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Posted: January 31, 2014
Welcome to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic....the final stage of the Desert Swing!
Brand Ambassadors Rob Dinwiddie (left) and Paul Waring (right) with Club Technician, Mattias Jelver.
Lots of players have been getting the new SM5 wedges into play recently.
Another bag, another set of the new SM5 wedges..
Titleist Brand Ambassador, Romain Wattel.
Brand Ambassador Alex Levy, keeping his game in shape.
Looks like he is swinging pretty well!
Titleist Brand Ambassador, Simon "Choco" Thornton.
"Choco" practising his short game.
Pro V1x loyalist, Mikko Ilonen.
Brand Ambassador. Gaganjeet Bhullar.
Brand Ambassador Ricardo Santos, honing his skills on the range.
Picturesque shot of the city behind the course.
The fabulous Par 3 7th here at the Emirates G.C.
A view of the 7th from the tee...don't come up short!
A look down the 8th hole, with the famous Dubai skyline.
A view of the approach shot into the 9th green.
A look at the 9th and 18th greens at the magnificent Emirates G.C. See you next week when we are back in sunny South Africa!
CLICK ON THE PHOTO ABOVE TO VIEW SLIDESHOWThis week we are at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the final event of the three week Desert Swing. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the event, with a whole new city having been built around this wonderful golf course during that time. The Bedouin tents that are symbolised in its clubhouse design have become well known throughout the golfing world, as have the views of Dubai's majestic skyline seen from most parts of the course.At the half way stage, Brand Ambassador Brooks Koepka leads the Titleist charge after an incredible 65 in the second round to follow up his solid 69 in the opening round, leaving him trailing the half-way leader by only one. Other Brand Ambassadors who have positioned themselves well for the weekend charge include Morten Orum-Madsen, who is having a fantastic season so far, and Gregory Bourdy, who is coming off the back of his best season of his career so far.Titleist Pro V1 loyalist Jamie Donaldson also continues his fine form this week, with two scores in the 60's so far. As does last year's stand out performer, Pro V1x loyalist, Henrik Stenson who keeps up his standards of late to sit only a handful of shots back. As always, keep your eyes out on Team Titleist to see how all the guys get on this week!
Posted: January 28, 2014
The remarkable start for Titleist players on the PGA Tour continued this weekend as Scott Stallings became the 8th player through the first 10 PGA Tour tournaments on the new 2013-14 wrap-around season to win with a Titleist golf ball.
Stallings trusted his Pro V1x golf ball and Titleist clubs to emerge from the field and capture the Farmers Insurance Open for his third career PGA Tour title. With the win, Stallings also becomes the fourth Titleist full product line brand ambassador to win in the young season, joining Jimmy Walker (Frys.com Open, SONY Open in Hawaii), Webb Simpson (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open) and Zach Johnson (Hyundai Tournament of Champions).
In addition, Stallings was among 99 players in the 156-man field at Torrey Pines who put their trust in Titleist golf balls, more than five times the nearest competitor with 17. The same story was repeated on the PGA European and LPGA tours this week, where the overwhelming choice among players was the #1 ball in golf.
All told, a combined 257 players relied on Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls across the worldwide professional tours this week, more than five times the nearest competitor with 48.
To date, 1,569 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in competition on the 2014 worldwide professional tours, more than five times the nearest competitor with 272 and more than all competitors combined.
• • •
PGA TOUR: At the Farmers Insurance Open, Titleist topped the field in the golf ball (99), iron sets (42), sand, approach and lob wedges (166) and putter (61) categories.
Stallings fired a final round 4-under par 68 on Sunday that included a dramatic birdie on the final hole. On a day when finding fairways was a challenge for the entire field, Stallings split the 527-yard 18th with his drive, leaving 222 yards to the front of the green. As he explained in a post-round interview, laying up never entered his mind.
"You don't get very many opportunities to win golf tournaments on this tour," Stallings said. "I didn't necessarily understand the situation I was in as far as the score, but I did know I had an opportunity. ... I was playing to win."
