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Vokey launches new HandGround program

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Bob Vokey is now offering the tour grinding experience to all golfers through the introduction of the new HandGround program on the company website.

The HandGround program has been created with the aim of offering golfers who seek tour-level customizations such as additional heel relief, squared up leading edge, or tour grind.

The option is currently available on all Vokey SM7 Raw models, and golfers are now able to choose from a variety of performance and profile adjustments.

The performance adjustments are aimed to allow golfers the opportunity to change the wedge’s playing characteristics based on their unique swing-type and course conditions through the process of grinding material off the sole of the wedge.

The performance adjustment options which golfers now have the chance to choose from include

  • Pre Worn Leading Edge
  • Smooth Grind Lines
  • Heel Relief
  • Trailing Edge Relief

While the profile adjustments on offer are designed to allow the golfer to create a confidence-inspiring head shape that fits the player’s eye by grinding material off the profile. The profile adjustments on offer from Vokey include

  • Semi-Square Leading Edge
  • Thin Top Line
  • Tour Grind (smooths all profile lines & slightly reduces profile size)

Two club grinders that Bob Vokey has personally trained are carrying out the task, and the master craftsman will oversee the entire process, as well as grinding HandGround orders himself from time to time.

Speaking concerning the new project, Bob Vokey stated

“This takes me back to my roots – one player at a time, one wedge at a time, crafting the sole to the player’s exact specifications.”

With the F, K and L Grind wedges, golfers now also have the chance to make specific grind selections to their club. For example, choosing a J Grind for the K Grind wedge to offer heel & trailing edge relief, or an A Grind for the L Grind wedge to soften the grind angles.

The HandGround wedges are now available on all SM7 Raw models through Vokey.com. The price of the wedges starts at $195, with an additional $75 charge for all Handground services.

 

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Bitter

    Dec 15, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Why you all so mad?

  2. A. Commoner

    Dec 15, 2018 at 11:32 am

    A hyped up stick made for maybe 2% of the golfing population. Let them have it. C’mon, 98% or so do not have the feel, touch, fine muscle control, or overall skill to benefit from the ‘subtleties’ ground into this ‘miracle wand.’ How many, like me, feel neglected market wise.

  3. Kirk

    Dec 15, 2018 at 1:25 am

    Ridiculous, wedges have gotten crazy expensive lately..

    unless your a true artisan short game specialist…..guys who cant chip but have money will do this whole program and nothing will change

    With all options available today if you cant make one work than sad to say vokey special grind for 3 Bill’s wont either

  4. JThunder

    Dec 14, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    I love how the high-and-mighty come out of the woodwork to “criticize” the golf industry at every new product announcement. Maybe find a more productive way to spend your time – like starting at a wall or sucking air through your teeth.

    Yes, golf companies exist to make profits. Especially the publicly traded ones. And, yes, they will come out with new products every year – whether “improved” or not – essentially because, in modern capitalism, they must. Especially the publicly traded ones.

    Golf clubs are not life’s essentials. And, if you’re on Golfwrx, they’re not “the tools of your trade”. (The big joke being, the folks who make a living with their clubs get them for free – plus a ton of cash – all of which comes out of YOUR pockets!)

    Golf clubs are luxury items.

    So drop the idiotic, disingenuous shock and indignation when you see “custom options” and high prices. No one needs to play golf. No golfer needs more than one set of (grown adult) golf clubs in their life, except in the unlikely event they wear them out. Any golfer could assemble a full set – especially of used clubs – for the price of one hand-ground Vokey. And when you start grumbling “that isn’t good enough for me”, then accept the fact that golf is your hobby, perhaps even golf clubs are your hobby, and you’re being a whiny little child that your precious hobby isn’t as cheap as you’d like it to be.

  5. Tom

    Dec 14, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    $300 for a Handjoob? I don’t think so…

  6. Blake

    Dec 14, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Am i crazy or was there some other hand ground raw program launched a year or two ago?

  7. MP-4

    Dec 14, 2018 at 2:27 am

    Use SM6’s which are fine, but saw the Cleveland RTX 4’s in the shop and they are pretty nice. Kind of like an S Grind but looking down on them they sit and look a little better. Titleist should have kept JP and come out with something fresh. SM4 – SM7, SM7 seems like the end of the design cycle.

  8. Gun Violent

    Dec 13, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    I’ll give you $99, Vokes, take it or leave it lol

  9. ogo

    Dec 13, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Golf club marketing buzzword is now “customization”… so geardeads can own “tour-tested” features… for a few more $$$$$$$$$$$$… and feed their neuroticism.
    So every off-the-shelf stock wedge is now deficient and inferior and should be scrap ped… to gain tour quality wedge shots. (“Golfers are gullible.” — Harvey Pennick, Little Red Book,)

  10. Titleist Fan

    Dec 13, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    Huge Titleist fan, but not sure how much longer. Have seen so many shortfalls in improvements since the SM2, SM4/5’s were just harsh and ball flight was awful. SM6/7’s are average at best.

