Cobra Golf not only brought back an iconic name from its past, it is encouraging golfers to check out technologies inside the King LTD and King LTD Pro drivers.
“We knew if we were going to re-introduce the King, it had to be better, more advanced, and really special,” said Bob Philion, president of Cobra-Puma Golf. “It needed to surpass its legacy.”
To learn more about materials and technologies that could be applicable in golf, Cobra partnered with the Center for the Advancement for Science In Space (CASIS). The most noticeable feature of the King LTD drivers is the orange-tinted, see-through disk that Cobra calls a SpacePort and is a product of the CASIS partnership.
Mike Yagley, the director of innovation, research and testing for Cobra Golf, said the SpacePort was inspired by the observation area on the International Space Station, the orbiting center where CASIS runs scientific experiments.
Made from aerospace-grade aluminum and a clear, polycarbonate material, the SpacePort weighs 16 grams and stays locked in place thanks to a unique screw mechanism the company calls Spiralock, which is designed to withstand vibration and stress.
“We were sitting in a conference room and said, ‘This is literally where we have to put the mass,’ ” Yagley said, pointing to the see-through SpacePort. “We knew that the technologies on the inside were extremely important from an engineering standpoint, to us and to the golfer. We also knew that we could develop a SpacePort that could fit into this area that would not have a negative impact on its performance if we put a window in it.”
Some of Yagley’s engineers initially resistant the idea, but eventually they agreed that it could be done and that it would be cool.
With the SpacePort off, golfers can get an inside view of the lightweight crown made from a material called TeXtreme carbon composite. Cobra says the material is 20 percent lighter than carbon fiber commonly used in other crowns.
Golfers also will see the back of the titanium face insert. It features an updated version of Cobra’s E9 variable-thickness face. It is optimized to protect ball speed more effectively on mis-hits that are low in the heel or high in the toe.
Finally, Cobra lowered the adjustable hosel that attaches the titanium chassis to the shaft and added an internal, 12-gram tungsten weight behind the SpacePort.
“Everything we’re doing with this golf club is meant to reduce the weight in very specific areas, so we can get that center of gravity low and the moment of inertia high,” Yagley said. “We moved it all low, and now we can say things like 0 CG NA, which is neutral axis.”
According to Yagley, it took about three years to get the CG location directly on the neutral axis, a theoretical line that extends straight back from the center of the face to the back of the club.
“What that does for you as a golfer is it creates highly efficient impacts,” Yagley said. “It gives you more speed, less spin and higher launch angles. Basically, more distance. It’s good.”
There are two King LTD drivers, and both are scheduled to reach stores November 13.
The standard King LTD will be available for $459 with an Aldila Rogue Black 60 graphite shaft. The loft can be adjusted from 9 to 12 degrees, and there are three draw settings (9.5D, 10.5D and 11.5D).
The King LTD Pro will cost $499 with the same shaft. It can be adjusted from 7 to 10 degrees with three fade settings (7.5 F, 8.5F, 9.5F).