For the second year in a row, Golf Monthly has teamed up with COBRA Golf for ‘Smarter Ways to Lower Scores’, an exciting project in which two readers have enjoyed full COBRA Golf club fittings to help take their games to the next level.

Peter Howe, a 24-handicapper from County Durham, was fitted for a full driver-to-wedge COBRA Golf set at Silvermere in March and put his new clubs in play straightaway in the quest to make serious inroads into his handicap in 2018.

This year the ‘COBRA Connect powered by Arccos’ shot-tracking system is fitted into every club, allowing our two readers to pinpoint exactly which areas of their games need the most attention. In mid-May we met up again at Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire, along with Alex Higgs from Arccos, to play in the Pro-Am at the Europro Tour’s season opener, find out how Peter had been getting on and discover what the COBRA Connect data had revealed so far.

Peter Howe in action during the EuroPro Pro-Am at Frilford Heath in May

Peter Howe
Handicap: 24  Home Club: Hartlepool

On COBRA Connect powered by Arccos…
Alex Higgs: Most elements of Peter’s game are coming out at about a 22 handicap but his driving is the main weakness at 28.7. He’s losing a lot of distance and missing about 50% of his drives right.

Peter’s COBRA Connect data has shown that he is missing more than 50% of his drives to the right

That’s his biggest issue, and he has confirmed to me that it’s a slice rather than a push. If he can improve his driving that should make the approach play a bit easier too so we should see that improve as well. His putting and chipping were fairly consistent so the key to major improvement lies with his driving.

On his COBRA clubs…
The guys I play with have been telling me I’m now a bit more consistent, so I’m happy with how it’s going. The COBRA King F8 3-wood is by far my favourite club – it has saved me on quite a few holes – but I’m slicing my driver a lot.

Cobra King F8 fairway

Peter Howe’s King F8 fairway wood is performing particularly well for him

It’s twice the size of my old one and I’m struggling to get used to it, but it’s gradually getting better, so I know it’s do-able. Now Alex has explained about Arccos I’ll be delving into the data more and getting my coach to look at it to see what I most need to work on. It certainly highlights a few things you wouldn’t necessarily pick up yourself!

Peter is hoping that he will quickly adapt to the 20-year leap in technology from his old driver to his new COBRA King F8 model

On the Pro-Am…
This was my Pro-Am debut and nerves got the better of me for the first few holes, but after that I relaxed a bit and started playing some decent stuff. I managed a birdie on our final hole so was pleased with that, and I parred a couple of the par 3s after hitting decent shots in with my COBRA King F8 One-Length irons.


Peter has adapted well to his new COBRA King F8 One-Length irons

The drives were going pretty well later on, which was pleasing as I had been struggling a little with my COBRA King F8, and I was hitting my shorter irons well too on the back nine.

Mid-July update
I feel that steady progress is being made. With the Arccos COBRA Connect feedback from Alex when we met at Frilford, I went away and worked on my driving. I seem to have fixed the slice, which has led to easier approach shots, so I’m really happy with that. I’m also hitting my longer irons much better, which I was struggling with a few months ago.

I’ve only played in one competition, and didn’t have a particularly good round, so my official handicap is as it was. However, I’m planning on getting a few more competition cards in over the next couple of weeks to try get my official handicap down.

My Arrcos handicap is down to 18.6 and I recently had a round of 88 – breaking the 90 barrier for the first time – which was one of my main goals this year. I also felt as I’d left a lot of shots out on the course too, with a few poor iron shots and one ‘three off the tee’, so I’m confident going forward.