Stallings blasted a new AP2 4-iron that cleared Devlin's Billabong, the water hazard fronting the 18th green on the South Course at Torrey Pines, leaving him two putts from 40 feet, which he converted for his closing birdie. His 9-under par 279 total would stand up as the remaining players finished, giving him a one-shot margin of victory over five players, including fellow Titleist Brand Ambassadors Marc Leishman and Graham DeLaet.
What's in Scott Stalling's Bag?
Golf Ball: Pro V1x Driver: 913D2 (8.5º) driver w/Aldila Rogue X Fairways: 913F (15º) fairway metal w/Aldila Rogue X Irons: AP2 714 (4-P) irons w/KBS Tour shafts Wedges: Vokey Design SM5 gap (50º), sand (54º) and lob (58º) wedges w/KBS Tour shafts Putter:Scotty Cameron Newport 2.6 putter
Statistically, Stallings led the Farmers Insurance Open field in Strokes Gained – Putting at 2.794. He was followed by rookie and fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Thomas at 2.509. Thomas finished T10 on the leaderboard, his highest finish on the PGA TOUR.
In addition to finishing T2 on the leaderboard, Titleist Brand Ambassador Graham DeLaet relied upon his Pro V1x golf ball and 913D3 (7.5º loft) driver to finish 2nd in Driving Distance (302 ypd).
Marc Leishman, another player who trusted Titleist equipment from tee-through-green, tied for the lead among all players in Greens in Regulation at 77.78% (56 of 72). DeLaet tied for 5th in the same category (72.2%/52 of 72).
PGA EUROPEAN TOUR: At the Commercialbank Qatar Masters 80 players in the 125-man field relied upon Titleist golf balls, more than three times the nearest competitor with 22.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Mikko Ilonen posted a runner-up finish at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters. The Finn birdied both the 16th and 18th hole to complete a 6-under 66 that forced extra holes.
LPGA TOUR: Of the 108-player field, 78 players relied upon Titleist golf balls, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 9.
Posted: January 22, 2014
Performance Engineered Models Now Available in Golf Shops Worldwide
FAIRHAVEN, Mass (Jan. 22, 2014) – Titleist, the #1 ball in golf, delivers even better performance and feel in its new 2014 NXT Tour, NXT Tour S, Velocity and DT Solo golf balls through innovative core, cover and aerodynamic technologies.
Every Titleist golf ball, including the industry-leading Pro V1 and Pro V1x, is precision engineered by Titleist Golf Ball R&D associates and manufactured in the company’s world-class owned and operated facilities to provide a meaningful performance and preference option. The new 2014 models offer the same renowned quality and consistency that have become synonymous with any golf ball stamped “Titleist.”
New NXT Tour and softer-feeling NXT Tour S provide exceptional distance and commanding short game scoring performance, exceeded only by Pro V1 and Pro V1x. Both new models have been improved with a reengineered softer compression core and cover so golfers will experience even softer feel.
Titleist R&D designed the 2014 Velocity with a reformulated, proprietary LSX core that produces a high initial ball speed for powerful distance. A new, spherically tiled 328 tetrahedral dimple design delivers a more penetrating trajectory with a shallower angle of descent for even more roll. The result is even more explosive distance on all full swing shots.
New DT Solo has been redesigned to provide the best combination of soft feel and distance in a DT yet. With its super soft compression core and soft ionomer cover, the 2014 model features a new spherically tiled 376 tetrahedral dimple pattern that contributes to even longer driver and iron distance while retaining the distinctly soft feel and consistency that DT players have come to love and trust.
“When we make an improvement to a Titleist golf ball, it’s in direct response to what golfers tell us they need and want,” said Bill Morgan, Senior Vice President of Titleist Golf Ball R&D. “We’re constantly in the field talking with golfers, capturing their launch conditions on all types of shots, and observing how different golf balls perform for their game. All of this information feeds the product development process and allows us to focus our design efforts and ultimately our prototype testing in ways that will enhance performance for these golfers.”
