Sticking to its usual two-year product cycle, Titleist’s Vokey Design SM8 wedge made its PGA Tour debut on Monday at the RSM Classic. The equipment manufacturer’s tour seeding process offers players in the field at Sea Island Golf Club the chance to test the final version of the wedge for the first time and provide valuable feedback on what they’re seeing, feeling and hearing.
Master craftsman Bob Vokey, Tour rep Aaron Dill and director of wedge R&D Kevin Tassistro will be on-site in Georgia to gather feedback and find the correct bounce and grind setup for those who choose to give the wedge a shot in a competitive setting.
The lowdown: Following years of launching Vokey’s latest product in Las Vegas at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Titleist shook things up with SM8, pushing the Tour launch back more than a month to the last full-field event on the fall portion of the schedule.
While this marks the first time images of SM8 have been released for public consumption, prototype testing has been going on behind the scenes. According to Titleist, the prototype version has been well-received by players, who commented on the improved flight, feel and better results during practice round testing.
Wedges remain highly personal, but that hasn’t stopped players from giving Vokey’s latest creation a chance the first week it has been available on Tour. The initial launch of SM7 saw 66 wedges put in play — 29 percent of Vokey’s total wedge count — at the 2017 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
It’s very likely Titleist will see a similar acceptance rate this week at RSM.