Bryson DeChambeau tests a driver ‘three years’ in the making for the Masters

dechambeau masters driver

Bryson DeChambeau contemplated using a 47- or 48-inch Cobra driver last fall to bring Augusta National to its knees. The driver never made the cut — although DeChambeau’s colleagues tried to make it work — but it once again highlighted the lengths the reigning U.S. Open champion is willing to go in an attempt to gain an edge, especially off the tee.

A new year brings with it another opportunity to unleash a souped-up weapon at the Masters, and all signs point to DeChambeau putting a prototype Cobra RadSpeed in the bag that’s “three years” in the making.

“It’s just a different shape, for the most part, and the face is something I’ve been talking about for a long time — how we’re designing the face for the speeds I’m producing and the shot shapes I want,” DeChambeau told GOLF.com ahead of the tournament.

The fifth version of Cobra’s RadSpeed driver, which landed on the USGA’s conforming list on Monday, is designed to help DeChambeau gain more consistency on toe strikes at his extremely high speeds. To build a Bryson-specific driver, Cobra engineers made significant modifications to the face, removing the Infinity Face design found on the retail head and replacing it with a thicker version for added durability. The toe radius was then made flatter to tighten up DeChambeau’s dispersion off the toe.

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“Hitting a 5-degree driver at 200 miles per hour ball speed presents some very different ball/club dynamics than our engineering team is typically designing for,” Cobra Tour rep Ben Schomin told GOLF.com via text message. “We’ve had to rethink our approach in some aspects of design/testing and continue to do so. This head is our latest iteration to find something that works best for Bryson at these tremendously high speeds.”

Lead tape was also placed on the sole and crown to add beef to the light head — the removable weights were taken out to save overall head weight — and act as a guide when hot melt is placed inside the cavity.

The lead tape on the sole of DeChambeau’s driver serves an important purpose.

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Concealed underneath the lead tape is Cobra’s Peacoat and Red colorway, a change that was requested by DeChambeau when the head was being built.

DeChambeau has several days to get the driver game ready, but even if it doesn’t make the cut, it won’t be for lack of effort. DeChambeau tested the driver on Sunday and was back on the range late in the afternoon on Monday, following a practice round, to do additional work with Schomin.

“Whether it helps me win the tournament or not, it’s still a massive improvement off of everything that’s been going on,” DeChambeau said. “It’s been all-hands-on-deck at Cobra, and they worked super hard to get this ready for Augusta.”

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Jonathan Wall

Golf.com

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour.