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Cobra Fly Z and Fly Z+ Drivers, Fairway Woods and Hybrids

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Cells and bright colors? Maybe you were skeptical of Cobra’s Bio Cell line of drivers, fairway woods and hybrids. They looked cool or corny — depending who you asked — but quickly garnered respect as one of the longest, most forgiving products on the market. In our 2014 GolfWRX Gear Trial testing, Bio Cell drivers and fairway woods were winners of both our Forgiveness-First and Balanced-Performance categories.

For 2015, Cobra-Puma stayed with the bright colors for which it’s now recognized, but the company has continued to innovate and improve from an engineering standpoint. Thanks to a Flip Zone Weight System, a Speed Channel that looks like a moat around the club face and center of gravity (CG) that continues to drop lower, the Fly-Z line from Cobra is likely to surpass the performance we saw from the Bio Cell line.

Cobra’s Fly-Z line uses “Zones” — thus the “Z” — instead of cells, which places weight throughout the clubheads more strategically, along with a few other tricks that will separate the Fly-Z from the Bio Cell. And it’s cool, Cobra says, and keeps the ball in the air a long time, which is why the company is calling the line “Fly.”

Cobra Fly-Z+ Driver ($399)

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Some golfers need a driver with a CG that is located in the back of the club head to hit their longest drives. Other golfers need a CG that is more forward for maximum distance. Cobra’s Fly-Z+ driver allows for both with its Flip Zone weighting system.

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The Flip Zone is made up of two weight ports and a 15-gram weight that allows golfers to shift the driver’s CG by 4 millimeters from front to back. By placing the weight in the driver’s front weight port, golfers will lower its center of gravity, which Cobra says lowers spin rate by roughly 400 rpm and raises launch angle by 1-to-1.5 degrees. Placing the Flip Zone weight in the rear weight port will have the opposite effect, and it also makes the driver slightly more forgiving.

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Angle of attack may be affected as well, depending on how the individual player reacts to the weight change.

What’s different from the Bio Cell+? 

  • A Speed Channel
  • Cells vs. Zones
  • A Carbon Fiber Crown and Sole Inserts

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The Speed Channel on Cobra’s Fly-Z drivers is different than the slot technology seen in other companies’ clubs. The Speed Channel is located on the perimeter of the face rather than underneath or on top of the face, which helped Cobra engineers move 2 grams of weight lower in the club head. That increased the size of the drivers’ sweet spot by 18 percent, according to Cobra, leading to as much as 3 more yards on toe hits and 2.5 yards on heel hits.

What’s a “Zone?”

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Zone-weighting allowed Cobra to move more weight lower in the 460-cubic-centimeter clubhead. By doing so, the company picked up ball speed across the face, especially on mishits. The Fly-Z+’s Carbon Fiber crown and sole inserts, which are thinner and stronger than titanium, also helped the company save about 8 grams of weight from the chassis of the club, which was redistributed elsewhere.

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Like green? You got green. Starting March 15 2015, “Verdant Green” will be available at retail — conveniently close to both the Masters and St. Patrick’s Day. The rest of the colors — Black, Blue, Orange, Red and White — will be in stores on Jan. 23, 2015.

Similar to the Bio Cell drivers, the Fly-Z line has Cobra’s MyFly adjustable hosel, but it’s slightly lighter than the previous MyFly8 hosel design. It allows for five loft settings (8.5-to-11.5 degrees) and three draw-biased loft settings (9.0D-to-11.0D). It’s also backwards compatible with the MyFly8 shaft tips.

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MyFly8 works with the company’s SmartPad sole design, which helps keep the clubface relatively square even when you adjust loft/lie settings.

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The stock shaft is Matrix’s VLCT ST (60 grams), but other options include Aldila’s Tour Blue (76 grams), Tour Green (67 grams) and Matrix’s White Tie X4 (53 grams), which are available with no upcharge.

Cobra Fly-Z Driver ($329)

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The Fly-Z driver is designed for golfers who need more forgiveness, which was achieved by lengthening the profile of the all-titanium driver from front to back and adding a “Back CG Zone” with a weight that’s fixed on the rear of its sole. Its low, rearward CG will help most golfers hit longer, straighter drives.

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Just like the Fly-Z+, it comes equipped with Zone Weighting, a Speed Channel, a lighter MyFly hosel and a SmartPad.

