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Cobra Golf gets even faster with new 2020 SpeedZone and SpeedZone Xtreme drivers

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Cobra Golf has some serious heat with the new 2020 SpeedZone drivers.

Cobra Golf had a banner year in 2019, and now for 2020, the R&D team is again pushing the boundaries of manufacturing technology to maximize speed and forgiveness with the Cobra King SpeedZone and SpeedZone Xtreme drivers.

It was just over a year ago that Cobra Golf introduced the F9 SpeedBack driver, and it quickly became a contender for Best Driver of 2019—it was twice in the top 5 on the GolfWRX Best drivers of 2019 list. The SpeedBack was a low spin, fast golf club with great acoustics and a sleek profile.

So how did Cobra Golf engineers improve on a driver that had few flaws? In the age of high science golf club manufacturing where the majority of the differences between the OEMs from a performance standpoint has become a granular conversation, Cobra decided to subtly fine-tune what it did in 2019, and in that effort, hopefully, attract the players who weren’t 100 percent sold on F9.

Cobra, like most OEMs, relies on professional tours to help develop new products, and with the help of Rickie, Bryson, Lexi, and now Jason Dufner, Cobra is offering yet again a club that not only pleases the masses but also satisfies those playing at the highest level.

“Tour feedback is very relevant as we use our tour staff to help us design the products. We work w Rick, Bryson and Lexi on multiple occasions during the design and development process to help us create the best product, both for tour players and golfers in the market.” – Tom “T.O” Olsavsky, Head of R&D Cobra Golf

Let’s Get Into The Zones

The hot topic around the F9 SpeedBack was a very low CG, high MOI, and a precision milled face. All three have become the foundation of Cobra metal woods across the board. For 2020, Cobra Golf has done something completely unique to the market with the SpeedZone and Speed Zone Xtreme drivers.

The Zones tackle all the hotbeds of driver performance speed, stability, weight, CG, and overall performance.

1. POWER ZONE: (highlighted by the CNC Infinity Milled Face). Cobra has used CNC milling in its woods for a few years now and with great success. But what’s the step up from that? How do you build more consistency into a face that is already basically flaw proof? Well, you expand the milling even more—95 percent more. With the milling crawling all the way over the topline, the SpeedZone can now offer even more consistency across the face and ensure that each face is exactly the same. Quality control is taken a step further with 100 percent of the heads inspected.

“Infinity face is continuing our leadership in CNC milling by having more control over the structure of the face and the front of the head. So the benefits are more precise control of the face and head geometries.” – Tom “T.O” Olsavsky, Head of R&D Cobra Golf

2. STRENGTH ZONE: The 2020 Cobra Speedzone Drivers are all equipped with a Titanium T-Bar Speed Chassis that allows R&D to remove weight from the crown (25 grams total) and utilize it in the hot spots of the golf club (i.e. the perimeter and discretionary placements). The goal here is an even lower CG and higher MOI. Simple enough.

3. LOW CG ZONE: A really low and dead-center CG is what, in my opinion, made the F9 a winner. In the SpeedZone, Cobra went even further. 69 grams of mass (an increase for 40 grams in F9) have been strategically placed around the head to fine-tune launch conditions for any type of player.

4. AERO ZONE: This is the airflow portion of this machine. In the rear end of the crown, you will find what appears to be an exhaust area. This addition limits air drag, which in turn means increased clubhead speed.

LOOKS

The F9 not only looked fast but from a topline perspective sat as square as any head on the market. The only knock I ever had with it was optically it looked like a club that would be a challenge to turn over, it was almost too square if that’s possible. Although it’s a personal thing, I did hear that critique from better players over the past year. The Speed Zone has addressed that with the incorporation of the Infinity Face.

Having the milling bleed into the topline, it gives the appearance (at least for me) that there is a little curvature in the face which inspires a full release with little doubt that the toe will rollover. The paint schemes are carried over from F9 with a very noticeable black head, yellow detailing, and red racing touches. The SpeedZone is also available in a black/white finish.

It has an overall modern yet classic shape with plenty of bulge and roll in the face and a slightly open appearance at address. Definitely has the look of a “players driver.”

I believe that players who weren’t 100 percent sold off of the buzz of the F9 will find that the SpeedZone will be a hard one to pass over for the 2020 season if looks are what you seek.

