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Review: Titleist Vokey TVD-M and TVD-K Wedges

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Pros: The TVD-M and TVD-K wedges have narrower soles and less bounce than Vokey’s SM5 wedges to give better golfers more versatility around the greens. And If you’re looking for spin, you can’t do much better than Vokey’s new TX3 grooves.

Cons: At $160, these are some of the most expensive cast wedges on the market. The three available customization packages ($25, $50 and $60) add to the price tag, but few wedge makers can compete with Vokey’s breadth of options and attention to detail.

Who are they for? Better players looking for a versatile tour-style wedge that can be customized to the nines. The TVD-K (and its SM5 equivalent) could be the best-performing bunker club on the market.

Overview

The 21 different loft, bounce and grind combinations that make up Vokey’s SM5 wedge line offer more than enough options for most golfers, but there’s always a few players who need something a little different. That’s where Vokey’s TVD (Tour Van Design) wedges come into the picture.

To use a car metaphor, Vokey’s TVD wedges are to BMW’s M5 what the SM5 wedges are to BMW’s 5-Series. Most drivers will get all the performance they need from BMW’s 5-Series, but there are those who prefer the more specialized driving experience of the M5. The same is true of Vokey’s SM5 wedges; they offer everything most golfers need to play their best, but certain players will do better with the TVD.

Vokey TVD-M

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A 60-degree TVD-M with a Black Ion finish. Notice the “Snow Effect Stamping” and the “BV Custom” toe engraving.

Vokey’s TVD-M is the tour version of Vokey’s SM5 M Grind wedges. It’s one of Vokey’s most popular grinds, with a narrow, crescent-shaped sole that has a moderate amount of bounce. That gives better players the ability to play a wide variety of shots from different turf conditions, and its aggressive relief on the heel and toe areas of the sole also makes it a more versatile, particularly on open-faced shots.

The TVD-M wedges are offered in six different loft/bounce combinations: 50-08, 52-08, 54-10, 56-12, 58-08 and 60-08.

Vokey TVD-K

9d154487d92c13d80d7f5f5541d11d46A 60-degree TVD-K with a “Straight Stamping” and “Snow Dots.” Notice the “BV Diamonds” toe engraving. 

The TVD-K is a wide-soled, heavily cambered wedge that’s great for bunker play and golfers with steeper angles of attack. It has a slightly narrower sole and less bounce than the company’s SM5 K Grind wedge, which allows better players to use it more effectively from tight lies.

The TVD-K is available in four different loft/bounce combinations: 54-12, 56-12, 58-10 and 60-10.

Wedge finishes and custom options

Titleist Vokey SM5 TVD-K TVD-M Wedge ReviewThe “Weight Port Holes” on each side of the Titleist logo are used to increase or decrease swing weight up to two points.

The TVD wedges are available in two different finishes: California Chrome and Black Ion. California Chrome is a durable, satin finish that will keep your wedge looking new for a long time. The Black Ion finish will start to wear immediately, leaving golfers with a raw finish on the high-impact areas of the club.

IMG_2554f858d83a436a01e1f9d4121991ff2096d36d29cde34cce1cf24d74f5c048ebfbb2e95bb74ac1c83fb6285dd7f46566abbf8fe45c5ead71562d3c2cbf8726e7e2dc0c6837cbffac0e01414431f8d5d6e4

Vokey also offers several custom shafts from True Temper and Project X, as well as Vokey-exclusive grip options from Golf Pride, Lamkin and Grip Master. You can learn more about Vokey’s other custom options, which include custom stamping, engraving, paintfill, shaft bands, ferrules, swing weighting services and laser shaft etching at Vokey.com.

Which TVD is for me?

Let’s start with the golfers who will not be a good fit for the TVD-M and TVD-K wedges.

  1. Those who have had success with Vokey’s “L Grind” models, which are the company’s lowest bounce wedges.
  2. Players who are happy with the turf interaction they get from Vokey’s “S Grind” wedges.

If you don’t fall in those two buckets, read on.

Vokey TVD-K TVD_M Titleist Wedge ReviewA 54-degree TVD-M wedge with a “BV Clover” toe engraving and “Freestyle Stamping.”

I’ve tested a lot of wedges for GolfWRX, but I’ve yet to see any wedge perform as good from the sand as the TVD-K. The results are unbelievably consistent, which is why I’d recommend golfers begin their testing process with a TVD-K in the loft that they usually use from the sand.

Even from bad lies in the bunker, the TVD-K is a superstar. That can be attributed to the wedge’s heavily cambered sole, which means that it has a very round shape from front to back. The combination of the K-Grind’s wide sole and substantial curvature moves the contact point to the middle of the sole. That allowed me to get as steep as I wanted from the bunker, knowing that the TVD-K would dig under the ball and then shallow out through impact.