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Loft settings for the Fly-Z range from 9-to-12 degrees with three draw settings (9.5D-to-11.5D). Stock shafts for the Fly-Z are 45.5 inches, 0.5 inches longer than the Fly-Z+. The stock shaft is Matrix’s VLCT SP (60 grams), but other options include Aldila’s Tour Blue (76 grams), Tour Green (67 grams) and Matrix’s White Tie X4 (53 grams), which are available with no upcharge.

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The Fly-Z driver is available in Green, Black, Blue, Orange, Red and White and will be in stores on Jan. 23, 2015.

Cobra Fly-Z+ Fairway Woods ($249)

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The Fly-Z+ has a compact head shape that sits slightly open at address. It also has what the company calls Front CG Zone Weighting and Crown Zone Weighting that moves the CG of the club head low and forward. Better players will appreciate the higher launch, lower spin and increased peak ball speed the weighting creates.

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The fairway woods are made from 455 stainless steel and also feature Speed Channels on their faces. The Fly-Z+ has a SmartPad and a MyFly hosel to help golfers gap their fairway wood yardages.

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Available lofts options include a 3/4 wood (12-to-15 degrees and three draw settings: 12D-to-14D) that measures 43 inches and has a swing weight of D3. There’s also a 4/5 wood (16-to-19 degrees and three draw settings: 17D-to-18D) that measures 42.5 inches and a swing weight of D3.

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Both clubs are available in left-and right-handed models, in X, S and R shafts. The stock shaft is a Matrix VLCT ST (70 grams), and Aldila’s Tour Blue (86 grams) and Tour Green (67 grams) are available at no upcharge.

All Fly-Z fairway woods are available in Black, Blue, Orange, Red and White.

Cobra Fly-Z Fairway Woods ($229)

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Cobra’s Fly-Z fairway woods have deeper head profiles and Back CG Zone weighting for more forgiveness. They also sit more square to the target than the Fly-Z+. Due to weight removed from the MyFly hosel, their CG is slightly more centered, away from the heel, than the Bio Cell. They have 465 stainless steel face inserts that are 20 percent larger and 18 percent thinner than the Bio Cell fairway woods’ face inserts.

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According to Cobra, the Fly-Z fairway woods produce 1.2 mph of ball speed more than the Bio Cell, which were one of the top-performing fairway woods in our 2014 Gear Trials fairway wood testing.

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The 3/4 woods have eight different loft settings (13-to-16 degrees and three draw settings: 14D-to-15D) with a 43.5-inch stock shaft (X, S, R, Lite) with a swing weight of D2. The 5/7 wood also comes in eight loft settings (17-to-20 degrees and three draw settings: 17D-to-18D) with a 43-inch stock shaft (X, S, R, Lite) and a swing weight of D2. Both woods come in both right-and left-handed with a Matrix VLCT SP 70 (70 grams) shaft.

Both the Fly-Z and Fly-Z+ fairway woods will be in stores on Jan. 20, 2015.

Cobra Fly-Z Hybrids ($199)

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Compared to the Bio Cell hybrids, Cobra’s Fly-Z hybrids are slightly larger and have a lower, more rearward CG to raise launch and lower spin. They also have Speed Channels in their faces for more forgiveness and ball speed. Like the Fly-Z fairway woods, the CG of the clubs was moved toward the center of the club head to create a more neutral ball flight, rather than a draw bias like the BioCell.

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The hybrids also have MyFly adjustable hosels and SmartPads to help their faces sit squarely regardless of loft setting.

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They’re available in 2/3 (16-to-19 degrees) with a 41.25-inch shaft wand a swingweight of D2.5, 3/4 (19-to-22 degrees) with a 40.5-inch stock shaft with a swingweight of 2.5 and 4/5 (22-to-25 degrees) with a 39.75-inch stock shaft (X, S, R and Lite-Flex) with a swingweight of D2.5. All hybrids are available in both right-and left-handed options and will be in stores on Jan. 20.

Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about Cobra’s new Fly-Z line in our forum.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

48 Comments

48 Comments

  1. Payton

    Dec 20, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    So the Fly Z is higher launch and spin than the Fly Z+? Bothe are 460cc?

