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Bob Philion, President of Cobra Puma Golf Sits Down with Golfcrunch to Talk Rickie Fowler

Bob Philion, President COBRA PUMA GOLF

With Rickie Fowler claiming his first ever PGA Tour Title last week at Quail Hollow (the Wells Fargo Championship), the golf world has been buzzing with chatter on the young star. While other publications were all over this one, breaking down his game, the stats, and the story, we were more interested in one thing… what the heck was in his bag?!

Thankfully our good friends at Cobra Puma Golf gave us access to their president, Bob Philion, to answer a few questions.

If you want to know what ‘weapons’ and technology Rickie used to claim his first win, please read on. There’s lots of good gems in here, especially for the Cobra fan.

GolfCrunch: The AFT Technology built-in to Cobra’s woods these days is wonderful. We notice from your release that Rickie Fowler plays the AFT in the ‘Neutral’ position. Does he ever change this, or is he pretty locked-in to the neutral position?
Bob Philion: Rickie is locked into the neutral position on his AMP Driver. We worked with him for a bit to make sure all of the specs were in optimal positions to maximize his already powerful swing. The specs are working for him, he was number one in Total Driving for the Wells Fargo Championship.

GolfCrunch: We noticed that Rickie was using a set of (4-9) AMP Pro Prototype irons… what can you tell us about these prototypes?
Bob Philion: Rickie gave us some insights when we designed his AMP Pro Prototype Irons. They give him excellent feel and accuracy. At the Wells Fargo Championship, he hit just under 80% of greens in regulation, those AMP Pro Proto Irons are working well for him.

GolfCrunch: When can we expect these AMP Pro Irons to hit the market?
Bob Philion: The AMP Pro Irons are not planned to be released at this point. We have released both the AMP Irons that provide players of all abilities a versatile and accurate iron. We’ve also launched the AMP Forged Iron. Designed for better players, the AMP Forged Irons offer playability with forgiveness.

GolfCrunch: Is Rickie currently testing any other clubs from Cobra? Any changes to his arsenal on the horizon?
Bob Philion: Rickie works with our Research and Development team by providing feedback on what he wants performance wise and design wise. There might be one slight change in the future that we think our fans will be really excited about. We’ve also been working with Rickie on wedges, you could see him in Trusty Rusty sometime soon.

GolfCrunch: Rickie was dressed in his trademark orange Puma gear on Sunday. What can you tell us about the Golf Duo Swing Mesh Polo he was wearing?
Bob Philion: Rickie’s trademark Sunday shirt is the Vibrant Orange Duo Swing Mesh Polo. One of PUMA’s most popular tops, it features COOLMAX All Season which keeps Rickie warmer in cool weather and dry and comfortable in hot weather. It also features UPF 50+ for ultimate UV Ray protection, a burnout back mesh panel for ventilation and specially engineered sleeves to reduce friction throughout the swing. It’s available in a variety of colors and some patterns.

GolfCrunch: What about the pants?
Bob Philion: Rickie’s pants on Sunday were the Vibrant Orange 5-PKT Tech Pant. This style is designed to mimic denim with jean style back pockets and front pockets but have the moisture wicking properties, lightweight fabric and comfortable fit you need when playing 18 holes, or 73 like Rickie did this past week.

GolfCrunch: …and of course, the shoes. Puma has long been known for the shoes. What can you tell us about Rickie’s golf shoes?
Bob Philion: Rickie wears the Super Cell Fusion Ice shoes. They feature S2Quill technology and use our Swing Speed Chassis Pro. This combination provides the ultimate traction, comfort and flexibility for a shoe that performs through all 18 holes (or 73!).

GolfCrunch: If our readers want to get their hands on the latest Puma golf apparel, where do you recommend they go?
Bob Philion:

A heartfelt thanks to Bob Philion, Kristine Owens and everyone at Cobra Puma Golf for their time!

Cobra Puma Golf Celebrates Rickie Fowler’s First PGA Tour Win with the ‘Sweet Juicy Victory Sweepstakes’

Rickie Fowler took home his first PGA title at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow this past weekend. To celebrate, our good friends at Cobra Puma Golf are putting on a little contest I’m sure you won’t want to miss.

In celebration of the win, Cobra Puma Golf is holding what they are calling their ‘Sweet Juicy Victory Sweepstakes’. That’s quite the mouthful, isn’t it?

The details? Well, 1 winner will take home a solid prize. They will get a PUMA Golf polo all framed up and signed by Fowler himself. PLUS, they’ll get an AMP driver.

Entering the sweepstakes is simple, and is available to both US and Canadian residents. The links are below… all you need to do is enter your name, email, handicap, stuff like that. Easy.

Sweepstakes links:

Way to go, Rickie!

Cobra AMP Driver: Sweet Like an Orange?

