May 04, 2014
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Webb Simpson pitches out of the rough with his new Titleist Vokey SM5 wedge. (Tyler Lecka/Getty Images)
Webb Simpson (T-38) transitioned from Titleist's Vokey Design SM4 wedge to the new SM5 at the Wells Fargo Championship. Simpson put a 54-degree M-Grind (10 degree of bounce; True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shaft) and 60-degree S-Grind (7 degrees of bounce; True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shaft) in play.
Titleist introduced the Vokey Design SM5 at the beginning of 2014. Made from a soft 8620 carbon steel that enhances feel, the wedge features a more compact profile with a rounder toe and shorter blade length than its predecessor the SM4.
To improve spin from a variety of lies, Vokey added new TX3 grooves that are deeper and seven percent larger in volume in two performance configurations. In the 46-to-53 degree wedges, the grooves, which are CNC milled into the face, are deeper and narrower than the previous generation.
In the 56-to-62 degree wedges, the TX3 grooves take advantage of Vokey's Spin Milled process. While the grooves are the same width as SM4, they are deeper with a 7 percent larger volume. Through testing, Vokey reports players will see up to 500 rpm of additional spin on full shots from the rough with the lower-lofted SM5 wedges, and 400 rpm of additional spin with high-lofted wedges.
New Odyssey putter for Furyk: Jim Furyk made a Sunday charge at the Wells Fargo Championship with a bogey-free 7-under 65. He managed to finish the tournament in second-place with a new counterbalanced Odyssey Versa Tank 2-Ball putter in the bag.
The flatstick measured 38 inches with a 400-gram head and 150-gram counterbalanced grip that gave Furyk the stability he wanted. Furyk was ninth in strokes gained-putting (1.128) for the week.
Hunter Mahan makes hybrid change: In search of a hybrid that allowed him to hit "softer" shots, Hunter Mahan switched from PING's Anser hybrid to the company's i25 model. The 17-degree club featured a Matrix Altus Red X shaft.
Players using TaylorMade irons with Speed Pocket: According to TaylorMade Tour reps, a total of 37 TaylorMade iron sets were in play at the Wells Fargo Championship. More interesting was that 32 of those sets had the company's Speed Pocket in the sole. The hollow slot in the sole of the club is filled with a polymer and, when flexed and rebounded at impact, increases the speed of the face for faster ball speeds.
JJ Henry and Wes Roach received new sets of Tour Preferred MC irons; Tim Wilkinson opted for the Tour Preferred CB.
Noh goes back to Nike 5-wood: One week after he put a Nike VR_S Forged 2-iron in play for TPC Louisiana's tight layout, Zurich Classic of New Orleans winner Seung-Yul Noh went back to his Nike VR_S Covert 5-wood (19 degrees) due to the course setup at Quail Hollow.
Divots: Odyssey's Tank Cruiser putter has been gaining traction on TOUR since it debuted at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The high-MOI, counterbalanced putter was used by six players. ... Charlie Beljan put a set of Srixon Z-945 muscleback irons in play for the first time. ... Looking for a 3-iron that had a higher launch angel, Nick Watney pulled his Nike VR Pro Combo and went with a VRS Covert Forged. Watney liked the flight and said it went a couple yards further. ... Angel Cabrera, who held a share of the lead after 36-holes, switched to a new PING Scottsdale Anser 2 adjustable putter that was set at 35 1/2-inches. ... Nike Tour reps did a standard loft and lie check on Russell Henley's clubs. ... Jason Gore changed the tipping on his Aldila Rogue 70X driver shaft from 1 3/4-inches to 1 1/2-inches. ... Justin Rose had a 60-degree TaylorMade Tour Preferred ATV backup wedge built. ... Thorbjorn Olesen put Golf Pride's BCT 58R grip on his Nike clubs. ... Robert Allenby switched to a TaylorMade Ghost Maranello 81 putter. ... Paul Goydos added a TaylorMade SLDR 19-degree 5-wood to hit high soft shots into long holes.