Titleist Vokey SM9 Wedge Review: Maximize Performance
Check out our comprehensive review of the Titleist Vokey SM9 wedge and see if it’s right for you. Read on to know to how this golf club performs on golf course.
Bob Vokey’s expertise and experience in creating the best golf wedges are reflected in the SM9 wedges. With its spin-milled grooves and multiple grind options, golfers of all skill levels will benefit from its spin control and consistent performance.
The SM9 offers versatility with seven grinds and lofts ranging from 46º to 62º. The wedges have been equipped with lightweight steel and graphite shaft options to match the player’s irons.
Bob Vokey’s three keys to great wedge play – maximizing spin, offering distance and trajectory control have been integrated into the design of the SM9.
The result is a comprehensive lineup of loft, grind, and bounce combinations that offer players versatility, accuracy, and forgiveness.
Although it has great tech advancements and fantastic finish options, many golfers might be skeptical about the Vokey SM9’s performance. To help you make an informed decision, we have performed a thorough Vokey SM9 wedge review.
Is Vokey SM9 worth it?
As a professional golfer, I have used many different wedges in my career, and I can say that the Vokey SM9 is definitely worth considering.
I found that handicaps of all skill levels can benefit from investing in the Vokey SM9 wedges. SM9 stands true to its words, “Hit it closer,” as Vokey has carefully designed the wedges to offer better control and accuracy than other Vokey models.
Golfers can choose from a wide range of customizations with 23 grind options, 7 different sole grinds, and 4 Vokey Design finish options. Vokey SM9 wedges are designed with a process that Vokey calls “Precision Weight Distribution,” which helps to maximize spin and control.
Additionally, unlike other wedges on the market, SM9 wedges are durable due to their heat treatment process and innovative face milling technology.
My experience review with Vokey SM9 Wedge
As a long-time user of both SM6 and SM8 Vokey wedges, I was already familiar with the brand’s dedication to quality design and craftsmanship. The SM9s are a natural evolution of the Vokey line, not a significant overhaul.
I found a noticeable difference compared to the SM6s, but only a subtle change from the SM8s. However, sometimes the subtle changes can make a huge difference.
In my personal experience with Vokey SM9 wedge, I found that Vokey’s has done an impressive job with the grooves. The spin milled grooves did help with the spin control on short shots around the green. I tested the SM9 wedge both on the golf course and with the use of a simulator and launch monitor. And, I must say the results were pretty impressive. The results were noteworthy.
Based on my experience using the Vokey SM9 wedge, I observed that the spin milled grooves were effective in controlling spin on short shots around the green. I conducted tests using both a simulator and launch monitor, as well as on the golf course. The results were noteworthy.
After playing multiple rounds with a variety of grinds and lofts for both yards and approaches, I experienced the differences that Vokey SM9 wedges can offer. The spin, flight, and feel varied depending on the loft and grind used, providing optimal performance in any situation.
My test stats:
|Yards||Wedge||Ball speed||Club speed||Launch angle||Back spin||Side angle||Carry||Total distance|
|100 Yards||52 F||84.2 mph||79.4 mph||28.2 degrees||9927 rpm||2.6 degrees||101 yards||101 yards|
|75 yards||54 D||70.5 mph||66.2 mph||29.4 degrees||8419 rpm||1.3 degrees||80 yards||81 yards|
|60 yards||60 M||59.5 mph||72.4 mph||30.2 degrees||10005 rpm||1.5 degrees||60 yards||54 yards|
|35 yards||60 K||43.7 mph||41.8 mph||29.7 degrees||5350 rpm||0.6 degrees||34 yards||36 yards|
I tested a 100 yards shot with a 52 F grind Vokey SM9 gap wedge. The feel was crisp, with a stable flight and predictable spin than a standard gap wedge. The consistent and solid strikes I was getting from this wedge were remarkable. I was happy with the distance and accuracy that the SM9 gap wedge provided.
Next, I moved on to playing a 75-yard shot with SM9 54 grind Vokey wedge, and the results were even better. I played 3 shots with this wedge, and every shot was precise and accurate.
I was impressed at how my shots landed on the line. Vokey SM9 wedge has let me be aggressive with shorter swings and still get the ball to stop as soon as it hits the green. It was more like a hit-and-stop shot for me.
I noticed that my shots consistently landed on the intended line when using the Vokey SM9 wedge. With shorter swings, I was able to be more aggressive and still achieve a prompt stop on the green. It was more like a hit-and-stop shot for me.
Also, I played a 60-yard shot with an SM9 60 M grind Vokey wedge. When it comes to playing 60 yards shot, you need to rely on the more lofted wedge to hit straight and accurately. So, I decided to check if the SM9 wedge could bring a little action.
To be honest, I was a little disappointed with the backspin. So, I tried to hit with a little less loft that allows me to add some loft through impact. Changing my technique with SM9 60 M wedge gave me the desired results.
