Cobra first introduced the Long Tom driver back in the 1970’s. At the time, its 46″ shaft may have been considered excessive, but considering that many of today’s drivers are close to, if not longer, Cobra was ahead of their time. Today’s next generation boasts a full four feet of ball smashing goodness. Yeah, you read that right, 48 inches. Is it excessive? Perhaps, but only time will tell. The Long Tom name comes from a cannon that was used during World War II and the Korean War. It changed the United States’ heavy weapon arsenal forever with its improved distance and accuracy. Two enhancements any golfer would gladly take.
The Long Tom driver is equipped with a new, ultra light Grafalloy Blackbird shaft that Cobra claims is the highest length-to-weight ratio of any of their drivers. Said shaft features Speed Coat Technology which helps improve aerodynamics and club head speed. The Blackbird shaft is fitted with a Winn Ultra Light/Shorty grip, designed to discourage golfers from choking down on the club. Why would you want to hamper a beast like this by chocking down? As for the head itself, the Long Tom has the same E9 Face Technology that Cobra introduced with the S3. This particular variant also has Dual Roll technology, for greater distance on shots hit above and below the face center line.
Testing this club was an experience. Imagine ten minutes of awkward stances, rerouted swings and brutally ugly ball flights. Then picture a ball sailing over the driving range fence like a cannon ball into the wild blue yonder, followed by extreme giddiness. It took some getting used to, and I needed to ratchet back the aggression factor before I could wield this weapon properly. After that, I literally laid siege to the adjoining property. Everyone talks about adding more distance, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it in such an undeniable display. Don’t get me wrong, this driver is not for everyone. But those who can manage the added shaft length will certainly see significant improvement in distance. Control was less of an issue than I anticipated and I found having to slow down to keep the club under control gave me ample time to square the club face. All in all, it wasn’t really an issue and certainly warrants a shot on the course.
As part of the launch Cobra is also offering a limited edition, unfinished Raw version for that straight-from -the mad-scientist’s-lab look. I have to say, it’s oddly fitting for a club that draws its heritage and inspiration from an implement of war. Cue evil laughter.