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SM8 vs SM9 – Titleist Vokey Wedges – Bounce, Grind and Loft Comparison

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What are Titleist Vokey Wedges?

TheTitleist Vokey Wedges are golf clubs designed to improve the golfer’s contact with the ball. These clubs are designed precisely for any golfer from beginners to PGA professionals. With the release of the SM9 wedges earlier this year, everyone is asking: What is the comparison between the Titlist Vokey SM8 vs SM9 golf wedges. 

The Titleist Vokey Wedge was created by Bob Vokey and was first manufactured in 1982. The club is named after Bob’s father, who invented the first Vokey wedge in 1959. The Vokey wedge quickly became one of the most sought-after clubs on the PGA Tour and, to this day, is considered “the best of the best” regarding wedges.

The time, care, and research that goes into each wedge building makes the Vokey Wedge series so elite. A lifetime of learning, refining, and designing from Bob Vokey has blessed the golfing world with the high caliber of golf wedges used today.

SM8 vs SM9 Look and Feel

The SM8 vs the SM9 in look and feel are pretty much two completely different clubs. Titlelist put a lot of research and development into the new SM9s. With a shorter and more compact club variety, the SM9 golf wedges are designed as a perfect upgrade for your previous wedges. The center of gravity on the SM8 vs SM9 wedges are drastically different between the two. The SM9 has a higher center of gravity on the face, making your ball striking much more solid. 

Titlist SM9 Vokey Wedge
Titleist SM9 Vokey Wedge
  • SM9 looks more compact than SM8
  • SM9 has a more solid feel with a better center of gravity
  • SM9 plays better in wet conditions
Titleist SM8 56 degree Vokey Wedge
Titleist SM8 56 degree Vokey Wedge
  • The SM8 is still one of the top-selling golf wedges to date
  • There are many custom fitting options that will allow you to get the best club for your golf swing 

Bounce, Grind, Trajectory, and Spin on the SM8 vs SM9

Bounce

Bounce is the angle of the face relative to the ground. The bounce angle can be measured by a protractor between 1° and 12°. A wedge with a high bounce angle will produce more bounce shots, while a wedge with a lower bounce will produce more full shots. Lean more about bounce on a golf club here!

Grind

Grind is the shape of the leading edge of a golf club, which is created by grinding away metal from the trailing edge, leading edge, toe or heel to change its profile and how it interacts with the ground based on the new bounce angle. Your swing path determines grind choice; a steeper swing path will call for a different grind than a shallow swing path.

The grind options offered by Vokey are displayed as letters that refer to different angles. One of the more neutral grinds is the “F Grind,” which is in the middle of the steep and shallow swinger.

Knowing and understanding the principles associated with bounce and grind will help you better understand this article, but more importantly, it will help you better choose a wedge for yourself.

Both the SM8 and the SM9 has a variety of different club options for the bounce and grind. The customizable options will allow you to dial in the perfect combination that best suits you. Check out the wedge selector tool from Titleist Vokey here. 

Trajectory and Spin

The main different in the SM8 vs SM9 golf wedges are the trajectory and spin rate. The SM9’s were designed to have a lower and flatter trajectory than the SM8’s. However, even though the trajectory is lower, the SM9’s also pickup more ball rotation (up to 8200 rpms) which increases the spin and helps the ball stop more quickly. 

What Made The SM8 vs SM9 Vokey Wedges so Popular?

When the SM8 wedges came out, Vokey spent a lot of time controlling the golf ball. This model repositioned the center of gravity to better feel through contact. While moving the center of gravity forward in the clubhead, Vokey can create more consistency in its contact. With the center of gravity moved forward, it offers an increase in “Moment of inertia,” resulting in a golf club that works back to square easier.

While many other manufacturers dedicate time to spin rates, as the average golfer chases a wedge shot that lands and spins back, Vokey dedicated time to the overall impact and feel of the club. The SM8 was a significant leap in that regard and helped Vokey continue to establish its dominance in the game.

The SM8 series also introduced additional grind options for the bounce. Vokey now offered f, S, M, K, L, and D in all wedges options unavailable in the SM7 and prior.

Because of Titleist’s history of creating great quality products, the SM9’s speak for themselves. Once you try them out, it will be very hard to go back. 

What Makes The SM9 Vokey Wedges Special?

After so many models, it is hard to assume that Bob Vokey and his team would still be able to push the envelope and produce additional features from their wedges.

There are two thoughts regarding the trajectory of a ball’s flight when using a wedge. For amateurs, the allure of a high-hit ball that lands on the green and doesn’t move is appealing. However, professional players chase a ball with a lower trajectory and higher spin rate, allowing them to control it and be more precise with their shot selection.

Vokey has done this with the latest from the SM series, again taking moving the center of gravity higher to promote a lower ball flight. They have increased the weight in the hosel by making it longer, as in the SM8. In addition to the increased length of the hosel, Vokey made the top line of the club face thicker, which in turn helped the center of gravity of the clubface.

To increase the spin, Vokey includes micro-grooves; that’s right, more grooves between all the significant grooves that Vokey has already perfected. These grooves add more resistance to the golf ball and increase spin with the same swing.

Is the SM8 or SM9 the Best Vokey Wedge for You?

Now that is a pretty loaded question. The improvements to the wedges are designed to improve contact and ball flight. However, a certain level of respect for your game and the results you are looking for must remain. If you enjoy towering wedges that drop and sit on the green, you may lean more toward the SM8 wedges. If you like the idea of a flighted wedge that fires out low and requires a touch more accuracy, then the SM9 will be a better fit for you.

In all fairness, both options are excellent and offer an upgrade to the wedge.

Once you get past the big picture of the ball flight and spin, several options are available for each wedge when it comes to bounce and grind.

How to Buy SM8 or SM9 Titleist Vokey Wedges!

Vokey and the Titleist team worked hard to bring all golfers state-of-the-art clubs that make the game more accessible, and they have developed a system to help you pick the right club from the comfort of your home.

Again, through their website, Vokey.com, you can use their “Wedge Selector Tool” to ensure that you are heading in the right direction as you navigate purchasing a new wedge.

With this tool, you answer under a dozen questions about your game and tendencies, and in return, they fire back wedges that fit you. They explain why they selected the angle and grind for each wedge in the suggested settings.

So no matter which club fits your style, play better, whether the SM8 vs SM9; know that Vokey will be able to get you everything you need to improve your wedge game. From the grind to the bounce, Vokey remains the leader and innovator in his industry.

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