Titleist Vokey SM5 Wedge: Grind Your Way to Better Golf


Bob Vokey has reinvigorated the most popular wedge on tour by increasing spin rates and enhancing the playability, clearing the way to lower scores. Players will benefit from the Vokey SM5 wedge with more spin from a deeper TX3 groove, increased groove durability through an intense heat treatment, tour proven sole grinds for more options around the greens and a classic, compact profile that looks nice and clean to the eye. The Vokey SM5 wedge is available in three new finishes; tour chrome, gold nickel and black raw. There are also six new high performance sole grinds on the SM5 Vokey wedges. With all of the grind options, it’s critical to know what type of swinger you are and in what course conditions you play. The main factor to take into consideration is your swing type. To determine your swing type, go outside and take a couple of short game swings with your wedge. Make a note on the size of divot you create, as this will be a telling factor in determining your swing type. The short game swing can be analyzed into three different categories:

  1. Slider: A slider swing has a shallow angle of attack into the golf ball creating minimal to no divot.
  2. Neutral: A neutral swing has a moderate angle of attack into the golf ball creating a medium sized divot.
  3. Digger: a digger swing has a steep angle of attack into the golf ball creating a full sized divot.

Course conditions can vary depending upon your climate and how the course sets up its conditions.  These things are out of your control, so that’s why course conditions are secondary to swing type when determining the grind you should play.  However, if you tend to play in a general region of the United States (Pacific Northwest = soft and wet, South = firm and dry) you can begin to generalize the course conditions you may run into. Softer course conditions will yield a high bounce wedge while firmer course conditions yield a low bounce wedge. Knowing what you now know about your swing and the course conditions you frequently encounter, continue below to find out which grind will best suit your game.


L Grind: Narrow crescent sole with small forward bounce surface and minimal camber.

  • Ideal Swing: Slider
  • Ideal Condition: Firm


T Grind: Dual bounce sole with wide trailing bounce surface.

  • Ideal Swing: Slider / Neutral
  • Ideal Condition: Firm / Medium


S Grind: Full sole with straight trailing edge ribbon and moderate heel relief.

  • Ideal Swing: Slider / Neutral
  • Ideal Condition: Firm / Medium / Soft


M Grind: Crescent sole with narrow forward bounce surface and moderate camber.

  • Ideal Swing: Slider / Neutral
  • Ideal Condition: Firm / Medium


F Grind: Full sole with moderate camber and small trailing edge ribbon.

  • Ideal Swing: Slider / Neutral / Digger
  • Ideal Condition: Firm / Medium / Soft


K Grind: Wide sole with increased bounce and enhanced camber.

  • Ideal Swing: Neutral / Digger
  • Ideal Condition: Medium / Soft

Don’t forget that two-thirds of all golf shots per round are classified as short game, and one way to lower scores is to develop a consistent wedge game. We recommend 4 to 6 degrees of loft between your wedges; don’t go any more than that as you will start to sacrifice consistency. You’ll benefit from proper wedge gapping to create even distance gaps between shots. Don’t forget that grooves also wear out over time, so take a look and examine the faces of your wedge. Grooves will also wear out faster for those who tend to hit a lot of bunker shots as well. Just some equipment maintenance tips to think about!


Your wedges are good to go, now take a look at how we compared the 714 and 712 Titleist AP2 iron sets.

Alan Unruh

Alan Unruh is a Class “A” member of the PGA of America, and holds PGA Certifications in General Management, Golf Operations and Player Development. With these certifications, he is among the 1% of PGA members that hold multiple PGA Certifications. He has a profound passion for the game of golf along with extensive experience and knowledge regarding planning and strategy for golf operations, rules of golf, tournament operations and golf swing fundamentals. Alan has also played a crucial role helping manage multiple high profile tournaments throughout his career including the USGA Women’s U.S. Open, PGA and LPGA Tour events, and multiple NCAA and AJGA events.