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Posted: January 29, 2014
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Titleist Brand Ambassador Scott Stallings won the Farmers Insurance Open on a difficult Torrey Pines course that featured major-like conditions with narrow fairways, thick rough and firm greens.
And as he came down the stretch, Stallings relied on his Pro V1x golf ball and new Vokey Spin Milled 5 (SM5) wedges for two key up and downs over the final four holes to secure the victory – marking the first PGA Tour win for SM5.
The story behind Stallings' SM5 wedges, one that began less than 30 miles from where he raised the trophy last Sunday, highlights the Vokey team's commitment to proper wedge fitting and providing golfers with the most options in the industry to precisely dial-in their wedge game.
So to bring Team Titleist the inside story, we went straight to the source and caught up with the Vokey Team to get the scoop...
The journey started at the end of 2013 when Scott visited the Titleist Performance Center in Oceanside, Calif., to work with Master Craftsman Bob Vokey and Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill. Vokey first studied Stallings' swing type, which tends to be very steep into impact.
"He's definitely a digger," Vokey said. "He tends to use the front of the wedge most of the time. So we looked to give him more bounce to keep the impact lower on the face."
Stallings agreed he needed more bounce but also requested a sole grind with versatility around the greens.
"The first thing we tried was the TVD M grind in the 50º model, but it was digging on him a bit," Dill said. "He needed more bounce so we tried the SM5 50.12 with a full sole."
Stallings liked the slightly wider sole of the F Grind – "It's wider in the gap wedge than my old Vokey 200 Series and it moved through the turf really well," he said. "But I do like to open the face on certain shots with my gap wedge."
So Dill proposed a compromise: bend the 50.12 two degrees weak to 52.14 and then hand grind in an M sole. By bending the club two degrees weak, this added two degrees of bounce and also reduced the offset of the club. Vokey took the wedge back to the Tour Department and worked his magic.
The team tweaked Stallings' sand wedge in a similar manner, taking a 54.14 F Grind and making it a 56.16 with an M Grind.
"Now both his gapper and his bunker club have high bounce with versatility. Perfect for Scott," Vokey explained.
For the lob wedge, Stallings tried a number of grinds, including the wide sole K, the straight ribbon S and the crescent M. Stallings felt most comfortable with the S Grind 60º but was looking for a little more bounce, so Dill took an SM5 58.07 and bent it to 60.09. This added two degrees of bounce and reduced the offset. "More bounce and less offset, that's exactly what I wanted," Scott said.
Stallings put the new SM5's in play for the 2014 season and relied on them heavily during a tough final round at Torrey Pines.
"It was definitely as tough as any major I've played in," he said. "The up and downs on 15 and 17 were absolutely key. I appreciate all of the work of Bob and Aaron. They are truly the best in the business."
Check out Vokey.com for more details and keep an eye out for the new SM5 wedges as they will be available in golf shops beginning March 14.
The SM5 line, featuring new TX3 grooves for more spin and control, offers 21 different loft/bound/grind combinations to satisfy all swing types, shot-making styles and short-game conditions.
Get even more details on the new SM5 line here: http://www.titleist.com/teamtitleist/b/tourblog/archive/2014/01/22/titleist-introduces-new-vokey-spin-milled-5-wedges.aspx