Lastly, I played from 35 yards with SM9 60 K grind. I was sure Vokey SM9 wedge would perform exceptionally in bunker shots. And yes, playing with Vokey wedges from the bunker, I found consistent and powerful impact through the sand. This remarkable consistency will surely help me improve my bunker game.
Given its reputation for being a reliable wedge for bunker shots, I expected it to perform well. My experience using the Vokey wedge from the bunker was consistent and powerful, which could potentially aid in enhancing my bunker game.
Overall, the feedback provided by the SM9 wedges is truly satisfying, and I believe this club is designed specifically for short-game shots.
Vokey SM9 Grind options
The Vokey SM9 wedges feature seven tour-proven sole grinds, allowing players to have ultimate shot versatility around the green.
These grinds allow for customization and precision fit for the player’s swing type (steep, neutral, shallow), shot-making style (sweeper, digger), and course conditions (firm, neutral, soft), providing consistency and creativity to golfers of all skill levels.
Let us take a look at the Vokey SM9 grinds one by one.
1. M Grind
The M Grind is Vokey’s favorite grind and is designed for golfers who like to rotate the club face open and closed for shot-making around the green. It is ideal for players with a shallower, sweeping swing type and those who play shots from various clubface positions.
2. F Grind
The F Grind is a versatile sole designed for full shots and shots with a square face, ideal for players who prefer a traditional wedge sole, and is the most played sand wedge on tour.
3. S Grind
The S Grind is a versatile option with a fast feel through the turf, ideal for players in neutral to firm conditions who want to control loft with their hands ahead or behind the ball. It features a full sole narrowed by a trailing edge grind.
4. D Grind
The D Grind blends versatility and forgiveness through its design, with heel, toe, and trailing edge grinds and high-measured bounce. It’s best suited for players with steep swing angles and those who play a wedge shot from various clubface positions.
5. K Grind
The K Grind is the highest bounce wedge in Vokey’s lineup and is designed for softer sand and turf conditions. It is a wide, full-sole Vokey wedge with enhanced camber for forgiveness, making it the ultimate bunker club.
6. L Grind
The L Grind is the lowest bounce option with heel, toe, and trailing edge relief for maximum greenside versatility. It is designed for precise players with complete impact control and is perfect for firm conditions to provide maximum shot-making versatility.
7. T Grind
The T Grind is a popular grind on the PGA Tour, chosen by top players like Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Cameron Smith, Will Zalatoris, and Cameron Young.
It is a lob wedge with low bounce and a narrow sole that hugs the ground and has a maximum heel, toe, and trailing edge relief for ultimate shot-making versatility in any condition.
However, grind T is currently available only as a custom option, and it will be available in both stock and custom options from March 2023.
Performance factors of Titleist Vokey SM9 Wedge
The Titleist Vokey SM9 Wedge is a top-performing wedge that offers golfers a range of performance factors that enhance their game.
1. Distance and trajectory control (Grade A+)
The Vokey SM9 wedges raise the forward center of gravity to promote controlled ball flight and solid contact, resulting in closer shots more often.
The design concentrates mass forward of the loft, placing the true center of gravity in front of the face and preventing the CG from creeping back.
I can confirm that this improvement did help me hitting full shots. I was getting more penetrating ball flight and consistency in distance. The longer hosel in higher-lofted wedges helps prevent squirters and creates flatter, spinnier shots.
2. Maximum spin (Grade A+)
The Vokey SM9 wedges offer precise spin control, with grooves designed for optimal results. The edges are cut to maximize spin, allowing golfers to land the ball on the green with one or two bounces.
I tried the SM9 54 grind, and I was able to place the ball exactly where I wanted it, with the perfect amount of spin for a soft landing on the green.
Looks (Grade A+)
Titleist Vokey Design SM9 wedges have a classic look and feel with a variety of finish options. These include:
- Tour chrome
- Brushed steel
- Jet black
The SM9 Vokey wedges feature a classic sole stamp with the BV logo in the center, SM9 towards the toe, and Vokey Design near the heel. The whole design looks neat and clean to me. The Jet Black finish looks stunning, but they might mark more than the chrome or steel.
The fuller toe adds more material behind the head for a rounder look, while the lower lofted wedges (46-52) have a squarer profile and a straighter leading edge at address.
3. Sound and Feel (Grade A)
When I first started using the Vokey SM9 wedge, I was pleasantly surprised by the low-pitched snap on well-struck shots. Even off-center shots had a clicky feel and added vibration, providing a unique feedback experience.
Having used Vokey wedges before, the SM9 felt familiar in terms of sound and feel. However, compared to the SM8s, the SM9 offered an even softer touch that elevated my overall golf experience.
