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7-handicapper Andy Wright looks back on progress so far with his new COBRA clubs and what the 'COBRA Connect powered by Arccos' data has most taught him...
Golf Monthly has teamed up with COBRA Golf again in 2018 for ‘Smarter Ways to Lower Scores’, an exciting project in which two readers have enjoyed full COBRA Golf club fittings to help take their games to the next level.
Andy Wright, a 7-handicapper from Cheshire, was fitted for a full driver-to-wedge COBRA Golf set at Silvermere in March and put his new clubs in play straightaway in a determined bid to finally get down to Category 1 this season.
This year the ‘COBRA Connect powered by Arccos’ shot-tracking system is fitted into every club, allowing our two readers to pinpoint exactly which areas of their games need the most attention. In mid-May we met up again at Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire, along with Alex Higgs from Arccos, to play in the Pro-Am at the Europro Tour’s season opener, find out how Andy had been getting on and discover what he had most learned about his game so far from the wealth of data available via COBRA Connect.
Andy Wright Handicap: 7 Home Club: Lymm
On COBRA Connect powered by Arccos… Alex Higgs: Andy has about six or seven rounds under his belt and the data shows that driving and putting are his weakest elements and approach play the strongest. We rate the handicap level of each aspect and his approach play comes out at +0.8, and the driving at 10, so quite a big difference. He’s losing a little bit of distance, and dispersion is both left and right.
He’s also averaging 1.9 putts per green so if he can improve his driving and hole a few more putts, there’s much potential for handicap reduction.
On his COBRA clubs… Switching a whole bag of clubs in one go is a big change, but I’ve got used to them now and am really enjoying my new COBRA gear, especially my COBRA King Forged Tour irons. I actually had a level par round at St Annes Old Links, but sadly it was just a bounce game!
I’m not really a stats person but I’m getting quite addicted to COBRA Connect. I would have said my putting and short game had been my biggest struggles, but the Arccos data shows that my driving needs some work too, so I’m working with the COBRA guys to get my COBRA King F8 driver really dialled in.
On the Pro-Am… This was my first Pro-Am and I really enjoyed it. I played quite well and hit the ball nicely but struggled a little around the greens. I ended up pretty much on handicap though. I made a couple of birdies from hitting wedges close but was really pleased to hit a lot of drives down the middle.
My irons weren’t quite as good, especially the longer irons, but overall I’m pleased with how it went. I didn’t have any three putts either and think I’m playing well enough to get down to 5 if I can just tidy everything up a bit.
Mid-July update My season is progressing nicely. My handicap is currently sat at the lowest it's ever been (6.4). My Arccos handicap using the 27 rounds I have in the COBRA Connect system is 4.0, so I know I'm capable of getting lower, and hopefully to my target of 5 before the end of the season.
The COBRA Connect stats tell me I need to improve my putting and driving, so I've been working on those aspects of my game and as a result, my scores these past couple of months have been consistently lower than ever before. Indeed, I recently shot my lowest ever competition (qualifying) score of 4-over so its all heading in the right direction!
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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
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