In this Cobra Radspeed drivers review, Joel Tadman tests the new models against the prior generation to assess how the performance has evolved for 2021
Cobra Radspeed Drivers Review
Cobra claims its Radspeed drivers will offer increased distance without sacrificing forgiveness thanks to more extreme weighting and more head options to cater for additional player types.
We tested the new models against the King F9 Speedback from two years ago, one of the best drivers on the market at the time, as well as last year’s King Speedzone to get a flavour for how the performance has evolved and were able to retro fit the new stock Fujikura Motore X F1 x-stiff shaft into all three heads in 9° for a more accurate comparison.
Cobra Rad Speed Drivers Review
There are three heads to choose from now with the standard Radspeed driver offering up a different look to the Radspeed XB and Radspeed XD thanks to the crown’s matte finish which we prefer versus the gloss back finish on the other two.
It also has a slightly more compact profile, where the other two look more stretched out from front to back. The wrapped over top section of the CNC Infinity face helps with alignment too.
Make no mistake, these are three very cool-looking drivers with the flashes of turbo yellow and weight ports everywhere on the sole.
It might be confusing to learn where and what all the weights are in the different drivers but know that the Radspeed driver is more front weighted than the other two.
When testing on the Foresight Sports GCQuad launch monitor with Titleist Pro V1x golf balls, in its low spin setting (with the 12g moveable weight at the front) it knocked off a considerable amount of spin versus the two previous generation drivers, as you can see from the numbers below, which will appeal to the faster swinger or anyone that generates too much spin.
This did lead to a greater average carry distance too, but the average spin dropping this is a slight concern for golfers prone to the occasional high toe strike where spin drops off significantly. But with the forgiveness of the head and in-built fade bias, we found the ball flight to be surprisingly stable and straight on all but the worst mishits.
Adding loft to try and increase the launch and spin meant distance suffered so we went back to 9° and switched the sole weights, moving the 12g to the back. By doing this, we increased the spin more than we’d hoped by over 400rpm in the same shaft. The flight and distances were much more consistent, but it wasn’t quite as long.
The numbers are certainly comparable to where we are with most non-fitted premium drivers – a custom fitting would help to reduce spin slightly in this high launch and spin setting, one we’ve tended to opt for more recently because of the extra playability out on the golf course.
We were surprised to see that moving into the Radspeed XB driver seemed to be the best middle ground. The ball speed and launch stayed the same but the spin came down to around the 2200 mark, which was lower than where the King Speedzone was and was closer to the 2100 rpm we would deem to be optimal with our usual ball speed and attack angle tendencies, resulting in strong carries with control and a best shot that flew 280 yards.
In summary, the optimum results from the two Radspeed drivers were quite similar. The theme from both was lower spin than what came before, and while that might work on the really great hits, it can have a negative effect on the mishits. So you have a decision to make – when you’re out on the course do you want hit low spinning bombs and pay the price for a poor swing, or opt for something that isn’t quite as long but is more consistent?
The Radspeed driver was marginally the longest of everything in its low-spin setting and seemed to be more stable overall than the older King F9 Speedback, whereas the Radspeed XB was nearly as long but even more user friendly thanks to higher, more consistent spin and more forgiveness. Where the King Speedzone Xtreme was too high spinning for us last year, the lower spinning Radspeed XB has created a bit of a dilemma.
On centred hits, you will likely experience longer carries with Radspeed than prior generation Cobra drivers. The lower spin will work for many but not all, but the options of the moveable weight in the Radspeed as well as the extra forgiveness of the Radspeed XB and the new slice-fighting capability of the Radspeed XD, once again the new Cobra driver range is a mightily appealing prospect for all types of player given the £369 price tag.