PGA Tour star Rickie Fowler is playing the new Cobra King SpeedZone Xtreme driver this year. Like Fowler, the driver is bright and colorful. Certainly those aesthetics help when appealing particularly to average players, but Fowler, a winner of five Tour events and one of the game’s more popular players, looks for more than, well, just looks, when testing new driver.
“I look for a number of things,’’ Fowler told me. “I test for sound and feel, hitting my launch window, the ability to hit low-flight, low-spin cuts. Can I hit it high with a draw? And does my swing give me the results that I want?’’
Fowler’s reputation is that of a “sound’’ player. How does he match sound with feel and performance in testing clubs?
“Sound and feel go hand-in-hand,’’ Fowler said. “If it doesn’t sound great, it probably won’t feel right. To match the two, we typically put a little hot melt glue in the crown and sole for sound and to dial in swing weight.’’
The new King SpeedZone and SpeedZone Xtreme are now available at retail. The drivers are sure to be among the more popular new pieces of equipment at the annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Jan. 22-24 at the Orange County Convention Center.
Each of the driver models features a CNC-milled face. The face and perimeter curvature of each club, according to Tom Olsavsky, Cobra’s vice president of research and development, can be up to five times more precise than traditional face polishing.
The SpeedZone drivers also feature a new Titanium T-Bar Speed Chassis. Olsavsky said Cobra engineers removed unnecessary titanium to create more discretionary weight while maintaining a strong structure designed to withstand high speed collisions. The discretionary weight, he said, is utilized to create low CG and high inertia resulting in fast, forgiving performance.