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Kanoito

Titleist Vokey SM7 Review

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So I've been playing the SM7 for about a month now and would like to share my findings with you guys...

 

I'm going to skip my golfer background, but if you are interested, I do mention it in my ShotScope and MLA putter reviews (links in my signature).

 

I got a fitting for my drivers and irons... so why not the wedges as well? Until now, I had been playing with Mizuno T5 wedges OTR. It wasn't hard to choose, no grind options, just loft and bounce.

 

But what if there was more performance hidden behind a well-fitted set of wedges? I had to find out!

 

Fitting

 

My fitting was done at Titleist Fitting Center in Green Eagle (where the Porsche European Open was hosted).

 

fitting2_small.jpg

 

I've played the course once about 5 years ago, when I was still a total beginner. So I'm pretty sure I was unable to appreciate it. The North Course is looong. I remember there is a hole that could easily be made into a Par 6.

 

Anyways, when I arrived, the course was pretty much on lock-down (prepartion for the PEO). A lot of Porsche on display, immaculate driving range, waiting for the pro's to show up a few weeks later.

 

After saying hi to my fitter, we got down to business. The usual questions: what's your handicap, what wedges are you using now, what is your PW, carry, etc...

 

I was already warmed-up, so we got on Trackman right away. My CF16 PW was pretty consistent with 120 yards carry.

 

Standard loft on the PW is 45°, so my fitter we recommended to stay with the current set-up of 50°, 54°, 58°.

 

Vokey offers the 50°in F grind only. Since I'm a slider, my fitter recommended the 8°bounce option. The F grind is more suitable for square-faced and full swings. That's good, cause that's also how I use my gap wedge most of the time. To keep a consistent feel with the full-swings, we opted for the PX 5.5 shaft, just like my iron set.

 

50_small.jpg

 

Then we moved on to the SW. The 54°offers 3 grinds and 3 bounce options: 54/8M, 54/10S and 54/14F.

After hitting a few shots off mats (where Trackman was insatlled) we moved on to the short game area, hitting some 65 yard approaches, pitching over bunkers, out of bunkers and some short-sided pins.

 

fittingrange_small.jpg

 

After testing all 3 options, we settled for the 54/14F with the best results. Initially, I was worried that the 14°bounce would be too much for my home course. But my fitter gave me a few swing tips (obviously, the flaw was in my swing) and I was able to play the 14 bounce wedge without any issues. I'm obviously no tour player, but perhaps you would like to know that the F grind is the most-played SW on tour. Probably has no meaning for us amateurs, but it was stupid easy to get out of fluffy bunkers with this wedge.

 

We picked the DG R300 shaft for this one, since I won't be swinging fully, and the heavier shaft provides more control.

 

54_small.jpg

 

Last, but not least, the 58° lob wedge. Titleist offers 5 options 58/4L, 58/8M, 58/10S, 58/12D and 58/14K.

 

58/14K was out of the question, since I already had a high-bounce sand wedge in 54°.

 

58/4L offers maximum versatility, but the least forgiveness, so not recommended for my level.

 

After reading about @chisag and @jluke's positive experience with the D grind, I was dying to test it myself. This is a new offering in the SM7 line-up, but unfortunately, my fitter didn't see it suitable for me, as I rarely take divots.

 

So we only had the M and S grinds left. I couldn't tell the difference between these 2, but the M worked well, even for open-faced lobs. And here we picked the DG R300 as well.

 

58_small.jpg

 

After choosing the 3 wedges, I picked the JetBlack finish with GP MMC +4 grips in 3 different colors. These grips are pretty sweet with their larger lower hand.

 

sm7-1.jpg

 

Performance

 

Spin (5 out of 5)

 

These babies spin a lot! I tested them on the short game area with range rocks and I was able to stop them 3 feet from the whole while chipping and just 1-2 bounces when pitching.

 

With real balls (depending what's on sale), the spin is much more obvious. Even without divots, I had some balls spinning back. I tested with Chrome Soft and TP5.

