You know the story, sometimes you wait for a bus and all of a sudden three come along at once. If you're a Cobra Trusty Rusty fan, then you know how that feels.
Whilst it might seem strange that Cobra would release three Trusty Rusty style wedges in the space of 18 months, each of them is different from one another and suited to specific range of handicaps.
Originally launched in 1998, the latest iteration of the Trusty Rusty wedge is the Tour Trusty, created for Cobra's Tour players.
The design appears much simpler than before and whilst it looks remarkably like the more recent Trusty Rusty, the Tour Trusty has several tweaks making it more suitable for the game's better players.
First and foremost is the new sole grind. The guiding force in any wedge design, the grind on the new Tour Trusty is a Tri-Bounce K-Grind, highlighted by a new gloss material on the toe and heel of the sole. By grinding material away in these two areas, the Tour Trusty can sit lower to the ground when the face is opened or closed.
It looks subtle, but the grind is actually very effective. Where the standard Trusty Rusty wedge (below right) has three different bounces - low/high/low or mid/high/mid, the Tour Trusty has a more consistent bounce with added heel and toe relief.
The leading edge on the Tour Trusty sits low and fairly straight at address and the larger size of the clubface offers a better performance from rough lies around the green. That is exactly what Cobra were trying to achieve with the Tour Trusty.
The larger face puts more club behind the ball when swinging through the rough leading to better strikes and more spin. You may think that better players prefer a more compact look and whilst that may be true with shorter irons, the performance value of a larger head on a wedge is more important to Tour pros and better players.
Compared to the two more recent Trusty Rusty designs, the Tour Trusty certainly stands out. Offered only in chrome or black, the groove design and face design are both larger that the previous Trusty Rusty.
In terms of address profile it sits between the Trusty Rusty and Big Trusty Rusty, and has slightly less offset than either of them. As you see below, the copper coloured, pre-rusted face has been replaced with a more traditional silver colour on the chrome model.
One other small change that we really liked was the full length, first groove. On the previous two models, Cobra had abbreviated the width of the first groove to aid alignment and highlight the centre of the face. On the Tour Trusty, this groove spans the entire width of the face and gives a very uniform, traditional look behind the ball.
The grooves themselves are 15% larger and between them Cobra have milled two different depths of score-lines. Cobra tell us this milling process creates double the surface roughness found in the 2011 Trusty Rusty, meaning more grip and more spin. We didn't notice any vast increase in spin, but the Tour Trusty did perform well over a variety of shots.
As with many dark finishes wedges, the finish of the face and sole will wear over time. Here's how the black Tour Trusty looked after a few rounds:
The black finish has brushed away around the contact area to reveal a simple silver colour from beneath. A couple of sand shots, and friction with stones in the bunkers, did leave marks near the toe of the club. It should be noted that we were sent an early version of the wedge and Cobra say the finish has been improved since then.
In summary the Tour Trusty looks very like the recent Trusty Rusty models and very similar to the revamped model that came out in 1998. However it is the small details that make this wedge.
Gone is the shortened first groove, gone is the black shaft, gone is the copper-coloured face. What you are left with is all that a better player wants in a wedge: plenty of spin, a large face and simple, traditional looks.