Titleist has long been willing to offer to the public some of wedge master Bob Vokey’s Tour-only designs through its WedgeWorks program. The latest is the SM9 Low Bounce K Grind that has become a favorite on the PGA Tour not only among Titleist staffers but with a number of other players on Tour.
The regular SM9 K grind has a wide, cambered sole with 14 degrees of bounce. It offers amateurs maximum forgiveness on shots around the green and in bunkers. Tour players liked the grind but wanted a low-bounce option.
So, Vokey created a wedge with 6 degrees of bounce, while maintaining the cambered sole that the Tour players favored. It’s designed for players with a shallow attack angle while playing firm conditions around the greens but would benefit from the wider sole out of deep soft bunkers.
“It has always been known as the ultimate bunker club, inspiring confidence in players short games,” said longtime Vokey Tour representative Aaron Dill. “However, when you ask players on Tour why they play the K grind, they will tell you not only do they love the performance in the bunkers, but they love the way the leading edge hugs the ground when pitching and chipping.”
The 60-degree Low Bounce K grind has been in the bags of Titleist staffers Cameron Smith, Justin Thomas and Webb Simpson.
The wedges are offered in 58 and 60 degrees in Tour Chrome and Raw. The stock shaft is the Dynamic Gold S200 with a Tour Velvet 360 grip. They retail for $225 each.
FootJoy Partners With Garrett Leight California Optical
FootJoy will introduce three models of its Premiere Series golf shoes, along with sunglasses, designed in collaboration with Garrett Leight California Optical of Los Angeles. The shoes will feature GLCO’s tortoise-print design and will come in two men’s models and one model for women.
The Packard is a contemporary take on the saddle oxford with the tortoise print on the banded saddle. The shoe has soft, full-grain waterproof leather uppers, full leather linings and FootJoy’s VersaTrax outsole.
The Tarlow is a cap-toe style worn on the PGA Tour by Justin Thomas, Ian Poulter and Billy Horschel. The tortoise print runs the length of the eye stay and on the heel counter. A similar cap-toe design has been designed for women.
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The sunglasses will come from GLCO’s 2022 Spring/Summer collection called Elkgrove Sun.
Inspired by Garrett Leight’s favorite golf legend, Chi Chi Rodriguez, the Elkgrove Sun is 1960s-inspired and features contoured temples, deep square lens, along with a larger and slightly oversized frame. The frame has a matching Georgia Tortoise temple with a G15 lens and gold metal plating.
New Balance Introduces Fresh Foam Contend
The newest addition to the New Balance performance golf shoe line is the Fresh Foam Contend. The waterproof, spikeless models feature a re-engineered midsole for additional support and comfort, the company says.
The design features concave geometric shapes on the lateral side of the shoe for cushioning and vertical convex geometric shapes on the medial side for arch support. Cush+ is a foam compound for the insole for additional cushioning.
The Fresh Foam Contend features a combination of waterproof microfiber leather and performance mesh in the upper. The spikeless outsole uses pressure mapping to highlight performance zones.
The shoes come in five colorways and in sizes 8, -12, 13, 14; widths D, 2E, 4E. Retail price is $99.95.
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