By Jordan Smith
The Cobra Speedzone driver was officially launched in the UAE at the Claude Harmon Academy in Dubai last month and I couldn’t wait to give it a rip. I tried the previous F9 driver last year and was impressed with the feeling and forgiveness of the CNC Milled Face. Having chatted to Bryson DeChambeau in Abu Dhabi about the extra yardage he has found from the latest Speedzone driver I needed to find out more.
The first impression when I pulled the head cover off was that Speedzone looked modern while retaining a classic feel. The head shape fills you with confidence and is available with the classic Cobra yellow highlights or, my personal favourite, a white version which showcases the matte carbon crown perfectly. The matte crown is ideal for teeing it up in the Middle East where the sun’s glare can be an issue off lacquered finishes.
It’s easy to see the club has been inspired by Formula 1 technology, as the titanium speed chassis is a work of art which even makes the club look fast at address.
My favourite feature of the Speedzone driver is the ‘CNC Infinity Milled’ face. The curvature over the leading edge of the crown gives me confidence when I look down at the club behind the ball. It’s not as intimidating as some other clubs that have sharp, leading edges giving the illusion of very little loft. When I feel a club has little loft it makes me lean back a fraction at impact and my spin rates are all over the place.
I hit a few shots using a 60g HZRDUS Smoke shaft. It felt effortless, just like driving a car down an empty highway on a Sunday morning. Even though the shaft was a fraction too soft and my smash factor readings weren’t great, I was still getting a carry close to 275 yards. But what impressed me most was my off- centre hits. Whether it was out of the toe, heel or the bottom of the clubface, the CNC Milled face on the Speedzone seems so much stronger across the face and my bad shots were a lot straighter. This is due to the extended milled face and its enlarged sweet spot, which helps protect ball speed on mishits more effectively. Having seen me hit a few, Billy Meyburgh, Custom-fit Specialist from eGolf Megastore, got to work analysing the numbers to see if we could get some optimised yardages and tighten those stray ‘RELOAD’ tee shots.
Averages with 60g shaft:
Averages with 70g shaft: (OPTIMISED)
It didn’t take long for Billy to put me into a 70g HZRDUS Smoke shaft. That was all it took to make the club feel more stable and I could unload, knowing where the clubhead was at impact. The launch was improved and I found another 30 yards carry. The only difference in swing speed averages was two miles per hour but the launch average with the right shaft was 13.3 degrees, as opposed to 9.6 with the lighter shaft.
Billy Meyburgh explains:
“When Jordan first tried the 60g shaft he wasn’t finding the sweet spot very often – although the distances he was achieving were still impressive. With the heavier 70g shaft he was able to deliver the clubhead more consistently into the ball. This shifted the strike patterns more towards the middle and slighty higher on the face. The improved impact location launched the ball slightly higher with more ball speed, which improved the smash and carry distance. It wasn’t just the carry distance that improved, Jordan’s dispersion was a lot tighter and I wouldn’t be surprised if he put a Speedzone driver into his bag.”
The Speedzone gives a distinctive sound that you’ll never get bored of listening to. If you look on the chart to the left, the blue circle shows just how tight Billy was able to get my grouping, which I’d take with an iron let alone a driver. These days I’m much more focused on finding fairways than finding more distance. I’ve got a few more drivers to test in the next month or two but right now the Speedzone would certainly be in the bag.