Dangerous Distance

Cobra's lineup is a knockout

Cobra Golf has finally found its rightful nesting place in today’s golf market: right smack-dab in the middle. This year, there’s a Cobra-branded club for just about everyone, ranging from long-drive competitors to high-handicappers and, of course, some of the best players in the world. The latest offering dubbed the S3 series has some of the best technology we’ve seen from Cobra, promising big power, ample forgiveness and improved playability.

S3 Driver ($299)
If there’s one driver characteristic that we love, it’s a deep clubface design. The S3 doesn’t disappoint with its deep face and "E9 Tech," which highlights nine key areas on the face that yield a wallop of energy transfer into the golf ball. Speaking of, when we made contact, the ball launched into orbit in a hurry with the kind of penetrating trajectory better players love–high and with moderate spin. As for forgiveness, let’s just say we had a hard time figuring out not where the sweet spot was, but where the sweet spot wasn’t. And finally, the S3 comes equipped with a 45.5-inch Fujikura Blur shaft (nice!) and a refreshingly uncomplicated adjustable hosel with three choices: closed, neutral or open. Oh and by the way, we don’t have it shown here, but Cobra also has an anti-slice S3 Max version and a special version of the S3 Driver in an all-white design with an Aldila RIP shaft.

S3 Fairway ($169)
Again, we wish we saw more deep-faced woods like the S3 series has–especially in fairway woods. The S3 Fairway has a profile and shape that combine to produce a huge clubface for exceptional forgiveness on off-center strikes. Usually, with a clubhead this big, we’d assume it’s titanium, but this all-steel configuration delivers big power from both the fairway and off the tee. Like the driver bearing the same name, you can’t go wrong with the Fujikura Blur shaft that comes standard in all the S3 Fairway woods. The offset S3 Max version is ideal for slicers and high-handicappers who need a boost of trajectory.

S3 Irons ($599 steel/$699 graphite)
Wow. If there’s an award for the best-looking irons in 2011, the S3’s are serious contenders. Using a multimaterial construction that blends steel with polymer and TPU, the S3 Irons offer a ton of forgiveness, power and feel. So much feel actually, that we could have sworn these irons felt as good as a forged blade, only without the tiny sweet spot. Other cool features include a Stepped Crescent Sole Design that narrows toward the heel and toe, meaning the club will resist twisting when it brushes against the turf. This design is one of the most unique sole designs we’ve seen in a long time, making the S3 among the most technologically advanced irons we tried in 2011. Lastly, a small point but worth noting: The S3 Irons have not one, but two, paint-filled grooves for better alignment. When combined with a black clubhead, this makes aligning the clubface a cinch. We love that!

Cobra Baffler ($149)
It’s not part of the S3 family, but it was too good to leave out. The new Baffler Rail Hybrid (hard to believe the first Baffler debuted more than 30 years ago) has, as you’d guess, a rail-like sole that carves its way through the turf with ease. The big maraging-steel clubface and low/deep CG combine to produce shots that fly high in a hurry and land soft. Last we checked, that’s exactly how we want a hybrid to perform. Add a Fujikura Motore graphite shaft and you have a proven hybrid design toward which average and even better players will gravitate. It’s just too good to pass up.

For more information, visit cobragolf.com.

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