  2. SJ

    Jun 17, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Last two years, I’m intermittently bombing my stock stiff shafted r11, but intermittent doesn’t help when you’re out of the hole. Decided to try the Fly-Z recently. Ball speed / launch etc statistics were all over the place with the R11 on two separate visits to the fitter, Fly-Z had much lower spin and better launch angle, ~20 yard average gain in distance due mainly to a smash average of 1.4. On the course, the bad swings that would normally produce a 25 yard slice now fade about 9-11 yards with the Fly-Z. Fantastic value.

  3. underdog58

    Apr 15, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    I hit the fly z plus at a demo last week at my course an they had a track man set up. I couldn’t believe how will I was hitting it, I gain almost 26 yds consisted. Launch angle was between 12 and 13 and spin was 2700 with weight in the front. So wow great, so I pulled out my sldr 430 set at 10.5 and it was a very big difference. Lost 25 to 30 yard of carry and spin was 2100 and angle was 12. Seems to me my old driver fell out the air. The bottom line is I order one, its here at the post office, I have to wait till tomorrow and pick it up.

  4. Chad

    Feb 27, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Just got fitted for a Fly-Z with a Fujikura Speeder Pro 66 stiff shaft. Sweet. 1.52 smash factor….was crushing it. Very happy. Highly recommend trying it if you haven’t. Get fitted!

    • chris

      Mar 27, 2015 at 8:11 am

      1.52 smash factor is almost impossible….very unlikely.

  5. Jeff

    Jan 15, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Why was the launch date pushed back until February?

  6. M

    Nov 14, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    “By placing the weight in the driver’s front weight port, golfers will lower its center of gravity, which Cobra says lowers spin rate by roughly 400 rpm and raises launch angle by 1-to-1.5 degrees”
    I am pretty sure that moving the weight towards the face will lower launch and spin, and moving the weight away from the face would increase launch and spin.
    Example: The SLDR driver moved the weight towards the face and now says “Loft up” to offset this effect

    • Anna

      Jan 12, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      wrong. Moving the Weight forward will definitely lower launch and UP spin while moving the weight back will give you a higher launch and LESS spin. Think about it.

  7. Pingback: Cobra Fly Z and Fly Z+ Drivers, Fairway Woods and Hybrids | Golf Gear Select

  8. Teaj

    Nov 10, 2014 at 11:24 am

    just curious if they have done some testing with turf and dirt getting into the channel on the face of the club, I guess you could clean it out like you would an iron but still. same reason TMag inclosed theirs

  9. marcel

    Nov 5, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    yeah longer slice or hook is this what average joey needs?

    • Anna

      Jan 12, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      Have you noticed the word “Forgiveness”? Maybe you should try it out before ripping it?

  10. Donal

    Nov 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Cobra make very good Drivers but they also make total sh*t houses remember S3 mournfully they make more bad ones than good ones as my ruptured wallet well knows think back 2005 onward oh no not again Cobra

    • ck

      Nov 10, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Not even close to the same group of people working at Cobra Puma golf now. That’s like saying TMAG isn’t any good now because their stuff was bad in the mid 90’s. At least try it before you rip on it.

  11. Phil

    Nov 5, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Looks like a bite off the old Ping G30…

  12. jack b nimble

    Nov 5, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    waiting for July and 199 a club

  13. Jay

    Nov 5, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    It would be nice if they did launch and spin comparisons to their current line and not just the canned “it’s longer and more forgiving”.

    • Anna

      Jan 12, 2015 at 5:10 pm

      That’s what they did! Go to the cobra website and you can read a lot of articles on it or mygolfspy.com

  14. Ray

    Nov 5, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I still play the Cobra Speed LD, 10.5, and can’t find anything better. Have Ping also, but their shaft weighting just feels like a 2X4 to me. To repeat, Nothing like a Cobra. Ditto my 3w Cobra Bio Cell – kills it !

  15. Dennis H

    Nov 5, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I have had the Bio-Cell irons and Driver silence they came out. I was fitted and hit them better and they felt better than and other club I hit. This is my problem and one that I’m sure others will agree with. I paid full retail for my clubs and within 2 months, Cobra dropped the price of the driver from $299 to $199 and the irons dropped over 30% in price. Cobra almost seems that they don’t believe in their product and cut the price quickly making everyone hesitant to buy them. You would never see Ping drop their price like that. Cobra’s are Great clubs, but they just seem to cheapen themselves

    • Mat

      Nov 7, 2014 at 12:49 am

      You nailed it. Cobra won’t hold its price. You just have to be patient, and you can get them for a steep discount from original MSRP.