FEEL/SOUND

I mentioned this numerous times over the past season: The F9 felt and sounded like a hammer. It had a classic thump in the acoustics and with the weight, placement has that heavy head feel that I love. The 2020 SpeedZone Driver is no different. In my opinion, the drivers are apples to apples in this category. This is always the biggest concern I have when new models are released. Yes, the tech is new, but is the impact experience altered at all? In this case, no. If you liked the F9’s sound and feel at impact, you will get more of the same in the SpeedZone. That’s a big win these days.

SPEEDZONE XTREME

This was perhaps the biggest surprise coming out of this release for CPG. The 2020 Cobra Speed Zone Xtreme is a blast to hit. For players looking for a stable, fast, forgiving and overall good time, this is your stick. Even myself, who always sprints towards the more “player” driven clubhead, I found the Extreme to be hard to pass up. It’s just so much fun.

“The EXTREME is expected to be very successful and will be terrific for many players out there in the market. Golfers are looking for distance and forgiveness/accuracy and want both in their driver. The EXTREME is our most forgiving driver ever and also provides great distance. The benefits of a larger address sized head are that the CG is further back, and this helps many golfers to square the face at impact while creating high launch but low spin trajectories which are benchmarks for distance.” – Tom “T.O” Olsavsky, Head of R&D Cobra Golf

TECH

The 2020 Cobra Speed Zone Xtreme carries with it a slightly larger profile that allows more weight around the perimeter and a 17-gram weight that is placed behind the exhaust in the rear of the clubhead. Additional weighting and in contrast to its sibling, The Xtreme has only one visible weight placed at the back end of the sole creating the highest MOI Cobra has ever had and a high launch/low spin profile for the player.

Keep in mind, the Xtreme will satisfy all level of golfers—don’t be surprised if Bryson and Dufner have this in play in 2020.

LOOKS

Although the Xtreme has a larger playing profile than the SpeedZone, it’s not drastically different. Optically, it’s a bit of a longer profile face-to-back, and the top-to-bottom look is a bit shallower. Other than that, both drivers live in a similar “looks” sandbox and as a testament to all OEMs these days; the “player” drivers and “playable” drivers seem to ask less from players from a sacrifice point of view.

FEEL/SOUND

No surprise here: the 2020 Cobra Speed Zone Xtreme driver feels and sounds amazing. If anything, there is a slightly less heavy head sound/feel, but it’s minuscule and only gear fanatics like myself will even notice.

THE TAKEAWAY

Winner on all fronts, Cobra had a rockstar driver in 2019 and got five percent better in 2020. Five percent better these days is a big deal. Simple as that. If you were on the fence with the F9, the slight tweaks to this year’s offering should kick you off the edge.

SPECS (Provided by Cobra Golf)

Model MyFly8 Loft Settings
10.5o Driver 9.0, 9.5, 9.5 Draw, 10.5, 10.5 Draw, 11.5, 11.5 Draw, 12.0
9o Driver 7.5, 8.0, 8.0 Draw, 9.0, 9.0 Draw, 10, 10.0 Draw, 10.5

Both the 9 and 10.5-degree driver are available in a Tour Length offering, featuring a shorter shaft length (44.50”) and a six gram and 18-gram weight in the front and back to dial in swing weight. Inspired by Rickie Fowler’s 43.50” driver.

King SpeedZone Xtreme driver specifications for both men and women

Model MyFly8 Loft Settings
12.5o  Women’s Driver  11.0, 11.5, 11.5 Draw, 12.5, 12.5 Draw, 13.5, 13.5 Draw, 14.0
12o Driver 10.5, 11.0, 11.0 Draw, 12.0, 12.0 Draw, 13.0, 13.0 Draw, 13.5
10.5o Driver  9.0, 9.5, 9.5 Draw, 10.5, 10.5 Draw, 11.5, 11.5 Draw, 12.0 
9o Driver 7.5, 8.0, 8.0 Draw, 9.0, 9.0 Draw, 10, 10.0 Draw, 10.5

All lofts in the Xtreme model are available in a Tour Length configuration in the 44.50” length with a 14 g weight in the back to dial in swing weight.  Each driver is available in the golfer’s choice of Gloss Black/Yellow or Matte Black/White head colors (Women’s is available in Gloss Black/Rose Gold) and comes equipped with a Lamkin Crossline (58+) Connect – Black grip and 4 premium aftermarket shaft options: a high-launch/mid-spin UST Helium (4 F2– A-Flex or 5 F3– Regular Flex); a mid-launch/mid spin Tensei CK AV Blue 65 (Stiff and Regular); a mid-launch/low spin Project X HZRDUS Smoke Yellow 60 (X-Stiff and Stiff); or the low launch/low spin Aldila Rogue Silver 60 (X-Stiff, Stiff). In addition, 20-plus no-charge premium shaft upgrades are available through custom. 

