Whilst finalising the product design for the new Cobra Golf DARKSPEED driver, the brand found that the majority of women they canvassed did not use headcovers, Editor Emma Ballard found out how this impacted the finished product
Is it really true that the majority of women golfers do not play with headcovers? A question I’ve been pondering since attending the Cobra Golf DARKSPEED media launch back in October.
I wasn’t able to share my thoughts with you until the DARKSPEED launch last week. Since then, we have covered a lot about women’s specific golf equipment, firstly around there being more choice than we may have first thought but also that there needs to be better education and marketing around golf clubs for female players.
The new DARKSPEED drivers from Cobra feature a satin matte finish, which makes for a striking look when you may be used to the shiny gloss finish of most other drivers. However, when I was shown the women’s specific DARKSPEED MAX driver, it had a gloss finish, just like the AEROJET MAX and LTDx MAX that had gone before it.
This prompted me to ask Jose Miraflor, Vice President, Marketing & Product Architecture, at Cobra Golf, why they hadn’t kept the satin matte finish across the full range of drivers, I found the answer surprising.
“During the design phase, we were developing satin matte, crowns for the women's colour as well, because it looks striking. Before committing to this, we did a survey amongst Cobra employees, retail managers and the wider women’s golf community, asking the question: ‘Do you play with your head cover on your driver when you play golf?’
“Some said they played with no headcovers at all, not even on their hybrids. The chief buyer at one of our top accounts in America is a woman, she loved the matte finish. I then asked her if she played with a headcover and she said no, why does it make a difference?
“Most people hold on to a set of clubs for four and a half to five years. So imagine a matte driver sitting in a bag and you pull an iron out. Every time you pull an iron out, you have a danger of touching the crown on your driver. With a matte satin finish, which only has one coating of gloss, there is more chance of making a mark on the crown.
“The Women's driver is the regular carbon fibre and this gets a whole bunch of gloss coating on it. When something hits it, it’s more robust, and is unlikely to get scratched.”
So, there you have it, a driver that has been specifically gloss coated due to the fact that women tend to play without headcovers! It was the first time I had heard of the detailing in a women’s specific club that came from habit rather than making something aesthetically pleasing to a woman’s eye or as a performance benefit specifically for women.
In my opinion, I would believe that most women golfers use headcovers. Maybe not using headcovers is something more prevalent among women who play in America (where the research was conducted)? Regardless of my thoughts or the research from Cobra, I am intrigued to find out what the majority of Women & Golf readers do. If you're a woman golfer, please answer the three quick yes/no questions below:
Do you use headcovers?
If there really is a male/female divide on the use of headcovers, it will be interesting to see whether other brands let this impact their future driver designs and finishes.
To find out more about the new Cobra Golf DARKSPEED family, please visit their website here.