Ever since Cobra stopped producing the Trusty Rusty wedge, I think it's fair to say that the brand have struggled to really capture the imagination of both their tour players and amateur golfers in the short game market. When you think short game, you don't necessarily think Cobra.
Their two biggest names, Bryson DeChambeau and Rickie Fowler, both use other manufacturers' wedges and the brand have fallen behind the likes of Titleist, Callaway, Cleveland and TaylorMade when it comes to saving shots around the greens.
But it's 2021 and I wonder whether we are all missing a trick? Well, I've got my hands on their latest wedge, complete with new Snakebite Groove Technology, to try and find out...
What's It All About?
The Cobra Snakebite Wedge features a throwback King Cobra logo which is a nod to the brand's history but features a modern look with plenty of visible technology.
The wedge has been developed using new Snakebite Groove Technology, with a re-engineered cutting method that replaces the tools more often to tighten groove tolerances, whilst maximising groove volume and making the grooves as sharp and accurate as possible.
Groove lengths and groove shapes are progressive as the lofts change in order to optimise spin and performance for each separate wedge.
The 48-54 degree lofts have a traditional groove length, and narrower and deeper grooves, for a more consistent spin rate and trajectory on fuller shots with wedges that are usually used with a square face.
The 56-60 degree lofts have the full-face grooves which are wider and shallow, maximising spin on shots where the face is opened up and the ball is more likely to be struck from high in the toe.
The faces and grooves have been CNC Milled, something of a trademark for Cobra golf clubs, to produce the most precise face and groove shapes to optimise spin rates and trajectory control.
There are three different grinds available:
Versatile Grind - an all-round grind for medium to firm course conditions, featuring toe, heel and trailing edge relief.
Classic Grind - with a progressive sole width from heel to toe, with trailing edge relief, ideal for golfers with neutral to steeper swings and a variety of different course conditions.
Widelow Grind - a wide, low bounce sole is designed to improve your bunker game and performs well in soft turf conditions by preventing the leading edge from digging in.
As with all Cobra equipment, the Snakebite wedges are available with One Length technology which is said to perfectly combine with Cobra's One Length irons. It is available in 56 to 60 degrees in a versatile grind, with a full-face groove design to provide maximum spin on all shots.
The Snakebite wedge comes with a black Lamkin Crossline Smart grip and a KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 shaft. Each wedge is also complete with Cobra Connect powered by Arccos, giving golfers the ability to track their wedge performance and learn their tendencies so that they can practice more effectively.
I took the Cobra Snakebite Wedges down to the stunning Prestbury Golf Club for a full round of golf to put these wedges to the test, where they were put to good use around the greens as I judged them on looks, feel, performance and value for money.
Following my round I also spent some much-needed time on the practice ground using the wedges, hitting pitches, chips and bunker shots to get a better idea of whether the Snakebite wedges could be worth a spot in your bag.
Cobra King Snakebite Wedges Review
Looks and Feel
The Snakebite wedge features a contemporary styling which reminded me a little of the Cleveland RTX ZipCore Wedge that I reviewed recently.
The back of the head could be a little busy looking for some people although I liked the notch on the sole, complete with Cobra logo, whilst the King Cobra lettering is a nice touch as a reminder of the brand's previous success in the wedge market.
There are two 'screws' on the back cavity which are there for cosmetics rather than having any real benefit. The full face grooves in the higher-lofted wedges will be ideal for golfers who are looking for a little more help when playing from the rough or those who struggle with their ball-striking, particularly when you're more likely to be opening the face up.
At address, the wedge is a pretty classic shape which should appeal to most golfers, with a slightly rounded leading edge helping to give a little more confidence to those who are partial to a mis-strike with their wedges, particularly from tighter lies on the fairway or around the green.
In all honesty, I found the feel of the wedges to be a little 'clunky' at times with a pretty big footprint down by the ball. Whilst the Versatile sole that I was using was ideal for making sure that you're striking with more of a sweeping motion I found it didn't really allow you to get down into the turf.
Of course, there are three different grinds available in these wedges so make sure you do some testing before you make any decisions, as you'll want to make sure that you've got the sole best for your swing and strike characteristics.
Another thing that slightly bugged me too was the thickness of the grips. Ok, they weren't as thick as Cobra staffer Bryson DeChambeau likes them, but they were still noticeably thicker than the grips on my current Callaway Mack Daddy 5 Jaws wedges and I think this also meant that I lost a touch of extra feel around the greens.
In the same way that you'd take a glove off for chipping and putting for that extra bit of feedback on these touch shots, I'd also want thinner grips than those provided by Cobra, although obviously this is a personal preference - some people may like the thicker grips.
Following the round, I spent quite a bit of time putting the Snakebite wedges through their paces on the practice ground at Prestbury GC and found that they were great for all-round usage when it came to chipping and pitching around the greens.
From tighter lies, the rounded sole meant that you're less likely to dig in and catch your chips heavy, and from the rough the full-face grooves and inviting head shape helps to get the ball popping up with decent levels of spin too.
Using higher lofted wedges with the rounded sole meant that these were great for forgiveness on fuller shots - it almost felt as if it was going to be impossible to catch it heavy!
You're not going to see the same huge, steak-like divots as the PGA Tour players do but you should gain a little more consistency when coming in from pitching range, and this is an area which can really help improve your scores on par 5s or if you're having to lay up on long par 4s.
I really enjoyed using the Snakebite wedges from the bunkers as I felt that this was where they were at their best. The wide sole was easily opened up and it felt like it wanted to just glide through the sand, producing pretty consistent results despite the fact that it was damp on the day of testing.
If you do struggle from the bunkers then a wedge like this could be ideal because the sole shape, coupled with full-face grooves, provided great forgiveness even on those shots where you perhaps hit slightly too far behind the ball for example - no leaving it in the bunkers here.
Cobra King Snakebite Wedges Verdict
All in all, the Snakebite Wedges are exactly the kind of thing that you'd expect to see from Cobra. There's a couple of nods to the brand's history, with the Cobra King logo for example, combined with plenty of new cutting-edge innovations designed to help you get the most out of your game, all packaged up in a modern aesthetic.
Cobra are giving you a friendly head shape with a contemporary, eye-catching design, good levels of spin and plenty of forgiveness.
If you use cavity-back or game improvement irons then these wedges should be the perfect accompaniment in my opinion. You're getting a little more help with your irons, so why not make it a little easier for yourself with the wedges too?
Would I Use Them?
Personally I'd be looking for something a little more compact-looking, which provided me with a little more feel and more potential for workability around the green so I don't think they'll be replacing my current wedges for the time being.
If I ever did start to struggle with my chipping and pitching, however, these wedges are exactly the kind of thing I'd be looking towards to get rid of those short game nightmares.
Who Are They Aimed At?
I would say that this wedge is better suited to mid handicappers and above who want the extra feel and spin offered by a specialist wedge, but still want something which is relatively friendly to look at and provides a bit of forgiveness too.
If you're a better player looking for something a little more compact, then the Tour MIM Wedge is probably for you, but for the majority of golfers this will be an ideal step into the wedge market and if you pick the right sole grind to match your game and usual playing conditions, it could really improve your short game.
- Smart, modern styling
- Forgiving from bunkers and heavy lies
- Full face grooves provide spin across the face
- Cobra Connect is a great way to track your performance
- Thicker grips won't suit everyone
- Bigger profile felt a little clunky at times
If you enjoyed this review, you may also like:
Adidas ZG21 Golf Shoe Review
Titleist TSi2 & TSi3 Drivers Review