Cobra AMP Driver

Cobra appears to be taking a real liking to the color orange these days, no doubt in part to the young and vibrant Rickie Fowler. Can’t blame them for taking that direction, even if it may not ‘jive’ with the tastes of some. Fortunately for me, orange is my favorite color… and it is featured prominently on Cobra’s new AMP Driver. Let’s take a look.

Cobra dubs the AMP as ‘100% Pure, Fresh. Juicy. Sweet Technology’. No doubt playing off the ‘orange’ theme, as you can see in one of their recent commercials here:

Getting back to the driver itself, it features Cobra’s Adjustable Flight Technology. The technology has been built-in to most of their drivers for the past 2 or 3 years, and offers the player with an open, neutral and closed setting. It’s quite easy to adjust, and, as an added bonus, you can buy new shafts fitted with the AFT coupler if you like to switch shafts in and out for different conditions, temperatures or courses.

The AMP also features the E9 face technology with ‘dual roll’. This has been another one of Cobra’s successful features over the past few years, and it promises a 30% larger sweet spot. I can attest to this myself, as Cobra has been more than kind to share some of their recent driver offerings with me (ZL, S2, S3), and they’ve all been fantastic.. In fact, I’ve noticed a steady progression of improvement, especially from the S2 to the S3.

As expected, the Cobra AMP features a titanium 6-4 club head. It also packs a semi-forged, milled titanium face. This is all well and good, but what you may notice most is the white paint job on the crown, and the black club face. This MAY be in reaction to TaylorMade in their driver designs, or it may simply be that research has proven that with a white crown and black face, the visual appearance at address makes it easier for alignment… adding confidence at address on the tee. Haven’t seen any research numbers on the color combo, but it sure does seem to be a trend these days.

The Cobra AMP comes in lofts of 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 11.5. There are also many, MANY shaft and grip combos available, if you have specific needs for your game.

For more information on this sweet swinging driver, be sure to stop by the Cobra AMP page for all the details.

Side Note: Rickie Fowler has the Cobra AMP in his bag. He plays a 8.5 degree loft, in the open position (AFT), and prefers the Mitsubishi White Board 73X shaft.

Cobra ‘Trusty Rusty’ Wedges: Rust is a Must… Or You Bust.

I have to admit, I love my wedges. I’ve been playing the Cleveland Golf 588 RTG wedges for MANY years now. They’ve rusted up all nice, and are simply solid. However, when I happened upon Cobra Golf’s new ‘Trusty Rusty’ wedges… I found myself saying ‘hold on a tick… what’s this all about!?’. Let’s take a look at ’em.

The Cobra Golf Trusty Rusty wedge comes in specialty rusted finishes, that some players prefer (like me!) for a soft feel. They’ve available in satin with a pre-rusted face, a black PVD face, or a plain old ‘rust’ face. If you’re wondering how they do it, the clubheads are simply un-plated carbon steel. Over time, the face rusts up, leaving a true ‘rusty’ finish that many great players enjoy.

Short game guru Phil Rodgers is responsible for the look and design of these bad boys, and from what I’ve seen so far, they’re beautiful.

Another nice feature of the Trusty Rusty is the tri-bounce sole with rear scallop. What does it mean for you? In a nutshell, it means the wedge is versatile. Open up the face to play that high flopper, or choke down and close the face to play a lower punch shot. No matter what the shot demands, the sole and bounce accommodate to help make for a successful result, close to the pin.

Also worth noting is the laser precision technology that Cobra boasts on the trusty rusty. On the face of the club itself, Cobra uses lasers to produce a surface with four distinct surface roughnesses. The result is a face geared towards producing the maximum allowable spin (we can always use more spin… right?).

The Cobra Golf ‘Trusty Rusty’ is available in degree lofts of 49, 51, 53, 55, 57, 59… and yes, 61 (flopper!). They’re also shipped stock with the Dynamic Golf S200 shaft (painted black).

For more information, pop on over to Cobra Golf.

Cobra’s S3 Irons are the Real Deal

I’ve had the pleasure of striking the Cobra Golf S3 irons for 3 rounds now. And let me tell you… These irons produce a solid feel and penetrating ball flight on each and every shot. They’re the real deal.

With the Cobra S3 Irons, Cobra Golf incorporated something they call their ‘E9 Face Technology’. The E9 technology offers a massive sweet spot. Combine that with a unique multi-material construction, and these irons could be some of the easiest to hit on the market today… and I sincerely mean that. From the first shot through to the last wedge I hit the other day, shots come of crisp, clean and consistent.

An interesting little tidbit about these irons is the actual material used in head construction. The 3 through 7 irons are made of 17-4 hyper steel, while the 8 through lob wedge are made from 17-4 stainless steel. The difference? I suspect the stainless is offers a tad more feel for those scoring shots around the green, and the hyper steel provides a crisper contact, for more distance. Just a hunch, but that’s what is has to be!

