- COBRA launches new AEROJET fairway woods (three models) and hybrids.
- The platform seeks to increase forgiveness and boost ball speeds.
- Key technologies: PWR-Bridge, PWRSHELL HOT FACE,
- Retail price is $349 (fairway), $279 (hybrid). Available Feb. 10.
I’m not sold on the COBRA AEROJET fairway woods and hybrids.
Correction: I’m not sold on the name. the producthowever, is a different story.
COBRA is arguably the most underrated mainline manufacturer. It might not have the gaudy sales figures of other large brands but plenty of industry R&D folks respect the metalwood line COBRA engineers bring to market every cycle.
Fairway woods and hybrids often get pushed to the perimeter of product launches. Second fiddle. Slightly off Broadway. Just off the podium. That sort of thing.
But what COBRA learned from previous launches (Radspeed and LTDX) is ultimately what makes AEROJET compelling.
How do I know? Let’s discuss.
COBRA AEROJET Fairway Tech
Aerodynamic efficiency is the guiding design principle of COBRA’s AEROJET driver line. But all that talk about lift, drag and skirt height isn’t as applicable to fairway woods and hybrids. Simply, the heads are much smaller and therefore the designs are inherently aerodynamically sound.
Theoretically, engineers could work to improve the aerodynamics of a +/- 170cc fairway model. But the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. That aside, the primary challenge for most amateur golfers is hitting a fairway wood (or hybrid) off the turf and getting decent results.
Compared to a ball sitting on a tee, the margin for error is much less with a fairway wood or hybrid. With that, COBRA is using the same PWR-BRIDGE and PWRSHELL HOT Face technologies in the AEROJET fairway woods and hybrids as in the AEROJET driver line. In addition, the AEROJET fairway woods feature a carbon composite crown.
COBRA’s previous speed-boosting tech (PWR-COR) is out. PWR-BRIDGE is in. If you’ve perused the COBRA AEROJET driver article, it’s copy and paste. If not, here’s the salient information.
PWR-COR was a steel structure affixed to the bottom (interior) of the club. The chief benefit is that it helped push weight low/forward. Conversely, PWR-BRIDGE attaches to the heel and toe of the clubhead. Visually, one could argue it seems to almost float inside the head.
Beyond that, the PWR-BRIDGE sits closer to the face than PWR-COR. And without any structure immediately behind the face, PWR-BRIDGE allows for more face flex than PWR-COR did. More face flex translates to marginally improved ball speeds.
Finally, by connecting the PWR-BRIDGE at the heel and toe, COBRA increases perimeter weighting, which has a positive effect on MOI/forgiveness.
PWRSHELL HOT Face
As with the COBRA AEROJET driver, PWRSHELL is a technology borrowed from previous iron lines. Also, its application in fairway woods and hybrids is a first for the manufacturer. The face utilizes variable thicknesses, compliments of AI-driven design strategies.
Put differently, the face topology isn’t uniform in an effort to maximize performance (higher ball speeds and more forgiveness) across a larger percentage of the face. With that, the forged face piece includes a ledge (often called an “L” face) that continues around the leading edge and affixes to the sole.
The primary upside is that this increases the amount of face flex on shots struck low on the face. Some estimates suggest that upwards of 75 percent of shots by amateur golfers are “thin”, meaning impact generally occurs below the geometric center of gravity. If anything, that number might be a little low.
Filed under every design is a series of tradeoffs, the inclusion of PWRSHELL means the removal of rails. Personally, I liked the rails. However, for some golfers, the rails, while benefitting golfers with a steeper angle of attack, made it difficult to properly elevate shots from the fairway and rough. The rails allowed the clubhead to still work down into the turf without digging.
But it also created a situation—similar to playing a wedge with too much bounce—where golfers struggled to make consistently solid contact. To that end, COBRA modified the radius on the leading edge to create a similar effect as the rails but without the potential drawbacks.
