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Cobra Design Lab offers totally custom Bio Cell+ drivers

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One of the most impressive performers in our 2014 Gear Trials: Best Drivers club test was Cobra’s Bio Cell+ driver, even though it didn’t crack the top-5 in our “Distance-First,” “Forgiveness-First” and Balanced Performance” categories.

How do we explain that? The No. 1 reason for the snubbing of the Bio Cell+ was the solid performance of the Bio Cell driver, which offers more forgiveness than the Bio Cell+ thanks to its 20cc-larger head size, as well as a very similar launch and spin.

For some players who struggle to keep their spin down, however, the Bio Cell+ driver will be a better choice. Its smaller head and Venollum alloy crown insert lower the driver’s center of gravity, which can knock off about 300-to-500 rpm of spin depending on a golfer’s swing characteristics and contact point. That can lead to quite a few more yards if the driver is properly fit.

Click here to read our review of Cobra’s Bio Cell and Bio Cell+ drivers, which scored an impressive 4.6 out of 5 rating.

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Above: A stock Bio Cell+ driver in orange. 

Although looks don’t play a factor in our Gear Trials testing process, several members of our panel of custom fitters expressed concern over the look of the Bio Cell+’s dual-colored crown. That’s why Cobra’s new Design Lab makes so much sense. It allows the minority of players who need the Bio Cell+’s low-spin performance — they ones who are usually the pickiest about the looks and shafts in their driver, by the way — to customize the head, shaft and grip of the driver to their preference.

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Choosing a blue Venollum insert resulted in Cobra adding blue paint fill to the sole of the driver. 

Pricing starts as low as $449, which allows golfers to choose two different head colors (white and black), as well as eight different Venollum insert colors. Those insert colors can be customized to have different patterns as well, such as “Matte,” “Bio Cell,” “Matte DigiCamo” and “Marble.”

Cobra also offers 39 different grips options and 58 different shaft options, some of which have an upcharge. There’s even a special requests section, where golfers can specify how much the want the shaft tipped and how golfers would like Cobra to align the driver’s shaft and grip logos (logo up, logo down, and if golfers want those alignments to correspond to a specific MyFly8 loft and lie angle setting).

Cobra sent me a custom Bio Cell+ to show off just how detailed the Design Lab is. I opted for a Bio Cell+ with a black crown and a blue marble Venollum insert. The shaft is a Mitsubishi Rayon Kai’li 70X ($150 upcharge) tipped 1 inch at 45.5 inches, which is 0.25 inches longer than Cobra’s stock loft. The shaft and Golf Pride Z-Cord grip ($5 upcharge) are alignmed to be logo down in the driver’s 9.5-degree setting.

To experience the Cobra Design Lab for yourself, click here.

Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about Cobra’s Design Lab in our forum.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. RAT

    May 19, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    This is a turn to the right direction , but we want a gut bust,n bad hombre of a driver that not only does it look the part it is the part distance and roll out.But 500 bucks ain’t going to cut it.This needs to be a Henry Ford priced monster.. Lead the rest don’t follow..

  2. Mat

    May 19, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    As for everyone offering it, I’d really like to see stickers for IRONS. Little cutouts that sit in there and change the whole look. There have been a few sticker companies for drivers, and they haven’t seemed to catch on. I think OEMs might have better luck because who wants to screw with a driver… but wedges get stamped and no one cares. I think those stamps look very cheap, and would love to see more finished, higher quality ways to individualize.

    • paul

      May 20, 2014 at 9:11 am

      I can’t tell if this is sarcastic… Stickers? Really?

  3. Mat

    May 19, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    No way to change total club head mass without tape… no thanks.

  4. Curt

    May 19, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    All the manufacturers need to offer this……..

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Whats in the Bag

Chesson Hadley WITB 2021 (June)

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Driver: Titleist TSi3 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX

3-wood: Titleist TS3 (16.5 degrees, B2 Setting)
Shaft: UST Elements Gold 8F5 X

bill-haas-witb-2020

Hybrid: Titleist TSi3 (20 degrees)

Irons: Titleist 620 MB (4-9)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT White Tour Issue X100 (4-9)

Wedges: Vokey SM8 (48-10F, 52-12F, 56-14F, 60-08M)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG 2-Ball

Grips: Golf Pride MCC

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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SST Pure: A deep dive into the technology

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Due to the manufacturing process, all golf shafts contain irregularities in straightness, stiffness, and roundness. And depending on how a shaft is aligned, the inconsistencies can adversely affect a shaft’s performance and consistency.

SST PURE was developed as a solution to this problem.

In simplest terms, the SST PURE (stands for it stands for Plane of Uniform REpeatability) process finds a shaft’s most stable orientation to minimizing twisting and off-line bending during the swing. This results in longer, straighter ball flight and more consistent performance in all PUREd shafts. Subjectively, PUREd shafts are often described as feeling “softer” than their non-PUREd counterparts.

For more background on SST PURE and PUREing on tour, we talked with SST founder Dick Weiss, independent rep Scott Garrison, who has the only SST Pure machine on a tour truck, and rep Arnie Cunningham.

Here’s what they had to say.

SST founder Dick Weiss

GolfWRX: Give us a 101-level overview of SST PUREing.

