Here’s hoping today’s release signals that the Vokey team plans to make a habit out of using its WedgeWorks platform as a means to tease what will be offered in the next mainstream Vokey lineup. We presume that’s going to be the SM8 series which we also assume will launch this fall. Given Titleist’s recent penchant for renaming signature lines and tweaking its release cadence, we could be wrong on both accounts. Nevertheless, you can add the latest WedgeWorks offering to the list of what I want to see from whatever comes next for the mass market.
Earlier this year, Vokey released a Slate Blue 64° T Grind. While that particular loft and bounce combination may have been a near necessity for some of the guys competing at Augusta, for most of the rest of us, it was probably a case of form over function. You won’t find many golfers among us who would genuinely benefit from a 64° wedge (the ROI coming out of the risk/reward equation isn’t there), but I can find no fault in being seduced by the Slate Blue finish. It’s the best kind of naughty.
This time around Vokey is placing function first. That’s not to say the new 54° and 56° D Grind options aren’t easy on the eyes, but the appeal in this release is the grind itself.
Billed as players high bounce wedge, the D Grind is really about disrupting the inverse relationship between bounce and versatility. As wedge designers are fond of repeating, bounce is your friend, and that’s especially true on full shots. What’s mentioned less often is that more bounce, particularly if you want legitimately qualifies as high bounce, usually comes with less versatility.
Case in point, Vokey’s F Grind. Designed to sit flat, it offers plenty of bounce and is well-suited for steeper attack angle players (diggers). The downside is that, with its straight leading edge and total lack of heel or toe relief, it’s not the most versatile around the green or out of a bunker.
Conversely, the M Grind with its substantial heel, toe, and trailing edge relief gives golfers the versatility to manipulate the face around the green, but for diggers, the lower bounce can be a liability on full shots.
As part of its SM7 lineup, Vokey introduced 58° and 60° D Grind wedges. The D Grind represents the best of both worlds solution. Billed as the player’s high bounce lob wedge, the D Grind offers the bounce of the F Grind with the versatility of the M. With this Vokey release the benefits of D Grind have trickled down into sand wedge lofts (54° and 56°).
The D grind provides high forward bounce for shots in the square position, while the crescent shape provides for versatility in the open position, allowing for a variety of shots and face angles for the player that uses their sand wedge greenside. It is ideal for players with a steeper angle of attack who play with a variety of clubface positions.
Like the 58° and 60°, the 54° and 56° D Grind wedges offer a crescent shape sole that sits closer to the ground when open, and visually, I think anyway, sits a bit more underneath the ball at address. I like that, though I know more than a few guys who don’t.
Last summer Titleist fit me for both a 58° D Grind and a 54° F grind. I’ve loved the D since day one, and while I’ve grown to appreciate the benefits of its higher bounce, I do sometimes lament the lack of versatility in the F. Sufficed to say, I’m particularly eager to try a 54 D Grind, and I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t find its way into the next full Vokey release.
Specs, Availability, and Pricing
Vokey WedgeWorks 54° and 56° D Grind wedges are available in Tour Chrome finish beginning today. Price is $195 and includes a Vokey custom grip, Vokey shaft band, and up to 10 characters of custom stamping.