    Now Voke wants $300 to use a belt sander on the edge and sole, you’re losing your fan base and reputation Voke.

  11. Franksail

    Dec 13, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Worth jumping on their site to learn more about the various grinds. Bob Vokey’s experience goes a long way. Like the idea of more options and focus on SCORING clubs !

  12. ian

    Dec 13, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Not new I have a hand ground wedge prototype from vokey made in 2014.

  13. Babaganoosh

    Dec 13, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Go to harbor freight and get a cheap wheel and grind yourself. I swear, golfers are the least resourceful bunch on the planet. The golf industry thrives on you fools.

  14. Tom

    Dec 13, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Wedges are the “lowest tech” club in the bag….nuttin new here! Sellers be sellin!!!

  15. Thunder Bear

    Dec 13, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Is it me or are wedges starting to get too expensive? $200 for a wedge is crazy high IMO.

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WRX Spotlight Review: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

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Product: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

Pitch: The TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3 is a stronger-lofted version of the standard TaylorMade M5 3-wood. The Rocket is 14 degrees. The standard M5 is 15.

Our take on the TaylorMade M5 Rocket 3

“WOW, you really hit that 3-wood like a rocket!”

” Not like a rocket… an actual Rocket!”

The beloved 3-wood. A favorite club of both average golfers and pros alike, a club that many will hold onto well after what some might consider their “best before” date. But with new options and improved technology, these old faithfuls are getting the boot quicker for a lot of reasons including the ability to better dial in a fit and help minimizing misses.

Since making a club faster off the middle is becoming more and more difficult thanks to the limits set forth but the USGA, OEMs are changing the way we think about clubs and putting a greater focus on decreasing dispersion and optimizing misses. TaylorMade is doing this with TwistFace, which was originally introduced in drivers a generation ago, and has now been included in the M5 and M6 fairway woods.

I got to spend some time with the knowledgeable crew at TaylorMade Canada in their new indoor facility just north of Toronto (lets call it Kingdom North) In that time, we went through a driver fitting, and then to the new M5 fairway woods to try and replace one of my oldest faithfuls: a 14-degree SLDR Tour Spoon. To say I have a unique ability to elevate a fairway wood is something that even my fitter was a little surprised by. My numbers with my cranked down to 12 degree (measured) fairway off the deck were good but could be improved. I can hit it both ways (as much as a 6-handicap can actually claim that) but my trusted go-to shot is a slight fade with some heel bias contact because of my swing. I am willing to sacrifice some distance but usually hit it where I want.

What I saw at the end of the fitting was a club that produced longer shots along with a tighter dispersion without having to make or to try and make any changes to my swing. The final fit was a 14-degree “Rocket” M5 fairway set to 12 degrees. It beat out my SLDR by a total of nine yards, which is an increase of just over a total of three percent, including an additional six yards of carry.

To say I was honestly surprised would be an understatement. The SLDR TS is a club that the first time I hit it I went WHOA! Low spin, workable, looks exactly how I want that club to look (small and compact). You can see from the numbers below when it works it works.

Why does TwistFace work?

Let’s explain and get a little deep in the technology weeds for a second. Bulge and roll is not a new concept. In fact, it would be a lie to claim that all OEMs haven’t done something similar to this is the past or played with these two variables to help golfers hit better shots. Fact: Every OEM optimizes the bulge and roll on their clubs to increase speed and maximize performance. Tom Wishon actually had a line of woods at one point that went the other way had VERY limited roll from the top tine to the sole. With this design, more loft on the bottom of the head helped players who miss low or need help elevating the ball off the deck increase launch and spin. It worked. Cobra also has what it calls E9 technology to tweak bulge and roll to help maximize the speed and forgiveness of their woods. It also works.

What makes TaylorMade’s TwistFace different is that it is the most aggressive iteration of this bulge and roll tweaking yet, and by introducing it into the fairway woods and hybrids, it’s proving to be a winner — even for this now-proven wrong skeptic.

At the end of the day, the M5 Ti “Rocket” was a measurable improvement over my previous 3-wood. Now it would be disingenuous to say “if you aren’t using TwistFace in your fairway woods you’re not maximized,” but if you are someone that struggles with fairway wood dispersion and looking to find some extra distance for taking on par-5s, taking a look at the new M5 and M6 fairway woods as part of your next fitting should be very high on your list.

 

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Low handicapper switching to game improvement irons”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from jasonTel3 – a low handicap player who plays blades but who has had his head turned by game improvement irons. According to jasonTel3, every ball was hit straight when testing out a set of Ping G400’s at a simulator, and he’s been asking fellow members for advice on whether he should make the move to GI’s.

