Everything we know about the Cobra Darkspeed driver family, the brand’s range of big sticks for 2024.
It’s the time of year when we monitor the USGA’s conforming list closely in the hope of catching a glimpse of 2024 products and a new range of Cobra Darkspeed drivers have caught our eye.
An LS, X, and Max head have all been submitted to the USGA, which suggests Cobra are continuing with three head choices to suit a wide range of golfers. Traditionally, LS is the low spin and least forgiving version, Max is the most forgiving, and X is somewhere in between.
‘Speed’ has regularly formed a part of Cobra’s product names and, judging by the images, ‘Dark’ is reflective of the color scheme.
Darkspeed follows the TaylorMade Qi10, PXG Black Ops and Ping G40 Max 10K onto the conforming list. Conforming products are cleared for use in year-end tournaments such as Europe’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, the LPGA’s CME Group Tour Championship, and PGA Tour’s RSM Classic.
Rory McIlroy has already put the new TaylorMade model into his bag in Dubai, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on Ewen Ferguson to see if Darkspeed makes its way into his set-up. We’ll also be interested to see if Darkspeed is the driver that convinces Lexi Thompson to finally ditch her RadSpeed.
Cobra Darskpeed Driver: What we know
Cobra introduced H.O.T Face in their 2022 LTDx range of drivers. On the USGA’s conforming list, it’s submitted as an identification marking which suggests it’s a feature of the Darkspeed drivers.
On their previous model, the Aerojet, the H.O.T FACE was designed using artificial intelligence and created a variable thickness pattern that delivered more efficient speed and spin across the face.
It appears Cobra’s PWRSHELL will continue into Darkspeed with the branding present on the sole of the club. PWRSHELL is the name given to the forged face insert used to maximize flexibility for higher launch and faster ball speed. We
We can see the PWR BRIDGE graphic on the sole of the club, so it’s safe to assume the innovative suspended bridge weight design that we saw introduced in Aerojet will also be in Darkspeed.
Based on a Leonardo da Vinci concept from more than 500 years ago, it enables unrestricted flexibility of the face and sole, and positions the CG low and forward for faster ball speeds.
The conforming list confirms that Cobra will be offering the Darkspeed LS in 8°, 9°, and 10.5°, the Darkspeed X in 9°, 10.5°, and 12°, and the Darkspeed Max in 9° and 10.5°. For all of these lofts to be listed, they must have been tested and deemed to conform to the Rules of Golf.
In order to manipulate ball shape and ball flight there appear to be moveable weights in the sole of the club – two in the X and Max, and three in the LS. The heaviest weight in all three models, as standard, is 12g and the lightest is 3g.
The Darkspeed Max and Darkspeed X have the option to change the weights between neutral and high, whereas Darkspeed LS also gives the option to move the weights to a fade weight port.
Having only seen black-and-white images of one angle of the drivers it’s hard to tell exactly what color Cobra have opted for with Darkspeed, but based on the name and the sole it would appear they’ve gone for a blacked-out head. We don’t think they’ll be the only brand to do so in 2024 with the trend set to move toward darker color schemes.
There’s no official release date for Cobra Darkspeed, but they normally unveil the product to the public at the beginning of January. From the middle of January, it’s likely Cobra will be taking pre-orders, about a month before they start hitting the shelves in retailers around the world. While we have to wait until 2024 for the product, it wouldn’t at all be surprising to see it in Cobra staffers’ golf bags over the coming weeks.
We’ll receive samples ahead of the launch so will put Darkspeed to the test to find out if it’s one of the year’s best drivers.
About the author
James is an English language and journalism graduate who worked for American Golf alongside his studies as part of the sales and fitting team.
Having worked in golf retail for seven years and freelanced as an equipment reviewer for Golf Monthly he has all the skills and knowledge necessary to review and recommend the perfect equipment for golfers of all abilities. He has a strong knowledge of putters, golf balls, and golf apparel, including trousers.
A member at Cleveland Golf Club, James’ handicap index is 4.7 thanks to consistent distance off the tee.
You can contact James via email for loads more golf equipment insight.