These days, we see a new release of an old line of golf gear almost every year — it’s just a fact of the market today. Unlike most manufacturers, Titleist doesn’t subscribe to this “new gear for new gear’s sake” mentality, so when they release something new, it’s definitely a call to pay attention. The release of the SM5 wedges in 2014 turned some heads, but what exactly made them worthy replacements for the killer SM4 wedges?
Updates and Upgrades: Titleist SM5
The Titleist SM5 wedges can boast a long lineage of tour-proven success, but the most famous member of the family may be the SM2 wedges. These clubs tore it up on the course and golfers loved them despite their propensity for eating balls. Unfortunately, their fate was sealed when the groove rule was changed to limit the size and shape of grooves cut into any club with a loft greater than or equal to 25 degrees. Since then, Titleist has been on a mission to create the same performance with conforming grooves.
The SM4 wedges almost had it — losing only 1500 rpm of spin out of the rough when compared to their beloved ancestor. Titleist tells us that the SM5s add another 400 rpm to that figure, creeping ever closer to meeting the specs of one of the best wedges in golf. But, of course, that’s not all they have to offer. Not even close.
If you’re asking yourself whether it’s worth spending the extra cash to buy the SM5s, keep these features in mind:
The TX3 grooves cut into the face of the SM5s are less one size fits all and more carefully designed for the club they’re fitted on than the grooves on the SM4s. Up to 54 degrees, the grooves are deeper and narrower to help move grass and debris away from the clubface and increase overall control. Grooves on lofts of 56 to 64 degrees are just as wide as their predecessors, but much deeper. Both sets of grooves represent a full seven percent of increased volume, moving even more garbage off the clubface at impact.
A wedge is nothing without the right grind to help different swing types get the ball airborne. The SM4 featured five sole grinds, the SM5 added one more. More importantly than the number, though, the various grinds are now available in a wider range of loft and bounce combinations.
Until you’re on the beach begging your ball to jump back to the green, you may not give any thought to your wedge’s loft and bounce configuration, but don’t worry — Titleist did. They made huge changes in this area between the SM4s and SM5s. The 64 degree wedge was eliminated entirely and the rest of the line-up has been given more and higher bounce options.
Everybody’s got their favorite wedge, and at the end of the day what Titleist considers an earth-shattering reason to update their clubs may not appeal to you at all or change your game in the slightest. Luckily, no matter if you choose to go with the SM4s or SM5s, you can find them at 3balls.com. We’ve got a wide selection of new and gently used clubs at prices you’ll love.