All SpeedZone products are available at retail and online, January 17, 2020.

 

 

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Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for GolfWRX.com. He was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. John is also a partner with The Traveling Picture Show Company having most recently produced JOSIE with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In 1997 Johnny had the rare opportunity of being a clubhouse attendant for the Anaheim Angels. He now resides in Toronto, On with his wife and two sons. @johnny_wunder on IG

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. sam tucker

    Dec 6, 2019 at 9:30 am

    Shiels review shows not faster and not longer than F9….nice driver but no reason to upgrade.

  2. Enah

    Nov 21, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Looking good. Do they have them in let handed?

  3. JL

    Nov 20, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    F9 has been the best driver I have ever purchased… this one looks great to me, interesting how many people get offended by the colors on the bottom of a club. Can’t wait to give this one a few swings.

  4. Charlie

    Nov 20, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Think the shaft specs got confused, guessing you meant that the Smoke Yellow would be low launch, low spin, and Aldila Silver Rogue more of a Low-Mid launch and spin.

  5. Curt

    Nov 20, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    Looks ok. Sounds like some good technology. WHAT! Yellow again no thanks maybe next years driver I guess.

    • JP

      Nov 20, 2019 at 2:09 pm

      There’s also a white one with matte black. Looks good

  6. Carlos Slimbagger

    Nov 20, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Bring back the blue and/or orange colors. Yellow is for girls.

  7. Daniel Janyja

    Nov 20, 2019 at 6:25 am

    Nice looking stick. I’m no English teacher but “Even myself” is horrible grammar; give “Even I” a try.

  8. Brandon

    Nov 20, 2019 at 12:22 am

    The white one with the matte carbon crown is going in the bag.

  9. d

    Nov 19, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    fan of cobra…ugly colors…

  10. K

    Nov 19, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Looks like they are making sky marks a thing of the past!

  11. Mike

    Nov 19, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Really sad I didn’t give the F9 a look when I demoed drivers last year. I am happy that I got an M4 on a huge discount though.

  12. JP

    Nov 19, 2019 at 9:44 am

    This looks like a huge win for Cobra.

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Equipment

Top 10 clubs of 2003—inspired by Adam Scott’s Titleist 680 irons

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As has been well documented, Adam Scott recently won the Genesis Invitational with a set of Titleist 680 blade irons, a design that was originally released in 2003. One of the great benefits of being one of the best players in the world is you don’t need to search eBay to find your preferred set of 17-year-old irons. Titleist has been stocking sets for Mr. Scott—even to the point of doing a limited production run in 2018 where they then released 400 sets for sale to the general public.

A lot of time has passed since 2003, and considering the classic nature of Scott’s Titleist 680, I figured now was a good time to look back at some other iconic clubs released around the same time.

Ping G2 driver

This was Ping’s first 460cc driver with a full shift into titanium head design. The previous Si3 models still utilized the TPU adjustable hosel, and this was considered a big step forward for the Phoenix-based OEM. The driver was a big hit both on tour and at retail—as was the rest of the G2 line that included irons.

TaylorMade RAC LT (first gen) irons

The RAC LTs helped position TaylorMade back among the leaders in the better players iron category. The entire RAC (Relative Amplitude Coefficient) line was built around creating great feeling products that also provided the right amount of forgiveness for the target player. It also included an over-sized iron too. The RAC LT went on to have a second-generation version, but the original LTs are worthy of “classic” status.

TaylorMade R580 XD driver

Honestly, how could we not mention the TaylorMade R580 XD driver? TM took some of the most popular drivers in golf, the R500 series and added extra distance (XD). OK, that might be an oversimplification of what the XD series offered, but with improved shape, increased ball speed outside of the sweet spot, and lower spin, it’s no wonder you can still find these drivers in the bags of golfers at courses and driving ranges everywhere.

Titleist 680MB irons

The great thing about blades is that beyond changing sole designs and shifting the center of gravity, the basic design for a one-piece forged head hasn’t changed that much. For Adam Scott, the 680s are the perfect blend of compact shape, higher CG, and sole profile.

Titleist 983K, E drivers

If you were a “Titleist player,” you had one of these drivers! As one of the last companies to move into the 460cc category, the 983s offered a classic pear shape in a smaller profile. It was so good and so popular, it was considered the benchmark for Titleist drivers for close to the next decade.

