Illegal Smithworks Wedge Tested – Would You Use This?

In this video, Joel Tadman tests out the Extreme wedge from Smithworks, which is non-conforming with the Rules of Golf, to see how much spin it generates around the greens compared to a conventional wedge.

Illegal Smithworks Wedge Tested – Would You Use This?

Part of Smithworks Extreme range, this wedge is illegal for tournament play and the company says it will give you more spin control around the greens. In this test, we wanted to test that theory out.

So we got a 54° model with nine degrees of bounce and put it to the test on the Foresight Sports GCQuad Launch Monitor, as well as on the course at West Hill Golf Club up against the Titleist Vokey SM8 wedge.

smithworks-extreme-wedge-web

Design

The first thing you will notice on this wedge are the full-face grooves, and between those there are also ‘X’ shaped grooves too, presumably the part of the design that makes them non conforming.

Related: Best Wedges 2020

There is also a milled sole area so that should make the geometry of the sole a bit more consistent and improve the turf interaction as well.

In comparison to the Vokey SM8, the Smithworks wedge looks a lot more compact at address in terms of the overall footprint behind the ball. That being said it also has a very thick top-line, which may put some golfers off.

Launch Monitor Data

At Foresight Sports with Titleist Pro V1x golf balls we hit a 50-yard pitch shot and a full shot with the Smithworks wedge and the SM8.

Interestingly, the Smithworks wedge did not spin nearly as much as the SM8 on both shots which we found surprising.

On-Course Test

At West Hill Golf Club we hit a variety of shots with both clubs around the greens – a 30-yard long chip shot form the rough, some bunker shots and a 40-yard pitch shot from a tight lie.

Interestingly the performance characteristics totally flipped here with the Smithworks spinning like crazy into greens.

On the 30-yard shot from the rough in particular it was noticeable how much lower the ball was flying with the Smithworks, which indicates there was more friction between the ball and clubface at impact. In comparison to the Vokey SM8, the Smithworks came out much lower and then really grabbed on the green whilst the SM8 seemed to release out more.

The difference was less noticeable on the 40-yard shot, but it was still there nonetheless, so the conclusion here is that the Smithworks wedge seems to really excel from the rough and on the shorter shots.

If on those shorter shots you struggle with commitment and to accelerate the club into the ball, then the Smithworks wedge could really help.

In terms of feel it did feel soft and not too harsh, definitely comparable to the Vokey SM8.

The final point worth making on this wedge is that it was noticeable how it tended to damage the urethane cover on the Titleist Pro V1x balls.

So the thing to bear in mind here is if you use a ball with a softer cover, then you perhaps won’t get the durability you are after with this wedge. Whilst a firmer cover shouldn’t see as much deterioration.

Verdict

All in all if you play a lot of social rounds, and your friends won’t notice or won’t be bothered about you using a non-conforming wedge, then you will definitely get more spin on those shorter shots, which could be the different between getting up-and-down or not when your short side yourself.

It’s also worth pointing out that Smithworks do have a legal wedge option should you want to give it a try with an eye on using it in medals too.

The club retails at £120 and if you want to give it a go, we would love to hear your thoughts on the club via our social media channels.


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