COBRA Golf Get fast Go Low in 2019 – The Fitting
When your golf game is failing to progress at the desired rate, or worse still, going backwards, there are several ways to turn. You could see if an equipment upgrade or custom-fitting might yield something better suited to your game; you could take lessons to iron out the key flaws in your technique; or you could look at your fitness to see if stamina, strength and/or flexibility might be costing your shots.
Or… you could go the whole hog and address all three at once. After a prolonged spell of disappointing golf and a handicap curve drifting the wrong way, that’s exactly what Golf Monthly editor, Mike Harris, has decided to do in 2019 via our ‘Get Fast, Go Low’ project with popular equipment brand, COBRA Golf.
COBRA Golf’s new range has been making the headlines, with the eye-catching King F9 SPEEDBACK driver the brand’s first to successfully combine an aerodynamic shape with a low centre of gravity to optimise club speed and ball speed for maximum distance across all ability levels thanks to high levels of adjustability.
The King F9 SPEEDBACK fairways and hybrids mirror that speed-enhancing performance while adding in COBRA’s trademark Baffler sole rails that push centre of gravity lower and deeper and improve turf interaction for added playability.
A comprehensive range of irons and wedges, available in standard variable length or COBRA Golf’s revolutionary One-Length concept pioneered by World No. 6 Bryson DeChambeau, complete 2019’s impressive range, with One-Length allowing players to use the same swing however long or short the iron in their hands. The COBRA Connect shot-tracking system then lets golfers monitor and analyse performance throughout the bag.
A full driver-to-wedge fitting at Silvermere Golf Complex in Surrey with James White, COBRA Golf’s expert fitting and training representative, kicked off Mike’s ‘Get Fast, Go Low’ campaign. James’ mission was to help Mike find the perfect line-up to arrest that worrying handicap decline, which has seen him rise from 6.2 to 8.8 in five years, even hitting double-digits briefly in 2018.
For technique and fitness advice, Mike will be turning to COBRA PUMA Golf’s popular coach, Alex Elliott, who has nearly 30,000 YouTube subscribers and almost 50,000 Instagram followers. Alex’s remit will be to address the main swing flaws holding Mike back, before turning his attention to fitness.
First, though, it was all about the clubs. Here’s how Mike’s driver-to-wedge COBRA Golf fitting panned out at Silvermere in March…
Home Club: Hartley Wintney
“Like every golfer, I want to play better and cut my handicap. Distance is something I struggle with – I don’t get the ball out there that far off the tee, and that then puts pressure on my iron play, my short game and my putting. I’m looking forward to seeing how COBRA Golf can change up what I’ve got in my bag to give me better performance, and hopefully extra distance.”
Driver: COBRA King F9 Yellow, 9˚ (set to +1), 45.5in, Project X HZRDUS Smoke 6.0 60 shaft
Fairway wood: COBRA King F9 Yellow 3-4 (set to -1), 43in, Project X HZRDUS Red 6.0 75 shaft
Utility irons: COBRA King Black Utility 2-3 and 3-4 set to 18˚ and 21.5, Recoil F4 Smacwrap stiff flex graphite shafts
Irons 5-PW: COBRA King Forged Tec Black One-Length, 1˚ flat, -¼in, Recoil F4 Smacwrap stiff flex graphite shafts
Wedges: COBRA King Black Versatile Grind 50˚, 54˚ & 58˚, 1˚ flat, variable length KBS C-Taper Lite stiff flex 110 Shafts
All clubs: Lamkin Rel Black Connect Grip
James White’s fitting analysis
Driver: Mike’s current driver fitted him pretty well, but the King F9 SPEEDBACK pushed ball speed up by 5mph, which equated to 12 yards more carry and 19 more yards in total. Putting the heavier 14g weight at the front gave Mike a little less backspin, a more penetrating flight and about 250 yards total distance.
Fairway wood: Again, Mike hit his current 3-wood pretty well, but the trajectory was a little flat. Mike preferred the feel of a slightly heavier shaft, and switching to a slightly shorter shaft improved his strike too. It gapped perfectly with his driver, rolling out to 230 yards.
Utility irons: This was a good test for us as Mike loves his current utility irons. Our King Utility irons feature interchangeable shafts and adjustable heads so we were able to really fine tune performance. Mike ended up with Recoil F4 graphite shafts, which gave him the ball flight he was looking for and a little more ball speed.
Irons: Our King Tech Black was similar to Mike’s existing forged iron with a slightly bigger cavity, and Mike was open to trying the same graphite shaft as in his new utility irons. It worked really well, and the overall package delivered the same peak height, a little more forgiveness and nine more yards. Mike was also open to trying One-Length, and the greater consistency he achieved, together with ideal gapping, persuaded him to take the plunge
Wedges: Mike found One-Length wedges went a little high for his liking and was more comfortable reverting to variable length. We tested all three of our current grinds in the King Black – Versatile, Classic and Widelow – and Versatile worked best. We went for 50˚, 54˚ and 58˚, which gave him perfect gapping from his set pitching wedge.
I really enjoyed this fitting session and will be excited to see how my 2019 season unfolds. The driver gains in terms of ball speed and distance were very encouraging, and it’s a great-looking club too. I was also delighted to find utility irons that performed well as those are my real ‘go to’ clubs.
Then, of course, I have two major departures on the iron front – One-Length and graphite shafts. I really would have been up for anything this year, but the consistency, feel and performance I got from that combination was a revelation. I will certainly be studying the COBRA Connect data carefully to see how things are progressing!
Be sure to check back in a couple of months to find out not only how I’ve been scoring with my new clubs, but also how my lessons and fitness sessions with Alex Elliott are shaping up.