Last season, Rickie Fowler used a Cobra AeroJet LS driver and nearly won the U.S. Open, then broke through and won the Rocket Mortgage Classic, which helped him earn a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. On Monday, we may have been given our first look at Fowler’s next driver because the Cobra Darkspeed Max, Darkspeed X and Darkspeed LS were added to the USGA’s List of Conforming Driver Heads.
Adding a driver to the conforming list makes it legal for play in official tournaments like this week’s PGA Tour event, the RSM Classic, as well as DP World Tour and LPGA events.
While Cobra has not released any official announcement about the Darkspeed drivers, using history as a guide, along with the USGA photos and descriptions, there are few things we can learn about them.
- Lofts: In the past, Cobra has released a standard version of its driver, along with a low-spin model and a high-stability or slice-fighting version. We can see in the USGA notes that the Darkspeed LS comes in an 8-, 9- and 10.5-degree version, while the Darkspeed Max and Darkspeed X will be available as a 9-, 10.5- and 12-degree club. Based on that, we can assume that the LS is a low-spin club for faster-swinging golfers while the Max and the X are likely going to be for recreational golfers.
- Carbon fiber: Cobra has used carbon fiber on the sole of drivers in the past, and in images of the Darkspeed drivers we can see what appears to be carbon fiber on the sole as well. The USGA images do not show the top of the club, but Cobra has used carbon fiber in the crown of its drivers for years, so we can assume the Darkspeed drivers will have that too.
- Moveable weights: For several seasons, Cobra drivers have featured moveable weights to allow players and fitters to create a draw or fade bias, and in some cases increase or decrease the spin and launch angle. The Darkspeed Max has a weight port in the heel and the back areas that can hold a 12-gram and a 3-gram weight. The Darkspeed X has weight ports in the back and center of the sole while also holding a 12-gram and a 3-gram weight. The Darkspeed LS, however, has three weight ports, two in the front and one in the back, and appears to come with a pair of 3-gram weights and a 12-gram weight.
- PWR Shell: The words “PWR Shell” appear on the sole of all three Darkspeed drivers. PWR Shell is a face technology Cobra has used in the past. Instead of being flat, the PWR Shell…