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Golfing Green

May 27, 2008

By Matt Hombach

Test Drive: King Cobra Speed LD Driver

The Club: Cobra Speed LD Driver -- Factory shaft (stiff), 9.5 degrees of loft
The Test Driver: Rob Wilson, host of "Double Bogey Blues," who carries a plus-2 USGA Handicap.
The Location: Newly upgraded driving range at Greystone Golf Course

As a competitive amateur golfer and host of the "Double Bogey Blues" radio show, Rob Wilson plays a lot of golf. Whether he’s teeing it up at his home course at Mountain Branch, or playing some place new, he’s on the links several times a week.

While he plays frequently, Wilson doesn’t tinker a lot with what’s in his bag. 


Radio personality Rob Wilson tests the King Cobra Speed LD driver, which is designed to maximize distance for fast to mid-level swing speeds.
(Matt Hombach)

“My basic philosophy is to just stick to what works,” Wilson said. “But when a club gets three or four years old, it’s time to shop around because the technology has gotten better.”

Wilson was more than willing to be the first participant in PressBox’s new “Test Drive” feature, where a local golfer tries out one of the newest clubs on the market.

On a recent blustery day at Greystone Golf Course in northern Baltimore County, Wilson stopped by the range to try out the new King Cobra Speed LD driver.

Wilson liked the appearance of the club but said that looks aren’t everything when it comes to choosing a driver.

"As far as irons go, I have to like what I see when I look down at them, but for my driver, I don’t care what it looks like as long as I can hit it where I’m aiming,” Wilson said.

Cobra’s Speed LD driver is designed to maximize distance for fast to mid-level swing speeds. The club also features one of the largest club faces on the market.

After hitting just a few shots with the Cobra driver, Wilson was impressed. He laced several piercing drives down range into the wind. The ball flight was high without being too high and ended with a slight fade at the end.

"That’s about as good as I can hit any driver right there; it feels really good,” he said. "It is easy to hit and seems very forgiving. The best part is that ball is going where I want it to almost every time.”

Like other low handicappers, Wilson is more concerned with accuracy than distance off the tee. He’ll trade 15-20 yards in distance any time for a more accurate drive. Wilson normally hits drives with his Ping G5 a little over 250 yards. He estimated he was cranking them a bit farther with the Cobra.

Wilson attributed the good performance of the club to the high quality shaft. "A good shaft on your driver is everything,” he said. “For a factory shaft, this performs real well.”

Wilson continued to send balls down range with the driver, commenting on the consistent ball flight. He also said that while the club was forgiving, he could still work the ball right to left or left to right if need be.

"Some drivers that are very forgiving make it hard to hit a controlled draw or fade,” he said. “But with this Cobra, I can pretty much do what I want with [the flight of the ball].”

Overall, Wilson thought the Cobra was a great club and felt he could put it in his bag right now and play it.

"My Ping G5 is a few years old now, so it might be time to start shopping around,” he said. “The technology gets better every year and helps all golfers get more distance.”

Wilson’s weekly radio show offers golfers a great resource for information on local events and what’s happening on the PGA Tour. Interviews with professional golfers are a regular feature. "Double Bogey Blues" can be heard Sunday mornings at 7 a.m. on 1300 WJFK AM.


Former Oriole Fails In U.S. Open Bid

Who knew Albert Belle was a serious golfer? The former major league slugger, who spent a few injury-plagued seasons on the Orioles’ roster, failed in his bid to qualify for the U.S. Open when he carded an 84 at Royals Dunes Golf Club in Arizona. The cut for making it to the next round was 68.

Belle wasn’t alone among the ranks of professional athletes failing to qualify for the U.S. Open. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo fared a bit better with a 75 at the Golf Club of Dallas earlier this month, but still missed the cut by more than five shots.

Issue 3.22: May 29, 2008