More than 40,000 golfers from around the world participated in the white-box testing and validation process, with golfers receiving prototype NXT Tour, NXT Tour S, Velocity or DT Solo golf balls for on-course evaluation. Player feedback was then gathered through Team Titleist and shared with Titleist R&D.
All new models are available in golf shops beginning February 2014.
2014 NXT Tour Engineered for high performance, the 2014 Titleist NXT Tour golf ball utilizes advanced multi-component technology that delivers low driver and long iron spin for exceptionally long distance and scoring performance. It features a new proprietary softer compression dual core and a softer, thin Fusablend cover. The result is a softer, truer feel on all shots while maintaining its exceptional distance and excellent short game control on shots into and around the green that is only exceeded by Pro V1 and Pro V1x. NXT Tour retains its spherically tiled 302 octahedral dimple design that produces a piercing and stable ball flight for consistent distance and trajectory control.
Player Benefits • Exceptional distance • Consistent flight • Commanding short game spin and control • Softer feel on all shots • Excellent durability
Multi-component technology • Proprietary softer compression dual core • Softer, thin Fusablend cover • Spherically tiled 302 octahedral dimple design
2014 NXT Tour S The new Titleist NXT Tour S golf ball is designed for players seeking NXT Tour performance – outstanding distance, consistent flight and commanding short game control – with an even softer compression feel. The new model has been reengineered with a proprietary softer compression, highly resilient core and softer, thin Fusablend cover to deliver a softer feel on all shots. (New NXT Tour S is even softer than the prior generation model as well as its 2014 NXT Tour counterpart.) NXT Tour S also retains its spherically tiled 302 octahedral dimple design for a piercing and stable flight.
NXT Tour S is available in both white and high optic yellow colors.
Player Benefits • Outstanding distance • Consistent flight • Commanding short game spin and control • Even softer feel on all shots • Excellent durability
Advanced technology • Reengineered softer compression, highly resilient core • Softer, thin Fusablend cover • Spherically tiled 302 octahedral dimple design
2014 Velocity The 2014 Titleist Velocity is powered for even more distance as the result of innovative design technology. New Velocity utilizes a reformulated, exclusive LSX core that produces a very fast ball speed, giving golfers explosive power off the tee and shorter approach shots into the green. A new, spherically tiled 328 tetrahedral dimple design with 7 different dimple sizes is highly symmetrical (three axes of symmetry) with a more uniform surface coverage. It delivers a more penetrating and soaring flight on all full swing shots for more precision and shallower angle of descent for more rollout. A softer compression core also provides a more playable feel in the short game.
Velocity is available in single (#1, 2, 3, 4) and double-digit (#00, 11, 22, 33) play numbers.
Player Benefits • More explosive distance on all shots • Deep downrange peak trajectory and shallower angle of descent for more roll • More playable feel in the short game • Tighter, more consistent ball flight
Advanced technology • Reformulated, proprietary LSX core • NAZ2 cover formulation • New spherically tiled 328 tetrahedral dimple design
2014 DT SoLo The new Titleist DT SoLo golf balls have been redesigned to provide even longer distance on full shots along with the distinctly soft feel, greenside control and consistent quality that are the DT standard. 2014 DT Solo retains its super soft compression, fast core and soft ionomer cover. A new spherically tiled 376 tetrahedral dimple design, with a more uniform surface coverage, delivers a tighter, more consistent flight for even longer driver and iron distance. The combination of the super soft core and soft cover blend gives golfers a distinctly soft feel with responsive short game performance.
New DT Solo is available in both white and optic yellow colors.
Player Benefits • Distinctly soft compression feel • Longer distance with driver and irons • Responsive short game performance • Trusted quality and consistency
Advanced technology • Super soft compression, fast core • Soft ionomer cover blend • New spherically tiled 376 tetrahedral dimple design
Modern Blade, Mid Mallet and Mallet Models Deliver Tour-Proven Performance in New Silver Mist Finish
Master Craftsman Scotty Cameron, inspired by the world’s best golfers and driven by an unparalleled attention to detail, introduces the new Select and GoLo putters – high performance, tour-proven models with precisely crafted looks, sound, feel and balance.
