Why The Cobra Darkspeed Range Plans To Let The Performance Do The Talking

With an all new sleek black look and modern tech, the Darkspeed range from Cobra looks set to impress in 2024

Photo of the three Cobra Darkspeed drivers
(Image credit: Future)

So far, 2024’s newest drivers have seemingly moved the needle when it comes to how high the MOI (forgiveness) of a 460cc head can reach in colourful, eye-catching designs. While Cobra will continue to offer competitive forgiveness in its new Darkspeed range, the focus is more on helping every golfer achieve as much club head and ball speed as possible in clubs that boast an unusually understated look for the famously-flashy brand. Ever since the bright yellow F9 Speedback driver was introduced in 2019, Cobra has become more than a serious player among the best golf drivers and the introduction of its new Darkspeed franchise looks to build on the excellent work of the popular Aerojet range from last year. 

With drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and game improvement irons dressed in its new stealthy aesthetic, many will agree that the subtle look enhances shelf appeal. But what sits under the exterior to ensure Darkspeed provides a notable bump in performance over last year's Aerojet? 

What is the new technology?

Cobra worked extensively to evolve its A.I. designed Pwr-Bridge weighting in the new Darkspeed range. This suspended weight located behind the face is more forward and lower than it was in Aerojet, resulting in faster ball speeds from centred strikes. A 13 percent larger Pwrshell face insert with an A.I. designed H.O.T Face maximises speed across the entire hitting area, with the face designed being optimised by machine learning to increase ball speed efficiency and Smash Factor

Cobra Darkspeed driver

(Image credit: Future)

All three drivers also benefit from a multi-material chassis with a lightweight carbon crown and sole as well as a reinforced titanium frame. They also feature Cobra’s MyFly 8 adjustable loft system. Advanced and progressive aero shaping is still very much part of Cobra's driver DNA. The design reduces drag and allows golfers of all abilities to maximise their club head speed and the shape is subtly different across the whole range to best suit the type of golfer each model is aimed at. 

In the irons, a thinner, 21 percent larger Pwrshell H.O.T face insert takes ball speed to a newer level over Aerojet, while a Pwr-Bridge weight optimises CG for better launch conditions. 

What are the models and who are they aimed at?

There are three new models of driver in the Darkspeed family - Darkspeed LS, Darkspeed X and Darkspeed Max. 

The Darkspeed LS is the low spinning model in the range, aimed at faster swing speed golfers who need a lower spin window and more shot shaping control. Out of the three models, it's designed with the highest rear skirt height, higher crown peak and the most compact address profile. It features three adjustable weight ports in the sole of the club to help fine tune the club’s characteristics for forgiveness, spin and launch angle. Cobra is offering an 8° model in the LS, which is an evolution of the long drive prototype head used by Kyle Berkshire

Darkspeed X is the driver aimed at the largest amount of players and those who are looking for the right balance between ball speed and forgiveness from off center strikes. It features a medium rear skirt height and a slightly larger profile than the LS at address. Finally, Darkspeed Max is aimed at players who require the most forgiveness mixed in with draw bias. It features the lowest rear skirt height and the highest MOI of the three models. The latter two models also feature adjustable weights with a front and rear weight in the X and a rear and heel weight in the Max to help add more draw bias. 

The same three models translate down into the fairway woods. The LS model has a lower and more forward CG to maximise ball speed and distance. A lightweight carbon crown functions to save weight that has been repositioned to move the CG 3.2mm lower than in Aerojet. Much like the driver, three movable weights in the sole will allow golfers to fine tune ball flight characteristics and playability to their preference. It’s available in a brand new stronger lofted 3+ model with a nominal 13° of loft. Lofts of 14.5° and 17.5° are also available as a more conventional three-wood and five-wood respectively. 

The X fairway wood features a fixed 8g weight in the rear of the sole for a higher launch while the Pwr-Bridge and Pwrshell face work to create faster ball speeds. The X is available in a 15° three wood, 18° five wood and 21° seven wood. 

The Max version is the most forgiving of the three fairway woods, featuring an adjustable weighting system of 12g and 3g that can be moved between the rear and the heel of the club to encourage more draw bias. Available in a 15.5° three wood, 18.5° five wood and 21.5° seven wood. 

There is just one choice of hybrid in the Darkspeed range. It features the same technology as the other metalwoods with Pwr-Bridge weighting and Pwrshell H.O.T face creating a harmony of speed, launch and forgiveness. The Darkspeed hybrid is also available in Cobra’s One Length build. The hybrid is available from a 17° two hybrid all the way down to a 28°  six hybrid. 

