicore

Putter: Odyssey White Hot 2

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Related: Steve Stricker WITB 2017

Note: We originally reported Stricker had a Scotty Cameron putter in the bag, per Titleist’s equipment report. Stricker did, however, have a Odyssey White Hot putter in play during the final round of the QBE Shootout.

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