Cobra's fairway woods and hybrids have become instantly recognisable over the past few years due to the re-inclusion of their traditional Baffler rail technology on the sole of the club.
The latest Speedzone Hybrids, available in both standard and One Length designs, feature a new Hollow Split Rail and claim to provide greater ball speed with a higher launch.
What's It All About?
There are five main features going into the development of the new Speedzone and Speedzone One Length Hybrids:
Hollow Split Rail Technology
The split hollow rails flex more than solid rails, which creates a 70% larger hot spot area from heel to toe, for higher launch and improved ball speed.
A fixed weight positioned low and back in the head promotes a higher ball flight with more stopping power going into the green - meaning that you can hit approach shots as if they're an iron.
Forged E9 Face
A forged, high-strength 455 stainless steel face promotes better ball speed and launch across the whole face thanks to a thinner construction.
The Speedzone is slightly larger than a traditional hybrid head, which helps to raise MOI and provide more forgiveness on off-centre strikes. A square leading edge also improves alignment and accuracy.
Each hybrid is embedded with the Arccos sensor, which allows your to track your accuracy and distance, and learn your own performance patterns, using the complementary Arccos Caddie app.
You probably won't be shocked to learn that February in Manchester does not provide ideal weather for golf equipment testing. Any course which is lucky enough to have survived Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis and remain open is still likely to be very, very wet.
So I took the Cobra Speedzone Hybrids down to Trafford Golf Centre to conduct my review, where they have launch monitors, dry astro-turf mats, radiators, hot drinks and a roof. Phew.
Cobra Speedzone Hybrid Review
Looking down at the club at address, it's a bigger footprint with a curved, pear-shaped look than I was expecting compared to typical modern-day aesthetics. It almost reminded me of a mini 5-wood rather than the narrow, iron-shape style that seems to be becoming more popular.
The Speedzone has minimal offset and a nice smooth transition from the neck into the clubhead which was good for me. Lots of golfers are prone to over-drawing hybrids, particularly those with offset, so a nice neutral address position put any of those worries to rest.
Being able to see the white groove-lines at address was also a plus for me. This, coupled with the Cobra logo, framed the ball up nicely for a really solid look. Interestingly the grooves on the new Forged E9 face do not stretch the whole face as you'd expect, this is slightly unusual but again helped to frame the ball nicely.
Hitting my first few shots on the range, I noticed that the Speedzone seemed to sound and feel a little more 'dead' at impact than I expected. Personally I prefer that more muted sound although it would've been nice to get a little more instant feedback on strike through the feel.
Performance-wise, the Speedzone did pretty well considering the tough weather conditions I was testing in. Whilst it was easy to launch, it didn't seem to fly too high and start ballooning, with an average carry distance of 198 yards which was pretty impressive considering the cold temperature and the winds.
As I was testing on an astro-turf mat, the impact of the new Hollow Split Rails was hard to judge but I did find the Speedzone to be relatively forgiving, as proven by the number of shots consistently carrying just over 200 yards.
The ball flight and spin rates did seem to be a little inconsistent between shots during my sessions, but it was a very windy day (thanks, Storm Dennis) and I was hitting off a mat, which can sometimes skew the readings a little.
Cobra Speedzone One Length Hybrid Review
As you'd expect, this hybrid had a slightly smaller head to match the shorter club length, with the traditional blue One Length colourway helping to distinguish it from the standard Speedzone model. As usual for the One Length range, it was a 7-iron length and lie.
As the results indicate, I wasn't a big fan of this hybrid. My consistency and dispersion were actually worse than with the standard length as the ball didn't seem to perform aswell into the strong breeze.
If you look at the spin rates, the One Length was producing almost 2000rpm more on average than the standard, and this was partly to blame for so many shots being lost out to the right. Of course, there was a fair bit of user error in there too!
The smaller length made it feel like I had to hit it well just to get anything out of it, and any mis-hits seemed to be punished even more than the standard model. I also couldn't help but think that the shorter shaft made it harder to ‘feel’ the clubhead during the swing and get my timing right as a result.
On the plus side, the feel was relatively good and I managed to produce a high ball flight relatively consistently. I was averaging 186 yards carry which makes it an effective 4 iron replacement. That carry distance compared to standard length hybrid however, well it's a big difference.
The slight issue I have with this is that I'd basically need two different-lofted hybrids before a fairway wood to achieve the correct gapping in my bag - therefore is this creating more issues than it's solving?
At £189 per club, which in today's market is actually quite reasonable for a hybrid (a Callaway Mavrik hybrid will set you back about £250), but suddenly you're looking at £400 on two hybrids, to do the job that one single length club could do as it would fit between my 4 iron and fairway wood. It may be slightly easier to hit than a regular 4 iron but I didn't find it any more accurate and it would've taken me a lot more shots to start getting used to it.
I think you'd have to really be a 'One Lengther' to stump for this - either that, or find that the One Length performs much better in your own testing. But having tested Cobra's Speedzone Irons recently, I really don't see many golfers choosing this hybrid over those long irons, which were extremely forgiving to hit and very, very long!
Cobra Speedzone Hybrids Verdict
The Speedzone Hybrids will suit golfers who are looking for a bigger footprint down by the ball, and in my opinion the Baffler rails are one of the bits of visible tech I've seen in woods for some time. It makes sense in theory, you can see it on the sole of the club which gives you more confidence, and most importantly it seems to work in my experience.
The One Length theory is one that I am yet to be completely sold on, particularly when it extends to the hybrids, although for some golfers I can understand why this would make sense and simplify things - so it's always worth trying. I couldn't get on with the One Length Hybrid but as always, getting a proper fitting is the right way to decide whether its for you.
The Speedzone produced an easy launch with good distance, and I was impressed with the overall consistency, even when including the mis-hit shots. With four different loft models available, the Speedzone could be the perfect club to bridge the gap in your set, and help improve your scoring on those longer par 3s or approaches into the green.
- Smart looks
- Friendly size down by the ball
- Baffler rails help with turf interaction
- Cobra Connect will improve your golf if used properly
- Some golfers may favour loft adjustability
- Flight was a little inconsistent
- One Length hybrid concept was not for me