Every Scotty Cameron creation is rooted in decades of craftsmanship, putting research and testing with the best putters in the game, both inside Scotty’s state-of-the-art Putter Studio in California and on putting greens around the world. On the PGA Tour, Scotty Cameron putters have been the choice of more players since 1997 and counting.
New Scotty Cameron Select putters feature precision milled, highly refined shapes with tour-validated balance and stability. The new line includes three modern blade designs from Scotty’s tour-proven Newport family (Newport, Newport 2 and Newport 2.5) and two modern mid mallets (Fastback and Squareback) with innovative new crisscross sight lines for improved alignment.
New Scotty Cameron GoLo mallet putters feature an elegant rounded profile, with soft lines and necks for players that want to rid themselves of technical thoughts and produce a stroke with a natural flowing arc. Four models (GoLo 3, GoLo 5, GoLo S5, GoLo 7) with different size and neck configurations allow players to choose their preferred appearance and toe flow.
Select and GoLo putters use a deep-milled face to deliver tour-proven feel and soft sound. Select weights in the heel and toe are perfectly matched to the shaft length to provide balance and stability. Each model features striking new cosmetics, accented by a new Silver Mist finish with framed and double milled red-dot graphics and double bevelled weights.
“My team and I are focused on one simple goal, designing and producing the finest putters in the world. The new Select and GoLo families, in addition to our high-MOI Futura X models, take us to the next level of performance and pure putting confidence,” said Cameron. “Every day, we strive to learn more about how the ball, the putter and the golfer work together, and how we can improve that connection. We’re continually experimenting with new designs, new materials and technologies.
“After using one of our putters, golfers sometimes tell me, ‘I don’t know why I like it, I just like it.’ That’s where the attention to detail comes in, making sure there is complete harmony between how it looks, how it sounds and how it feels.”
New Select putters are available in golf shops beginning March 14. New GoLo models are available beginning April 18.
SCOTTY CAMERON SELECT: The new Scotty Cameron Select putters are precision milled to meet the performance requirements of the world’s best players for looks, sound, feel and balance. The new Select line enhances the tradition of Scotty’s Newport family, a longtime tour favorite, while introducing new Fastback and Squareback mid mallets with advanced weighting and alignment technology.
The new Select Newport, a soft, modern blade with a plumbing neck, features a shorter blade length with back surfaces that round and roll elegantly into the ground. Select Newport 2 is a longer blade with crisp back angles, a plumbing neck and a single black sight line for refined precision. Select Newport 2.5, a new addition to the Select family, features the same crisp, modern blade as Newport 2, but with a short flare neck for increased toe flow.
“The Newport is roly-poly, with softer corners, while the Newport 2 is boxier and more square. Same performance, it just depends on which visual you like better,” Cameron said, “We’ve added a Newport 2.5, which is the same head as a Newport 2 but with a smaller, flare neck and a hair less offset. Visually, when we shorten that neck, the blade looks longer. By shortening the neck, the shaft axis also comes more toward the heel, which creates more toe flow for more of a swinging gate versus the more mechanical look of a plumbing neck.”
The new Select Fastback and Squareback are modern mid mallet designs with a single bend shaft that promotes minimal toe flow for players that want, or need, less arc in their putting stroke. The Fastback is round and soft like a Newport; the Squareback is crisp and boxy like a Newport 2.
Each have a short blade length and an extended back with a new, red aluminium soleplate that allows for a thicker steel face for solid feel. Vertical and horizontal “pop-through” sight lines on the back flange are positioned directly between a player’s eyes, providing a visual reference to help square the face.
“The new aluminium red sole plate allows us to take some weight and put it where we want it and need it most. We’ve grown the back, pulled in the heel and toe, thickened up the face and the top line. As a result, we’ve enhanced everything from the shape to the feel to the sound,” Cameron said.
