I’m not saying Titleist’s launch of its Vokey Design SM9 WedgeWorks Low Bounce K Grind wedge was predictable. But just as the sun rises in the east, we’ve come to expect some sort of high-loft, low-bounce wedge addition to the Vokey line right around that little gathering in Augusta, Ga.
In May 2020, Vokey added a low-bounce SM8 K grind as a limited release through its WedgeWorks custom program. Roughly two years later, the guts of the story remain largely the same. It’s not exactly rinse and repeat but the clear similarities underscore a key philosophical stance or operating procedure for the industry-leading wedge franchise.
D.S.I.U. Don’t. Screw. It. Up.
Put differently: Improve but don’t deviate (too much) from the formula that is largely responsible for its success.
With that, the timing of the SM9 Low Bounce K Grind releases makes sense, as does the bounce/loft combination it offers Vokey staffers in preparing for the unique short-game challenges presented by Augusta National. Namely: plenty of tight lies, challenging green complexes and soft, fluffy bunkers.
What is WedgeWorks?
The charge of Vokey WedgeWorks is “to bring the Tour experience to all golfers.” In that regard, it offers far more than custom stampings and paint fill options. But primarily, WedgeWorks is home to limited-edition offerings that feature bounce and grind combinations not available in the standard lineup. As with the SM9 series, the 58-degree and 60-degree K are part of the current lineup. In this role, the SM9 K grind wedges offer the most bounce of any stock SM9 grind (14 degrees). Like this Wedge Works offering, the SM9 K Grind is also available in 58 and 60 degrees.
About The Vokey WedgeWorks K Grind
Generally, a high-bounce wedge like the stock K Grind is best suited to golfers with a steep attack angle. Additionally, the wide, cambered sole does well in soft, fluffy conditions. So why release a K grind with considerably less bounce? Augusta, that’s why. Well, that’s part of the why. The combination of low-bounce and a wide sole keeps the wedge from digging while keeping the leading edge closer to the ground.
According to longtime Vokey Tour rep Aaron Dill, “It (K grind) has always been known as the ultimate bunker club, inspiring confidence in players’ short games. However, when you ask players on Tour why they play the K grind, they will tell you not only do they love the performance in the bunkers but they love the way the leading edge hugs the ground when pitching and chipping.”
Generally, touring professionals don’t switch out wedges based on course conditions which is in line with Vokey’s “your swing travels” approach to wedge fitting. But Augusta’s massively undulating greens and firm, tight turf present unrivaled short-game puzzles that confound even the most accomplished players.
Is a Low Bounce K Grind Right For You?
To answer this question correctly, you must consider the role of each wedge in your bag. Each combination of loft, bounce and grind is a good match for some players in certain conditions. And not for others. The best approach, as always, is to get fitted. I get that’s not always easy. Another option is Vokey’s online Wedge Selector tool.
Regardless of whether the Low Bounce K is the right tool for your game, it’s helpful to understand the difference between it and two similar, yet different, options.
Compared to the SM9 K grind, both feature a wide, high-cambered sole which generally does well out of bunkers and soft conditions. However, the SM9 K Grind has 14 degrees of bounce which makes it a better fit for steeper swings while the WedgeWorks Low Bounce K has six degrees of bounce which is a better match for shallow swings and firm, fast conditions.
Compared to another low-bounce wedge, the SM9 L Grind, the WedgeWorks Low Bounce K has a wider sole with more camber. The SM9 L Grind has has a narrow sole with heel, toe and trailing-edge relief.
In general, the WedgeWorks Low Bounce K is the better choice out of bunkers whereas the SM9 L Grind offers more versatility for a variety of shots around the green.
PRICING and AVAILABILITY
Vokey Wedge Works 58- and 60-degree low-bounce (6°) K Grind wedges are available in Raw (RH/LH) and Tour Chrome (RH only) finishes. The stock shaft is the True Temper Dynamic Gold S200. The stock grip is the Tour Velvet 360 White. Pricing begins at $225.
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