DW: What we do at SST is we analyze the irregularities in a shaft and based on various algorithms, various mathematic formulas, determine which is most asymmetric. Which is the one that’s causing the shaft to bend and twist out of line at impact and also in the first load – the transition between backswing and downswing, there’s a lot of movement in there also. What we do is identify that and mark it so it can be assembled into the club head.

It’s a technological development. It’s come about because we have computers today to do this. We don’t do it by eyeball. The computer doesn’t care who’s going to play it, what level of skill they have, what the material composition is of a shaft, who made it, what kind of ball you’re going to hit. That’s not what we do. What we are saying is we want to analyze a shaft to get it to perform to the best of its ability. You can take a shaft based upon irregularities in it – because shafts are not round or straight.

If you take any shaft and roll it on a table like a pool cue, you’ll see 90% of the time they’ll bounce along because they’re not round. There’s high points and low points, thicker and thinner areas. All we want to do is locate that and say, “Let’s make it work as an asset, let’s make it work as a support for a shaft so they don’t torque out or twist out at impact.”

GolfWRX: Can you give us a brief overview of exactly what goes on in the SST PUREing process?

DW: Sure. In the PUREing process, there’s approximately fifty-six steps you have to take assuming you do what we call a retro-PURE. There’s two ways to PURE. One is if you take a brand new head, a brand new shaft, PURE the shaft and assemble it into a head – that’s a brand new club. The second way would be what we call a retro-PURE. One is we take apart an existing club, keep the shaft, take the grip off, peel the tape off underneath the grip. We use our Weiss-Gibson Ultimate Extractor, we cut the ferrule off. We remove the shaft. We drill out the old epoxy in the head and acetone the head down. We then drill out any old epoxy that may be in the tip of the club. We turn down and clean the outside tip of the club if there’s any epoxy or residue from the epoxy itself where the ferrule may have been. We then go ahead and PURE the shaft. We come back and fit a ferrule, reassemble the club. We use a fast dry epoxy with shafting beads in it.

GolfWRX: Now what would you say to those who don’t believe in the SST PUREing process?

DW: In any technology, people question it which is good. People still don’t think the Earth is round. I think if they are honest with themselves – forget about Dick Weiss and SST as an entity. If they’re honest with themselves and they know anything about clubs whether they make them in their garage or professionally, they have to be able to tell that shafts can not perform the same just randomly or haphazardly assembled. Each shaft has its idiosyncrasies.

So I say for the ones that don’t believe in it, do a test yourself without any type of process. Take a club out, hit it, bring it back in, try to stay off the quadrants, 90 degrees left, 180, another 90, that’s not the way to do it. Move it 30 degrees to the left or right. Put it back in and go hit it. Flip the plane upside down, put it back in, and go hit it.

We’ve started doing a lot of internal testing is because everyone says, “Let us see some independent testing.” We said okay and did it. We took the tour van and five workers with us. We used clubs I hadn’t seen. They came from tour. We didn’t look for asymmetric products. We just took what was there, new shafts, new heads, some of the heads I’ve never seen before. It doesn’t make any difference. We’re happy to subject it to any tests.

Scott E Garrison

“Studies have shown the irregularities in shafts, and that causes offline shots. If you play pool at a bar, you’re going to take the straightest queue.”

GolfWRX: How do you showcase the benefits of SST PUREing when players visit your truck?

SEG: When I have a player in the truck, and I do a quick demonstration and put a shaft in the machine, within two minutes, they’re in…they’re hooked.

All the OEMs, they’re seeing their players want this done, so we’re PUREing up shafts and getting them back to [their trucks] so they can build PUREd clubs for their players.

GolfWRX: What performance examples can you give us where a player PUREd his shafts and saw tremendous improvement?

SEG: It was about seven years ago when I just finished re-gripping Ben Martin’s putter with a SuperStroke grip. As he was leaving, I asked him if he had ever had his clubs PUREd. He said, “No, but I had heard about it and was curious.” I showed him a set I was in the middle of PUREing and he was sold. It was Monday morning, the week of the RBC Heritage and it was pouring. He said to PURE his entire set. That’s what I did Monday afternoon. I ripped his gamers apart and PUREd the shafts and put them back together (a retro-PURE). He was leading the tournament, he shot a career-low round and finished third. He told me later how much better his mis-hits were.

Arnie Cunningham

GolfWRX: What’s the most obvious benefit of PUREing?

AC: It’s about dispersion patterns. Until a person can really dive deep into the numbers—and we’ve done it throughout the years at Golf Laboratories and its proved over and over that the dispersion pattern is better PUREd vs not.

GolfWRX: Are there any misconceptions about PUREing?

AC: Detractors might be looking for some miracle feel, but really, it’s about the dispersion and an improvement on the already good technology in shafts.

GolfWRX: Tell us about the USGA restrictions on PUREing.

AC: You’re stabilizing the golf shaft. You’re putting it in the best playing position possible. If you PURE a shaft, by USGA rules, you can not turn that shaft to allow for a draw or a cut. Just that rule tells me they know it works because they’ve tested and they’ve seen the difference in performance.

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (06/11/21): The Buck Club paint splash scorecard holder

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At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a The Buck Club paint splash scorecard holder ($125).

From the seller (@taylorhat): “The Buck Club paint splash scorecard holder from the valspar. This is a really neat piece, though I just don’t use it to justify keeping it.  $125”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: The Buck Club paint splash scorecard holder.

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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