“The red, crisscross sight lines are a continuation of the sole that pops up through the head. We’ve found through years of research at the Studio that the best players in the world putt with the ball slightly up in their stance, under their left eye. This places the crisscross sight lines, which are located on the back flange, directly under their nose and between their eyes.
“Whether you prefer a horizontal or vertical sight line, the crisscross makes it easier to square the face, putting your eyes in the right position to execute a proper arcing stroke. If you set the putter too far forward, the crisscross will make the face appear closed. If you put it too far back, it will look open. Alignment is more and more becoming the talk of the tour, and the feedback out there has been fantastic.”
SCOTTY CAMERON GOLO: The new Scotty Cameron GoLo mallets feature an elegant but modern, easy to align, rounded profile and racy soleplate design with Select weighting technology for increased stability. The balanced GoLo design helps reduce the tendency to manipulate the face and allows the stroke to flow naturally.
Each of the four models – GoLo 3, GoLo 5, GoLo S5 and GoLo 7 – has a clean, tour-preferred appearance that flows from the shaft down through the top line, continuing down through the curved back, which flows to the ground. The refined mallet shape with a single black sight line helps square the face, while the triple-angled sole with a slight camber allows for smooth takeaway. A slightly asymmetric back with a shaved heel promotes the ideal flowing stroke along an inside to square arc, with the 6061 aluminium sole plate and Select weighting technology providing exceptional balance, stability and roll.
GoLo 7, the original GoLo model, offers the largest head design with a clean, flowing single bend shaft for near minimum toe flow. The GoLo 5 features similar construction and performance, with a 10 percent smaller head size. The GoLo S5 is built with a straight-in, near-center shaft for a clean setup with no visible offset.
The newest addition to the GoLo line, the GoLo 3, has the smallest head shape with a heel-shafted flow neck for maximum toe flow, a unique combination for a mid mallet-style putter.
“GoLo 5 and GoLo 7 did very well on tour but we still had some guys asking for an even smaller head,” Cameron said. “It’s very difficult to take something larger and get the same design, looks and feel when you make it smaller. If you look closely at the GoLo 3, it has a pinched flow neck very reminiscent of our popular Del Mar model. I took the best parts of the Del Mar and the GoLo and started blending them together, shaving the heel to make it non-symmetrical so the heel comes in and makes the toe look like it automatically wants to work. It comes around the back, pinches into the heel and flows up the neck into the shaft, promoting a generous open and close toe flow motion.”
REFINED COSMETICS: The new Select and GoLo putters return to the silver-and-red designs that have become synonymous with Scotty Cameron putters across the worldwide professional tours.
The new models feature a new, soft Silver Mist finish, with Scotty’s race-car inspired, framed and double-milled cherry dot graphics in the back and cherry dot weights in the sole to help create a modern but timeless appearance. Red Pistolero and Pistolini grips further enhance the look.
“We’ve optimised the paint process to produce this buttery, elegant Silver Mist finish,” Cameron said. “And I think the black sightline we’ve chosen for several of the models, as opposed to using white, gives it a richer, more elegant look. The entire look is very sleek, it’s industrial and mechanical and yet it has elegance.”
PISTOLERO/PISTOLINI GRIPS: The Scotty Cameron Pistolero and new Pistolini grips, featuring the dancing Cameron logo, provide a secure hold and great feel in golfer’s hands.
The Select Newport, Newport 2 and Newport 2.5 blade models feature the smaller Pistolini grip, while the Fastback and Squareback mid mallets and entire GoLo family have the Pistolero.
“What the head looks like and how big it is, dictates a feel of what you expect to feel in the grip, so we try to match the grip size and what we feel. Pistolini is more of a standard size grip for a Newport or blade style head. Once we start getting into a mid mallet or larger, we need the larger Pistolero grip to accommodate that feel for the head size.”
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: New Scotty Cameron Select putters are available in golf shops beginning March 14. New GoLo putters are available beginning April 18. Both models have an SRP of £279.