TVD-M

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TVD-K

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Notice how much wider the TVD-K sole is than the TVD-M sole? Both wedges have 60 degrees of loft.  

The TVD-K is a fairly easy wedge to use on open-faced shots, as it has a generous amount of heel relief that keeps the leading edge low to the ground. Its wide, cambered sole also helped me launch the ball a little higher on pitches, chips and flops than I was used to. For that reason, golfers who use currently a 60-degree wedge might be able to use a 58-degree TVD-K just as effectively and improve their wedge gapping.

The TVD-K won’t be for everyone, though. Those who have shallow angles of attack (a.k.a. those who make shallow divots or no divots) will tend to hit the TVD-K thin. That’s why there’s the TVD-M. It has a similar amount of bounce, but a narrower, more specialized sole that some golfers will find more versatile. It’s not as forgiving in the sand, but it certainly won’t dig like a low-bounce wedge, either.

IMG_2547

How do you know if you need the TVD-K or TVD-M if you aren’t able to demo them? The best plan of action is to find a retailer that stocks the SM5 M Grind and K Grind. Hopefully you get to demo them, and if you’re worried that their soles are a little clunky they probably are. Get the TVD.

Looks, Feel and Spin

Unless you’re someone who prefers a very square look at address, there’s not much to criticize about the TVD’s. For 2014, Vokey updated the profiles of the TVD-M and TVD-K so that they look identical to each other. Compared to the SM5 line, the TVD wedges have a lower PAR area, which is the part of a wedge’s topline that conjoins with the hosel. Wedge afficionados will notice this, but less-obsessed golfers will probably just comment that the TVDs look a little more round than the SM5’s.

ce8f6f4dfed7e5fc809a3e964962e936IMG_2550A 54-degree TVD-K and TVD-M at address. Yes, they’re pretty much identical.

Like all Vokey wedges, the TVDs are cast from 8620 carbon steel. No, they’re not forged, but they’re so soft and so consistent that 99.9 percent of golfers will struggle to tell the difference.

Lastly, but certainly not least importantly, Vokey’s new TX3 grooves make the TVD wedges one of the best performers we’ve tested, particularly on short shots around the green. The grooves have 7 percent more volume than Vokey’s SM4 models and use different configurations in different lofts to create more spin. The 56-to-60-degree wedges have grooves that are wider and slightly more shallow for more bite on open-face shots, while the 50-to-54-degree models have narrower, deeper grooves for more bite on square-face shots.

The Takeaway

IMG_2556The TVD-K is available is 54- and 56-degree models. They’re a good fit for players looking for a wider-soled, mid-lofted wedge. 

If you’ve ever wanted a better bunker game, the TVD-K (or any other K-Grind wedge) is a must hit. Looking for a tour-caliber wedge with a more traditional sole grind? You’ll probably be more comfortable with the TVD-M. Both are great for golfers with moderate-to-steep angles of attack and those who play in soft conditions.

Again, most golfers won’t need a Vokey TVD-K or TVD-M wedge, but those who do probably won’t mind playing the higher price tag for one of the best performing (and most customizable) wedges in the game.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. glen

    Sep 14, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Love the black ion finish and do not mind the rust. However, I have a slightly damaged groove on my 58. What is best method to sharpen/repair grooves?

  2. The dude

    Sep 13, 2014 at 9:03 am

    ….Japan market has the real deal…and forged Vokes

  3. Albatross85

    Sep 12, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Golfwrx should’ve mentioned the wear problems on the black finish. I love the wedges but they are ugly after 1 round

    • Dan

      Sep 12, 2014 at 9:24 am

      “The Black Ion finish will start to wear immediately, leaving golfers with a raw finish on the high-impact areas of the club.”

      Did you read the whole article?

    • Bruce

      Sep 12, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      Common knowledge I would think.

    • M R

      Sep 13, 2014 at 12:35 am

      Most PVD type wedges actually spin more after they wear the finish off and rust a little bit. My wedges spun noticeably more around the green once they rusted up a little. The old Oil Can Vokeys “this vokey design wedge is made from mild 8620, overtime the finish will wear and begin to rust.”

  4. Chuck

    Sep 11, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Besides cost/personalization, is there a difference between TVD K or M grind and an SM5 K or M grind??

    • Dily

      Sep 12, 2014 at 7:16 am

      The tvd k grind has lesser bounce than sm5 k but the m grind sm5 and tvd are the same
      .

