How Bryson DeChambeau’s new Cobra prototype 2-wood became a reality
Bryson DeChambeau had a problem. Just days away from the PGA Tour’s return to action at the Charles Schwab Challenge, the newly bulked-up tour winner was struggling to find a 5-wood he could hit 270-275 yards consistently.
With ball speeds now north of 200 mph, DeChambeau was routinely flying his strong-lofted Cobra SpeedZone Tour 5-wood 265 yards, but the spin rate was too high for his liking. At 16 degrees, DeChambeau’s 5-wood had the loft of a glorified 3-wood, and there was little Cobra Tour rep Ben Schomin could do to get it down any lower without Frankensteining the club.
So he did the next best thing: he picked up a Cobra King SpeedZone Tour 3-wood head, cranked the loft down to 13.5 degrees and handed it to DeChambeau. The club said 3-wood on the sole, but in DeChambeau’s eyes, it was a “5-wood” that spun at a playable rate and went his preferred distance. Mission accomplished — or so Schomin thought.
There was still one problem: DeChambeau had a gaping hole between his 5.5-degree Cobra King SpeedZone driver and his 13.5-degree fairway wood. Without a strong-lofted version in the truck — or in a recent product line — Schomin went into his bag of tricks and unearthed a Cobra F6 prototype that hadn’t seen the light of day since 2016.
Strong-lofted fairway woods are nothing new to the Tour scene. In search of a fairway-finder with plenty of distance, Phil Mickelson had Callaway designers build him a 13-degree XHot 3Deep fairway wood that was in the bag when he won the 2013 Open Championship. There’s also the one-off Phrankenwood — with 8.5 degrees of loft — he employed during the 2013 Masters.
Callaway’s creations for Lefty had a purpose. But when Cobra designers decided to create a deep-face version of the F6 — think of it as a mini driver — more than four years ago, they weren’t sure it would ever reach the market. (It never ended up becoming a retail product.)
“It was one of those projects where you build it to see how it looks and performs,” Schomin told GOLF.com. “You’re never sure if it has a legitimate niche or will ever make it to retail, but we still wanted to see what would happen.”
Schomin and the rest of Cobra’s team didn’t realize it at the time, but the club would eventually find a home in DeChambeau’s bag. After tracking down the only three prototypes at Cobra headquarters, a built version with 10 degrees of loft was sent to DeChambeau on Monday for him to test.
The deeper face allows DeChambeau to use the club off the tee when he needs to throttle back and hit it 300 yards without spinning it off the planet. Following a round of testing on the range and course, DeChambeau chose to put the club in play at the Travelers.
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Like most of the clubs in DeChambeau’s bag, the 2-wood is built like a sledgehammer with two 20-gram weights positioned in the sole, giving it a head weight that hovers around the mid-220-gram range. From a swing weight perspective, his “3-wood” went from D8 to a beefy E2.
“It’s a good thing they spent the time on this club because I’m not sure what we would have done if it wasn’t around,” Schomin said. “Everything keeps having to go down in loft for him. It’s no different with this club.”
DeChambeau was seen using the prototype during the first round of the Travelers Championship, where he opened with 65. At the time of filing, he ranked 3rd in distance (321.2 yards) and 89th in driving accuracy (57.14 percent).