Cobra’s Ultra-Cool, Space-Age King LTD Driver

Cobra’s new super-high-tech King LTD driver is coming to a galaxy near you soon.

Cobra Golf’s fortunes have fluctuated wildly since Tom Crow, the 1961 Australian Amateur champion, founded the company in 1973.

Now owned by German sports clothes and footwear giant Puma SE, Cobra got a shot in the arm when when Rickie Fowler signed on in early 2012, and then again in October 2013 when TaylorMade’s former Senior Director of Product Creation, Tom Olsavsky, moved across Carlsbad to become Cobra’s VP of R&D.

The company has consequently been gaining some serious traction again in the last few years, highlighted by the launch of acclaimed drivers like the BIO Cell and FLY-Z.

It made a lot of noise again recently with the announcement of the new King LTD driver, which begins shipping in early November.

Cobra developed the club in collaboration with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and Houston, TX-based Nanoracks LLC, whose web site says it exists to “provide everything you need to get your research and discovery mission underway on the International Space Station (ISS).”

Impressive, eh?

The King LTD’s crown is made of ultra-light TeXtreme Carbon composite, a light but incredibly strong material frequently used in aerospace and other advanced high-performance structures, and whose performance was monitored during a six-week stay on the ISS during September and October 2014.   

The Space Station’s cupola module, a 9’ 10” earth and space observation platform, also inspired the LTD’s see-through “SpacePort”—a 16-gram aerospace-grade aluminum weight and translucent port system that twists into the sole of the driver, allowing golfers to view its inner workings.

Though this 52mm Spaceport certainly looks cool, being able to see the inside of your driver probably isn’t going to help you hit longer drives. What it does do, though, is lower the Center of Gravity significantly—below the neutral axis in fact, making it the first driver ever to position the CG so low in the head, according to Cobra.

“Depending on the head configuration, the CG is on or below the ‘Neutral Axis’—a perpendicular line extending back from face center—delivering unprecedented “Zero CG” technology,” says Olsavsky. “The ultra-low CG improves the efficiency of impact and allows golfers to achieve higher ball speeds, higher launch angles and lower spin. All three contribute to significant distances gains.”

“One of the key aspects of metal golf clubs is that it’s good to have weight in the sole,” Olsavsky continues. “But if you don’t save it from the top and front of the head, the CG won’t drop as far as the neutral axis. So it is critical to save weight from the top and efficiently move it lower on the sole.”

Some of the LTD’s competitors do feature weight in the sole, adds Olsavsky, but the structure actually rises into the head raising the CG—“like with the Callaway BB Alpha weight system, for instance, or some of the TaylorMade sliding systems.”

The Spaceport is also very efficient structurally, he says, and being see-through allows Cobra to save six grams that a non-see-through design would weigh.

“So not only can you take it off and see through it,” says Olsavsky, “the SpacePort is also very efficient from a sound and structure perspective. We therefore get great CG and MOI properties, as well as excellent and consistent sound, with one of the coolest features to be seen in the industry.”

With this amount of technology in your hands, it sounds like you could be hitting your ball back into the space from whence this driver came.

The King LTD driver will be available in five lofts – 9°, 9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5°, and 12° and three draw settings – 9.5°D, 10.5°D, and 11.5°D. The PRO version is also available in five lofts – 7.0°, 7.5°, 8.5°, 9.5°, and 10° and three fade settings: 7.5°F, 8.5°F, and 9.5°F.  Both options are equipped with an Aldila Rogue Black 60g graphite shaft and Lamkin UTX/King LTD grip. A variety of custom shafts are also available.



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