ON THE WEB: www.ScottyCameron.com
PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS: Scotty Cameron Select
* available as custom only
PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS: Scotty Cameron GoLo
* available as custom only
New TX3 Grooves Deliver Maximum Spin with Trajectory and Distance Control; Tour-Proven Bounce and Grind Matrix Provides Flexibility for Improved Shotmaking
New Titleist Vokey Spin Milled 5 wedges deliver more spin and more types of shots, providing golfers with more ways to hit it close and shoot lower scores.
Vokey Spin Milled 5 (SM5) wedges are the best performing wedges in the game, a result of Master Craftsman Bob Vokey’s decades of research and collaborating with the world’s best players, such as Adam Scott, Steve Stricker and Jason Dufner. Since 2004, Vokey Design wedges have been the #1 wedge on the PGA Tour and the most played wedge at every level of competitive golf.
Precisely designed and manufactured using proprietary Spin Milled technology, Vokey SM5 wedges provide a distinct performance advantage through new, deeper TX3 grooves, tour-driven shapes and the industry’s most extensive range of bounce and grind options.
New TX3 grooves, with seven percent larger groove volume and two performance configurations, deliver the maximum amount of spin by channeling away grass and sand for improved contact between the ball and groove edge. Spin Milled technology also provides trajectory and distance control through precisely milled grooves and machined face texture. Every SM5 wedge is milled to the tightest tolerance in the industry, with each groove individually cut to the maximum dimensions allowed by the Rules of Golf and 100-percent inspected. A localised, high frequencyheat treatment to the face provides increased groove durability for longer spin retention over the life of the wedge.
For years, Vokey and his team of craftsmen, including Vokey Tour representative Aaron Dill, have utilised tour player input and feedback to produce the largest and most effective range of bounce and sole grind options in the game. Vokey SM5 wedges are available in 21 different loft/bounce/grind combinations and six tour-inspired sole grinds, appropriately slotted into low, mid and high bounce categories to fit all swing types, shot-making styles and short game conditions.
“I’ve always said I have the best R&D facility in the world – the PGA Tour,” Vokey said. “I worked closely with our team of craftsmen and engineers to apply everything I’ve learned from the best players in the world to Spin Milled 5. We’ve increased the spin. We’ve given players more control. And we’ve got a bounce and grind matrix that will provide the versatility and confidence to hit a variety shots around the green and get up and down more.”
Available in golf shops beginning March 14, SM5 wedges feature a more compact and balanced profile with three new finish options – Tour Chrome, Gold Nickel and Raw Black. Each wedge has new, clean graphics, with the grind designation (i.e., “S Grind”) called out on the club, and increased space for five-character personalised stamping.
Vokey’s popular personalisation and custom options have also been expanded.
MORE SPIN THROUGH NEW TX3 GROOVES: New Spin Milled TX3 grooves, the third generation of Vokey’s tour extreme scoreline, produce maximum spin for improved trajectory and distance control. TX3 scorelines – with two different performance configurations – feature 17 precise, individually cut and 100-percent inspected grooves that continue to push the conforming limits of effective edge radius for increased backspin.
TX3 grooves in the 46º to 54º lofts are deeper and narrower than the previous generation Vokey SM4 grooves. With seven percent larger volume, each groove better channels away grass, sand and debris for cleaner ball to edge radius contact and increased spin. The narrower geometry delivers precision distance and trajectory control, significantly reducing the chance of “flyers” from the rough.
“We received a lot of feedback from tour players regarding ‘flyers.’ They don’t want them,” said Dill, who works on the Titleist Tour Van, building and grinding wedges for PGA Tour players. “On tour these guys have to aim to a lot of small targets. They need to trust that their golf ball will travel the exact distance they need it to, even from a tough lie in the rough. The deep and narrow TX3 groove helps push the grass down better, which gives you that increased edge radius contact for more spin and consistent distance.”
