- Vokey Wedges has launched the Vokey Wedge Fitting App.
- The app seeks to deliver a more reliable wedge fitting experience indoors.
- Available through select Titleist fitting accounts.
Have you have gone through a wedge fitting?
The percentages suggest the answer is no. Less than half of Team Titleist members and less than 20 percent of golfers as whole have been fitted for their wedges. In fact, those numbers are optimistically high given that a healthy portion of wedge fittings come on back of an iron fitting.
The reality is that wedge fitting is primarily an as long as you’re here kind of thing. It doesn’t have to be that way… at least not any more. That’s where the Vokey Wedge Fitting App comes in.
GOOD, BETTER, BEST
Consider a basic but reliable measure of quality and performance: good, better, best.
When it comes to wedge fitting, best is simple. It’s a fully brand-agnostic outdoor fitting where golfers have access to different types of grasses as well as sand.
Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? If you know a place, please let me know where it is.
The best wedge fitting I’m aware of is fully outdoors, not even a little brand-agnostic, but you do get various grasses and bunker sand to play out of, and likely the most knowledgeable wedge fitting team on the planet.
I’m talking about TPI in Oceanside, California.
It’s Vokey’s personal wedge fitting playground and, while it’s almost certainly true that a full-on brand-specific wedge fitting experience is better than most anything else out there, if we gave accessibility scores for such things, we probably wouldn’t hit double-digits on a 100-point scale.
I wish it were different but we should probably come to terms with the fact that best and better aren’t realistic options for most golfers.
A GOOD WEDGE FITTING EXPERIENCE
What does good look like?
For Vokey—and I hope a percentage of golfers way higher than 20 percent—good may prove to be the Vokey Wedge Fitting App. The objective of this unconventional Vokey release to is to give golfers a better indoor wedge fitting experience (or even any wedge fitting experience) and ultimately better performance.
It’s your basic “hit the ball closer to the hole more often” play.
If it helps make Titleist a leader in fitting or cements its advantage in the wedge category, all the better of course, but ultimately the hope is to make wedge fitting more accessible while bridging the significant divide between indoor and outdoor wedge fittings.
ABOUT THE VOKEY WEDGE FITTING APP
So how does that bridge gapping by way of wedge fitting work?
First, a point of clarification. The Vokey wedge fitting tool isn’t a self-service wedge fitting kiosk. Like a conventional wedge fitting, it’s overseen by a fitter (presumably a knowledgeable one) who uses a mix of data and collaboration with the golfer to make a reliable wedge recommendation.
Like most good fittings, Vokey’s indoor fitting experience starts with a conversation. The fitter will ask what wedges are in your bag and what types of shots you hit regularly with each one.
The fitter will also ask about the course conditions. Are your fairways firm or soft? Is your bunker sand light and fluffy or more like the parking lot? That sort of thing.
It’s the part of the process where the fitter needs to know what clubs you use out of bunker, which you habitually play with an open face, which you hit pitch shots with and which you would almost never risk taking a full swing with.
Hey, 60-degree wedge! I’m looking at you.
The software also asks you to rank shot type by priority. Think of your sand wedge. Would you prioritize full-swing shots or open-face versatility around the green?
At this stage, we’re looking for information that might alter the recommendation in an outdoor fitting. Behind the scenes, the app is taking the info and feeding it into the algorithm. It’s not drawing any conclusions but it is creating a plan.
CAN’T HAVE A WEDGE FITTING WITHOUT HITTING BALLS
The manifestation of that plan is a shot list—a prescription of swings. It might be something like three full-swing shots with a gap wedge, three full shots with a sand wedge, three pitches with a sand wedge, and a collection of pitches and open-face shots with a lob wedge.
The list will differ for each golfer based on information collected during the interview.
As the golfer works through the shot list, the app reports carry distance for each club (and will warn the fitter if something in the gapping doesn’t look right) and then, using other factors like attack angle and shaft lean at impact, the recommendations, which are visible in real-time to the golfer, begin to take shape.
Once all shots have been hit, it’s time to review the final results. The app doesn’t just show you (and your fitter) recommendations; it also provides a confidence level for each recommendation along with a ranking of your alternative options.
What’s particularly informative is that the Vokey Wedge Fitting App doesn’t just spit out the recommendation. It also provides a specific explanation of why a given grind was recommended for each slot in the bag.
HOW RELIABLE ARE THE RECOMMENDATIONS?
In early returns, many recommendations offer a confidence level of 60 percent or greater and it’s not unusual to see confidence in the recommendation exceed 80 percent.
In addition to the recommendations, the results screen provides an overview of the golfer’s technique (shallow, steep or somewhere in between) for each shot type.
As is the case in outdoor fittings, Vokey sees a solid mix of golfers who deliver the club consistently and those who vary delivery based on the shot type.
For golfers with consistent delivery, you might see a mid-bounce grind recommend for every loft.
For golfers who vary their delivery (it’s not unusual to see a golfer who takes massive divots on full swings barely brush the grass on a little pitch shot), the fitting app is more likely to recommend a mix of high- and low-bounce grinds.
Built into the Vokey Wedge Fitting App is a “What If?” tool that gives the fitter the ability to consider what the recommendations would be if the interview answers were different.
What if course conditions were firm instead of soft?
What if, instead of fluffy sand, you’re hitting out of a pit of concrete?
There’s a feature that allows the golfer to rate their confidence level out of bunkers. If the golfer struggles out of the sand, then a fitter might lean towards a wider sole option that would provide greater forgiveness.
The Vokey Wedge Fitting App is designed to provide structured collaboration while still giving fitters plenty of latitude to do what they do best. Ultimately, Vokey wants to make wedge fitting viable indoors while adding clarity and confidence, not confusion, to the buying experience.
VOKEY WEDGE FITTING APP – RETAIL GRINDS ONLY
For now, the Vokey App will only recommend grinds in the SM9 retail lineup. That’s perfectly logical and that leaves us with six grinds across multiple lofts. As fitters get comfortable with the tool and Vokey takes in more information, it’s certainly possible we’ll see some of those persistent Wedge Works offerings rolled into the fitting matrix. I’m talking about things like the low-bounce K and T grind. They’re not in the retail lineup but they’re not exactly limited releases either.
As a brief aside: We had the chance to step through an early version of the Vokey Wedge Fitting App last December. It was absolutely comical to watch our Chris Nickel try and manipulate his way (both in the interview and in the way he delivered the club) into a T Grind, only to find out the app was never going to recommend one. It fell on deaf ears when we suggested “Do you want a T Grind?” be added to the interview questions.
Fun and games aside, don’t be like Chris. It defeats the purpose of the fitting tool.
VOKEY WEDGE FITTING APP – COMPATIBILITY AND AVAILABILITY
While the Vokey Wedge Fitting App looks promising, the current launch monitor compatibility list is limited to Trackman. Full support for Foresight is expected to be up and running in the next few weeks. Between those two, Titleist will have the overwhelming majority of fitting accounts covered. That means that support for Flightscope, Full Swing and others isn’t on the short-range radar but it’s reasonable to think that Titleist fitting accounts will ultimately dictate the list of supported devices.
The other bit of bad news is that distribution of the Vokey Wedge Fitting App at launch will be limited to the U.S. The Vokey development team still needs to tackle the little things like language translation but the app will eventually be available globally.
The Vokey Wedge Fitting App is out in the wild now. Contact a fitter in your area to see if it’s available near you. Be sure to come back and tell us about your fitting experience.
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