      • Chris

        Nov 12, 2014 at 3:09 pm

        As someone who works in the retail side of things, this kind of thinking is part of why the industry is suffering right now. The whole “I’ll just wait until it goes down in price halfway through the season,” kills these companies. The only reason why they drop prices is because nobody is buying at the full retail anymore, and it’s not just Cobra that does it. Usually the first to drop prices is TaylorMade either with a promotion or permanent markdown. Year to year you don’t see much gain in buying a new driver, so rather than buy one on sale every year why not wait a couple years, set aside the money for it and buy it at full retail to keep these companies from panicking and throwing out a price drop in May.

        • Tony

          Nov 23, 2014 at 11:23 am

          Why don’t the manufacturers reduce the frequency at which they come out with new clubs, say when they have real performance gains to offer? That’s what’s killing the industry.

  16. Robert

    Nov 5, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I agree with the previous commentary on how Cobra has kind of covertly slid under the mainstream radar of really really good and user friendly clubs. Being a club builder / fitter I generally get to try out just about everything that comes to market and I have to say that no company consistently impresses me any more than Cobra. Their marketing to the “younger” crowd may have something to do with their perception, but there is nothing “immature” about their performance. That’s for sure. I personally game a biocell+ driver and have my biocell fairways and hybrids on tap anytime I have a match that really matters. They are point and shoot. Another thing I like is that they don’t have the ultralight feel of alot of current clubs. They feel substantial without being bulky. Feel and sound is as good as anything available IMO. I will definitely be picking up some of these new woods when they hit the stores. And I’m quite sure I will be thoroughly impressed as usual with Cobra products. Good job Cobra.

    …..and get me that Master’s green asap!

  17. Josh

    Nov 5, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I was recently reading a technical paper by Tom Wishon regarding loft changes with this type of adjustable hosel, and he went on to prove that it was not possible.

    For the driver most people just set it where it feels comfortable and leave it that way, but what does that mean for the fairway woods and hybrids? Has anyone tested w/ trackman, comparing say the 16 degree setting vs. the 19 degree setting on the 2/3 hybrid?

    • Kurt

      Nov 5, 2014 at 11:24 am

      I believe he is measuring the static loft of the head when soled only, which won’t change because you are changing the angle of the shaft into the head with these adjustments. But the dynamic loft when compared to the shaft does change. Which in my opinion is what matters since the dynamic relationship between the shaft and head is what matters when swinging and hitting a ball.

    • Chuck

      Nov 5, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      I am not sure if Tom Wishon is correct about asserting that Cobra’s hosel adjustability claims can’t be true; but Tom is almost invariably right.

      My question is why would a manufacturer even try to do anything that takes away a consumer’s ability to move the face angle along with loft? My guess is that there are an awful lot of advanced players who are less concerned with actually de-lofting a driver face than they are with a hosel adjustment that allows them to make the driver play more open.

  18. other paul

    Nov 5, 2014 at 12:27 am

    I would switch to cobra irons and woods based on performance. The good looks are a bonus ???? my driver would be tough to beat, it’s pretty much optimized.

  19. tim

    Nov 4, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    I’ve been playing the bio cell 3/4 wood the past few months with a matrix shaft and it’s a beast. If this new offering is actually better…. damn!

  20. Barry S.

    Nov 4, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    I hit a guys Cobra Long Tom at the range yesterday. Unbelievably sweet feeling club and the best looking head of any driver I’ve seen in a long time.

  21. nikkyd

    Nov 4, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    I bet youll take a nice gouge out of a premium ball if you hit a ball right square in the speed groove channel.

    • ChiefKeef

      Nov 4, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      If you’re hitting it that far off center then you have a lot more problems than a mark on a golf ball lol

    • graymulligan

      Nov 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      If you’re somehow bringing the last 8th of an inch on the perimeter of your driver face into play, maybe you shouldn’t be buying premium balls.

  22. Teaj

    Nov 4, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    For what ever reason, people just overlook Cobra as a premium golf club manufacture. the guys that play them love them, I myself have tested and would have been pleased to play some of their equipment but other manufactures offerings just seem to pull me in a little more. why is that? who knows, and if I can’t figure it out I’m not sure they will be able to, than again thats why they get paid the big bucks so who knows.

