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Progressive CoG opposite on Vokey SM8 vs Hogan Equalizer II - thoughts?


MFSOT
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Posted (edited)

They’re taking opposite approaches to the ‘Progressive CoG’ theory, it’s intersting to me to see a company taking an opposite stance than the industry like Hogan is, curious to hear thoughts.

TLDR: Vokey higher lofted has CoG higher up the face, lower lofted, CoG lower on the face (and most other brands), Hogan is the complete opposite.

Vokey CoG description:

PROGRESSIVE CENTER OF GRAVITY

SM8 features a reimagined progressive center of gravity, which produces the most accurate and forgiving Vokey wedge yet. Using tungsten weights and varied hosel lengths, the Vokey R&D team has moved the CG outside of the wedge head and placed it in front of the face, resulting in increased MOI and exceptional feel. 

For the golfer, this means optimized ball flight and a club face that simply wants to square up at impact. SM8 accomplishes all of this while preserving the classic Vokey head shape players demand.


Hogan CoG description:

PROGRESSIVE CENTER OF MASS

Shot trajectories to help you score better

The larger face size on Equalizer II wedges maximize and perfect the Progressive Center of Mass system from wedge to wedge. 
Higher lofted wedges have more weight low to create high trajectories that stop on the green quickly, while lower lofted wedges have more weight positioned higher on the face to eliminate ballooning and increase accuracy.
Overall, the Equalizer II wedge club heads have been lengthened and discretionary weight has been removed from the perimeters. As a result, the thickness of the face area was thinned strategically behind the impact area depending upon loft and desired performance.

 

Edited by MFSOT
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  • MFSOT changed the title to Progressive CoG opposite on Vokey SM8 vs Hogan Equalizer II - thoughts?

I've done a ton of research on cg and it's effects dynamically through the shot.  The clubhead's cg location (statically) contributes to it's 3 dimensional effect dynamically.  Meaning, because of loft, the higher up the face the cg is the further away from the target the cg is.  Talking x-axis (towards or away from flag).  the further away the cg is , the more it's going to add loft via shaft deflection coming through impact, negating any static higher cg advantages of the head.  GEARs pic attached for reference - you can see on this wedge shot, the face has moved ahead of the shaft's deflection line.   

 

The best, or truest way to elevate cg, is to keep it in line with the shaft by lengthening the hosel.  The dilemma there of course is you move the cg towards the heel.  One example of this is Cobra golf's variable hosel length adjustment from the F7 to F8 one length set.  

Many wedge companies, have created "reverse muscle" backs where there is a thicker face near the topline to "lower trajectory" and it creates the opposite effect in reality because of these dynamics. 

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Most better players don't want to hit their sand and lob wedges high - they want to control launch/spin.  Almost ALL major OEM wedges on tour use higher CoG on their sand and lob wedges.  

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Vokey's progressive COG is a product of demands from better players and that's a big reason why they're the #1 on Tour.  like @jlukes is saying, these are for guys who hit their wedges to a specific 1/2 yard.

Ben Hogan, a brand I hold in very high regard is marketing to an entirely different golfer.  They're absent on Tour and focused on the recreational player who is hoping to hit the green with their wedges.  

I'll likely pick up an Equalizer II to fill my PW - SW gap one of these days and put it through the paces; in my personal opinion, these forges are as good as anything on the market, yes I said it.  

But to address the main point of who these are being marketed to and when you consider these differences, the objective of weight placement makes a lot more sense.

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Heck, most OEMs make their irons with progressive CGs. Lower in the long irons and higher in the scoring irons. 

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I'd be curious to see where the CG's actually are in comparison to one another.  What's already been mentioned is prior is good but the thing we don't get from their description is the starting point.  Vokey moved the CG higher in the LW from SM7 to SM8, Hogan maybe moved it down, but in theory (not likely to be true) they could be in the exact same spot now and both of their marketing stories could be true with Vokey raising it to lower launch and Hogan lowering it to add launch.

It's probably too nuanced to get the true story on them.  It's one of the reasons I really like the driver CG report when they do it.  

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I think jlukes and bens197 are very much on the right track. A couple of points I'd like to add:

  • Nobody has mentioned gear effect here. It actually makes a lot of difference. A high CG not only lowers the trajectory, it significantly increases the spin. Moving the CG up also moves it back, especially with wedges which have high lofts. That increases the gear effect, both vertical and horizontal. Increasing vertical gear effect increases backspin.
  • A minor nit to pick with Manavs's post. He writes, "the further [back] the cg is , the more it's going to add loft via shaft deflection coming through impact, negating any static higher cg advantages of the head." But then he also writes, "The best, or truest way to elevate cg, is to keep it in line with the shaft by lengthening the hosel.  The dilemma there of course is you move the cg towards the heel." There is a bigger dilemma than heelward movement. If weight is moving up the hosel, it is not moving backward. So it won't have any effect on the loft -- nor, for that matter, on the gear effect spin. The reason this is only a minor nit is no club manufacturer moves the CG higher in via weight in the hosel. It is all done with weight in the blade itself.
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14 minutes ago, Dave Tutelman said:

I think jlukes and bens197 are very much on the right track. A couple of points I'd like to add:

  • Nobody has mentioned gear effect here. It actually makes a lot of difference. A high CG not only lowers the trajectory, it significantly increases the spin. Moving the CG up also moves it back, especially with wedges which have high lofts. That increases the gear effect, both vertical and horizontal. Increasing vertical gear effect increases backspin.

This was my understanding as well. I have been hemming and hawing over the Edison Wedges, Edel, and now the Hogans (admittedly because they're so pretty). I was surprised to see Hogan basically going opposite of what others are doing/saying gives more spin. Now if they're just trying to get the ball in the air because AMs have a hard time doing that so it lands with a steeper angle of attack, I get it, but that's what I'm trying to cut through here and figure out.