 

I can't tell you if the increased spin was due to the Spin Milled Groove Technology or just because the wedges are new and have sharper grooves. So we'll have to see in a few months...

 

Control (5 out of 5)

 

The SM7 delivered consistent distances every time. According to the Pelz clock system:

 

1/4 LW 35 yards

1/4 SW 45 yards

1/4 GW 55 yards

 

1/2 LW 65 yards

1/2 SW 75 yards

1/2 GW 85 yards

 

3/4 GW 100 yards

 

These wedges also use Progressive CG, so depending on the loft, you'll have different CG to achieve a more consistent trajectory and distance. Not sure if this helps, but I was definitely able to trust my partial swings to reach the desired distance and didn't need to force them or worry that it wouldn't be enough.

 

Feel (4 out of 5)

 

I personally "felt" the SM7 were a little clickier than my Mizuno wedges. I'm not gonna go into the endless debate of "forged vs cast" here, but I personally can't tell the difference between in softness. What I "felt" was actually the sound associated with it.

 

However, I must say the clickier sound wasn't bad at all. Quite the contrarty, that's the sound you hear on TV when pro's are pitching around the greens and it certainly gives you the feedback you need.

 

In the end, feel is just a personal preference.

 

Design (5 out of 5)

 

The JetBlack finish is just badass. I love it and I'm glad Titleist offers a bunch of personalization as well. Please note that every clubhead has a slightly different shape, depending on the loft.

 

A tiny complaint: they forgot the paintfill in one of the stamping. Not a deal breaker, but still worthy to point out.

 

sm7.jpg

 

wedges_small.jpg

 

Distance (4 out of 5)

 

Wedges are made for precision, not distance. The SM7 are your typical blade design, so if you are looking for explosive distance, this is not the place. Compared to my old set of Mizuno's, there was no change in gapping.

 

Your mishits won't be masked, so you gotta hit them right to be consistent. Vokey fans are usually mid-low handicappers, so forgiveness is not their primary concern. If you got the time to practice, you'll enjoy these. Otherwise, I think you will be happier with more forgiving alternatives such as Cleveland's CB or matching wedges to your GI irons.

 

Performance (5 out of 5)

 

I tested the performance on the range and on the course.

At my home course, we got a wedge range, which was created by PGA Pro Mike Bender while training Zach Johnson for the 2007 Masters. You got concrete blocks in 10 yard gaps and you have to hit all of them with the least amount of strokes. Zach Johnson needed 50 balls to finish the exercise. Unfortunately, I'm no PGA pro, so I made the exercise a little easier: not only direct hits count, but also 2nd or 3rd bounce hits. With the easier rules, I used 77 balls to finish the exercise. About 30 balls were used between 35 and 65 yards and the rest between 75 and 100 yards. I'm sure @Shankster would love to have this in his backyard.

 

wedgerange1.jpg

 

wedgerange2.jpg

 

wedgerange3.jpg

 

On the course, I also had very good results. Consistent distances that allow me trust the clock system blindly. I still thin the ball once in a while, but that's more my own problem. Unfortunately, you won't notice the good results on my score, since my tee shots have been s*** in the past weeks. Missing my drives both left and right is penalizing me severely. Even my trusty 3W has betrayed me! Just a few weeks ago, I shot a 39 on the front 9 and a 55 on the back... but that had nothing to do with the wedges.

 

Final Verdict: hell yeah, buy them!

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Great write-up! Not in the market for wedges but you put a lot of good in in there, thx!

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Great write up! Unfortunately for me, I am not in the wedge market. I did, however, purchase a set of the sm6 wedges last year and I have loved them. You can't go wrong with vokeys!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Thanks, guys! I really enjoyed the whole process, much more detailed and interactive compared to an iron or driving fitting, IMO.

And the testing phase, it is really encouraging to see the improvement week over week. Just waiting for the moment for all of it to click during a competitive round. Next one coming up on Sunday.