Here are a few posts from the thread discussing jasonTel3’s conundrum, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • balls_deep: “My first thought is to say don’t do it.. but then if you’ve hit them, liked them, and the numbers were right, it could be a good option. A friend I play with uses G400 and they have too much offset for my liking. I also don’t like that you can see the cavity on the 4 and 5 iron. Top line is actually very nice for a SGI iron. I just read the Ping Blueprint article on Golf Digest where they were talking about how some players hit small heads better. I definitely fall into that category. That said, I just ordered a set of i210 to try as I had really good luck with the i200 and should never have sold them. Have you tried the newer I series? IMO it’s GI help in a players look with an acceptable sole width. Long story short though – if you felt comfortable and the fit was right, why not try them? If you don’t work the ball a ton, I don’t see any issue with it. High and straight is a good way to go!”
  • hammergolf: “I’ve been playing Ping G25’s for 6 years. Still can’t find anything I like better. I can hit any shot I need to whether it’s my stock draw, fade, high, or low. And when I hit it a little thin, or on the toe, it still lands on the green. My thought is why play golf with a club that will punish you for mishit when you can play one that will help you.”
  • azone: “Everyone has an opinion, and here is mine. If you are/have been a good ball striker with a sound mental game, your mind will keep writing checks your body may not be able to cash as you get older or don’t practice enough. Those “ugly” forgiving irons look beautiful when a miss ends up on the green, and you are putting– not in rough or deep in a short side bunker. Those irons won’t be AS ACCURATE as, say, a blade, BUT if you aren’t as dependable as in the past, your results will be better. I used to keep two sets of blueprinted irons; blades for practice and CB for play. I play with guys that have cashed checks playing…and they don’t care how ugly the iron is.”
  • Jut: “As a decent player (and ball striker) and a sweeper/picker (I could hit off of a green and not take any landscape with me), I’ve found much success with the F9s (which, with the wide sole, are very similar to the G410 irons). In the past 4 years I’ve gone from Mizuno MP-68 to Callaway Apex CF16 to Ping i500 (a brief and bad experience) to the Cobra F9’s. For what it’s worth, the Cobras have been the best of the bunch by far.”

Entire Thread: “Low handicap going to game improvement irons”

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WRX Spotlight: Stitch headcovers

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Product: Stitch headcovers

Pitch: From Stitch: “Your game should match your style. At Stitch, we aim to merchandise our line of products so you can easily put together items that not only match your bag and what is it in it, but also match your style and personality. We want to make it easy for you to have a unique and color-coordinated golf bag. We have designed unique products that have defined color schemes so that choosing which items to put in your bag becomes easier. We aim to provide you with various looks, mixing and matching our head covers to give you confidence that the purchase you make for your bag will take you to the course in style. Let us help you dress your game.”

Our Take On Stitch Headcovers

Stitch is a relatively new company – founded in 2012. The company initially only created premium headcovers but has grown into so much more, with all sorts of golfing accessories now on offer on their site StitchGolf.com. Their bags, in particular, are now some of the most popular amongst golfers, with the quality and uniqueness provided leading multiple Tour players to sport them in tournament play.

That sign of quality in the bags bodes well for what the company was founded on – their headcovers. Stitch provides both leather and knit headcovers in a variety of designs that do as good a job as any in covering the needs of all golfers.

Stitch describes the companies Monte Carlo headcover as being their “classic, timeless design”, and for those looking for that vintage style to add to their set up then they can’t go wrong with this headcover. A mainstay in the likes of multiple tour winner Paul Casey’s bag, the Monte Carlo headcover, as with all of the companies leather covers, is hand-crafted from 100% leather and is both water and stain resistant. The cover comes in four color codes: Black, White, Navy and Red, and at $68 is the most affordable of all their leather headcovers.

Other options in the leather department range from their intricately designed Camo cover which comes in a multiple color design, as well as Stitch’s tribute to “The King”, through their Arnold Palmer headcover.

The AP cover comes in a minimalist black with white stripes for a classic feel, but it also comes in a white color code decorated with red, white and yellow stripes which, for myself at least, looks even more alluring. Part of an exclusive collection, the only issue with the AP cover is that only those located in the U.S. are currently eligible to get their hands on one. But for those in the states, the company is now offering a set of three AP leather covers for $128 instead of $298 should you use the code APLEATHERS on their site.

From their Tour Racer, USA, Shamrock and Bonesman editions, Stitch provides a great choice when it comes to their leather covers, and as previously mentioned, all are hand-crafted from 100% leather, water and stain resistant and will assure an excellent fit on your clubs.

Stitch also provides knit headcovers which contain not only excellent designs but also the same quality which has gone into their leather covers. All of the companies knit covers are made from Techno Wool, which is 100% acrylic and designed in order for your clubs to stay entirely dry. Another feature of the knit covers from Stitch is their smart fit design which ensures all of the covers retain their shape over a long period, as well as providing for a cover that will reliably stay on your club.

The knit covers from Stitch cost $68 ($72 for the limited AP cover), and there are currently seven different designs available to choose from over at StitchGolf.com. The leather covers are, unsurprisingly, a little pricier, but still very affordable, ranging from $68-$98. The covers deliver in both style and performance, and for a relatively new company, it speaks volumes that the likes of Jim Furyk, Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau and many more tour pros are now sporting the company’s creations.

 

 

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