Cleveland Launcher 330 driver

It wasn’t that long ago that OEMs were just trying to push driver head size over 300cc, and Cleveland’s first big entry into the category was the Launcher Titanium 330 driver. It didn’t live a long life, but the Launcher 330 was the grandaddy to the Launcher 400, 460, and eventually, the Launcher COMP, which is another club on this list that many golfers will still have fond memories about.

Mizuno MP 33 irons

Although released in the fall of 2002, the Mizuno MP 33 still makes the list because of its staying power. Much like the Titleist 680, this curved muscle blade was a favorite to many tour players, including future world No. 1 Luke Donald. The MP 33 stayed in Mizuno’s lineup for more than four years and was still available for custom orders years after that. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a set now you are going to have to go the used route.

Callaway X-16 irons

The Steelhead X-16 was a big hit at retail for Callaway. It offered greater forgiveness than the previous X-14’s but had a more compact shape with a wider topline to inspire confidence. They featured Callaway’s “Notch” weighting system that moved more mass to the perimeter of the head for higher MOI and improved feel. There was a reduced offset pro series version of the iron, but the X-16 was the one more players gravitated towards. This is another game improvement club for that era that can still be found in a lot of golf bags.

Ben Hogan CFT irons

The Hogan CFTs were at the forefront of multi-material iron technology in 2003. CFT stood for Compression Forged Titanium and allowed engineers to push more mass to the perimeter of the head to boost MOI by using a thin titanium face insert. They had what would be considered stronger lofts at the time sounded really powerful thanks to the thin face insert. If you are looking for a value set of used irons, this is still a great place to start.

King Cobra SZ driver

In 2003, Rickie Fowler was only 15 years old and Cobra was still living under the Acushnet umbrella as Titleist’s game improvement little brother. The Cobra SZ (Sweet Zone, NOT 2020 Speed Zone) was offered in a couple of head sizes to appeal to different players. The thing I will always remember about the original King Cobra SZ is that it came in an offset version to help golfers who generally slice the ball—a design trait that we still see around today.

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Today from the Forums: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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Today from the Forums we delve into a subject dedicated to wedge fitting. Liquid_A_45 wants to know if wedge fitting is as essential for golfers as iron fitting, and our members weigh into the discussion saying why they feel it is just as imperative.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Z1ggy16: “Super important if you’re a serious golfer. Even better if you can get fit outdoors on real grass and even go into a bunker.”
  • ThunderBuzzworth: “The biggest part of wedge fitting is yardage gapping and sole grinds. If you have a grind that doesn’t interact with the turf in your favor, it can be nightmarish around the greens. When hitting them try a variety of short game shots with different face angles etc. with the different grinds to see which one works best for what you need.”
  • Hawkeye77: “Wedge fitting I had was extremely beneficial when I got my SM6s a few years ago. Mostly for working with the different grinds and how they interacted with my swing and on different shots and having an eye on my swing to help with the process and evaluate the results. My ideas of what grinds were right for me based on researching on Titleist, etc. just were not correct in 2/3 of the wedges I ended up with as far as the grinds were concerned. Good to have an experienced fitter available to answer questions, control variables, etc.”
  • cgasucks: “The better you get at this game, the more important wedges are.”

Entire Thread: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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Today from the Forums: “Pull cart recommendations?”

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Today from the Forums we take a look at pull carts currently on the market. Bogeygolfer55 is looking for a quality pull cart for less than $300, and our members have been giving their recommendations in our forums – with Clicgear proving to be a popular option.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Yuck: “I have had a clicgear 3.5 for nearly four years now. Holding up well with well over 200 rounds on it so far.”
  • Hawkeye77: “I had a Clicgear and liked it a lot, but my daughter “appropriated” it. Came upon an article a year ago about the Blade IP. Ordered one. It folds flat instead of into a cube which I like, and when I take it out it is quicker to get ready to go, and easier to take down. That doesn’t mean the Clicgear was particularly difficult, but it was more involved and 4 pounds heavier – don’t mind pushing a lot less weight.”
  • Celebros: “Another vote for Clicgear. The 4.0 just came out, so you may be able to find some of the 3.5+ models discounted soon.”
  • I_HATE_SNOW: “Sun Mountain user. Tall thin tires roll through the grass the easiest. Ours are old enough that the tires inflated. Once slimed, they stay up all winter. Mesh baskets on the cart are nice for carrying headcovers, water bottles, dog leash, etc.”
  • birddog903: “I’ve had a caddytek lite three-wheel version for a year or so. No complaints and I paid less than $100.”

Entire Thread: “Pull cart recommendations?”

 

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