    • Albatross85

      Sep 12, 2014 at 7:46 am

      the shape is different on the tvds and the grind on the M grind tvd is slightly different than the off the rack model. I own the new tvds in 54/60 M grinds and they are spectacular

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Motocaddy M7 Remote and M5 GPS DHC electric cart review

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I have been thinking about electric golf push carts, or trollies, ever since I started playing in my league seven years ago.

Motocaddy has been making high-quality electric, and non-electric, carts since 2004 and has a couple of great options for the golfer who loves to walk. Motocaddy was nice enough to get their M7 Remote and M5 GPS DHC in my hands to try out on the course for a few weeks.

I have had a lot of people stop me to ask about the carts, and the one thing I keep telling them is that these carts are just flat out fun to use on the course.

Motocaddy M7 Remote

The M7 Remote was very easy to get set up right out of the box. All you have to do is charge the battery, install the wheels, and you are pretty much ready to go. The M7 folds up pretty small, just a little larger than the 3-wheel pushcart that I had been using for years. Getting it to the course should be no problem with just about any trunk space. Now, the one downside to an electric cart is the weight when moving it around, and both carts come in at around 35 pounds each. Even with that extra weight, I didn’t have much trouble lifting them in and out of the back of a pickup.

The M7 unfolds quickly with the flick of two levers and extends the front wheels automatically. Once unfolded, you drop in the battery, plug it in, and secure your bag. If you own a Motocaddy bag, they have developed a really nice system called EasiLock that involves two metal studs that fit into the bottom of the cart. This system also includes a molded base that prevents the bag from rotating at all, even on the roughest terrain. You can still use the M7 with almost any other golf bag as it includes elastic straps that wrap around the top and bottom of the bag.

As soon as you plug in the battery the LCD screen comes to life and you are ready to go. You can use the M7 without the remote by using the dial on the handle to control the starting, stopping, and speed. But the M7 has a remote that is activated by a simple press of the power button to get going. The remote is very simple with just five buttons to control where the M7 goes.

Getting a feel for the M7 takes no time at all and by the time you drive it from your car to the 1st tee you will be in complete, and confident, control of the cart. You simply press the “+” button to start moving forward and the cart takes off gently without any rattling of your clubs, and you can press that same button again to increase the speed. The cart will go from a slow crawl, for bumpy or tight areas, too, as fast as I could run with just a few presses of the button. The big red “stop” button in the center stops the cart immediately, and when stopped it is locked in place, even on steep hills. You don’t have to worry about remembering to set the brakes or anything because it is done automatically.

Steering is just as easy: simply press the right or left button to turn the cart. Small, quick presses will just slightly adjust the cart as it moves down the fairway while a long hold of the button can make it turn on a dime to the right or left.

Almost everyone asked me how stable the cart was and if it would tip over. I can proudly say that it has stayed upright even on some unseen bumps at maximum speed. Side hills, ruts, and even curbs are handled with ease with the help of the small rear wheel.

I really enjoy strolling down the fairway with nothing but the M7’s remote in my hand — it just makes golfing more fun!

Motocaddy M5 GPS DHC

After using the M7 and its fancy remote, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t like not having it. But to be honest the M5 was just as fun to use, but for a different reason.

As the name suggests, the M5 has a built-in GPS with 40,000 courses preloaded into it. The screen is a good size, pretty responsive to the touch, and easy to read in direct sunlight. Having the GPS directly on the cart is great, you drive up to your ball and immediately have yardage to the front, back, and center of the green as well as bunkers and hazards. You can easily toggle between screens on the GPS and it offers a couple of different views to help navigate the hole. The M5 can also keep score and let you know shot distances right on the screen. Motocaddy even includes nice little touches like a screen protecter kit to ensure durability.

Driving the M5 is just as easy as the M7 with using the dial on the handle. And speaking of the handle, the grips have a great tacky rubber that grips well even in hot and humid conditions. To start the M5 you just press the dial down and the cart will gently start down the fairway. You can turn the dial to increase or decrease the speed — I found between 5-6 to be the most comfortable for me. But the speed can go up to a very fast pace if you are looking to set a record for fastest round of the day.

As you walk down the fairway, or rough, stopping the cart is as simple as pressing he dial again. When stopped the M5 engages a parking brake automatically so you don’t have to worry about it running down a hill without your approval. The M5 has tons of power to go up just about any hill and the Down Hill Control (DHC) keeps the speed consistent even when going down a steep decent.

Since the M5 has so much power, and it is a little heavy, I thought steering would be a little bit of a challenge. It wasn’t, at all. Guiding the M5 took very little effort and slight adjustments going down the fairway were very easy. Really tight turns took a slight bit more effort as the torque can want to go forward a little more than turn. Again, once you get the M5 from the car to the first tee, you will be a master at driving it.

