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Cobra

How I found 14 extra yards in one custom fitting session

Our club golf editor's Cobra journey has seen him enjoy a through-the-bag custom fitting and he couldn't believe what the numbers were showing him
 

‘Do you want to stay the same, or do you want to move forwards?’ Cobra’s training and fitting representative Andy Buchanan was staring at his TrackMan and numbers don’t lie.

For me, though, the question was somewhat more complex. My handicap is 7.4 so, without getting carried away, I like to kid myself I can play a little.

That’s given me an expectation of what I want in a golf club – namely a thin sole and as close to a blade look as I can get without giving up all forgiveness.

I’d gone to Bradley Park, the popular driving range in Huddersfield, for a through-the-bag fitting with Cobra but, in my heart, I was already set on what I would be coming away with.

Then Andy showed me the numbers.

But let’s back up for a second. I was at Bradley Park to start a little experiment. My game had been revitalised by Cobra’s Speedzone driver. It was magic [relatively speaking] in my hands and I’d slashed chunks off my handicap and won a board competition to boot.

So if that could be the impact of one club, what would happen if I played everything with that distinctive logo proudly emblazoned across it?

If I’ve lacked one thing, it’s distance. I’ll be reaching for the 5-iron where my playing partners will be using 7 or 8.

Squeezing out a few extra yards could make a huge difference to my game and this is where Andy hit me with a statistics-led uppercut.

I’d arrived convinced I would end up with the MIM Tour. There are not many better-looking players’ irons on the market and I’d already had visions of crisply struck shots into greens at my home club.

Then I started hitting the Radspeed range. I’d always thought clubs like these were game improvers – for those looking to take the next step on the handicap ladder.

But god they were hot off the face. I hit the 7-iron, combined with a regular KBS Tour 90 shaft, 14 yards further than the MIM.

They were even longer compared with my gamers. They had a satisfying whoosh when you flushed one and even the misses – there’s usually plenty of those when I’m hitting off a mat – didn’t do their usual swan dive out of the air.

Time then to be brave. I’ll be striking the Radspeed irons through the rest of the summer and will report back to you how they feel, what my shot shape is like and, crucially, how far they go.

Indeed, I went Radspeed through the rest of the bag. The XB driver feels a hefty upgrade on the Speedzone and also keeps that neutral looking face that so captivated me in its predecessor. The 3-wood feels very complimentary, though it does seem slightly more offset behind the ball.

I’m particularly looking forward to getting the Radspeed hybrids out on the golf course. They performed incredibly well for me in the bay – anything up above 190 with the 19-degree model would be a huge help to me on a couple of long par 3s at my course as well as on par 5s.

And a word of mention for the Snakebite wedges. I’ve got 48, 52 and 56 degrees in there and the latter is a very interesting club, with grooves that run right across the face. Early play has been very promising so I’ll be keen to see if I can get some elusive spin while also improving my proximity to the hole averages.

I’ve got Cobra Connect grips running throughout the set and I’ll be recording my stats throughout the summer with Arccos.

Let’s see how I get on.

Steve’s specs

Driver: Radspeed 10.5 Deg XB; Shaft: Standard/Motore F3 60 Reg

3-wood: Radspeed 3 Fairway; Shaft: EF Riptide Reg 50g

Hybrids: Radspeed Hybrid 3 & 5; Shaft: Recoil 480 ESX 70 Reg

Irons: Radspeed 5-PW; Shaft: KBS Tour 90 Reg

Wedges: Snakebite Wedges 48,52 & 56 Versatile Grind

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Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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