Orange County, California
Club Reviewed: Cobra LTDx Fairway 3 Wood (15-degree)
Ninety days without swinging a golf club, check. Brand spanking new Cobra LTDx 3 wood in the bag, check. Tijeras Creek on a Tuesday where you start on 10 with water left, what could go wrong? Come to find out, absolutely nothing. Just a nice 225-yard baby draw setting up 102-yard wedge with an attackable pin. Two putts and we're in for par to start.
I probably could have stopped there, headed to the 19th hole, and written this review. I probably should have considering how the score ended up when all was said and done. But the score had nothing to do with the Cobra's performance and all to do with a dodgy short game just coming back from some time off.
I wielded the LTDx on 14 tee shots that day, only staying in the bag for the par threes, and it almost made an appearance on No. 12, playing 212 into the wind, but I opted for a 20-degree hybrid instead. (I wound up short-right.)
I would agree with Cobra that the "LTDx is the ultimate distance fairway." I'm not the longest hitter anymore, ever, but I found myself on holes where I usually take driver, to only be one club back in most cases. My longest hit of the day came on hole #2 with a total distance of 245 yards. Not a lot of rollout this afternoon, and I didn't make it to the downhill, just short.
My playing partners couldn't comment positively enough on the sound and ball flight that the LTDx delivered, and this is important on a consistent basis. The thing that resonated with me most from this round and my honeymoon with this club was the consistency and confidence it inspired.
It begins with how the club looks and feels. A classic, not compact head but not bloated either. Nothing distracting on the crown, just a couple humps and some decoration that assists with ball placement and club orientation; the face seems to be quite shallow for this era of club making and instills a sense of workability during setup. Workability is key for me with a 3 wood, especially around Tijeras. Several key shots need to be made to stay out of trouble. I usually must execute well to turn over my woods, a cut is much easier.
Not so with the LTDx. It wants to always take the right side out of play. That's not to say you can't fade the ball, but you must work at it, which is not something I am used to. As for forgiveness, yeah, it's forgiving. Hits more towards the heel and toe were not penalized too much. Feedback wasn't muted, I knew if I caught it outside the ideal hitting zone from the sound and feel.
"My playing partners couldn't comment positively enough on the sound and ball flight that the LTDx delivered"
The Cobra was utilized out of three fairways, one of them being a combed-over, down grain rough shot. Experiences were the same as off the tee. The ball got up quickly; the flight was good and consistent. And I can't say it enough, the sound was tremendous.
Is there a spot in my bag for the Cobra LTDx fairway wood? I think so. I can't truly find any reasons why not.
Club Reviewed: COBRA LTDx 15 degree 3 wood with a Tensei Orange 75 Stiff Shaft
That is where I have to start my review. I have been a Ping and Titleist guy for years. Coming off years of PING G400 LST (swapping between the PING Tour Silver and the ACCRA Stiff Shaft) and the Titleist 910Fd prior (with either an ACCRA Stiff or the Blue Project X 6.0).
What I noticed right away when I opened the box and took off the plastic was the just-right square to slightly open face at set up. Not too deep, not too shallow. While I am not a big fan of graphics, nor that multi-material look of the crown, both were minimized by the great traditional shape of a 3-wood that I prefer (throwback to the ole persimmon days I guess).
So now to the course. As I swung it the first few times, I knew it had good weight in the head (not too headlight for feel) and the shaft seemed to be in good balance too.
I hit the Ping 410LST about 230 to 235 carry when hitting it well. Off the toe or low on the clubface – more like 220 to 225. I get little to no roll and a lot of trouble hitting a cut shot. Immediately I noticed that the solid hits were flying higher, carrying another 5-10 yards and landing with a bit less spin.
Three rounds now under my belt to the Cobra LTDx and I can carry this beauty 235-240 yards with some roll. The club is solid and performs well on miss-hits (I have more than usual during the early season in New England). I hit it higher and with more carry.
I feel the Cobra LTDx is more workable than the Ping or the Titleist. The one item that does seem a bit different, I have hit it through the green on a couple of par-5 second shots, so I am playing around with how best to hit softer landing shots into greens. All considered, what a nice issue – having to worry about hitting a 3-wood with more spin into a par 5.
"I noticed that the solid hits were flying higher, carrying another 5-10 yards and landing with a bit less spin"
While I love the idea of adjustable clubs, I still find that when you add loft, you find a bit of a closed face and more bounce. When lowering the loft, there is a bit of an open face and less bounce. This can come in handy in certain conditions, but I find myself not wanting to adjust unless I can get that nice square to slightly open face look. A perfect visual for me.
The Tensei Orange 75 shaft is a wonderful find, somewhat by accident. I tried one and found that the launch point of the shaft allowed me a bit more shot elevation without losing too much control of direction and curve.
All in – I give this Cobra LTDx five stars, and AmateurGolf.com is going to have to pry it away from me! Of all the clubs in the bag, the three wood may not have been on my list of items to change, but it is now.