  23. Ry

    Nov 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    2 things:
    1- The Fly-Z + is a 460 head? Even the Bio Cell + was a smaller head. Setting up for a smaller Pro model during the middle of 2015 I’m guessing.

    2- What are companies thinking announcing something 2 months before the holidays but saying it won’t come out until a month after the holidays? This driver could have KILLED it for holiday sales for cobra and now they just got killed themselves. I mean everyone wants a new driver for Christmas or Hanakah or whatever they celebrate.

    • Mikec

      Dec 26, 2014 at 11:55 am

      OEMs release in Oct-Nov or in the spring/late winter and those that do the latter will always announce at this time. May seem perverse but it is marketing none the less.

  24. Michal B

    Nov 4, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Does anyone knows, if there will be any pro version of this driver?

  25. RAT

    Nov 4, 2014 at 9:17 am

    I still play the first version of the ZL driver, this might make me up-date but it would have to beat out the ZL..

    • peter ruggles

      Nov 5, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Tried the ZL, long enough straight enough then tried the ZL Encore, a bit longer, then tried another white Encore; for some reason it’s 15-20 yards longer. I’m not complaining, and I can’t figure out why, as I’ve juggled all combinations of heads and shafts.

    • Payton

      Dec 20, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      Like you, I play an original ZL that I purchased here @ WRX and it”came off the Tour van”. Not sure what they did to it, if anything, but it’s in the bag. Have compared it to many others, including the ZL Encore and it’s tops.

  26. cb

    Nov 4, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Looks like it is the year of the speed channels

  27. ABNJM

    Nov 4, 2014 at 8:23 am

    I look forward to smashing golf balls with this. I’m still bagging an AMP CELL Pro Driver cause I hit it so well. Love Cobra Drivers.

  28. Jim

    Nov 4, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Another great looking club from Cobra. But no one seems to mention that Cobra’s hosel adjustment only adjusts one way and therefore the grip will change positions each time you adjust it. Doesn’t work well with grip position, or helper grips. Just a thought. I’m surprised they didn’t use a hosel similar to Titliest’s (I know they’re not business partners anymore).

    • Steve Barry

      Nov 4, 2014 at 9:17 am

      True, it does change the orientation when you change the settings. I personally don’t like this, but everything I’ve read, adding a cog like this adds weight to the adapter. Ping clubs change orientation and I believe Nike’s do too. Callaway’s didn’t used to, but I’m not sure about their latest iteration of it or not.

      I believe it’s just one more reason to get properly fit, even though most on this site (including myself) choose to buy all the latest goodies and just see if we strike lightning.

    • Robert

      Nov 5, 2014 at 11:34 am

      I agree about the ZL. One of the best drivers ever and still a performer.

  29. Johan

    Nov 4, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Cobra hits the wicket again with their forward-thinking, practical design. The colors are a little garish but who cares? My current Cobra driver kills it!

  30. Jonny B

    Nov 4, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Looks sweet, can’t wait to hit it. I think all the colors are bad business for retailers because they won’t know which to stock, but regardless – if this performs better than the BioCell it is sure to be a good seller.

  31. BC

    Nov 4, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Very, very excited for this product. Quietly, Cobra engineers have been hitting home runs with their metal woods the last few years and it shouldn’t change in 2015

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Equipment

Titleist Vokey SM8 wedges: Leading with performance

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Say “Vokey” to any golfer and they will instantaneously know you are talking about wedges. The name Vokey, along with Titleist, is synonymous with performance. In 2020, Vokey is introducing its most performance-driven line yet, the Vokey SM8 wedges.

Built on the foundation of what were already the number one wedges on the PGA Tour, Vokey SM8’s take precision and control to the next level thanks to refined shapes, cosmetics, sole grinds, and for the first time, multi-material technology to improve performance.

2020 Vokey SM8 wedges: How did we get here?

Vokey wedges are the standard by which wedges are judged by most golfers, similar to the way new golf balls are often compared to the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x. Dating all the way back to the original Spin Milled wedges, Titleist has lead the way with spin performance and quality club after club. This comes from the fact that each and every single wedge manufactured is tested for groove dimensions before ever being built.

