COBRA Smarter Ways to Lower Scores: 7-handicapper Andy Wright’s end-of-year report

After a full driver to wedge custom fitting in March, 7-handicap reader Andy Wright reflects on his COBRA Smarter Ways to Lower Scores campaign this season

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

After a full driver to wedge custom fitting in March, 7-handicap reader Andy Wright reflects on his COBRA Smarter Ways to Lower Scores campaign this season

COBRA Smarter Ways to Lower Scores 2018

Name: Andy WrightHome Club: LymmHandicap: 6 down from 7

Golf Monthly reader Andy Wright was one of our chosen duo for this year’s bigger and better COBRA Smarter Ways to Lower Scores project. Andy, a 7-handicapper from Cheshire, had his sights set firmly on category 1.

COBRA Connect power by Arccos was available in every club in 2018

Andy enjoyed a full COBRA Golf driver-to-wedge custom fitting at Silvermere in Surrey in March along with in-depth briefings on how to best use the incredible COBRA Connect shot-tracking system in association with Arccos. This was available throughout the bag this year for the first time, allowing Andy to analyse and better understand all areas of his game.

Andy Wright at his initial COBRA Smarter Ways to Lower Scores custom-fitting at Silvermere in March

Along the way, Andy played countless competitive and social rounds and got to tee it up in two EuroPro Tour Pro-Ams courtesy of COBRA Golf at Frilford Heath, from where he reported back on progress so far mid-season, and then Caversham Heath, where he gave us another progress report in the video below...

Now 2018 is over and it’s time to find out how Andy fared with his new COBRA clubs, the COBRA Connect system and his quest to get down to Category 1…

On his COBRA clubs… With a full new set, I wasn’t too surprised that my handicap crept up a little initially, but after a couple of lessons, I won a two-day event with friends at Mottram Hall. My goal was to get down to 5 and I thought I had done that when, having reached 5.5, I chipped stone dead on the final hole one day for a closing birdie and sub-handicap round. Then, to my dismay, CSS came down a shot for the only time this tear to deny me. I ended the year on 5.8, so close but no cigar!

My golf in general has really improved, though, due to the COBRA Smarter Ways to Lower Scores experience. Last year I was regularly shooting in the 80s and occasionally dipping into the 70s, whereas this year I’m regularly in the 70s with the occasional bad knock in the low 80s.

I’ve always struggled with fairway woods but my COBRA King F8 set to 16˚ has been great off both fairway and tee. With my driver I’ve struggled with a two-way miss this season, and the COBRA Connect stats show that that is what has been holding me back a little.

Andy's COBRA King F8 fairway wood has been one of the star performers in his bag this year

On COBRA Connect… Despite not making it down to 5, my COBRA Connect with Arccos handicap - which includes all rounds, not just competition rounds – is currently 3.9 after 53 rounds this year, so I know I can get there.

I used the COBRA Connect data a lot this summer to manage my way round, and this proved invaluable as the hard, fast ground increased the importance of understanding carry distances off the tee and into greens.

Andy has found his COBRA Connect distance stats invaluable this year

My putting handicap with COBRA Connect is +1.6, so clearly there are no problems there, while approach play is showing at 3.8. Driving has been the issue (11.9) so if I could find ways to improve that, then I know that everything else required to get down to category 1 is already there.

Jeremy Ellwood
Contributing Editor

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf

Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response