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In-hand photos of Titleist’s new Vokey SM9 wedges (with insight from Bob Vokey himself)

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Titleist began tour seeding of its unreleased Vokey SM9 wedges at the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions in Maui two weeks ago, and players have already been switching in droves to the new models.

Although Titleist still isn’t yet commenting on the new designs (which will likely replace the company’s former SM8 models), GolfWRX got its first in-hand look at the new SM9 versions this week at the 2022 American Express at PGA West’s Stadium Course.

In addition to the photos, I was also able to catch up with legendary wedge maker and SM9-designer Bob Vokey himself. While tech details are still under wraps for the time being, he provided some awesome insight into his two-year design process.

“It takes us two years to put a product together…what happens every time is you make an improvement based on feedback from all the players,” Vokey told GolfWRX. “This is my 10th iteration of launching over the years, and each one I’ve learned something, from my series 200s, to SM1s, 2s, 3s, etc., you learn a little bit each time.

“What happens is you don’t know really how to improve it until we get it in the players’ hands, like we’re doing now, and that’ll take a few months when the players first take it live. Because there’s things that may happen on a certain shot under the heat of the gun on the backside Sunday afternoon. They hit a shot and go, ‘Whoa, what happened?’ There’s certain little things that nobody could ever see at all, and we’ve done so much testing, but you can’t replicate the human element under the heat of the gun. Then someone will tell me something, or they’ll tell Aaron [Dill] something, and we’ll bring it back to the wedge team. We can change that, work on that, modify it, get it right, without mucking up all that we have. That’s how we improve. “

For Vokey, player feedback is extremely important, and it starts with keeping a similar profile from address. As Vokey says, you don’t want to “muck up” something that works.

“We sit there and scratch our heads and get together and say, something’s been working so good, it’s tour-proven for so many years, you know, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… retain the same profile, it’s so very important…a pro will come up and say, ‘What do you got Voke?’ Boom, they put it down right away. Then they hold it up and say, ‘What’s the bounce?'”

Speaking of bounce, and how the profile looks from address, GolfWRX got a look at a number of different lofts, grinds and bounce options at the 2022 American Express this week.

Below is a taste of what the Vokey SM9s look like in-hand, but make sure to click here for all of our photos.

Titleist Vokey SM9 52-degree F-grind

Titleist Vokey SM9 56-degree S-grind 

Titleist Vokey SM9 60-degree M-grind

Titleist Vokey SM9 60-degree D-grind

Check out our forum thread for all of the Titleist Vokey SM9 in-hand photos here.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Chip

    Jan 20, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    Really sexy. Bob Vokey brings so much hotness into the world.

    • Holden Tudiks

      Jan 21, 2022 at 11:45 am

      Hide your kids, Chips juices are flowing……….again

  2. Ryan

    Jan 20, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    I love when the new vokey’s drop. Now I can get the SM8 for 40% off!

  3. Chuck E. Cheese

    Jan 20, 2022 at 12:11 pm

    Looks like they moved some stampings around, similar to SM, SM2, SM3, SM4, SM5, SM6, SM7, and SM8. But I’m sure there’s $160 of Bob Vokey innovation and technology somewhere in there.

    • Raj

      Jan 20, 2022 at 3:56 pm

      Sm7, the moved weight up behind the face to supposedly bring cog inside of the face. Then sm8, they moved it back down based on feedback from players that the ball was coming out with less spin and a little dead.

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson makes a couple of interesting equipment changes for LIV Golf’s Portland event

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For many years, golf fans watched Phil Mickelson using what may have been one of the shortest putters on tour, but while he won the PGA Championship with his trusty Odyssey Milled Blade “Phil Mickelson” he’s been tinkering with the length for a while.

Last September at the Fortinet Championship, Phil was spotted with a new, extended, grip on the flat stick, allowing him to create an ‘arm-lock’ style that made him feel as if, “I’ll get on a roll and just start making a lot.”

So to this week’s LIV tournament at Pumpkin Ridge, and the six-time major winner is experimenting once again.

Twitter’s ‘Phil Mickelson Tracker’ posted a photo of his extended putter with the one-word exclamation “#Armlock!”

The replies were mostly positive, suggesting it can only help the three-time Masters champion improve past some poor putting stats. Indeed, since a standout gain of over 12 shots putting at Kiawah Island, Lefty has lost strokes to the field in nine of his last 12 recorded starts, with his worst performance being a loss of over ten shots at the BMW Championship last August. No wonder he lobbed on the extra rubber at Napa.

With his Callaway deal on hold, Mickelson has also made a change in his wedges.

Lefty has a Ping Eye2 wedge in the bag this week, with the model being an Eye2 XG (a reproduction of the original Eye 2 but with 2010 conforming grooves) which he has used occasionally since 2014. 

Mickelson sits T30 after the opening day’s action in Portland, after shooting a disappointing round of 3 over par on Thursday.

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Equipment

Any scratch guys use a 56 degree as their highest lofted wedge? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing wedges. WRXer ‘MrYank’ kicks off the thread by explaining his thinking in using a 56-degree wedge as his highest lofted option, saying:

“Been debating this for a while. Use a 56 for 99% of shots around the green, and the 60 basically only for bunker shots, but I feel like I can get similar results with 56. The MG3 TW 56 grind is as versatile as I’ve seen and feels like opening up the blade has effectively the same playability/purpose as a 60. Could see the same logic for M/D grind, C grind, etc…

Anyone game a versatile 56 + nothing above that?”

And our members have been sharing their thoughts and experiences in our forum.

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

  • Nessism: “A “scratch guy,” if they truly deserve the denotation, could play just about any clubs and score well. That said, very few players on that level wouldn’t carry a lob wedge of some sort. Bottom line, play what you are comfortable with. It doesn’t matter what others use, scratch or otherwise.”
  • Hammergolf: “The best wedge player in the history of the game only used a 56*. Seve.”
  • jomatty: “There are plenty of tour players that use a 58 as their highest lofted wedge, so it is difficult for me to believe that you need more than that to play on fast greens.”
  • llamont: “My good friend carried a 56* wedge as his highest lofted club. He was close to scratch/passed the PAT/and he was in the PGA apprentice program at one point. Younger guy too…. He learned the game from old-timers who didn’t encourage the lob wedge.”

Entire Thread: “Any scratch guys use 56 as highest lofted wedge? – GolfWRXers discuss

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Whats in the Bag

Quinn Riley WITB 2022 (June)

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Driver: Callaway Rogue ST MAX LS
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green Small Batch 70 6.5

3-wood: Callaway Rogue ST MAX High Launch (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI Orange 8 X

4-wood: Callaway Epic Speed (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI Black 8 X

Hybrid: Callaway Apex Pro (20 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue HB 10 X

Irons: Callaway Apex TCB (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Callaway JAWS MD5 (50-10S, 54-10S @ 55 degrees, 60-08C)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey Pro White Hot OG #7 Bird, Odyssey White Hot OG #7 Bird
Grip: Odyssey

Grips: Golf Pride MCC, Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 (4-PW)

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