Titleist believes that there are three key performance factors that golfers should consider when choosing new wedges

  • Distance and trajectory control
  • Shot versatility, in varying conditions
  • Spin depreciation and groove wear over time

Distance control is important for reasons I probably shouldn’t have to explain, and as golfers get into their wedges, the old mindset of just getting 52, 56, and 60-degree wedges to make sure you have all the shots is out the window. Golfers now have to consider where they transition from their irons to wedges and the lofts are of those clubs, which means if you have a 44 to 45-degree pitching wedge, grabbing that conventional 52 might not be the best idea. This is exactly why Titleist decided to put the lofts of its pitching wedges on the bottom of the T-Series irons: to better help golfers make good gapping decisions.

Loft decisions also rely on the type of shots players hit with each club, because if you are only taking full swings with your gap wedge and sand wedges, then those lofts need to reflect those shot choices and the desired distance goals. The shortest wedge can then become a specialty club built for versatility, and this is where grinds come in.

Wedges need to be the most versatile clubs in any golfer’s bag because of the variety of shots hit with them; from full swings to short touch shots around greens, they have to offer absolute control to help players not only score but also recover under diverse conditions.

This is why player dynamics, shot choice, and conditions play such a big role in selecting the proper short game tools, and as far as options go, Vokey wedges offer the most off-the-shelf options in the game.

Spin equals stopping power. As mentioned earlier, not only do Vokey grooves get pushed to the limit, but thanks to extremely high-quality control standards all the way up the manufacturing chain, you can be assured that you are going to get spin control shot after, which also leads to improved trajectory control. Less traction leads to less spin and higher launch, and as much as that might be helpful with a driver, it’s the last thing you want in a wedge.

What’s new with Vokey SM8 wedges

For the new Vokey SM8 wedges, performance is about creating better short game tools for golfers of all skill levels, shot after shot. It’s not about chasing an elusive spin number or building a wedge designed with a single task in mind, it’s about offering state-of-the-art technology alongside tour-proven consistency to give golfers more control than ever before.

“Out of head” center of gravity and multi-material construction

This is the biggest overhaul to Vokey wedge design since the introduction of Spin Milled grooves. For the first time in North America (there have been multi-material wedges made for the Japan market), the 58 to 62-degree wedges will have tungsten placed in the toe to push Center of Gravity more forward and out of the head into a space beyond the face of the club to offer more rotational control. When asked why the tungsten is kept hidden and is not a visible technology in the wedge, we were told: “it’s to keep with the classic styling associated with Vokey Designs.”

It might seem counterproductive to put tungsten in the toe of a wedge when a higher center of gravity has been proven to offer more trajectory control in higher lofted clubs, but the engineers at Titleist balanced out this toe mass by increasing hosel length to raise CG and MOI. These design tweaks create a seven-percent higher MOI than SM7 with even great vertical stability, too.

The rest of the Vokey line beyond the highest lofts still feature the proven center of gravity shifting to aid in trajectory control but now in a more subtle looks package.

The face and grooves

The Vokey Spin Milled groove design has not changed since Vokey began offering variable depth and width designs depending on loft. Tolerances continue to get pushed, but since the design was already at the limit, it’s now more about being able to replicate rather than search for an elusive few hundred RPM.

When talking about those extra RPMs gained by potential tool and radius changes, Titleist likes to use the analogy of a pencil. You can sharpen a pencil to an absolute point, but the first thing you are going to notice when you start to use that pencil is how quickly that extremely sharp point dulls back to a “standard” sharpness. This relates directly to groove radius and Titleist’s philosophy to offer maximum spin for the life of the wedge, not just those first five rounds of golf, because unlike PGA Tour players, regular golfers can’t just wander into a tour van and ask for a new lob wedge every week.

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Titleist also extends the life of the grooves with a centralized heat treatment to the face of all the wedges to harden the metal without negatively affecting feel.

Grind, finish, and custom options

titleist-vokey-sm8-wedges

Constant refinement is the name of game, and the SM8’s featured Vokey’s six tour-proven sole grinds—F, S, M, K, L, and D—to allow golfers of all skill levels to be expertly fit for their swing types, shot-making preferences, and course conditions. The wedge bounce matrix has changed too, with Titleist eliminating the 58-degree L grind, adding 54 and 56-degree D grind options for more higher bounce versatility.

