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Equipment

2021 Cobra RadSpeed drivers: Getting Rad-ical

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Before we get to 2021 Cobra RadSpeed drivers, let’s take a trip to the recent past.

It was one of the first club launches I had attended in late 2018 when Cobra Golf introduced its new King F9 Speedback drivers to the market. I was very familiar with Cobra products at the time and was already a fan, but that particular day at the Floridian was different.

To a person, every media member in attendance hit the driver, looked around, and was like, “Is this real?” The answer was “YES.” The F9 stunned the golf world. It was fast, forgiving, sounded like a sledgehammer, and it looked awesome.

Fast forward to last year with SpeedZone and its Infinity Face—Not only did Cobra maintain what it did with F9, it took it a step further with a tuned-up milled face that was stable across the board making fades and draws more achievable. If there was one knock on the Speedback it was that it tended to be almost too straight. That’s right—it went too straight. Even more, SpeedZone was the tool used by Bryson Dechambeau to redefine distance in a way we haven’t seen since John Daly came on the scene.

“The F9 DNA is definitely here, the Speedback concept was all about combining weighting and aerodynamics. So even though we talk about MOI a lot (mostly because the trade loves it), we also provided low spin, front CG performance in the F9, specifically with the 9 deg head, which was much more forward CG vs the 10.5.”

“Some of the detail conversation about F9 Speedback shaping was great aerodynamics with low weight, (but not exclusively back weighting) since most aero driver shapes before that always had high CGs. So in thinking about the bigger design philosophy great aerodynamics with weight savings/redispositioning, the lineage is clear.” -Tom Olsavsky Cobra VP of R&D

So now we come to today—two years later—and the introduction of Cobra’s newest modification to a driver that firmly secures the company a seat at the grand table.

2021-cobra-rad-speed-drivers-sole copy

2021 Cobra Golf RadSpeed, RadSpeed XB (Xtreme Back), and RadSpeed XD (Xtreme Draw) Drivers

The tech story

Radial Weighting 

It starts with an engineering concept called Radius of Gyration, which in simple terms is the distance from the center of gravity to whichever point of mass is used in the structure. In regards to the RadSpeed drivers, Cobra has taken this idea and discovered that an increase in Radius of Gyration and precise weight placement not only increases stability but also allows engineers to fine-tune spin to each head and increase speed.

In the RadSpeed driver, the Radial Weighting is positioned as far forward and as far back from the CG to give high-speed players that low-spin, low-launch combo they all love.

“The challenge of distance performance in a driver is constant. So to make a driver go farther for many players that would mean even more forward, while still maintaining playability. That’s where the RAD weighting and balance concept comes into play. We could have actually moved in more forward than we did.”

– Tom Olsavsky, Cobra VP of R&D

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

2021-cobra-rad-speed-drivers-sole copy

Cobra RadSpeed XB (L), Cobra RadSpeed X (R)

Do most OEMs achieve this? Yes. But I must say, on its face, this feels like a way to leave very little to the imagination in regards to maximizing CG.

In addition, Cobra has implemented a T-Bar Chassis and new thinner Carbon Fiber Wrap Crown that allow engineers to redistribute 13 grams of weight forward and deep to increase ball speed and mitigate spin. As with SpeedZone, the new 2021 Cobra RadSpeed drivers come equipped with Infinity Face that ensures each face is finished with the highest tolerance in the industry. 

Cobra RadSpeed driver: The models

RadSpeed: At 460cc’s, the new 2021 Cobra RadSpeed driver incorporates 28 grams of front weighting (16g fixed, 12g adjustable), and an additional 10 grams in the back (8g fixed, 2g adjustable). This balance, in combination with Radial Weighting technology, gives the player a fast, stable head to ensure distance and accuracy. One of the biggest issues OEMs have faced over the years is achieving the combination of speed and stability. In Cobras’s case, engineers cracked the code initially with F9, but now they have pushed that idea as far as it will go.

Who is it for? 

High speed, lower handicaps. Professional or players needing to knock spin way down.

RadSpeed XB: Taking the same equation, Cobra made some math tweaks and pushed the majority of the weight way back and deep for the XB (hence Xtreme Back) to create a profile that is still fast but now extremely forgiving across the board.