Ultimately I want a wedge with more spin, I play the SM8s (54/58) and I'm pretty alright with them, I have always been a pretty strong wedge player, but consistent spin is a problem for me, I have no problem getting the ball up in the air, if anything it's too high, even with the high CoG on the SM8s. Also looking for a wedge with that forged feel, I'm a 'feel' player.

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Listen to, and believe, Dave Tutelman; he knows what he is talking about!  

I own a pair of Vokey SM8 wedges (54* and 58* lofts, unaltered). The 58* is a K-Grind model, so the super-wide sole somewhat offsets the slightly higher COG created by placing more weight high in the blade of this club, but it still does keep the ball flight somewhat lower than what I get with my Hogan Equalizer 56*, which I have bent to 58* loft.  My other Equalizer wedge is a 48*, and I don’t have an SM8 wedge to compare it to, but on full shots that 48* Equalizer wedge hits the ball too high (and slightly too short) for me.  For comparison purposes, that 48* Equalizer actually performs pretty similar to my 50* Vokey SM7 F-Grind wedge (both the same playing length).  I also am not a big fan of the higher trajectory that I get on full shots with the 48* Equalizer; however, it is a great wedge for executing partial shots from 65 to 85 yards out (full shot distance with this wedge is 98 to 105 yards for me). I seem to get far less roll-out with the 48* Equalizer than what I get with the 50* SM7, which is rather counter-intuitive to me.  The reason that I prefer to hit partial shots with the 48* wedge rather than using a 54* or 58* wedge from such distances is that I have better control with these 1/2, 2/3, and 3/4 swing shots and practice these a lot to keep it that way.  A full shot with a high-lofted wedge from 65 to 80 yards spells disaster for me.

 

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10 minutes ago, Dave Tutelman said:

I think jlukes and bens197 are very much on the right track. A couple of points I'd like to add:

  • Nobody has mentioned gear effect here. It actually makes a lot of difference. A high CG not only lowers the trajectory, it significantly increases the spin. Moving the CG up also moves it back, especially with wedges which have high lofts. That increases the gear effect, both vertical and horizontal. Increasing vertical gear effect increases backspin.
  • A minor nit to pick with Manavs's post. He writes, "the further [back] the cg is , the more it's going to add loft via shaft deflection coming through impact, negating any static higher cg advantages of the head." But then he also writes, "The best, or truest way to elevate cg, is to keep it in line with the shaft by lengthening the hosel.  The dilemma there of course is you move the cg towards the heel." There is a bigger dilemma than heelward movement. If weight is moving up the hosel, it is not moving backward. So it won't have any effect on the loft -- nor, for that matter, on the gear effect spin. The reason this is only a minor nit is no club manufacturer moves the CG higher in via weight in the hosel. It is all done with weight in the blade itself.

Dave - that was my point.  Moving the weight up the hosel raises cg without adding deflection, and thus increasing spin via gear effect not deflection related dynamic loft.  I don't find adding dynamic loft to be beneficial when you can have the static loft set to whatever you like and get the spin benefits from gear effect. 

It's just math, so if you're moving the cg back up the blade, it's going to add dynamic loft negating the desired lower launch.  Having a higher cg via hosel with the same loft will launch it lower but with more (beneficial) spin via vertical gear effect.

Never mind if we're talking lob shots around the greens where you intentionally hit it off the toe, you can have the most gear effect when the hosel is longer.   

Recall the sand wedges back in the 40's-70's those hosels were looooong.  They were impressive around the greens.

 

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1 hour ago, B.Boston said:

I'd be curious to see where the CG's actually are in comparison to one another.  What's already been mentioned is prior is good but the thing we don't get from their description is the starting point.  Vokey moved the CG higher in the LW from SM7 to SM8, Hogan maybe moved it down, but in theory (not likely to be true) they could be in the exact same spot now and both of their marketing stories could be true with Vokey raising it to lower launch and Hogan lowering it to add launch.

It's probably too nuanced to get the true story on them.  It's one of the reasons I really like the driver CG report when they do it.  

Seems like a good opportunity for a report to me

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Another reason for the CG higher in the more lofted wedges is getting mass behind the strikes higher on the face with the lofted clubs out of rough, bunkers, etc.  Same reason the high toe and eye 2 shapes are good in those conditions.

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3 hours ago, B.Boston said:

I'd be curious to see where the CG's actually are in comparison to one another.  What's already been mentioned is prior is good but the thing we don't get from their description is the starting point.  Vokey moved the CG higher in the LW from SM7 to SM8, Hogan maybe moved it down, but in theory (not likely to be true) they could be in the exact same spot now and both of their marketing stories could be true with Vokey raising it to lower launch and Hogan lowering it to add launch.

It's probably too nuanced to get the true story on them.  It's one of the reasons I really like the driver CG report when they do it.  

My understanding is limited on CG but I had thought that the CG and the amount they are actually able to move is so negligible that it doesn't play a major factor in wedges. 

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I have played vokey’s since Sm6; I’ve had 52, 56, & 60 in the Sm6 - Sm8. The Sm8’s stay in the garage. Do they spin more? Oh yes, they do. Fly lower? Debatable, but I’d say yes. Do they carry less? Absolutely; the more the ball spins, the less it carries. For me, adding 500-1000 Rpm’s in exchange for a wedge that flies 8-17 yards shorter wasn’t worth it.  I have observed that this phenomenon is ability-based; a smoother swing gives me more distance and less spin, and a more aggressive swing creates more spin and less distance. I don’t notice a difference on partial shots at all.

 

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Good video

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