Ever since Cobra introduced the F9 Speedback (nearly four years ago), they’ve been an edgy thorn in the side of the industry leaders, and now that the rebel has a taken seat at the big boy table – they’re kickin ass with their latest innovation in 2022 with their new LTDx line of drivers and metalwoods (mostly carbon actually). Early testing by virtually every media outlet (not just us) shows LTDx Ball speeds are matching or beating those same industry leaders that are charging 20% more for their latest big stick.
The LTDx driver comes in three models – LTDx Max (Draw baised w/movable weights for those looking for slice correction), LTDx (is Cobra’s standard high-MOI rear weight model offering low spin, max forgiveness and fast ball speeds), LTDx LS is their lowest spin model that is geared towards high speed players who to shape their shots.
Earlier this year I sat down to get the full scoop on LTDx from Cobra’s VP of Innovation and AI – Mike Yagley. When you get to pick the brains of their R&D and Innovation Team – guys like Yags, Tom Olsavsky (Tommy O), and Jose Miraflor (Lil Rat), you get a sense of why the brand continues to impress so may in the industry – they have are a savvy group who really picks the brain of their tour staff to think “outside the box” when creating new products.
Our Cobra test assignment was LTDx LS (Low Spin). Lots of tech goin on here, but the big performance feature on the sole of LTDx LS is the movable weights in the front center section of the sole which contributes to three performance factors –
- Weight forward creates extremely low backspin (less forgiveness)
- Super high ball speeds
- Switching the heavier weight to either the toe or heel side influences a specific desired shot shape
Cobra’s Infinity milled face returns but with two distinct differences from Radspeed – the milled topline has been removed in order to provide a smoother looking transition to the crown. objective achieved. The second significant change is the H.O.T Face technology – is precisely tuned for speed using machine learning. Using data from thousands of impact simulations, they created multiple zones with perfected thicknesses to increase ball speed across a larger area of the face.
According to Yags, “a multi-material construction features 30% more carbon and a lighter and more stable titanium chassis. This new design maximizes weight savings so we can position more mass low and forward in the PWR-COR to increase speed.”
Our LTDx came in Mitsubishi Tensei AV White 60, but two other shafts are available in their stock Project X HZRDUS RDX Blue and HZRDUS Project X Smoke iM10. Their custom option has a plethora of shaft options, many at no upcharge.
Before we get to performance, let’s discuss the aesthetics and the importance of such when ponying up the big bucks for your new big stick. You have to be comfortable with how it looks behind the ball, and in my case, the LTDx LS had me at hello. It has a super sharp look at address – classic shape, the matte black carbon crown and the clean top line all contribute to a feeling of confidence, and as we all know, confidence is an essential intangible to success.
Having gamed F9 Speedback, Speedzone and Radspeed in recent years, I had a baseline of what to expect in both feel/sound and performance. I am pleased to report that Cobra did a nice job with the feel/sound of LTDx, returning to the more pleasing muted thwack of the F9.
For our testing session in the Foresight simulator, I intially got some seriously low spin #’s, too low in fact – but I’m always a tough challenge for any fitter because I just don’t produce adequate backspin. The spin #’s I was getting even on flush sweetspot strikes was between 1600-1900 rpms well under the desired 2200-2600, so we experimented with the different setting configurations, loft/lie, movable weights and even a few different Mitsubishi shafts that I have, and began to see some optimal ball flight and and performance #’s (as general rule 150 ball speed, 2200 spin, 250 carry, 275 total distance are my benchmarks). I prefer to shape shots off the tee (hence the desire to test the LS with its movable weights), but my desired ball flight is a baby draw. The simulator shot above was exactly what we had in mind and we were able to repeat these results consistently once we were able to dial the driver in.
On course testing proved out what we saw in the simulator, medium trajectory baby draws were the ball flight pattern all round long. Moving the weight into the toe section allowed for a nice cut shot that was hot, running out nearly as much as the draw ball, and may prove to be the fairway finder that’s sneaky long. After a few rounds I really found a groove of finding fairways and hitting bombs when the opportunities presented themselves.
If you’re in the market for a new big stick and Cobra’s LTDx is of interest to you, it’s very important to get fitted by a professional. I’m probably on the extremely low end of someone with the horsepower to optimize the LS model (but the workability of LTDx LS with its movable weights was too enticing for me to pass up). It’s likely that the standard LTDx will allow most players to maximize their performance, but the choice of 3 models to get you dialed into your personal best is ideal.
LTDx is FAST, good looking, feels and sounds fantastic and is a big value considering it’s $100 less than the other drivers you’ll likely be testing.
For more info on Cobra LTDx: https://www.cobragolf.com/