Cobra DARKSPEED Max Fairway Wood Review

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The Cobra DARKSPEED Max fairway wood is forgiving, consistent, and looks great at address.  A serious contender for a wide range of players looking for a new fairway wood this season.

Introduction

Whether being used off the tee or on the fairway, amateur golfers need their fairway wood to be versatile, forgiving, and long.  The Cobra DARKSPEED Max fairway wood checks all three boxes. Cobra made a few tweaks to its head design to help keep ball speeds up across the face as well as boost launch.  Read on to find out how the club performed for me and whether or not it will earn a spot in my bag.

Looks

I don’t know what “DARKSPEED” is but the look of the club is definitely dark.  In the words of Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap, “How much more black could it be? The answer is none. None more black.”  Silly film references aside, the Cobra DARKSPEED Max fairway wood has a very attractive deep matte black finish.  There’s a subtle carbon fiber pattern on the crown that fades as you get closer to the face.  There is the traditional Cobra “C” logo alignment aid.

In terms of shaping and footprint, it is the largest of the three DARKSPEED fairway offerings, but it doesn’t look that big, compared to some other “max” fairway models I’ve seen.  The shape is on the rounder side with the face height being low and the club head stretched back.  Overall, I find it to be a very attractive looking club at address and in the bag.

Sound & Feel

Impact off the face feels great.  Center contact is appropriately satisfying.  Miss it heel- or toe-side and you can easily discern strike location via feeling in your hands.

Sound-wise, the Cobra DARKSPEED Max fairway wood has something in common with its matte black finish.  I wouldn’t call it dull by any means, but it’s lower pitched, medium volume, accompanied by an authoritative thump.

Performance

The Cobra DARKSPEED Max fairway wood boasts great distance and tight dispersion, an elite combo in a fairway wood.  During my testing, numerous shots were not too far behind the driver I was testing that day.  I quickly gained a sense of confidence about where the ball was headed.

On the course, the Cobra DARKSPEED Max fairway wood produced one stunning moment where, having felt the ball come squarely off the toe, I saw it fly remarkably high and straight, landing right where I was aiming, maybe just a few yards short of the ideal position.  I assume that the club’s AI-designed HOT face technology is to thank and that this result could be repeated given similar inputs.

I’m not comfortable branding any club a “slice killer.”  That’s a recipe for over-promising and under-delivering.  However, this club definitely seems to limit hard turns and keep shaping more neutral.  If I’m teeing off on a tight par 4 or trying to get close to a par 5 with a narrow or well-defended landing area, I place a premium on having a small margin for error.  After a relatively short amount of time with the DARKSPEED Max in hand, I had a lot of confidence in it.

As usual with Cobra, there is plenty of adjustability available via a standard club tool.  Loft can be adjusted +/- 1.5 degrees, and +/- 1 degree in “draw” setting.  Weights in the heel and back (15g and 3g) can be switched around to promote more or less of a draw.  And the club is available in 3, 5, and 7 woods.

Unfortunately, the stock shaft offerings are quite limited.  The UST LIN-Q M40X Red 5, a mid-high launch, mid-spin shaft, is the only stock option.  It’s on the lighter, more active side, and while it works well for what it is, it may not be the best fit for everybody.  As always, it’s a reminder to get fit if you really want to maximize what your clubs are able to do for you.

Conclusion

The Cobra DARKSPEED Max fairway wood is fantastic and well-suited to a wide range of players.  With its crisp matte finish and compact look, it’s the best looking metal wood from Cobra that I have seen.  I wish there were more options available for stock shafts, but it’s a good reminder to get fit if you want optimal performance.  I could easily game this club but ultimately I prefer continuity between my driver and fairway wood so I’ll be going a different direction with my gamer this year.  Check out my updated WITB HERE.

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Cobra DARKSPEED Max Fairway Wood Price & Specs

Dylan Thaemert
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