Ferrari Formula One race cars are known to reach speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, so it’s no surprise that a driver co-developed by Ferrari engineers would focus on speed. Based on a collaborative effort between Cobra Golf and the Italian sports car manufacturer, the mega-pricey Cobra Ferrari driver generates 0.5 to 1.5 percent more clubhead speed and 1 to 3 mph faster ball speed than previous Cobra models. Company brass attributes these gains to improved clubhead aerodynamics, high-end multi-material construction and a premium graphite shaft.
With input from Ferrari’s aerodynamic experts, Cobra smoothed various surfaces on the sole, raised the head’s trailing edge higher off the ground and tweaked the face curvature along the outer edges to reduce drag during the swing. The 460cc clubhead is comprised of a titanium (Ti 6-4) face, a titanium body (made of a lighter alloy than Ti 6-4), and carbon fiber in the crown and sole. The carbon fiber portion accounts for 41 percent of the head’s surface area but only 10 percent of its weight, which allowed Cobra’s design team to place an additional 35 grams in the sole to reposition the club’s center of gravity for improved launch conditions. In addition, the face is thinned in an elliptical pattern from the low heel to the high toe to create a 30 percent larger “sweet zone” and faster ball speeds on off-center hits. Rounding out the sleek package is a hand-stitched grip made from Australian kangaroo leather that feels tacky in all weather conditions, plus a leather headcover.
From GOLF.com (May 31, 2012)
A prancing horse in a yellow rectangle, just the right shade of red and the thunder of horsepower coming from a massive engine are parts of the signature style of Ferrari.
The iconic Italian automaker has crafted sports cars that men (and women) around the world have lusted after since 1929. For around $200,000, you can own a 458 Italia or a California, but a mere $2,000 can get you into Ferrari’s latest offering, a limited edition Cobra driver.
The club, which is the centerpiece of the new Ferrari Golf collection, started its life as a Cobra ZL. Ferrari engineers, using the same software they employ to make cars that go more than 200 miles per hour, then tinkered with the titanium-faced club. Their work made it slipperier through the air, and lighter, thanks to a crown and sole made from carbon fiber. The weight saved by using that material allowed Ferrari and Cobra to add brazed tungsten weights inside the sole to improve launch conditions.
If you choose to put this red rocket into play instead of admiring it in its collector's display, you'll likely find that it performs very well. In fact, Tom Preece, Cobra Golf's vice president of club R&D, says that the Ferrari edition ZL produces more ball speed and distance off the tee than the company's ZL Encore driver.
It should also feel really good in your hands because the grip is hand-stitched from genuine leather and feels like the steering wheel of a Ferrari touring car. Even the club's headcover is hand-stitched Ferrari leather.
In addition to the driver, the Ferrari Golf Collection includes golf shirts, pants, jackets, shoes, gloves and bags. The shirts, which will retail for about $120, feature both the Puma and prancing horse logos and will be offered in two styles — a tech performance model in either black or white, and a mercerized cotton version in either black or racing red (the rosso corsa of Formula One fame).
Getting your hands on one of these drivers might be as challenging as getting behind the wheel of an actual Ferrari. The club, along with other pieces in the Ferrari Golf Collection, will only be available at select Cobra retailers and pro shops, as well as select Ferrari dealerships and specialty stores starting in July.
(Woody Hochswender contributed reporting to this story.)