First Look: Cobra Baffler XL hybrids
In 1975, Cobra burst onto the scene with a laminated maple utility club called the Baffler. It was a landmark club, a truly revolutionary design -- the great-grandfather of the hybrids that have become such a huge presence in our bags.
Four decades and countless models later, the newest Baffler, the XL, has the same ambition as the original: to make the game easier for everyday players. It has a flexible steel face to promote higher ball speeds. Cobra combines a shallow face with 20 grams of tungsten backweighting (30 percent more than the company's current Baffler T-Rail+ hybrid) to create a lower, deeper center of gravity so shots launch higher by 0.5 degrees, with less spin.
The Baffler XL is more forgiving than the T-Rail+ on mis-hits, too. Added stability (19 percent higher MOI) means less twisting at impact, which produces 1 to 2 mph faster ball speeds on off-center shots. According to Cobra, you can expect five or more extra yards from mis-hits.
The XL's prominent sole rails -- a feature dating back to the Ford Administration -- are designed with lots of "bounce" on the leading edge, so the head skids along the ground rather than digging in too deeply. The Baffler XL is nonadjustable, but comes in six lofts: 2H (17°), 3H (19°), 4H (22°), 5H (25°), 6H (28°) and 7H (31°). $159 each, graphite.
(Photo: Schecter Lee)