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Looking to learn the key differences between the Vokey SM8 vs SM9? Read on for a detailed guide.
Superior hand-crafted technology is what Titleist Vokey wedges have been known for since 2004. Today, roughly 35% of all tour players use Titleist as their tournament wedges.
Titleist has become dominant in the wedge game and their wedges are favorites among all skill levels. If you’re looking for spin, trajectory control, and a stealth-like look when looking down at the ball, then this article is for you.
In March of 2022, Titleist launched its Vokey SM9 to compete with its previous SM8 wedge. The question you may be asking is whether it worth it to upgrade to the newest wedge and whether there are differences between the SM8 and SM9.
One of the most famous PGA Champions Tour professional golfers, Steve Alker, also prefers the Vokey Wedges. So, let’s find out why!
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Must Know Differences
If you have heard that golf clubs don’t change from year to year, you are right but at the same time, you are wrong. Let me explain. Your distances from one year to the next may not change much, but the spin you get from the club is due to changes in grooves or face construction.
Also, the change in the weight distribution of the head of the club may, in fact, change your ball trajectory. The feeling you have of holding one year club’s version of a set versus another may be drastically different.
This is specifically true of the Vokey SM8 vs SM9. The Titleist SM9 Wedges may be the most complete Titleist Vokey wedge ever made, offering 6 different grind types with 8 loft and 23 bounce types.
The Titleist SM8 Wedges offer the same options for grind loft and bounce types but there are some key differences. Below are the pros and cons of Vokey SM8 and SM9.
A Quick Comparison: Vokey SM8 vs SM9
Pros of SM8 Wedges
When Titleist released the SM8 in 2020, the look was unlike any other Vokey. It screamed, “BUY ME.”
The look of the wedge is utterly beautiful. Centered on the back of the club, the letters SM8 stand out, followed by the words Vokey Design. The crisp line with the classic BV stamped above is more pronounced than in previous generations. With spin milled grooves created to enhance distance and durability, the wedges are offered in tour chrome, jet black, and brushed steel.
Titleist Wedges grind types include the following:
- F Grind: An all-purpose grind
- M Grind: For players with a shallow swing
- S Grind: For players who golf on firm courses and control the loft with their hands
- D Grind: Ideal for players with a steep attack at the golf ball
- K Grind: Most used for a sand wedge club
- L Grind: Favorite grind among players with confidence around greens
There is an option for every player with degrees ranging from 46 – 52.
The SM8 is an overall good wedge for any age and any handicap golfer due to center of gravity placement and a multitude of grind options.
The sound of the ball of the club face is a perfect zip and lets you know this is the real deal. You would think this was a forged wedge, but it is straight steel with a buttery feel.
This certainly was the most forgiving wedge that Titleist produced since the Vokey was created due to its CG placement.
⛳️ Read Next: 7 Short Game Tips for Seniors: Improve Your Golf Game
Cons of SM8 Wedges
While the SM8 looks beautiful and feels great, I must be a little overly critical. The SM8 wedge is shaft weighted. The stock shaft comes in at 130 grams which adds to an odd launch on some shots.
Essentially, the shaft is too heavy, which prohibits the players from feeling the head of the club. It would be easy to say, go purchase another shaft, but who wants to spend double on a club for an additional shaft?
Pros of the SM9 Wedges
The SM9 takes the 1st place prize. In March of 2022, the SM9 was released and fixed the weight issue of the golf club. The wedge now feels bottom-heavy and was created with a lighter shaft and heavier wedge head.
A player of any skill type would immediately sense the difference due to the center of gravity (CG) position being moved to the front of the face, which helps players square up the ball.
To fix the lower ball flight in the SM8 model Titleist raised the vertical direction of the center of gravity in the wedge and increased the weight in a higher location in the club head. This is not visible to the naked eye. The Vokey designers also added progressive hosel lengths to keep wedge shots for steepening. This fix from the SM8 to SM9 now allows golfers of all types to attach the pin and even add some spice to the spin of the ball.
Cons of the SM9 Wedges
The SM9 takes the back seat in only one area to the SM8. This is in is the look. It’s a minimalist club. The SM9 writing is stamped to the left with an almost invisible shaded rectangular box to follow. The look reminds you of previous generations before the SM8. While the look could be better, this certainly is not a reason to choose the SM8 over the SM9.
Is the SM8 or SM9 a good fit for me?
One thing that Titleist does that separates them from many other club makers when it comes to a wedge is the Titleist wedge selector tool.
In just 3 short minutes, you can answer a series of questions and get down to the exact degree wedges you need, bounce for each of those wedges, and best grind for your game. This is one of the reasons the Vokey SM8 or SM9 wedge may be the option for any player, young or old, high handicap or low handicap player.
Alternative Wedges to the Titleist SM8 or SM9
It is important to note that some players prefer a larger wedge head. Titleist makes wedges of one size. To many individuals, they are razor sharp and are scary to hit when looking down at them. They are far less than threatening and offer the best feeling performing on the market. They offer various bounces, degrees, and grinds, but do not offer a different-sized golf wedge.
If you prefer a larger golf wedge size, you may want to consider some alternative wedges. Three good options include the Cobra Snake Bite wedges, Cleveland CBX Zipcore wedges, and Ping Glide 4.0 wedges.
Cobra Snake Bite Wedge
The Cobra Snake Bite Wedge offers incredible forgiveness and gives players the ability to open the club face for all types of shots. The club head is larger than the SM8 and SM9.
Cleveland CBX Zipcore
The Cleveland CBX Zipcore wedges are a solid option that offers a hollow chamber at the heel of the club for extra distance as well as a wider sole. The wide sole gives confidence to players who often lack confidence in their wedge shots. Golf is a game of the mind. If you need a club that gives you more confidence at the sight of it, then I would give Cleveland a shot.
Ping Glide 4.0
Lastly, the Ping Glide 4.0 has the friendliest and most inviting look down at the ball. Ping’s Glide wedges offer one of the larger wedge sizes for ultimate forgiveness. The Glide invites you to try to put a spin on the ball and speaks to you as if you cannot miss it.
These are all good alternatives if you need a slightly larger and more forgiving wedge.
Final Thoughts: Vokey SM8 vs SM9
If you prefer a bottom-heavy club, a buttery feel, and a wedge that offers all sorts of spice off the face of the club for an ultimate spin then the Titleist SM9 Wedge is for you. In this case, the newest wedge created is better than the Titleist SM8 Wedge.
If you are ready to go pin-seeking and impress your friends, don’t wait on this one, use the Titleist wedge selector tool, and order the Titlest Vokey SM9 wedge for yourself.
Now that you have figured out the best golf wedge for you, check out 17 Best Golf Tips For Seniors to Enhance Your Game.