Although it may not be the most popular brand on the market, Cobra Golf has always been on the leading edge of technology; especially when it comes to drivers. When Cobra first appeared on the market, the King Cobra driver was in the hands of the best player in the world, Greg Norman.
Back in its heyday, the original King Cobra driver had a large head and a fast, forgiving face, given the day’s technology. It only stands to reason that if Cobra were to relaunch the brand, they would have to go to some extraordinary – if not extraterrestrial – measures. The new King LTD driver does just that. It is the longest and straightest driver they have ever made.
Flash back to June 2012, when COBRA PUMA GOLF signed an agreement with CASIS (The Center for the Advance of Science in Space) to carry out materials research projects on the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory for use in its sporting goods products line. In essence, Cobra was trying to figure out if there was some sort of correlation between material properties and zero gravity environments and, if so, how could they apply it to their earthly golf products.
I’m not sure where they learned it, but one thing I do know is that they have figured out: less is more. By that I mean weight; less weight seems to translate to more distance in golfspeak. In fact, Cobra has cut the weight of its new King LTD driver by over 20 grams. Much of this is done through the introduction of the SpacePort; a 16g circular weight in the sole made from aerospace aluminum. Unscrew the SpacePort using the included SpacePort Key and you can see inside the head of the club and get a better understanding of what makes it tick. Or, you can just tee the ball up and watch it sail an unbelievably long way down the middle of the fairway. I did both but admittedly, I prefer B.
The SpacePort also eliminates the need for hot melt – the glue club companies inject into driver heads to catch any small bits of debris that may come loose over time and rattle around, saving another 4 grams. With the SpacePort, if something does come loose, just unscrew it and shake it out.
The thread system used for the SpacePort is referred to as Spiralock and is specifically designed for high load and high vibration applications. This prevents the SpacePort from loosening or over-tightening during impact. Spiralock also eliminates the need for additional support structures (i.e. an internal port cover) which saves Cobra another 6 grams and creates a clean, aerodynamic exterior.
Another way Cobra has reduced weight is through the introduction of a new carbon fiber that is 20% lighter than normal carbon fiber – TeXtreme. TeXtreme is used to reduce the weight of the crown from the center of the face to the back of the clubhead. This helps to place the CG in an optimal position. The E9 face has also been lightened through the use of forged 8-1-1 titanium. The face is thinner towards the edges to increase the ball speed and thicker in the middle to keep a faster center – all within the legal limits.
All of these weight reductions have allowed Cobra’s engineers to position the CG in an ultra-low and deep part of the clubhead for improved launch and spin conditions. This makes Cobra both a low launch/low spin driver like the Alpha DBD, SLDR, JPX-850, and also very forgiving like the PING G30 series, FLY-Z, and Titleist 915. In other words, the best of both worlds.
Other features that enhance the Cobra King Ltd driver include a refined hosel design. Cobra’s adjustable hosel was already the lightest in the industry, but some subtle changes have allowed them to save another 1 gram of weight (every little bit helps). And good news or all BiO Cell and Fly-Z owners – the tip adapters carry over.
The Cobra King LTD driver is available in both left and right hand orientations and the loft is adjustable from 9° to 12° through five positions and three draw settings. A lower spin version, the King LTD Pro has a slightly smaller head and covers the same range of lofts however it starts at 7° and goes up to 10°. The SmartPad on both clubs enables the face to pivot as you change the loft to help keep the face square at impact.
Adding to the overall weightlessness is the 60g Aldila Rogue Black 95 MSI shaft. The softer tip section of this shaft also helps to raise the launch angle a bit and produces a medium to high ball flight at each loft. As remarkable as this club performed on shots hit in the middle of the clubface, it is more impressive on off-center hits (aka near misses). A Lamkin UTX 360 black grip is also standard issue.
My initial response when I first hit this driver was “Wow, that’s long! After playing it for the past 6 weeks, my overall impression hasn’t changed. It’s long, straight and looks good to boot. I can see it staying in my bag for quite a while.
Open up your new driver and take a look inside at all of the technology that is helping you hit your drives further and straighter. Then, try hitting a few shots with the SpacePort off. You can hear the wind whistle on your backswing, followed by a hefty thud as you make contact. Put the SpacePort back where it belongs and it becomes as solid and as sweet sounding as you remember it. I hope you’ll be as impressed as I was.
For more information on the new King LTD driver or any of the other King LTD products including fairway woods, hybrids and irons, visit their website at www.cobragolf.com.