The last (and quite unique) feature of the S3 irons is the stepped crescent sole design. You’ll notice the sole design right off the hop if you ever see these clubs on display or in a bag around the course… The design allows for what Cobra calls ‘superior turf interaction’, for consistent and accurate shot making.

Cobra Golf S3 Irons

While all this is well and good, don’t take Cobra‘s word for it. Take MY word for it. I had the pleasure of playing the course on which I learned the game over this past weekend. I’ve looped the course many hundreds of times, and while I’m a decent player, had never carded a round under 75. With the Cobra S3 irons as an integral part of my game, I managed to get around all 18 in one-under par. A 70. I was flabbergasted!

While sitting in the clubhouse with some buddies to reflect on the round (and enjoy a beer), I decided to break down the round… and this is where the impact of the S3 irons became clear. Fairways hit? 6 of 14. Not so good. Total putts? 31. Again, not so good. Greens in regulation? 14 of 18… and the four that I missed… were right on the fringe. So what does that mean? Well, in the end it means my iron shots were finding the target. I was on or around the green, and managed to hole out with 2 putts (on average) to take my par and run. My mid and short iron shots with the Cobra S3’s were on the money, and thank goodness for that!

Stay tuned very shortly for an S3 iron photo gallery. I’m very eager to show off these beauties to you… and as always, an extra special THANK YOU to the good folks @CobraGolf!

Skating on Rails: Cobra’s Baffler Rules!

Have  you ever found yourself off the fairway in just enough rough to truly muck with the clubhead?  I’m not talking about literal muck.  I’m talking about the stuff that seems to grab the club and keep its face open as you address the ball.  It is bad enough to be off the fairway to begin with.  But having your subsequent shot move further to the right is downright cruel — especially if that right puts you into someone else’s fairway.

That is why I am here today singing the praises of Cobra for their Baffler Rail fairway and hybrid clubs.  I added a 3 Fairway and a 4 Hybrid to my bag for the last two rounds I played and was truly amazed at the difference.  I’m usually skeptical of the marketing speak of golf equipment manufacturers.  But this time, I have to admit, the club worked as promoted:

Cobra’s Baffler Rail Fairway features a sleek-looking, 17-4 steel clubhead that has a thin, high-strength 465 maraging steel clubface designed to increase ball speed and distance. The elongated clubface and low-profile head result in a low, deep center of gravity – to help golfers launch the ball with ease – and a high Moment of Inertia for maximum forgiveness. The new four-way rail sole is designed to help the club move effortlessly through turf – to provide more consistent ball contact and improved control. The Baffler Rail Fairway features a premium, high-performance Fujikura Motore shaft for optimum distance and control.

“Golfers struggle with hitting traditional fairway woods, so we made the Baffler Fairway more like the Baffler Hybrid in terms of versatility and forgiveness, which makes hitting fairway woods a lot more fun.”

The key words to pay attention to here are “maximum forgiveness” and “a lot more fun.”  I wholeheartedly agree.  The ball just sprung off the clubface and went where I intended.  Plus I got a nice lift.  Very cool!

Here’s are the key points of the Women’s Baffler Rail Hybrid :

  • Innovative Rail Sole:  A four-way rail sole reduces the area of the club that comes in contact with the ground, resulting in improved turf interaction and maximum forgiveness.
  • 9 Point Face Technology:  Incorporated across the clubface, these create an expanded Sweet Zone that promotes more consistent distance and forgiveness.
  • High-Strength Face Insert (Utility):  A thin, lightweight maraging steel face allows for 10% of the weight to be strategically repositioned low and back, resulting in faster ball speed and improved launch characteristics.

Along with the above, the Baffler Rail fairway woods feature a unique oversize head design and a very shallow face result in an extremely forgiving fairway wood that launches the ball with ease.

For women, these clubs (roughly  $169 for fairway wood and $149 for the hybrid) are well worth the investment.  Guys should give them a test drive too.  Take advantage of the playability guarantee a lot of retailers offer and get them out on the course.  See (and feel) for yourself.  To me, the Rail technology is a true game changer.

Here’s a video clip shot during the recent Golf Expo at Haggin Oaks where Charlie Hazzard of Cobra Puma explains the rails.


Cobra S3 Driver Photo Gallery

The Cobra S3 Driver is one darn good looking driver. That’s why, when Cobra told me they were sending one over for my review… I was, in a word, excited. The S3 packs-in something Cobra are calling their ‘E9 Face Technology’, which creates a 30% larger sweet-spot. Of course, Cobra’s Adjustable Flight Technology (AFT) is on-board as well, allowing the player to adjust the clubface from an open, to a neutral or closed position.