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Great stuff, I currently game the SM6 wedges and it would be hard to go past the SM7s if I had to replace them

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Thanks guys! And just a shameless bump here and to let you guys know:

 

I holed-in for eagle from 99 yards with my 50* SM7 :) The rest of the round was s***, but who cares :lol:

These wedges are magical!

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Sorry, but I gotta update again.

 

Played 9 today after work, hit only 2 GIR, but the wedges were money inside 100 yards. Got up and down 5 times and a birdie.

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Great review!  I went for a fitting and ended up with: 50-12F bent to 51-13 (for distance gapping, my pw is a 46* 716 AP2), 56-14F and 60-08M.  We settled on the S200 shafts even though my irons are the original AMT's and I chose tour chrome and MCC Plus 4 grips.  These wedges are incredible and really consistent.

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I  like the look of the SM7s, the S18s, and the new RTX4s.

 

(I'd really like the choice of a different head shape for each wedge like the old Vokey 200 / 300 / 400 Series days, but that's not available any more,)

 

I played the game long enough to recognize the right look

and its viability for my skill level and shot choices

without a launch monitor or a fitter.

 

Factor that with the shocking fact that  I wouldn't accept the wrong look to get a stroke or two better.

 

That wasn't how I interacted with the game of golf.

 

I LOVED golf, but my relationship with golf compared to some of yours

was comparable to choosing beer league softball with my buds over a shot at MLB

because MLB looks like more fun to watch than to play,

and when I'm paying to play instead of being paid to play

fun with the crew and trusting my own judgement was paramount .

 

Somebody out there will understand what I mean, but back to wedges.

 

My first instinct would be 52-08 and 58-04,

 

1º flat,

 

non-stock but matching lengths at 35½"

 

Aldila NV Pro 105 new old stock if available because I'm used to it

 

and Golf Pride Tour Wrap 2G.

 

I can do all of that from my laptop without even being near a golf club

 

because I'm old and have been around.

 

I don't really belong here because I can't take the SM7s out onto the track and give you a personal review of them.

 

I've just taken an awful lot of wedges out onto the track,

and with wedges,

the technology hasn't gone from Stutz Bearcat to Bugatti Veyron.

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Great review kanioto. What an opportunity to be fit at a first class facility by a Titleist expert.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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I am falling out of love with my Hogan Equalizer...I wish the TK was still in production, that less rounded shape just suits my eye better.

 

The teardrop look just works for my eye, Worth a look.

 

Thanks for the great write up.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Great review! I went for a fitting and ended up with: 50-12F bent to 51-13 (for distance gapping, my pw is a 46* 716 AP2), 56-14F and 60-08M. We settled on the S200 shafts even though my irons are the original AMT's and I chose tour chrome and MCC Plus 4 grips. These wedges are incredible and really consistent.

My PW is 45* and I do have a bigger gap there. But I've learned to swing my PW 9 o'clock to fill that slot. Is there a reason for going lighter on the wedge shafts?

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Great review kanioto. What an opportunity to be fit at a first class facility by a Titleist expert.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

Funny you mention that, Rob.

The Trackman seemed to be an older model and as soon as the ball went too high, it wouldn't pick up the shot. So it was half with LM and half by fitter's eye and experience. I did email Titleist as constructive criticism, but didn't get a reply. The fitter told me he had been trying to get Titleist to upgrade the LM, but still no response.

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Is there any new finding after you've had them for a while? I really want either sm7s or new high toe because they both are high performing spinny wedges and I want to know if the sm7s are still performing as well as you would anticipate. 

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3 hours ago, Mmoe24 said:

Is there any new finding after you've had them for a while? I really want either sm7s or new high toe because they both are high performing spinny wedges and I want to know if the sm7s are still performing as well as you would anticipate. 

They are still in my bag and shooting darts.

I was never a fan of short game practice, but after getting these... I practice the Mike Bender wedge range drill so much... almost every week. Lovin' it! So they will be in my bag for 2019 as well.

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