Overall, Motocaddy has created two great carts that provide additional enjoyment to walking your favorite 9 or 18. Having the ability to walk without carrying or pushing your bag, clubs, and whatever else goes with you. I like them so much that it is going to be hard to get the M7’s remote out of my hands when I go play!

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Reviews

In the GolfWRX forums: A trip to the TaylorMade Kingdom for a wedge fitting and more giveaway, review opportunities!

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Our forum faithful are well acquainted with the incredible giveaways going on in the realm of threads and comments, but we want to make sure front page readers are able to get in on these unique opportunities.

Check out a roundup of our current giveaways and review opportunities below!

TaylorMade MG3 wedge fitting experience! At The Kingdom!

First off, the big one: A chance for a TaylorMade MG3 wedge fitting at the Kingdom at Reynolds Lake.

Do you want to have a once-in-a-lifetime golf experience?! Would you like to get fit for a brand new set of TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 wedges? Do you want to experience everything that The Kingdom at Reynolds Lake has to offer? How about heading to East Lake and getting a tour of the TaylorMade Tour Truck? I don’t even know why we are asking these questions because the answer to all of them is “YES!”

We are looking for 4 members to get fit for the new TaylorMade MG3 wedges in a way that few ever will! Apply now for your chance to be a part of this amazing experIence!

Enter here. 

Tour Edge Exotics Pro 721 fairway wood! Enter now!

Tour Edge has launched the new Exotics Pro 721 fairway woods and we are now giving 2 lucky members the chance to win one of their own! These fairway woods are designed with faster swingers in mind and we know there are plenty of GolfWRX members who can take advantage of all that power! Enter now for your chance to win one of these great fairway woods.

Enter here. 

Cobalt Golf Q-6 Slope gangefinder! 3 testers needed!

Cobalt Golf and GolfWRX have an exciting opportunity for our members to test out Cobalt’s Q-6 Slope Rangefinder! Apply now to be one of three members to test out this beautiful rangefinder and report back to the community about your experience.

Enter here. 

The reviews are coming in…

Five WRXers are testing Bridgestone’s new e12 golf ball.

10 GolfWRXers are testing Srixon’s new Q-Star Divide golf ball.

Three GolfWRX members are testing Rapsodo’s MLM.

Five GolfWRXers are testing 3D printed Cobra putters.

Five members will be giving Strackaline yardage books a look.

GolfWRXers are testing Edel’s new Swing Match System wedges.

Finally, Tour Edge Exotics C721 drivers are getting a GolfWRX member look.

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Driver Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Tour Edge Exotics C721 driver

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Tour Edge’s Exotics line of high-end golf clubs has been known for excellent fairway wood and hybrid performance over the years. The Chicago-based company has been consistently putting out high-quality products, and golfers are really taking notice. The new line of C721 drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids take yet another big leap forward from last year’s EXS line. 

The new C721 driver takes a lot of technology from the 2020 EXS line and further refines and expands on it. I know it is a little cliche when companies say every model is their best ever, but Tour Edge is 100 percent right this time.

When unboxing the C721 the first thing I noticed was the much-improved looks and shape over the previous Tour Edge drivers. The biggest change to my eye is the added bulge, giving a more rounded and softened topline.

The overall shape of the C721 is slightly stretched from front to back, giving it just a hint of a triangular look. The Ridgeback is a titanium spine flanked by two carbon fiber wings that add stability and forgiveness to the head, but they can also work together and an additional aiming device to ensure you are lined up down the center of the fairway. 

Getting the C721 out on the course is where you really start to appreciate all the technology that went into this driver. Well-struck shots are very long, very boring, and will hang with anything out on the market today. Center contact is rewarded with a long and very low spin shot that is just fun to hit.

The sound and feel are very solid, you can really feel the ball compress on the face as it leaves at high speed. The sound is more of a muted crack and much quieter than I anticipated. If you practice on an enclosed range your ears will thank you for your choice in drivers. Shots hit away from the center of the face retain a lot of ball speed and stay online really well.

My miss is low on the heel and those misses stayed in the air fairly well and went a good ways. Shots hit down on the heel or higher on the toe side still stay online really well due to the Ridgeback spine and rear weight. The C721 is just slightly higher than mid-launch for me, but the low spinning head never allowed my shots to balloon or rise even into the wind. I do wish the face was just a touch deeper as I had to play with my tee height in order to find the optimal setup. The better players will enjoy the neutral weighting and there seems to be very minimal draw built into the driver.

Overall, the Tour Edge Exotics C721 driver is a great club that will probably be overlooked by too many golfers. If you are looking for added distance, a lot of forgiveness and want to keep some money in your pocket, then you should seriously take a look at Tour Edge.

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