By Golf Monthly
In the second instalment of our Project Joe Series with Cobra Puma Golf, beginner golfer Joe Brewin gets fitted for the new Radspeed to range to try and accelerate his improvement
Project Joe - Blog Entry 2: Can New Clubs Help?
You know you’ve got off to a rough start in golf when the clubs you bring along to a fitting are literally laughed out of the bag.
Let’s just say that before I rocked up at the (mightily impressive, I should say) American Golf in Hemingford Abbots, my previous bunch were relics of a time gone by.
A set of cheap, chunky and weighted Regal irons bought approximately 15 years ago; a pair of curiously lofted hybrid clubs that were greeted like alien arrivals from another planet; a John Daly ‘grip it and rip it’ (now illegal) 540cc driver inherited even back then - best not even trying to guess how old that one is.
I ‘upgraded’ to a £15 Ram one from a bloke on Facebook, which at least fitted the tees at my local range. The bag: £5 from another commiserative seller online (but at least it has a functional [a] strap and [b] stand, unlike my previous one).
So... in summary, not ideal.
I’d got absolutely no idea what to expect from a fitting, having never done one before, but the prospect of upgrading to some tools I wasn’t immediately ashamed of was a rather exciting one. Certainly, the Cobra fitter Billy Whiteman’s pity for my Daly antique suggested that the only way was up.
One thing I did have in mind going in was the possibility of moving to one-length clubs. For a beginner like me, I thought they might help – the idea of removing some of the uncertainty when clubs get shorter (a big issue for me up to this point) and trying to achieve some consistency that way.
By the end, Billy agreed: after we’d switched between shafts on a 7-iron, we settled on some steel Radspeed One Length irons which were still immediately lighter than my old lumps. Given that my arms are more teenager than Tiger, being able to achieve a faster swing speed with a club far less clunky will surely help in the long run.
RELATED: Cobra Radspeed Irons Review
When it came to the driver, we took off some length in a bid to narrow my range of fade and strike the ball better. Despite the shorter shaft, my distance increased considerably, along with my confidence.
To close the gap between irons and driver, meanwhile, we trialled a hybrid but ultimately settled on a 5-wood with weighting in the right places – all in the name of taming that natural shot shape a little more.
As it turned out, you don’t really know what a nice shot feels like until you’ve used some nice new clubs. Immediately, I got more distance with the Cobra clubs – the ball flew off the clubface in a completely different way to my tired old ones, making for a massively more satisfying experience all around (when my swing went right, that is).
RELATED: Cobra Radspeed Drivers Review
I knew I’d struck balls at Hemingford like a bloke with his eyes sewn shut, but couldn’t wait to see what a difference the new clubs would make. A few weeks later, like a kid who’s just been told they’re off to Disneyland, I was able to find out for the first time when my custom set was delivered.
Playing nine holes, the driver was an immediate success. A couple of weeks earlier, I’d played one last (if only second ever) round with my old clubs – a miserable disaster in wind and rain – and abandoned the driver on the back nine completely in favour of my mate’s 4-iron. I couldn’t have hit the ball straight that day if it was being sent down a drainpipe.
Fast-forward a couple of weeks, though, and the game had changed – the Radspeed XD driver felt different from the start and instantly gave me more confidence. The first tee shot went beautifully straight and I didn’t duff it off the tee with that club from there on.
I’m still getting to grips with the wedges – the nature of one-length clubs means a bit of a mentality shift for the ‘shorter’ ones in that respect – but a bit more practice will do a world of good there. Otherwise, though, I’m very confident that my new Cobra clubs will be literal game-changers once I start getting down the range more and trying to nail a consistent swing.
There are still teething issues that only magic fairy dust could fix otherwise (or failing that, my new coach James), but the road ahead certainly looks much brighter. Unless you’re a seller of golfing tat on Facebook Marketplace, that is.
Joe's What's In The Bag?
Driver - Cobra Radspeed XD, 10.5°, Fujikura Motore F3 regular 44.5" shaft. Fairway - Cobra Radspeed XD 5 wood, Fujikura Motore F3 regular shaft. Irons – Cobra Radspeed ONE length, 5-SW, UST Recoil EXS 460 regular shafts. Bag - Cobra Ultralight stand bag
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