With 28 grams of discretionary weight, the XB features 20 grams positioned in the back (14 grams of fixed weight; six interchangeable weight) and eight grams of fixed weight. This recipe is popular in high MOI drivers, but with Radial Weighting technology, it’s fine-tuned to push this idea to its limit.

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

2021-cobra-rad-speed-xb

Who is it for? 

All players looking for speed and forgiveness. You will find this model in the bags of tour players all the way to your 20-plus handicapper. The only real sacrifice you make with XB is the ability (for some) to knock spin and launch way down (sub 1,900 RPM, for example).

RadSpeed XD: Pretty simple here, take Radial Weighting technology and move the weight around to encourage more face rotation/closure. There are 10 grams of fixed weight positioned in the heel to enable easier face closure for straighter, draw-biased drives. Another 14 grams are positioned in the back for extreme forgiveness, while eight grams are positioned in the front to increase speed. 

Who is it for? 

The slicers and/or players looking to hit that high hard draw. Or, oddly enough, a good number of better players are going to this profile to hit hard fades. The idea is it forces the player to cover the ball with their chest and swing hard left. If you follow the WITB of some of the tour players—names like Couples, and Morikawa, and Wolff have adopted face angles that look more to the lead shoulder.

Looks

RadSpeed: Has all the optics that a player would want to see. It sits square at address (open but not too open). Overall very similar shape to SpeedZone with the infinity face top-line framing the ball perfectly set ahead of a rounded back edge for that classic look.

RadSpeed XB/XD: From top line to the middle its very similar to RadSpeed proper but back weighting pushes the back portion into a more triangular sole shape to allow Cobra to raise MOI as much as possible.

Sound/Feel

This is where Cobra has shined for a long time. The heavy hit feel and acoustics have set Cobra drivers apart. If you like a really heavy hit, this is your stick. When you catch one, you know.

Cobra RadSpeed XB (Crown)

Cobra RadSpeed XB (Crown)

Cobra RadSpeed (Crown)

Cobra RadSpeed (Crown)

Tour testing: Ben Schomin, Director of Tour Operations)

GolfWRX: With early staff testing, what specifically were you looking to improve on from previous models?

Ben Schomin: One of the design intentions is to always do what we can to maximize ball speed on off-center hits and the RadSpeed nails it. The new face milling pattern provides a consistent feel and also a consistent spin pattern in any playing conditions.

GolfWRX: With BAD doing what he’s doing, how much did his input bleed into RadSpeed?

BS: There are always design cues taken from player feedback and RadSpeed is no exception. Color is one design aspect that we’ve worked hard on including player feedback into. During the COVID-19 break, we would send cosmetic heads to players like Rickie and then jump on a FaceTime call to get his feedback.

GolfWRX: Initial feedback from the crew? Fowler, Dufner, DeChambeau? 

BS: Initial testing has gone really well. It helps to have a few different models to choose from. Players think they’ll automatically fit into a certain category, but that isn’t always the case, so I like to exhaust all options when trying to find the best fit for a player.

GolfWRX: When did the tour testing for RadSpeed begin? How different is the first prototype to what we see now?

BS: We began testing with non-cosmetic heads back in late May. We haven’t changed the original shape, but we did make some tweaks to loft, face angle, and cosmetics, which honestly is pretty common when dialing in a new product. I want to make sure it’s right before we produce it for our staff and consumers alike.

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

Adjustability, per Cobra Golf

RadSpeed driver specs

Model MyFly Loft Range
10.5o Driver 9.0 o , 9.5 o, 9.5 o D , 10.5 o, 10.5 o D, 11.5 o, 11.5 o D,12.0 o
9o Driver 7.5 o , 8.0 o, 8.0 o D, 9.0 o, 9.0 o D, 10 o, 10 o D, 10.5 o
  • Both the 9° and 10.5° driver are available in a Tour Length offering, featuring a shorter shaft length (44.50”) than the standard 45.5”. The RadSpeed comes in RH/LH with a choice of 3 premium aftermarket shafts including: Fujikura Motore X F3 (stiff & reg); the Project X HZRDUS RDX Blue in x-stiff (RH only) and stiff; and the Fujikura Motore X F1 in x-stiff (RH) and stiff (RH/LH). The driver features a Lamkin Crossline (58+) Cobra Connect black grip and is available in Matte Black/Turbo Yellow and a Matte Peacoat Blue/Arsenal Red colorways. 

