What comes to mind when you think about the 2006 U.S. Open? It’s likely Phil Mickelson’s epic meltdown on the 18th hole that kept him from hoisting the one major trophy that’s continually eluded him over the years. Maybe it’s Colin Montgomerie’s incredible gaffe from the center of the fairway.
In terms of memorable moments, those two top most lists.
Few remember the up-and-down from eventual winner Geoff Ogilvy — a deft pitch that settled next to the hole for a tournament-deciding par. The Aussie calls it the “best up-and-down I’ve ever made.” It’s big words from someone who possesses an all-world short game.
When you have an elite short game, people tend to listen when you have thoughts about the scoring tools in your bag.
Titleist Vokey SM9 Tour Chrome Custom Wedge
For every shot, every lie, every course, there’s a grind fit for your swing. Finding the right grind to match your swing and playing conditions will give you the best turf interaction, contact and shot performance. Master Craftsman Bob Vokey has spent decades crafting, developing and improving his tour proven grinds to fit players of all levels.
Anyone can manufacture a wedge, but it takes a master to turn a piece of high-performance technology into an instrument of creative control. Bob’s six tour-proven grinds are designed to offer maximum creativity, versatility and consistency, all meticulously developed through years of working with the best players in the world.
PROGRESSIVE CENTER OF GRAVITY
SM9 features a progressive center of gravity (CG) throughout the lofts, which optimizes ball flight, accuracy and forgiveness. Using tapered top lines and varied hosel lengths, the Vokey R&D team has raised the height of the CG in the higher lofts, which promotes a lower, more controlled flight.
The CG is also forward of the face, resulting in increased MOI, exceptional feel and a club face that simply wants to square up at impact.
SPIN MILLED GROOVES
SM9’s patented Spin Milled grooves are meticulously engineered through a new cutting process to maximize spin and durability. The process starts by cutting the face perfectly flat with a high-speed saw. Then every groove is individually cut based on loft and finish; low lofts (46°-54°) are designed with narrower, deeper grooves, while higher lofts (56°-62°) have wider, shallower grooves.
Micro-grooves are individually cut in between grooves, which maximize spin on partial shots. A proprietary heat treatment is applied to the impact area which doubles the durability of the groove without impacting feel, making it the most durable groove in golf. The process is only complete when every Vokey wedge is 100% inspected for utmost quality and performance.
“I spoke with Geoff, and we got on the topic of Australian golf courses and how they compared to courses in America and around the world,” recalled Vokey Tour rep Aaron Dill. “I asked him some specific questions which resulted in an idea to design another lob wedge grind option that complemented the firm links-style conditions that players face – not just in Australia and Europe – but globally. Geoff has always been a low bounce player in his 60-degree, so I took his 60-04L wedge and removed the ribbon, resulting in a grind that moves through the turf quickly with very little resistance.”
Ogilvy and Dill’s creation has turned into a popular option for a number of current pros, including 2023 U.S. Open winner Wyndham Clark, 6-time Tour winner Max Homa and 3-time winner Tom Kim. For some of the best players in the world, the low-bounce design is ideal for tightly-mown areas where the club needs to get under the ball quickly and efficiently.
The Vokey WedgeWorks 60A ($225) lob wedge features 4 degrees of bounce with a smoothed-out sole that allows the leading edge to slide under the ball with little effort — assuming you have the hands and action to execute the shot. As Vokey noted, “the smooth, fast-feeling wedge requires precise delivery at impact, especially in soft conditions.”
In other words, the 60A isn’t for everyone.
“The most important club for me, probably in my bag, is this A grind,” Clark said. “I use the SM9 60-degree A grind, which is a low bounce 60 that is very versatile. I’m able to – on tight lies, rough, wet lies, firm lies, whatever it is – hit the shot I want, and with the amount of spin I want, trajectory and everything.”
For golfers who have the skill to handle the 60A, the wedge is available through WedgeWorks (right-hand only) in a raw finish and can be outfitted with six toe engravings and a myriad of stamping options (10-character straight/freestyle stamping; 15 characters around the toe and two lines of 10 characters each). The popular Flight Line alignment feature can also be added to the wedge.
Want to overhaul your bag for 2023? Find a fitting location near you at True Spec Golf.