Features and benefits of Titleist Vokey SM9 Wedges
The master craftsmanship, design, and performance features of the Vokey SM9 wedges make them a great choice for serious golfers. Let us take a look at what makes them so special.
1. Progressive center of gravity
The new SM9 wedges feature an improved Progressive Center of Gravity design that boasts a forward CG position for a solid feel at impact and more consistent results.
The CG has been raised vertically with added weighting in the topline design and a tapered pad at the back of the toe.
The progressive hosel lengths also raise the CG in the higher lofts, leading to improved distance and trajectory control, and increased stability for more consistency.
2. New groove cutting process
The Titleist Vokey Design SM9 wedge features a new Spin Milled cutting process that results in a higher and more consistent spin. This is achieved by tighter tolerances in the cutting process, adding micro-grooves between the main grooves, and a heat treatment applied to the impact area.
The grooves are individually cut based on the loft and finish, with the lower lofts having narrower, deeper grooves and the higher lofts having wider, shallower grooves.
3. Superior handcrafted technology
Combining engineering precision and handcrafted artistry, SM9 wedges represent the most advanced design in terms of materials and structure, enabling a lower flight trajectory and higher spin rates.
The grind on each wedge adds a unique element that only Master Craftsman Bob Vokey could provide, bringing exceptional performance to every shot.
Along with the four finish options mentioned above, SM9 Vokey wedges come with a True Temper Dynamic Golf S200 shaft and a Tour Velvet 360 White grip.
The wedge can also be customized with toe engravings, stamping options, and paint fills on the loft, bounce, grind, and Vokey wings markings.
The Vokey SM9 wedge comes with a True Temper Dynamic Gold S200 shaft that is designed for mid-low launch and spin, making it a great choice for players who want more control over their shots.
The Vokey SM9 wedge comes with a Tour Velvet 360 White Flat Cap that provides the perfect amount of cushion and feels. It also has an enhanced texture to connect the hands and the club better.
Is Vokey SM9 wedge better than Vokey SM8 wedge?
As someone who has tried both the SM8 and SM9, I can tell you that the SM9 offers a noticeable upgrade in terms of spin rate and trajectory. The increased spin rate and the lower trajectory provided me with better control and a cleaner stroke.
In my opinion, the SM9 is a great option for golfers who prioritize these traits. However, whether it is better than the SM8 is subjective and will depend on individual playing styles.
Should I buy Vokey SM9?
There is no doubt that the Vokey SM9 wedge is the best-performing wedge on the market and a great choice for serious golfers.
However, whether or not to buy Titleist Vokey SM9 depends on certain factors, including budget and individual requirements.
Here is what people like and may not like about Vokey SM9 wedges:
What people like
What people don’t like
Whether you are looking for a more traditional design or a more advanced wedge, each one of these options is worth considering to find the right fit for your game.
Each one provides its own set of benefits, so it is best to try out these alternatives to see which one suits you the best.
The closest alternative to Vokey’s SM9 wedge, the Vokey SM8 is still a great performing club. The Vokey SM8 is a great performing club which can be a good alternative for Vokey SM9.
This club is one of the top-of-the-line wedges designed with a sleek and timeless shape. The wedge has advanced technology that provides exceptional performance and comes with six sole options to adapt to different swing types and playing conditions.
Progressive Centre of Gravity technology and Spin Milled grooves provide maximum spin and stopping power, allowing golfers to control their shots even in tricky situations.
Cleveland CBX Wedge
The Cleveland CBX Wedge is a lightweight and cavity-backed design provides golfers with greater stability, making it an ideal alternative to the Vokey SM9.
The CBX Wedge’s Dual-V Sole offers the perfect blend of forgiveness and versatility, allowing golfers to execute a range of shots with ease. Its Cavity Back Design places more weight in the perimeter, resulting in increased stability on off-center hits.
The Feel Balancing Technology enhances the feel of each shot, while the Rotex Face ensures consistent spin on all shots, giving golfers greater control over their ball trajectory.
Ping Glide 4.0
The Ping Glide 4.0 wedge is an exceptional club, featuring a classic teardrop shape with a Hydropearl 2.0 chrome finish.
It offers four sole options – W, S, T and Eye2 – for different swings and lies, making it versatile for all kinds of shots. The WS sole is particularly good for chipping from the rough, while the Eye2 sole is ideal for bunker shots due to its forgiveness and accuracy.
With the new Emery face blast work added, it’s easy to spin the ball for greater control around the greens.
The Vokey SM9 Wedge provides golfers with exceptional spin control, accuracy and control from the fairway or rough. It also gives good control and distance on chip shots, pitches, and bunker shots, with plenty of forgiveness for those tricky shots.
The Vokey SM9 Wedge is ideal for any golfer looking for increased performance around the green. Moreover, the Vokey SM9 Wedge is also very easy to hit, so you can still get a nice ball flight even if you miss the sweet spot.