RadSpeed XB driver specs

Model MyFly Loft Settings
12.0o    10.5 o, 11 o, 11 o D, 12 o, 12o D, 13 o, 13 o D, 13.5 o
10.5o Driver 9 o , 9.5 o , 9.5 o D, 10.5 o , 10.5 o D, 11.5 o , 11.5 o D, 12 o
9° Driver  7.5 o , 8 o, 8 oD, 9 o, 9 o D, 10 o, 10 o D, 10.5 o
  • Both the 9° and 10.5° driver are available in a Tour Length offering, featuring a shorter shaft length (44.50”) than the standard 46”. The XB Driver comes in RH/LH with a choice of 3 premium aftermarket shafts: Project X Even Flow Riptide (Reg & Lite flex) available in the 10.5° and 12° lofts; Fujikura Motore X F3 (Stiff & Reg) and the Project X HZRDUS RDX Blue (X & Stiff) available in the 9° and 10.5° lofts. The driver features a Lamkin Crossline (58+) Connect black grip and is available in Gloss Black/Turbo Yellow and Matte Peacoat Blue/Arsenal Red colorway. 

RadSpeed XD driver specs

Model MyFly Loft Settings
12.0o    10.5 o, 11 o, 11 o D, 12 o, 12o D, 13 o, 13 o D, 13.5 o
10.5o Driver 9 o , 9.5 o , 9.5 o D, 10.5 o , 10.5 o D, 11.5 o , 11.5 o D, 12 o

Available at retail and online: January 29th, 2021

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

 

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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

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Arnold Palmer

    Dec 9, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    They look like s h I t!

  2. lk

    Dec 9, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Bummer they arent making a stock 8* head. Im sure im not the only one who plays a 6.5* driver.

    • Go Cougs

      Dec 11, 2020 at 10:24 pm

      I play a 5 degree, but still balloon it. Currently testing a 4 degree. Will report back the results.

      • The incredible golf ball whacker guy

        Dec 11, 2020 at 11:52 pm

        C’mon, ballooning a 5 or 6 (or 6.5) driver, it ain’t the clubs fault. Lessons on the Christmas list?

        • Go Cougs

          Dec 12, 2020 at 2:49 pm

          Update: I tested the 4 degree extensively, and balloon that as well. Currently testing a 2.5 degree. Will report back the results.

          My club fitter and I are willing to go negative loft if that’s what it takes. I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that.

  3. JP

    Dec 9, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    Radical Rick and MX Mug!

  4. Golfer

    Dec 8, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    That neon crap is hideous

  5. Dan Fielding

    Dec 8, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    Cleveland Steamer and a half!

  6. Not Gianni

    Dec 8, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Visually they look like cheap plasticy garbage

  7. Joe

    Dec 8, 2020 at 11:41 am

    People still use the word “Rad”? Is the marketing team from 1980?

    • Go Cougs

      Dec 9, 2020 at 3:36 pm

      Neon graphics, “Rad” marketing…these drivers take me back to my youth.

      The 1980’s ruled!!!

  8. Paul Runyan

    Dec 8, 2020 at 11:31 am

    Now that’s impressive especially with the Fujikura shaft!!

  9. stephen

    Dec 8, 2020 at 11:17 am

    Beautiful

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Whats in the Bag

Jordan Spieth’s winning WITB 2021 Valero Texas Open

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Jordan Spieth what’s in the bag accurate as of the Valero Texas Open.

