By E. Michael Johnson
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Titleist Vokey SM8 Blue Slate wedges offer all the technological benefits and options of the SM8, but the company has used a time-consuming process to apply a unique material that produces a more durable finish with a deep blue colour.
PRICE: €215 / £179 per wedge, available March 19. Most custom shafts and grips are included at no upcharge and additional customizations such as character stamping are available for an additional fee.
THE DEEP DIVE: Although he is north of 80 years old and has done almost everything there is to do in wedge design, Titleist master craftsman Bob Vokey continues to acknowledge that he can make the best wedge possible, but it means little if it isn’t appealing at the address.
“It has to look good to the player when sitting behind the golf ball,” said Vokey, whose wedges habitually have led the count at every PGA Tour event for years.
For Vokey, that sometimes means creating a full new line of wedges and other times it means coming up with a modest tweak that he knows players will like.
It was the latter that led Vokey to create the SM8 Blue Slate wedges, which will be available through golf shops and vokey.com starting March 19, 2021. The finish is applied like a PVD finish, but with a unique material and more time-consuming process that produces a more durable finish with a deep blue colour.
“Slate Blue is an unbelievable finish—incredibly durable and developed to last,” said Vokey. “As much as golfers will love this look, they will appreciate the feel and performance even more. I am excited that we are able to offer this finish in the SM8.”
As with all other Vokey SM8 wedges, the Slate Blue has all the technological benefits of the original SM8, including a center of gravity that hovers in front of the wedge face due to lengthening the hosel and adding tungsten to the toe. Vokey’s spin-milled grooves are present as well, with two groove shapes based on loft to optimise spin with rows of microgrooves cut between each groove to get the most spin on partial shots.
The SM8 Blue Slate is available in 23 loft, bounce, and grind options in both right-hand and left-hand models. If that sounds a little too overwhelming, the company provides assistance via its Wedge Selector tool on Vokey.com.
The stock offering features a True Temper Dynamic Gold S200 shaft and custom blue-and-white BV Wings New Decade Multi Compound Grip. Most custom shafts and grips are included at no upcharge and additional customisations such as character stamping are available for an additional fee above the €215 / £179 selling price.
WHAT THE COMPANY SAY: The overwhelmingly most played and best performing wedges in the game – Vokey Design SM8 – are now available in an ultra-premium Slate Blue finish.
Master Wedge Craftsman Bob Vokey has always stressed the importance of players having confidence in their wedge at address, and finish plays a key role in that.
“A player has to love their wedge when they look down at it,” said Vokey, whose short game tools account for nearly half of all wedges played on the PGA Tour.
The finish on the Vokey SM8 Slate Blue wedges is applied like a PVD finish, but with a unique material and more time intensive process that combine to provide a deep, rich slate blue colour that is extremely durable.
“Very often, wedge finishes can be beautiful, but they won’t last,” said Vokey. “At the same time, the most durable finishes often aren’t stunning. Slate Blue combines the two. Not only will golfers love their wedge when they see it in the shop, the finish will last through the course of normal play.”
Consistent with all Vokey Design SM8 finishes, Slate Blue is available in all 23 loft, bounce, and grind options (both RH/LH), while supplies last. Slate Blue also incorporates the technology that sets SM8 wedges apart:
· Groundbreaking Progressive Center of Gravity (CG) pushed forward of the face for increased MOI, improved consistency and softer, more solid feel.
· 100% Inspected Spin Milled grooves that are cut with a level of precision that is unique by finish, producing maximum spin.
Vokey Design SM8 models are also available in Tour Chrome, Brushed Steel, Jet Black and RAW finishes. For assistance determining the right loft, bounce and grind, golfers can use the Wedge Selector tool on Titleist.co.uk: https://www.titleist.co.uk/golf-clubs/wedges/selector
AVAILABILITY AND PRICING: Vokey Design SM8 Slate Blue wedges will be available in Titleist authorised retailers from Friday, March 19th SRP: €215 / £179
STOCK SHAFT AND GRIP: The Slate Blue stock setup features a True Temper Dynamic Gold S200 shaft and custom Blue/White BV Wings New Decade Multi Compound grip – with most custom shafts and grips included at no additional charge. Additional customisations, such as character stamping, are available for an additional fee.