Any time we’re discussing carbon in a fairway wood or hybrid, it’s going to be paired with a weighting/adjustability story. Again, carbon is lighter and stronger than titanium or steel. So the simple math is that carbon gives engineers a few extra grams of weight to play with in an effort to alter CG location, MOI/forgiveness or some combination of the two. In this case, a slightly larger carbon crown frees up a bit of weight that is reallocated to help optimize the PWRSHELL HOT Face.
The three COBRA AEROJET fairway models follow the AEROJET driver naming conventions.
COBRA AEROJET LS
At 172 cubic centimeters, AEROJET LS is marginally larger than the standard AEROJET (170 cc) or the AEROJET Max (169 cc). In addition, it’s the lowest-spinning (hence “LS”) of the three models and will likely best fit golfers with higher swing speeds who are looking to decrease spin to maximize distance or need a fairway wood with more fade bias.
With moveable heel and toe weights, golfers can place the heavier weight in the toe to increase the amount of fade bias. Also, all three models include COBRA’s MyFly hosel adapter which allows for +/- 1.5° loft adjustment.
Beyond that, the neutral/stock setting is the flattest. Altering loft in either direction increases the lie angle.
Loft options for the COBRA AEROJET LS are 14.5 and 17.5 degrees.
The standard AEROJET should prove to fit the majority of players and I fully expect it to maintain its status as COBRA’s best-selling model. It’s designed to provide a balance of speed and forgiveness without any significant draw or fade bias.
The single weight in the rear/center is removable though its primary purpose is to help accommodate swing weight preferences.
COBRA AEROJET MAX
AEROJET MAX is COBRA’s draw-biased fairway model. Like the AEROJET LS, the AEROJET MAX has two moveable weights but the locations are different. In the MAX, one weight is placed in the rear/center and the other in the heel section. With the heavier weight in the rear, the AEROJET MAX is still draw-biased. But if that’s not enough shot-shape correction, you can place the heavier weight in the heel.
Loft options for the COBRA AEROJET MAX are 15.5, 18.5 and 21.5 degrees. You might have noticed that COBRA is staggering the static lofts based on the model. This is done with the intention of helping the target golfer better achieve optimal results. For example, a golfer who can benefit from the additional draw bias in the AEROJET MAX likely also needs a bit more loft. It might not seem like much but every degree matters. Now, if we can just get some flat lie angle settings on the MyFly adapter, please?
COBRA AEROJET HYBRIDS
I said COBRA had a new hybrid. But it’s more like 1 1/2 models with the variable length and single-length versions coming to market. Compared to the AEROJET fairway woods, the AEROJET hybrids incorporate the PWR-BRIDGE weighting and PWRSHELL HOT FACE construction. It does not, however, include a carbon crown.
Compared to the previous generation, the most noticeable differences lie in the shape. The AEROJET hybrid features a lower heel, a more rounded crown and a slightly raised aft. That aside, this isn’t the COBRA hybrid that piques my interest. You’ll have to wait another three days for that one.
AEROJET Women’s model
the COBRA AEROJET MAX fairway will be available in a women’s model (18.5, 21.5 and 24.5 degrees). In addition, the COBRA AEROJET hybrid will be available in a women’s model (21, 24, 28 and 31 degrees).
Both will feature COBRA’s Silver with Cool Blue colorway and a shorter build length. Otherwise, the head is identical to both respective “men’s” versions.
COBRA AEROEJET Stock Shafts
Stock shafts for the COBRA AEROJET fairway family include:
- FSO Helium (high launch)
- Mitusbishi Kai’Li Blue (the wheelhouse mid-launch shaft)
- Mitsubishi Kai’Li White (mid/low launch)
The stock shaft for AEROJET hybrids is the KBS PGI Players graphite.
COBRA AEROJET Pricing and Availability
Retail availability begins Feb. 10.
For more information, visit cobragolf. com.
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