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (10 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 X

3-wood: Titleist TS2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 X

Hybrid: Titleist 818 H2 (21 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 95 X Hybrid

Irons: Titleist T100 (4-9)
Shafts: True Temper Project X 6.5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-10S), Vokey Proto (60-T)
Shafts: True Temper Project X 6.0 (6.5 in 46)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Aaron Dill (@vokeywedgerep)


Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T 009
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Flatso 1.0

Grips: SuperStroke S-Tech

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

 

 

 

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Equipment

Equipment rewind: A deep dive into the Cleveland HiBore driver legacy

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I have always been fascinated by product development, specifically the development of unconventional products. Now in the world of golf clubs, one of the most unconventional designs ever introduced was the Cleveland HiBore driver, which during its lifespan, experienced tremendous success through a number of generations, including the HiBore XL, XLS, and finally, the Monster XLS, which, as you may remember, hid the acronym “MOI” on the sole, alluding to its massive level of forgiveness.

As a golfer, I played the original HiBore, along with the XL Tour for a period of time and was always curious about the story behind the “scooped out crown.” In a search for answers, I reached out to Cleveland-Srixon to get the lowdown on the HiBore and discuss where it sits in the pantheon of drivers.

Ryan Barath: Considering how engineers are continuing to do everything they can to increase MOI and push the center of gravity low and deep in driver heads, it feels like the original HiBore and the subsequent models were well ahead of their time from a design perspective. 

It makes logical sense the best way to save weight from the crown is to make the crown “disappear” compared to traditionally shaped drivers, am I correct in assuming that?

Cleveland design team: You nailed it.

At the time of the HiBore, there were really only two solutions to create a low and deep center of gravity:

    1. Make the crown lighter – by either replacing the crown with a lighter-weight material such as a graphite composite or magnesium or by thinning out the material on the crown. Thinner crowns were possible thanks to advances in casting technology and using etching techniques to remove material.
    2. Make the driver shallower – this change in geometry created a very forgiving low profile design, but the downside to this was that you ended up with a very small face that looked intimidating compared to the larger-faced drivers on the market.

The HiBore took a new approach and inverted the crown geometry so that all the crown weight was moved lower. By inverting the crown the HiBore design allowed for a very long and flat sole, therefore there was space in the head that was really low and deep to put the weight.

The HiBore was really the first driver to eliminate, or nearly eliminate the tapered skirt. Almost every modern driver in the market is inspired by the HiBore in that respect. It was a two-part solution where we lowered the weight of the crown and simultaneously created a low/deep location to put any extra mass.

The lower and deeper CG of the HiBore improved launch conditions significantly, but also made the driver much more consistent across the entire face. The deep CG increased MOI resulting in tighter dispersion since the sweet spot was in the center of the face. Misses both low and high performed exceptionally as opposed to having a small hot spot high on the face.

RB: In every conversation I have ever had with engineers, there is always this give-and-take mentality from a design perspective to get to the final iteration. Was there anything that was given up or sacrificed for overall performance with this design?

Cleveland design team: The hardest part about the HiBore design was the sound. Prior to the HiBore, internal ribbing in a hollow golf club head was nearly unheard of. To make the HiBore sound acceptable, we had to design a ribbing structure to control the sound and design an entirely new manufacturing process to produce those internal ribs. To this day, most drivers include some form of internal ribbing to control sound or improve ball speed and that ribbing technology can be traced back to the HiBore.

In terms of tradeoffs, the major one was the low spin nature of the driver made it more difficult for low spin players to use. If a golfer is already low spin, this club would be too low and drives would just fall out of the air. Low spin golfers tend to be low spin because they hit the ball high on the face. Since we lowered the sweet spot, a high face impact was further from the sweet spot so ball speed fell as compared to a higher CG driver. Fortunately for us, in that era most golfers were fighting too much spin or way too much spin, this wasn’t a real issue.

RB: Do you have any final words on the HiBore drivers and the legacy they have left behind?

Cleveland design team: We are very proud of the HiBore driver family and the success it had at the time, but we are also proud of its legacy.

In the same way that you can trace nearly every modern band back to the Beatles or Led Zeppelin, you can trace nearly every modern driver back to HiBore either through the internal structure that is prolific across modern drivers, or the long, flat sole that is a must-have in a high-performance driver.

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (04/03/21): Tiger Woods spec’d irons

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At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals who 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, including equipment or, in this case, a sweet set of irons!

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for Tiger Woods spec’d TaylorMade P7TW irons, or as they are also known: the GOAT irons.

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: TaylorMade P7TW **TIGER SPECS* 3-PW

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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