Cobra Golf unveiled its 2020 King Speedzone driver on Tuesday. Below is a detailed rundown on the technology behind what is sure to be one of the most talked-about designs in the equipment industry.
Cobra’s Speedzone driver takes performance to the next level with an expanded CNC Milled face and new titanium “T-Bar Speed chassis” for fast, forgiving performance.
Cobra’s Speedback F9 driver was inspired by supercars in everything from the color to aerodynamics, and the brand have continued that theme with Speedzone to deliver their fastest and most powerful driver yet.
Like a race car, every component from the internal chassis design to the exterior shaping was engineered to maximize power output, which Cobra has achieved through establishing six key performance zones.
For the Cobra King Speedzone driver, that has translated in to a traditional shape profile with front to back CG adjustability, aimed at allowing better players to work the ball with ease and fine tune launch and low spin without sacrificing forgiveness.
“By approaching design the same way you would if you were trying to create the world’s fastest cars, we left nothing on the table in terms of speed considerations,” says Tom Olsavsky, VP of R&D for COBRA Golf. “With our six
zones of performance, Speedzone is the fastest driver that we have ever produced.”
These are the six key performance parameters of Cobra’s new King Speedzone driver.
The Six Key Performance Parameters of Cobra’s King Speedzone Driver
1. Power Zone
The only CNC milled driver face has been expanded by 95% so Cobra can better control face and leading-edge thickness. Face and perimeter curvature can be up to five times more precise than traditional face polishing.
Two years ago, Cobra shook up the equipment space by CNC milling the entire face insert. Removing the human element from a part of the process that remains inexact, to some extent, added precision and efficiency to Cobra’s driver design.
If a CNC milled insert is good, Cobra believes a version that expands beyond the face is even better. The latest version offers 95 percent more face milling and now wraps into the toe and heel section of the head. The benefit of removing unwanted titanium is twofold — increasing discretionary weight and enlarging the sweet spot for faster ball speeds.
According to Jose Miraflor, Cobra’s VP of marketing “If we were sitting on a trampoline that had a radius of just two feet, you’d only have a small area where you could get maximum bounce,” “By essentially making the trampoline larger, we’re taking control of those springs, so to speak, on the outside of the material and managing them to a whole new level.”
2. Strength Zone
A new titanium “T-Bar Speed chassis” removed unnecessary titanium to create more discretionary weight while maintaining a strong structure designed to withstand high speed collisions. The discretionary weight is utilized to create low CG and high inertia resulting in fast, forgiving performance.
A pair of internal CT pads — top section near the crown and bottom next to the face-sole — aren’t visible, but they serve an important role, reducing the amount of head twisting on off-center hits. In other words, the design minimizes the loss of ball speed of misses, something every recreational golfer can appreciate.
Again according to Miraflor, “If you can control the thickness of the pads, you can control the thickness of flexing in that area. Controlling the flection of those areas improves speed. We’re able to manage those areas in a strong area to give you more hot spots on the entire face”.
3. Light Zone
A 360 carbon wrap crown design makes up 50% of the driver’s body, providing ample stiffness and support to the chassis while saving 25g that has been repositioned low and back and around the perimeter where it is needed most.
If you were to remove the carbon fiber sections (more on that in a minute) from the heel and toe of the head, you’d find a T-Bar Speed Chassis with a titanium strip running down the center of the crown that connects the front and back. Cobra’s VP of R&D, Tom Olsavsky, confirmed the structure, while uncommon, remains up to the task of withstanding high-speed collisions from the likes of Rickie Fowler, Bryson DeChambeau and Lexi Thompson.
The removal of sturdy titanium netted a discretionary weight savings of 25 grams that was redistributed low in the head to improve forgiveness and launch characteristics. Fifty percent of the head is now made from lightweight carbon fiber, thanks to two large caps that cover a large portion of the crown and sole in the heel and toe.
4. Low CG zone
Cobra says a low center of gravity is essential for driver performance, delivering the ideal blend of ball speed, higher launch and low spin. Compared to the Speedback, 29g more mass (69g v 40g) has been moved low in the driver for optimal launch conditions.
You’ll notice the polymer trips once featured on the King F8 and F9 drivers are noticeably absent from the Speedzone design. The CNC milling on the leading edge of the crown is supposed to serve a similar purpose, reducing drag during the swing. Some golfers might also view the milling lines as an alignment aid at address.
Working in conjunction with the milled section on the crown is an aerodynamic head shape with a low center of gravity that enhances drag reduction and boosts overall clubhead speed.
Most of the weight savings from the head was relocated to a 69-gram internal weight positioned at the back of the sole. The design pushes the center of gravity down and away from the strike area while boosting the overall stability of the head.
Along with increasing the weight found in the back section of the head, a pair of movable sole weights can be found in the standard Speedzone head. A 14-gram (red) and 2-gram (black) weight alter launch and spin properties depending on where they are positioned. When the heavier 14-gram weight is in the forward position, launch and spin are reduced. Both rise (along with forgiveness) when the weight is moved to the back location.
5. Aero Zone
A new shape optimizes the airflow over the head to cut drag and increase clubhead speed
6. Stability Zone
High-speed stability is crucial whether you’re building a racing car or a driver. So the saved weight had been positioned away from the center of the head to maximize stability on off-center hits.
Two Club Head Options
The 460cc Speedzone caters to the player who prefers a pear-shaped profile and wider range of adjustable options. The 458cc Speedzone Xtreme version is slightly longer front to back and only features one weight positioned in the back of the head — giving it a higher moment of inertia for the golfer who’s looking for ball speed and reduced workability.
Both drivers come with Cobra’s MyFly adjustable hosel that allows players to increase or decrease the stated loft on the head by as much as 1.5 degrees. An Arccos-powered sensor, called Cobra Connect, can be found in the butt-end of the grip and connects to a smartphone app to track performance (distance, location).
Not all golfers enjoy staring down at a high-gloss crown. With that in mind, a matte-black version should appeal to those who are looking for something to reduce glare.
Inspired by Rickie Fowler, both the 9- and 10.5-degree heads will also be available in two lengths (44.5 and 45.5 inches). The 44.5-inch “Tour Length” offering was inspired by Rickie Fowler’s 43.50-inch driver and should deliver a tighter dispersion without sacrificing too much in the distance department.
Cobra Connect as standard
The full Speedzone range will feature Cobra Connect, the smart tags in the grip powered by Arccos that help players of all skill levels make smarter, data-driven decisions based on their round-by-round stats. Golfers who use Across Caddie typically improve their handicap by, on average, 3.6 shots on in the first year.
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