What's that saying about London buses? Cobra have not released a line of putters for fifteen years, and then all of a sudden two come along.
This is a big deal for the company who have come to be known as the 'best of the rest' in the golf equipment world over the last few years, behind the big four of Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway and Ping. Can they achieve the same recognition with their new putters?
2021 sees the introduction of the futuristic 3D Printed range, which I have reviewed HERE, as well as the more traditional King Vintage Series. This line is said to blend classic shapes with modern performance, and features four different models with names that are inspired by classic sports cars.
What's It All About?
Compared to the 3D Printed putters which are jam-packed with new technologies and innovations, the Vintage Series is a little more straightforward in its design.
They are made from a 304 stainless steel chassis, with simple sightlines for alignment and Cobra's distinctive black and turbo yellow colourway.
The putters also make use of Cobra's new partnership with SIK Golf to feature their face insert complete with Descending Loft Technology, as used by Bryson DeChambeau.
The face uses four descending lofts from the top to the bottom of the face, ensuring a consistent and accurate roll for descending, neutral and ascending attack angles.
Each model features an adjustable weighting system, with weights available between 10g and 25g in order to fine tune stability and feel to your own putting stroke. These weights are sold separately so I would advise a custom fitting to make sure that you get the right setup for you.
An embedded Arccoss sensor in the grip syncs with the Arccos Caddie app to track your putting statistics. You can use this to help work on the poor areas of your game and improve just like the tour professionals do.
There are seven different models in the family in all, from traditional blades to fang shapes and mallet putters. I got my hands on the Nova-40 and Stingray-40 Putters and put them to the test.
Cobra Vintage Series Putters Review
Looks and Feel
Cobra are usually one of the boldest brands when it comes to golf club design, so this Vintage Series range seemed a little subdued compared to what I was expecting to see.
The heads are mainly black in colour, contrasting with white painted lines for alignment. The face is silver and you can clearly see the four lines from SIK's technology to indicate the changes in loft for each step.
The sole of the putters features green-yellow lines and writing which are similar to the Radspeed metals and irons, but overall I felt the look was a little underwhelming.
I feel like Cobra have spent all of their budget on the 3D Printed range and then decided to add a more conventional putter range whilst they were at it.
Despite the fact that the putters have the same SIK face as the 3D range, the ball just felt a little louder and firmer off the face in comparison and didn't really do a lot for me.
When you try clubs you want to compare them against other models and on first impressions I was immediately more impressed with the 3D Printed range.
These putters were uninspiring during my testing, and I couldn't help but feel that they looked like poor copies of the TaylorMade Spider and Odyssey #7 Putters. To be honest, I'm never a massive fan of big head shapes like this anyway so that probably wasn't a great start - maybe I'll have to take a closer look at the blade models at some point.
I'd describe the overall performance as 'ok'. although nothing compared to the 3D range. They felt louder yet less stable, and the overall finish of the putters was not quite as good on closer inspection.
Based on just looks and overall quality, I would me much more inclined to spend the extra £70 on the 3D range as you'll look like a proper Cobra player, whilst benefiting from the added stability in the putter head.
It's a real shame because I feel that Cobra have nailed the slightly cheaper woods and irons marketing whilst still managing to hold their identity, and these just don't seem to have the same Cobra feel as usual.
The lack of overall quality was reflected in my performance too as I didn't putt well with either the Nova or the Stingray. I struggled with keeping the club head square at impact, and the quality of the strike from the face was a little irregular. This surprised me a little as the face is the same as in the 3D Putters but I didn't get the same consistency.
If the 3D Printed range was Cobra's attempt to go high-end and try somtehing completely different, the Vintage Series just looks more like a range to fulfill that cheaper 'mass market' area which the brand has typically done so well in.
Cobra Vintage Series Putters Verdict
All in all, this was a bit of an uninspiring putter range other than the very logical face insert. I like SIK's idea of how the ball rolls of the face at impact, however the feel didn't seem as good with this range as it did in the 3D Printed range.
At £200 it slots in a little cheaper than putter ranges for much of the major manufacturers but in this case I think you get (or don't get) what you pay for.
I'm afraid that I just didn't get on with these putters which is a shame and a surprise, as I usually love Cobra and their value for money.
Who Are They Aimed At?
If you're a Cobra fan and you're looking for a slightly cheaper putter range which is under £200 then they may be worth a look. The SIK face is also certainly worth a try.
Would I Use Them?
I'm afraid not. For the same price, I'd be much more inclined to pick the Odyssey White Hot OG Stroke Lab putters, or spend a little bit more cash to get one from the 3D Printed range.
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