TX3 grooves in the 56º to 62º lofts take advantage of the highly precise Spin Milled process. They maintain the same width as the prior generation but are deeper, with seven percent larger volume, for more spin and control around the greens. Most players will experience up to 500 rpm of additional spin on full shots from the rough with the lower-lofted SM5 wedges, and up to 400 rpm in the higher lofts, compared to previous generation SM4 wedges. Both configurations provide the same spin performance from the fairway and shorter grass.
“These two groove geometries delivered the best performance,” Vokey said. “The groove configuration changes with the 56º model because this is where testing showed that the player makes a more oblique impact versus a more direct impact in the lower lofts. The wider TX3 groove on the higher lofts will sheer away the grass, rather than pushing it into the groove, and perform better on partial shots.”
SPIN MILLED PROCESS: Every Spin Milled 5 wedge is made of 8620 carbon steel and manufactured with industry-leading, proprietary Spin Milled technology. The process begins with a double fly cut face that provides the perfect preparation for texture and grooves. The face surface is precisely machined with a series of milled micro edges to the maximum conforming surface roughness, creating higher face friction for more consistent spin on partial shots. TX3 grooves are CNC milled for precision to the maximum dimensions allowed by the Rules of Golf, resulting in maximum spin for trajectory and distance control. Each groove is individually cut at a slower speed for improved tolerances on both groove size and edge radius. Every SM5 wedge also undergoes a unique localised face heat treatment that significantly increases the durability of the wedge’s groove edge radius, substantially impeding the loss of spin due to wear with no difference in feel.
100% GROOVE INSPECTION: Prior to the launch of the Vokey SM4 wedges, Titleist made a significant investment in technology that establishes 100-percent inspection of every groove on every Vokey wedge that is produced. This allows Titleist to manufacture wedges to tighter tolerances than the rest of the industry. Each new TX3 groove is evaluated using computer-guided plotting technology in which a digital stylus is piloted to trace the contours of each groove. Three-dimensional coordinates are recorded and plotted as the stylus moves, compiling data that can be translated into measurements of the groove’s total volume and edge radius. This enables the manufacturing team to machine the grooves right up against the edge of the maximum allowable 0.011-inch radius specification, providing players the highest possible spin and trajectory control without fear of non-compliance.
MORE TYPES OF SHOTS: With more bounce and sole grind options, as part of an industry-leading model matrix, Vokey SM5 wedges provide the versatility for improved shotmaking, giving players the confidence to execute more shots around the green.
Spin Milled 5 wedges are available in lofts of 46º to 62º (in two degree increments) and six tour-inspired sole grinds (L, T, S, M, F and K), with each model properly sorted into low, mid and high bounce categories. The result is the game’s most extensive and effective selection of bounce and grind options, made up of 21 different loft/bounce/grind combinations to satisfy all swing types, shot-making styles and turf conditions.
“With wedges, it’s never one size fits all,” Vokey said. “Wedges are required to hit many different types of shots. And every player has a different technique, a different style. That’s why we have so many options. It’s important that players see an authorised Titleist fitter to get fit for their SM5 wedges, so they know they’re playing a setup that fits their game.”
Two of Vokey’s most popular grinds – S and M – are now available in 54º, 56º, 58º and 60º lofts. There are also four bounce and grind choices in the 58º and 60º lofts, including the addition of the new K Grind, which played a part in two major championship victories last season. The 46º to 52º F Grind models feature wider soles for increased playability, while the 54º to 60º M Grind models have enhanced heel to toe radius for improved turf interaction.
SM5 offers two mid-bounce sand wedge options in both the 54º and 56º lofts, based on feedback from Titleist fitters and tour players that more bounce is preferred out of the bunker. The S and M Grinds, with 10º of bounce, also provide more versatility from the sand.
TOUR-PROVEN SOLE GRINDS: Each SM5 sole grind is derived from Vokey’s work with players on the PGA Tour. The S Grind, for example, was inspired by Steve Stricker, who likes to play his wedges in a square position with the shaft leaning away from the target. Available on four mid-bounce SM5 models (54º to 60º), the S Grind features a full sole with moderate heel relief and a medium ribbon ground along the trailing edge.
