Gear: Cobra Darkspeed Max, Darkspeed X, Darkspeed LS drivers
Price: $549 with Project X HZRDUS CB Red shaft or UST Mamiya LIN-Q M40X Red shaft and Lamkin Crossline grip.
Specs: Forged titanium face with carbon fiber crown and sole panels, moveable weights and adjustable hosel.
Available: Jan.11 presale, Jan. 19 in stores
Who They’re For: Golfers who want an aerodynamic driver that delivers more ball speed and trajectory control.
The Skinny: Available in three models, the Darkspeed drivers have three different weight systems that allow golfers to obtain the ideal blend of forgiveness, ball speed and spin.
The Deep Dive: If you still think about bright orange, blue or red clubs any time someone mentions Cobra drivers, you might not recognize the new Darkspeed X, Darkspeed Max or Darkspeed LS. As with Henry Ford’s Model T, the Darkspeed drivers come in any color you like as long as it’s black. In this case, matte black. But don’t let the dialed-down cosmetics fool you into thinking these clubs lack technologies and features to help you gain distance and find more fairways.
All three Darkspeed drivers have an aerodynamic shape, with the edges and seams around the hitting area, the heel and toe being rounded. The highest portion of the carbon fiber crowns has also been pushed farther back and away from the topline, so as you swing down to the ball, air flows over the head more efficiently. The back of each head has also been raised, the hitting area is more oval and the sole has been smoothed. These are details golfers might overlook, but they work together to make it easier for golfers to generate more clubhead speed.
Each of the three Darkspeed drivers also has features an updated, laser-welded PWR Shell face. This manufacturing technique allows Cobra to make the face plate larger, which naturally helps enlarge the sweet spot and protect ball speed on off-center hits.
In the high-toe area of each Darkspeed driver, you will see “H.O.T. Face” etched. It is an acronym for Highly Optimized Topology. This involves computers dividing the hitting area into 15 spots and making those regions thicker or thinner until the best-performing face is revealed. With the hitting area of the Darkspeed drivers being larger than last season’s Aerojet, the 15 regions are…