We Tried It

New Cobra Gear

The ZL (Zero Limits) Driver from Cobra is considered the most technologically advanced big stick from the company. How does it stack up?

First Impressions: Cobra knows how to make good-looking drivers, and the ZL doesn’t disappoint. The carbon crown and sole combine with the titanium face and body in a traditionally shaped design. That said, it looked huge behind the ball and made us feel as though we could swing really hard and still make solid contact. The model we tried had a VooDoo shaft that was about an inch longer (46 inches) than other drivers we’ve tried.

Performance: We weren’t thrilled with the 46-inch shaft at first. In fact, it took a little getting used to, but once we did, the ZL worked great. Shots hit off the heel and toe still managed to fly relatively straight and far. The adjustable hosel enabled us to customize the head to accentuate either a fade or draw–we like that, even if we intended to make adjustments as minimally as possible. Speaking of draw, the fixed weight in the sole is designed to help encourage a draw flight without the need for a closed clubface angle. We liked that too, although we wonder why Cobra didn’t make that adjustable. When we did find the sweet spot, our drives flew high and far. Simple as that.

Bottom Line: The ZL Driver is a great choice for distance gluttons who also want the forgiveness that comes from a mixed-metal driver and customization from an adjustable hosel.

The all-titanium S2 Driver is a distance lover’s dream. But is there more to it?

First Impressions: The PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) finish (a fancy way for saying shiny black) looks awesome. Like the ZL, the S2 has a traditional shape, but this time in an all-titanium build with an adjustable hosel.

Performance: The 9-Point Face Technology works to promote a greater transfer of energy across a greater surface area of the clubface, i.e., shots hit off the sweet spot still travel high and far. In our testing, we could not help but agree, as most, if not all, of our drives had big distance. Some shots spun more than others, but we attribute that to the loft (we hit a 10.5), not necessarily the head design. At impact, the S2 had a hard feeling, especially when compared to rich acoustics of the multimaterial ZL driver (a moot point, especially considering the power this driver has). The S2 has a 46-inch Fujikura Fit-On Max graphite shaft, which like the ZL, felt a tad too long for our taste, but worth a try if you really want to max out your swing speed.

Bottom Line: Power, power, power. The ballflight was a bit higher than we’re used to, but the clubhead yielded some humongous drives. The feel may have been compromised, but who cares when you’re sitting pretty a mile down the fairway?

The Baffler is back, this time with a Triple Weighting System (TWS).

First Impressions: The straightforward aesthetics of the Baffler TWS mask a lot of technology within. Stuff like internal weighting, a maraging-steel face insert and a CG that’s both low and away from the face.

Performance: If you’re struggling with your long irons and have yet to decide on a hybrid replacement, the Baffler TWS may be the one. We found this hybrid to be remarkably easy to hit, both from the rough and fairway. The TWS really ramped up the MOI, meaning they resist as much twisting as possible and help your hybrid shots fly both high and with a little draw. The six loft options, as well as senior and women’s models offered, help cater to a wide variety of players. The Cobra/Aldila DVS-HL graphite shaft launched the ball high in a hurry, helping us hit shots that, frankly, we could never do with our long irons–ever.

Bottom Line: The Baffler TWS (all six of them) is a great long-iron replacement for all skill levels. Better players might prefer the neutral weighting of the Baffler PRO.

Cobra’s multimaterial irons are popular not only because they look great, but also because of some serious performance benefits.

First Impressions: The most noticeable feature of the S2 Irons is the topline insert, which makes for a unique look over the ball. It’s almost as if it’s there to remind you to not overswing–the club has enough technology built in to get the job done right. Behind the clubface is a wealth of cutouts, inserts and shiny medallions–all designed to increase the clubs MOI, lower the CG and promote straighter and longer shots.

Performance: We hit long, powerful shots with the S2s. The lofts are muscled up a bit, and the perimeter weighting made it possible to still hit the green when we missed the sweet spot. We also favored the sole design, which is beveled to make the most of a wider sole without feeling or looking overly clunky. The sound and feel of the S2 irons actually felt more like the soft, muted feel of a forged iron. Oh, and we really liked the Nippon N.S. Pro steel shafts.

Bottom Line: A technologically advanced iron that uses nonmetal materials to make the CG lower and the hitting area bigger. What’s not to like?

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