Had life gone according to schedule this season, history suggests the first Wedge Works offering of 2020 would have rolled out just in time for The Masters. That same history suggests we’d have seen some flavor of a high-loft, low-bounce lob wedge with the requisite story about providing Vokey staffers with the tools to take on the firm and fast conditions of Augusta National.
Last April, we got all of that by way of a 64° Slate Blue Vokey T-Grind with six degrees of bounce. This April, we got bupkis. Nothing. Nothing good, anyway.
With the Masters postponed to November and Vokey’s Carlsbad assembly plant closed, what would have been the point?
But here we are. Late May is rolling towards June, things – including the Vokey area of Titleist’s assembly plant – are starting to reopen. So, even without a defining tournament that ties everything together, the company is moving forward with its first special release of 2020 – the Vokey Wedge Works K Grind.
What’s the point of waiting until November?
About Wedge Works
The defining characteristic of a Wedge Works offering is that they feature bounce and grind combinations not available in the mainstream lineup. That was the case with last April’s 64-degree T and while at first glance you might be inclined to point out that 58-degree and 60-degree K are part of the current SM8 lineup (you’d be right), this Vokey Wedge Works K Grind offering provides a particularly compelling contrast to the standard retail offering.
SM8 High Bounce K Grind
The retail SM8 K Grind isn’t just a high-bounce offering. It offers the most bounce of any SM8 grind (14 degrees). Like this Wedge Works offering, the SM8 K Grind is also available in 58 and 60 degrees but that’s where the design details diverge.
Typically, the K Grind is a good fit for a steep attack angle golfer (often called a digger) where the K’s signature wide sole can help prevent digging, particularly in soft conditions. On bounce alone, it’s a slider’s wedge.
About the Vokey Wedge Works K Grind
The Wedge Works K Grind offers the same wide sole as the SM8 incarnation, albeit with significantly less bounce (six degrees). You still get some protection against digging but the lower bounce keeps the leading edge closer to the ground. The result is a wedge more suitable for dry conditions, tight lies and the fluffy sand a tour pro might have experienced on a warm Georgia day in early April.
If the D Grind is a high-bounce player’s wedge, the Wedge Works K Grind is a low-bounce option for that same guy.
Vokey’s Director of Marketing Jeremy Stone describes the new offering as “the perfect embodiment of what Wedge Works is.” Originally inspired by Tom Kite and a mainstay in Adam Scott’s bag, the low-bounce K is the most popular Vokey grind on tour that isn’t in the SM8 retail lineup.
Vokey believes there’s an audience for the wedge but putting it in the SM8 lineup alongside the high-bounce version may have led golfers to choose a wedge that wasn’t really right for them. Arguably, that happens with every piece of equipment on the market right now but a golfer who knows just enough about wedge grinds to be dangerous is going to see the wide sole and assume a high effective bounce. The thing about K is that it always plays as advertised While they may look similar – damned near identical – the high-bounce plays like a high-bounce wedge and the low-bounce plays like a really low-bounce wedge – even if a cursory glance may suggest otherwise.
Keeping it off retail shelves helps avoid some of that confusion. In that respect, there’s a reasonable comparison to be drawn between the low-bounce K Grind and Titleist’s Pro V1x Left Dash golf ball. It’s not for everyone and not everyone will know it exists but for the guy who understands what it can do for his game (and knows where to find it), it’s a compelling option that sits in a semi-accessible space between mainstream retail and tour-only.
Is a Low-Bounce K Right For you?
Whether this K might fit in your bag depends on whether you see your three (or four) wedges as a set or individual clubs. If your wedges are simply a continuation of an iron set where the functional difference between sand wedge and lob wedge is little more than a yardage number, it’s probably not for you.
If you accept the Vokey tenet that your swing travels and view your golf bag as a toolbox to be filled purposefully, well, now we’ve got something to talk about. I’m not suggesting you buy blindly. It remains essential to get properly fitted for wedges (yeah…I know that’s not easy) and part of that process is accounting for the reality that whether your swing classifies you as a digger, a sweeper or something in between, there will be times when the course doesn’t give you much of a choice. The Rules of Golf say play it as it lies. The wedges in your bag should allow you to do just that.
If that makes sense, you can understand why it’s often beneficial to carry of a mix of bounce angles. Pairing a low-bounce wedge, whether that’s a Wedge Works K or an L Grind with a higher-bounce D or F Grind sand wedge or some other combination entirely, the goal should be to offer greater versatility as you move closer to the green, without compromising full-shot performance.
Vokey Wedge Works K Grind Pricing
Street price for the Wedge Works K Grind is $199. That’s quite a bit less than a typical Wedge Works offering. The lower price speaks to the fact that while it is a Wedge Works exclusive, it’s essentially an extension of the SM8 lineup. It’s not limited edition, there’s no expectation that it’s going to sell out, and some Vokey fitters will have demos in their matrix. The plan is to make the low-bounce K grind available through the end of 2021, which is the expected duration of the SM8 lifecycle.
The $199 price includes all stamping (custom paint fill), a custom ferrule and a custom shaft band label. Toe engraving (six options) and weight porting will set you back another $25.
For those who want to go absolutely nuts (and spend another $75), Vokey’s Handground program allows you to have a bit of extra work done…trailing edge relief, a custom tour grind or maybe turn the K into a low-bounce D (just sayin’).
Wedge Works K Grind Specs and Availability
The Vokey Wedge Works K Grind is technically available now but your expectations should be firmly rooted in the reality of our times. Typical turn-around time for a custom Vokey wedge is seven to 10 days. The current wait time is four to six weeks.
COVID-related closures hit not long after SM8 launched so it’s entirely possible some customers are still waiting for custom orders placed in late February and early March. The company is emphatically open for business but with new safety measures in place, it’s certainly not operating at full capacity. Wedge Works orders don’t get to jump the line. All orders will be processed in the order they come in.
Vokey Wedge Works 58- and 60-degree low bounce K Grind wedges are available in Raw and Tour Chrome finishes. The stock shaft is the True Temper Dynamic Gold S200. The stock grip is the Tour Velvet 360 White. Pricing begins at $199. Place your order now through Vokey dealers or at Vokey.com.