The new SM8’s will come stock in Jet Black, Brushed Steel, and Tour Chrome, with the option for Raw available through custom order. Raw is the biggest news since it is normally reserved exclusively for tour and Wedge Works—and at an upcharge.

Last but not least, the most obvious design change is the overall aesthetics of the SM8 versus any previous Vokey design. The top half of the back of the wedge is entirely blank, and except for small script on the hosel, the name Titleist has been left off.

Call it modern minimalism mixed with the respect that Titleist has for Bob Vokey and the product that bears his name. What this canvas comprised of soft steel also allows is even more customization. Titleist hasn’t given any further details on what this could mean from a consumer standpoint, but it’s likely to be revealed through the Wedge Works program. For the artisan and at-home wedge stampers alike, this means, now more than ever before, you can customize too.

New Vokey SM8’s will retail for $159.99 in all finishes with custom upgrades available through Titleist Custom order.

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Equipment

Adidas launch new CODECHAOS footwear range

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New for 2020, Adidas Golf has unveiled its CODECHAOS footwear series which features three new golf shoes for both men and women.

The CODECHAOS ($150) shoe is designed to blur the lines by giving a connected look with the ground and features a spikeless outsole that blends a soft, yet durable, rubber outsole with a first-of-its-kind TPU insert.

2020 Nike CODECHAOS

The shoe’s outsole contains a proprietary traction system – Twistgrip – which was developed by evaluating heat maps in swing studies, specifically focusing on the way golfers distribute and shift their weight throughout the swing. Through this process, Adidas was then able to determine precisely where traction was needed most and what lug shapes would provide the best grip, regardless of conditions.

2020 Nike CODECHAOS

The CODECHAOS golf shoe also features an all-new upper which is made of multi-layer mesh, and is designed to give the shoe a unique texture while enhancing durability and breathability, but also keeping it extremely lightweight. By encasing these layers in film, Adidas ensured the CODECHAOS shoe provides golfers with a waterproof shoe for all conditions.

2020 Nike CODECHAOS

Also included in the new addition from Adidas is full-length Boost cushioning. The Boost cushioning aims to give players all-around comfort and energy return during their round, while a Torsion X stability bar is also included in a bid to ensure that all players are given tour-level support for every swing.

2020 Nike CODECHAOS

Designed to push the boundaries of what a stereotypical golf shoe looks like, the CODECHAOS lineup is aimed at golfers of all levels. Speaking on the new 2020 series, Masun Denison, global footwear director, Adidas Golf stated

“Golf continues to evolve and is in an exciting phase right now where the traditions of the game and how it can be played are all being challenged. We’re excited about this movement which has inspired us to break down barriers and create unique footwear and apparel for anyone that picks up a club. CODECHAOS is meant to challenge what a golf shoe can look and feel like while still delivering top-notch performance to all golfers whenever or wherever they play.”

2020 Nike CODECHAOS

Also featured in the new line is the CODECHAOS Boa ($180) which is a waterproof shoe designed to offer a clean look featuring a hydrophobic stretch-knit collar, and a lightweight slip-on construction.

2020 Nike CODECHAOS

The shoe features the L6 Boa Fit System designed to provide a customized and locked-in feel, while also making it an easy on-and-off option.

2020 Nike CODECHAOS

Completing the new series from Adidas is the CODECHAOS Sport ($130). The shoe is built on a spikeless rubber outsole, and the silhouette is designed to provide players with an even lighter construction for maximum versatility.

2020 Nike CODECHAOS

The CODECHAOS Sport is another waterproof addition and includes a mixture of both Boost and Bounce cushioning for excellent comfort.

2020 Nike CODECHAOS

The CODECHAOS, CODECHAOS Boa and CODECHAOS Sport shoes come in a variety of colors for both men and women and are available starting Jan. 31, 2020 on adidas.com and at select retailers worldwide.

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Whats in the Bag

Rory McIlroy WITB: 2020 Farmers Insurance Open

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS 70 X

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90 TX

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max (19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow Hybrid

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (2), TaylorMade P750 (3, 4), TaylorMade P730 (5-PW)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 7.0

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind 2 (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper

Ball: 2019 TaylorMade TP5 (#22)

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

*Obviously, McIlroy has more than 14 clubs in the bag in practice and will reduce the number prior to competition. 

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19th Hole

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