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Golf Monthly Verdict

A serious alternative to your long irons, the Baffler will offer control and consistency ideal for mid handicappers. The ball zips nicely off the face and is definitely easier to drive through rough than a thin bladed long iron.

Reasons to buy
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    This ultility club plays particulalry well from the rough in comparison to a long iron.

Cobra actually invented the Baffler 30 years ago, ahead of the game as far as rescue woods go. But, this little beauty combines old world charm with modern day technology. The Baffler has a thin face enlarging the sweetspot to offer the trajectory of a fairway wood with the control of an iron. And it's control that's key here – unless you can rely on a solid strike every time with your long irons, this provides all important forgiveness. Available in 18, 20, 23 and 26 degree options with a contoured sole plate to cope with good and bad lies it can also be used all over the course.

Neil Tappin
Neil Tappin

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."

Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X