March 6, 2015
During the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show, I visited the driving range portion of the massive Orange County Convention Center, where several different club makers were set up with stacks of clubs, for close examination and a swing or two.
Courtney Barnette of Eventxperts.com was overseeing the Cobra spot that morning. In front of two tee box stations, his company set up a portable trailer with seven seats spread out on three sides. Golfers could sit and answer questions about their handicaps and golf tendencies on the laptops, using the Cobra Golf web site.
The computer’s questions asked about such things as the average distance for your 7-iron, your handicap, and the normal ball flight of your drives.
Based on my responses, the computer suggested I should try the new Fly-Z+ adjustable driver, set to 12 degrees loft, with a regular flex shaft and with the triangle-shaped weight wedge moved to the front location option.
The Fly-Z+ is marketed to better golfers, while the adjustable Fly-Z is aimed at mid-handicappers. The non-adjustable Fly-Z XL comes with an offset bias, for golfers who struggle with slices.
My first few shots with the Fly-Z+ suggested I wasn’t a good candidate for it, despite the computer’s recommendation. The trajectory was low, and there were several pushes to the right instead of my usual draw or high hook.
At that point, Cobra fitting specialist Bryan Schreffler stepped up to suggest a different option. I switched driving stations to the one that included a launch monitor, while Schreffler fixed me up with a Fly-Z driver. This time he set the club to 11.5 degrees, with the same shaft flex.
The weight wedge is set back in this model, which has the effect of moving the center of gravity further back on the club head. After a few swings with that arrangement, he changed the face angle at address to its first Draw setting. That combination helped immediately, and well.
My last several drives flew off the clubface with a slight draw, just as I like. The launch monitor results said I was hitting dead center on the clubface at 85 miles per hour, with a launch angle of 13.4 degrees, leading to a 203-yard carry and a roll of 21 more yards.
Schreffler was most impressed at the 2240-rpm spin rate on the centered clubface hit. He said that for my club speed and my 1-degree up-angle on the ball at impact, the spin rate was optimal for distance.
The club also felt great at impact, by the way.
Schreffler handles between eighty and a hundred demo days each year for Cobra meandering from Tampa through Orlando and up to Jacksonville. His busy season begins in December before the PGA Show, and runs through April.
The Fly-Z+ carries a suggested retail price of $399, with the Fly-Z driver sold at $329. The Fly-Z XL goes for $279.
This was my first experience with adjustable drivers, as well as the first time that my drives were tracked with a launch monitor. After spring comes and I have a few more lessons with Rookery North golf pro Kyle Deas, I think he and I will be doing some more launch monitor-based club research.
Snowed out again
The past week’s stormy weather played havoc with the opening week of golf practice for the Cape Henlopen High School Vikings.
This is the second year in a row that the team has been unable to begin their normal spring practice regimen at the driving range and putting green of Rehoboth Beach Country Club, on the calendar day that the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association decreed months ago.
I am beginning to have my doubts about all this global warming stuff.