Cobra RADSPEED Fairway Woods and Hybrids – Key Takeaways
- For 2021, COBRA is introducing three RADSPEED fairway woods and two RADSPEED hybrids.
- The RADSPEED Draw fairway wood is the first dedicated draw-biased fairway wood in COBRA’s flagship line up.
- The retail price is $279 fairway and $229 hybrid – full availability Jan. 29, 2021.
As with the COBRA RADSPEED driver family, the RADSPEED fairway woods and hybrids are built on a gnarly foundation of some pretty hella smart weighting technologies and bodacious engineering.
Hey, COBRA opened the door – I’m just walking through it.
1980s lexicon aside, the COBRA RADSPEED fairway woods and hybrids maintain a good bit of the tech platform and aesthetics of the RADSPEED drivers. However, the most integral underpinning being the keystone radius of gyration.
After all, that’s what the RAD is for.
COBRA RADSPEED FAIRWAY WOODS
As is often the case, whatever is true for drivers is largely accurate for fairway woods and hybrids.
Such is the case regarding keystone technologies, materials, aesthetics and naming conventions. At least for the most part.
We’re still living in a driver-centric world and too often consumers give fairway woods and hybrids the matching luggage treatment. Perhaps a false equivalence, but I get what golfers are thinking.
If I can find an optimal fit with driver, and the fairway woods and hybrids are “pretty much” the same, might as well stick with it.
However, fairway woods and hybrids are not equal parts of a combo meal. As such, consumers would be wise to evaluate each separately.
COBRA RADSPEED FAIRWAY WOODS
There are three models in the COBRA RADSPEED family of fairway woods. If you want to get technical, it’s actually more like 3.5.
COBRA RADSPEED is a “meat of the bell curve” offering that will likely fit the majority of golfers looking for balanced performance.
COBRA RADSPEED Draw broaches new territory and is the first dedicated draw-biased fairway in COBRA’s flagship line.
For more advanced players, COBRA has the RADSPEED Tour and RADSPEED Big Tour models.
Let’s take a closer look at each model.
Again, the primary commonality throughout the line is radial weighting. It’s a fancy, SAT-prep worthy term that basically deals with strategic placement of weight relative to the CG.
Every club has a center-of-gravity. The more mass engineers can concentrate away from the CG, the more that weight can impact performance. Or so goes the theory.
CNC milled faces are now a staple of COBRA metalwood technology. According to COBRA, milling is 5x more precise than hand-polishing. It also allows for a more consistent CT across a larger percentage of the face. The hopeful result is more consistency from club to club and less ball speed loss on off-center strikes.
While CNC milled faces are present on all three models, only the standard RADSPEED and RADSPEED Draw include COBRA’s Infinity face. COBRA removed it from the RAD Speed Tour and RAD Speed Big Tour citing tour player feedback and some issues around alignment.
COBRA RADSPEED CROWN AND RAILS
In club design, weight is currency. It’s a finite resource that engineers manipulate to alter performance. It’s a game of “find and reallocate.”
With the RADSPEED fairway woods, a thin-ply carbon crown (30% thinner and 6 grams lighter) and hollow split rails free up some valuable loot. However, the hollow split rails offer an added benefit – more flex. According to COBRA, the hot spot (aka sweet spot) is 70% larger given a PGA Tour average swing speed of 110 MPH. For most mortals, the benefit is likely quite a bit less. But something is more than nothing. Also, for those keeping score at home, the hollow rails save an additional 10 grams of weight.
Functionally, the hollow rails act like ski tips. At impact, it provides for more efficient ball-club interaction and therefore less of a ball speed penalty when you catch one a little chunky. As it happens, I’m a bit of a local expert on that shot.
The exception here is the COBRA RADSPEED Big Tour which has the same faux rail design as the previous (and more affordable) SpeedZone Big Tour.
THROWING SOME RAD WEIGHT AROUND
The total discretionary weight is 23 grams. And as expected, COBRA positions the weight commensurate with the likely characteristics of the target consumer.
In the RADSPEED Tour and Big Tour, all 23 grams are positioned toward the face (front of center). This helps push the CG a bit more forward, though in the case of the RAD Speed Big Tour, the CG is still quite low sitting right at (or marginally above) the neutral axis. As a result, the RADSPEED Big Tour is the highest launching/lowest spinning of the three COBRA RAD Speed models.
In the standard COBRA RADSPEED fairway, a 7-gram weight sits low/rear in the clubhead and two, 8-gram weights are seated closer to the face. Of the three models, this is the most neutrally weighted option.
With the COBRA RADSPEED Draw, engineers shoved all 23 grams low and toward the heel. All things being equal, more mass on the heel of a club makes it easier to move the ball right-to-left (for a right-handed player). The converse is also true.
COBRA isn’t making any indefensible assertions or wild claims about distance. Because we’re firmly in the era where gains are incremental and not monumental, we’re talking steps and feet, not leaps and double-digit yards.
COBRA RADSPEED STOCK SHAFTS AND LOFTS
Cobra’s stock shafts for the RADSPEED lineup looks like this:
- High Launch/Mid Spin: Project X EvenFlow Riptide Blue
- Mid Launch/Mid Spin: Fujikura Motore F3
- Low Launch/Low Spin: Fujikura Motore F1
COBRA RADSPEED HYBRIDS
COBRA might not say this, but the RADSPEED hybrids appear to be somewhat of a reset. Going back several generations, the F9 models were shorter than the iron equivalent and in case you’re new, short doesn’t sell.
So, this time around COBRA is going with what it terms an “ultra-low CG and ultra-low spin” game plan. Historically, Cobra has been a back CG company when it comes to hybrid designs. However, with the RADSPEED hybrid COBRA is changing course.
More weight forward helps shift the CG lower and closer to the face. Specifically, COBRA uses a weight configuration similar to that on the standard RADSPEED fairway metal. With the hybrid it’s one 7-gram weight low/rear and two, 6-gram weights up front.
Citing its internal tests, the RADSPEED is 5 yards longer than the discounted SpeedZone hybrid it’s replacing and 4-9 yards longer than primary competitors. It’s a simple case of increased distance through more optimal launch conditions.
As compared to the COBRA RADSPEED fairway metals, the RADSPEED hybrids also utilize hollow speed rails, though the face is a forged insert rather than the CNC milled face.
Both the standard RADSPEED hybrid and ONE Length RADSPEED hybrid are fixed loft (non-adjustable) offerings. The standard model is available in lofts of 17°, 19°, 21°, and 24°(RH and LH). The ONE Length variant is available in lofts of 17°, 19°, 21°, and 24° (RH and LH).
Cobra RADSPEED Pricing and Availability
Pre-sale for the Cobra RADSPEED family of fairway woods and hybrids begins on Jan. 15, 2021. Full retail availability starts two weeks later.
The retail price is $279 for the fairway woods and $229 for either the standard or One Length hybrid. To make room on store shelves for RADSPEED, prior-generation SpeedZone fairway woods have been heavily discounted.
For more information, visit CobraGolf.com.