Need To Know
Best price: £99
Lofts: 46- to 62-degree
Bounce: 4- to 14-degree
Sole grinds: L, T, S, M, F, K
Finishes: Tour Chrome, Gold Nickel, Raw Black
Shaft: True TemperDynamic Gold
Summary: The new Titleist Vokey Spin Milled 5 wedges for 2014 are designed to deliver more spin and more types of shots, providing golfers with more ways to hit it close. The wedges are a result of Master Craftsman Bob Vokey’s decades of research and collaborations with the world’s best players, such as World No.1 Adam Scott. There are 21 different loft/bounce/grind combinations and six tour-inspired sole grinds, appropriately slotted into low, mid and high bounce categories. Since 2004, Vokey Design wedges have been the #1 wedge on the PGA Tour and the most played wedge at every level of competitive golf. New TX3 grooves, with 7% larger groove volume and two performance configurations, deliver maximum spin by channelling away grass and sand for improved contact between the ball and groove edge.
Looks: SM5 is available in three new finishes of Tour Chrome, Gold Nickel and Raw Black, all of which I got to test out during my fitting. I personally favoured the Gold Nickel and Satin Chrome finishes, while my colleague Charlie was all over the Raw Black, but we certainly wouldn't kick any out of bed. The overall visual changes Vokey has made to the head shape are pleasing to the eye when looking down at address with a slightly taller heel combined with rounded toe for a more compact, balanced look. SM5 maintains the typical Vokey Design teardrop shape, but we thought it appeared a little shorter from heel to toe than the former SM4.
Feel: Sound at impact is better than anything on the market when finding the sweetspot. It's a pure sound and feel that offers terrific feedback. I noted how my fitted KBS Tour shaft was feeling well balanced and aiding a piercing trajectory on the 100-yard shots and all-round smooth greenside feel. The 8620 carbon steel from which the SM5 is cast feels incredibly soft and solid at contact.
Review: Titleist Vokey SM5 wedge fitting
Performance: Hard to fault, as expected, and one of the better all-around performing wedges I've tested this season. Vokey leads the way with 21 different loft, bounce and grind combinations, three different finishes and personalisation to allow golfers to create a wedge that suits their games and personalities. The new specialized TX3 grooves provided me with superb levels of spin out the sand and great versatility around the greens. I was loving the ability to play my fitted 58 off the back foot and get the ball to check on the second bounce.
Verdict: One of the very best wedges I've had the pleasure of testing. Well worth getting involved, particularly when being custom fit to find the correct sole grind and bounce option for your game. Oozes class at address, looks great in the bag, feels and sounds superb at impact and performs how you'd expect for a Vokey. Very much deserving of a Golfmagic Gold.