The Darkspeed irons are designed with a new hollow body construction filled with a new feel enhancing foam for improved feel and acoustics throughout the set. Like its metalwood counterparts, the irons benefit from Pwr-Bridge and Pwrshell technologies to create what Cobra is claiming to be its longest, best feeling game improvement iron to date. A progressive Tecflo construction transitions from a full hollow body design with Pwr-Bridge and Pwrshell face insert in the 4-7 iron, a full hollow body with no face insert in the 8-PW and a half hollow design in the GW-SW

Cobra Darkspeed ONE Length irons offer the same distance technologies as the variable length irons with added consistency and accuracy due to the setup. Each iron is built to 7-iron length (37.25”) to encourage a repeatable setup and swing. To ensure that the long irons perform optimally at a shorter length, the ONE Length versions feature wider soles and slightly weaker lofts in the 4-6 irons to promote higher trajectory shots.

What Cobra says

Jose Miraflor
Jose Miraflor

“The aerodynamic package in the Darkspeed range is something we’re really excited about as it's our most advanced to date. Our R&D team continues to push the boundaries when it comes to aerodynamic shaping, mass properties and resilience to drive technology and innovation. Our One Length builds continue to be incredibly popular with golfers all over the world, so we’re excited to continue to offer that through our irons and into our hybrids too - we truly believe every type of golfer is catered for through the bag with Cobra.” 

“I’m also really excited about the look of our clubs this year. Often we like to shout about our technology through colour, but this year the driver speaks for itself and this stealthy black look has a real wow factor to it when you see it in person for the first time. I think those who love a premium headcover will be suitably impressed with our new offerings too as they really compliment the dark look we’ve gone for this year.” 

cobra darkspeed headcover

(Image credit: Future)

Our first impressions

Photo of staff writer Joe Ferguson on his follow through with the Callaway Apex CB Iron
Joe Ferguson

The Cobra Darkspeed driver range is a worthy successor to the very popular Aerojet family. The blacked out look provides a really impressive aesthetic and the performance matches the visual. The high ball speed output has remained from Aerojet and the three models very much achieve what they set out to. The LS is a very low spinning and low launching driver that will suit the higher swing speed player, whereas the Max model is exceptionally easy to launch and provides a really strong draw bias to help the slicers out there. Sitting in the middle is the Darkspeed X, and this hits a really comfortable middle ground in terms of launch, spin and playability that will suit the broadest spectrum of players. A really strong driver range that will provide something for everyone.

Photo of the Cobra Darkspeed Max Driver

(Image credit: Future)
Sam De'Ath
Sam De'Ath

The new Cobra Darkspeed fairway woods are the perfect blend of performance, looks and forgiveness. The stealthed-out look of this family give a premium look and the matte black crown really suited my eye. The matte finish certainly gives the head a slightly more compact look on all three models compared to the Aerojet range while all three heads including the LS head perform excellently on miss-struck shots. The Cobra Darkspeed hybrid continues on from the impressive performance that the Aerojet and King Tec hybrid offer. I saw fast ball speeds and a high, towering ball flight when testing with really consistent spin rates. This is a hybrid that performed well from the tee, fairway and the rough and will definitely content for the title of best hybrid of 2024.

Who is using them on Tour?

Cobra Tour staffers Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland, Ewen Ferguson, Andrew Johnston, Jason Dufner and Lexi Thompson will be putting Darkspeed product into play this year. Keep an eye out for any golfers who aren’t under contract putting Darkspeed metalwoods in their bag too. Last year, the likes of Matt Fitzpatrick and Justin Rose put the Aerojet 3-wood in the bag, so it will be interesting to see if they follow suit with Darkspeed. 

Specs, pricing and availability

All of the Darkspeed range will launch on January 19th in the UK and US with the following RRPs: 

Drivers £429/$429, fairways £279/$279, hybrids £229/$229, Irons (steel) £849/$849 for a set of seven clubs, £949/$949 in graphite.

Dan Parker
Staff Writer

Dan is a Staff Writer and has been with the Golf Monthly team since 2021. Dan graduated with a Masters degree in International Journalism from the University of Sussex and primarily looks after equipment reviews and buyer's guides, specializing in golf shoe and golf cart reviews. Dan has now tested and reviewed over 30 pairs of golf shoes since he joined Golf Monthly and is an expert in the field. A left-handed golfer, his handicap index is currently 7.8 and he plays at Fulford Heath Golf Club in the West Midlands. 

Dan is currently playing: 

Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 

Fairway: TaylorMade Stealth 2 15°, Ping G425 Max 21°

Hybrid: Ping G425 

Irons: Cobra King Tec Utility, Ping i59 (5-PW) 

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged Pro

Putter: Wilson Staff Infinite Buckingham

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x Pix