I won’t get into the details of the technology and design at this moment (although I do have to admit I love the deeper face on this one in comparison to the Cobra S2 Driver)… For now, I decided to take a few snapshots. Enjoy.

Cobra S3 Driver Photo Gallery

Quick Look: The Cobra Special Release S3 Driver

You may recall our quick look at the Cobra S3 Driver a little while ago. It’s a sharp looking driver, packed full of technology to help you hit the ball farther and straighter than ever before.

As wonderful as the S3 is, Cobra has stepped-up to offer a special release driver, much like they did for the ZL Driver last year. The Special Release S3 Driver (coming soon) features an all-white paintjob, and an Aldila RIP Beta Shaft.

On top of the features listed above, all of the standard tech you find in the stock S3 driver is on-board as well. You’ll get the E9 Face Technology, Adjustable Flight Technology, and a titanium 6-4 head and face with an aluminum hosel sleeve.

Look for the Cobra Golf Special Release S3 Driver to hit a pro shop near you at the end of April 2011. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to give this one a swing. She’s a sharp one!

Cobra Special Release S3 Driver Photo Gallery:

For more information, hit up Cobra Golf.

The Cobra S3 Driver: A Closer Look

As part of their 2011 lineup, Cobra recently released the brand-spanking new S3 Driver. Building upon the foundation laid by the S9, and then the S2, the S3 features a new ‘E9’ face technology… a technology that creates a 30% larger sweet spot. Plus, the Adjustable Flight Technology built into the club head and shaft allows you to make adjustments to fine tune your shot shape or compensate for shot tendencies.

So what is the Cobra E9 Face Technology all about? It’s pretty darn simple, really. The face of the S3 features a taller elliptical face with a beveled perimeter. The end result is a 30% larger sweet spot, allowing you to grip it and rip it down the middle more often. Distance, accuracy and forgiveness are all built-in.

Digging deeper into the E9 Face Technology, Cobra has tested and proven that 99% of shots hit by golfers miss the center of the face in a tilted, elliptical pattern from low heel to high toe. With that in mind, they created a taller and more elliptical face to mirror that miss-hit pattern.

The S3 offers a ‘hotter’ club face in comparison to the S2 driver… take a look at the comparison of the S2 and S3 clubface below.

S2 and S3 Face Comparison

The Adjustable Flight Technology (AFT) built into the shaft and head is exactly the same as previous models (the S2 and ZL). The club comes with three settings, open, neutral and closed. While these three settings aren’t as many as some of the other technologies available today, some might argue that anything more than 3 settings is overkill. I do enjoy the simplicity of the Cobra AFT… Open, neutral or closed… pick your poison and work with it. Easy as that.

The Cobra S3 is available in 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 11.5 lofts. All models are available in 45.5″ lengths with D5 swing weight (the 11.5 is available in a D4 as well) and multiple shaft flexes. The Fukijura Blur is the stock shaft of choice, available in the TX006 and TX005 models. The tX006 is available in regular, stiff and extra-stiff, all having a mid kick and 5.5 degrees of torque. The TX005 comes in lite flex only, with a low kick point and 5.6 degrees of torque.

Fujikura Blur Shaft on the Cobra S3

Cobra S3 Photo Gallery

For more information, head on over to Cobra Golf.

Cobra Golf Launches Limited Edition ‘All-White’ ZL Driver

Ian Poulter and the Cobra All-White ZL Driver

Cobra Golf All-White ZL Driver

When it comes to stylish and powerful golf clubs, one of the names that comes to mind (for me, anyways) is Cobra Golf. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that they’ve graciously sent me their Cobra S2 Driver and Cobra ZL Driver for review… Yeah, you know what, that’s what it is! 🙂 But seriously, the folks at Cobra-Puma Golf are on more of the ‘cutting edge’ when it comes to combining solid golf clubs and stylish apparel.

This story is perhaps a mesh of the two. A wonderful, wonderful mesh of the two.

Cobra Golf has announced a limited edition ‘all-white’ ZL driver. How awesome is that!? You thought the TaylorMade Rossa Corza Ghost putter looked slick, wait until you feast your eyes on this bad boy. To start, below are a few images of the all-white Cobra ZL driver in-use by Ian Poulter:

Ian Poulter and his new Cobra All-White ZL Driver

Ian Poulter and the Cobra All-White ZL Driver

Only 500 of these drivers have been made, and each is marked with a production serial number. Also of note, Cobra staffer Ian Poulter is using the all-white ZL Driver at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai, China. Gotta love that Ian Poulter. So stylish.

I’ve included the official press release after the jump for your reference. All of the club specs and features are there, so you may want to give it a read if you’re interested in this one. It’s certainly a one-of-a-kind, er… well, perhaps a 500-of-a-kind item… and speaking from experience, the Cobra ZL is a very solid, workable and explosive driver off the tee.

Let it be known… I want one of these.

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