“Steve has a shallow angle of attack, with little to no wrist action. The S Grind gives him the versatility to hit many different shots around the green, even with his neutral style,” Vokey said. “For players that like to rotate the face open, the M Grind is a very popular option.”
The K Grind, the newest addition to the Vokey Spin Milled family, was born out of Vokey’s recent work with several tour players, including Adam Scott and Jason Dufner. The K Grind features a wide sole with increased bounce and enhanced camber that is playable in a variety of conditions. Last season, both Scott and Dufner played K Grind wedges in their victories at the Masters Tournament and PGA Championship, respectively.
“Both Adam and Jason were looking for a sand wedge that was very forgiving out of the bunker, but still allowed them to hit a lot of different shots around the green,” Vokey said. “When Adam put it into play last year at Augusta National, with all of its tight lies, I knew we’d found it.”
(Please see below chart for full bounce and grind matrix and grind descriptions.)
COMPACT PROFILE: Based on tour player feedback, Spin Milled 5 wedges feature a more compact, balanced profile than their SM4 predecessors. SM5 wedges have a rounder toe profile than SM4, as well as a shorter blade length and taller toe and (par) heel heights.
TOUR VALIDATION: Jordan Spieth is one of more than 30 players who have already switched to the new Vokey SM5 wedges. Spieth made his 2014 PGA Tour debut with two SM5 wedges in the bag, finishing runner-up at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
“I’m looking for a lot of versatility. I’m looking to be able to hit it high, hit it low, shots that are going to spin back but also shots where they can drop and just stop where they land,” said Spieth. “My favorite shots are those low spinners, those two hop-and-stop pitch shots from 30-40 yards – they’re awesome with the new SM5 wedges.”
Other players with SM5 wedges in the bag include: Steve Stricker, Bill Haas, Charley Hoffman, Peter Uihlein, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, George Coetzee, Soren Hansen, Brooks Koepka, Simon Thornton, Geoff Ogilvy, Michael Hoey, and JB Hansen.
NEW FINISHES, CLEAN LOOKS: Spin Milled 5 wedges are available in three new finish options: Tour Chrome, Gold Nickel and Raw Black. The new, brighter Tour Chrome has a dark blast face for better contrast and framing, a soft nickel layer base for feel and rust prevention, and a thin top chrome layer for durability. Gold Nickel utilises a double nickel layer process to help create better feel, rust prevention and durability. Raw Black, previously a tour-only finish, utilises a QPQ process to create a thin protection layer for feel and durability. Raw Black will rust during the course of play.
SM5 wedges have a cleaner look, with updated graphics and the grind designation (i.e. “S Grind”) stamped on each club. There is also a larger area for personalisation, allowing up to five characters.
ADVANCED PERSONALISATION AND CUSTOM OPTIONS: SM5 wedges can be custom ordered with a wide range of specifications and personalisation, including an industry-leading selection of shafts, grips, shaft bands, ferrules, stamping and paint fill.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: Vokey Spin Milled 5 wedges are available in golf shops beginning March 14, with an SRP of £103
ON THE WEB: www.Vokey.com
SPIN MILLED 5 BOUNCE AND GRIND MATRIX:
SM5 SOLE GRIND DESCRIPTIONS: L Grind: Narrow crescent sole with small forward bounce surface and minimal camber. Swing type: Slider. Condition type: Firm.
T Grind: Dual bounce sole with wide trailing bounce surface. Swing type: Slider/Neutral. Condition type: Firm/Medium.
S Grind: Full sole with straight trailing edge ribbon and moderate heel relief. Swing type: Slider/Neutral. Condition type: Firm/Medium/Soft.
M Grind: Crescent sole with narrow forward bounce surface and moderate camber. Swing type: Slider/Neutral. Condition type: Firm/Medium. F Grind: Full sole with moderate camber and small trailing edge ribbon. Swing type: Slider/Neutral/Digger. Condition type: Firm/Medium/Soft.
K Grind: Wide sole with increased bounce and enhanced camber. Swing type: Neutral/Digger. Condition type: Medium/Soft.