ith the year 2022 approaching and the PGA Tour poised to resume play at the Plantation Course at Kapalua in Hawaii this week, numerous brands will begin producing new clothing for Tour players. The pros are usually allowed access to clubs before they are made available to the general public, and this is occurring again.
The yet-to-be-released Vokey Design SM9 wedges will be used for the first time in competition at the winners-only Sentry Tournament of Champions, according to Titleist.
The advent of the SM9 is not surprising given that Titleist hasn’t introduced a new wedge since the launch of the SM8 (from $159 at Carl’s Golfland and Dick’s) in January 2020. However, Titleist is keeping the information on the new model under wraps.
The position of the center of gravity was the most important distinction between the SM8 and its predecessors, the SM6 and SM7. Starting with the SM6, the center of gravity progressively rose as the lofts increased, allowing players to better manage distance and lower their flight shots. To transfer the center of gravity forward, Titleist extended the hosel and added tungsten to the toe of the sand wedges and lob wedges in the SM8. This, according to the firm, helps players square their faces for better uniformity.
The SM8 wedges came in six different sole combinations and were offered in chrome, brushed steel, and jet black. The wide range of sole grinds makes it easier for fitters and players to find the right bounce and configuration to meet playing circumstances and a player’s swing. While finishes change from year to year, it’s difficult to imagine Titleist reducing the number of grinds in the SM9 series.
Numerous Titleist staff players, including Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Cam Smith, Max Homa, and 2021 FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay, are in the field this week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, so several new SM9 wedges could end up in play in Hawaii.