When the new Cobra S3 fairway woods came out, it seems like it might be the perfect match to go with my Cobra Speed LD 18* 5 wood that I love. Last fall I was hitting the Cobra 5 wood so well, I was averaging 250-255 yards off the tee with it. When I got a chance to demo the new Cobra S3 3 wood, it seemed like a great way to see if this 3 wood would fit in nicely with my 5 wood. And if the S3 was more forgiving than the older Speed LD models as it is claimed, the new S3 might be perfect for my bag.
Since a 3 wood normally has a longer shaft, most golfers don’t hit them as accurately as a 5 wood. My hope was that being more forgiving than the older LD woods, this 3 wood might just end up as easy to hit as my slightly short 5 wood, only longer in terms of distance.
First thing I did when the S3 got here was to measure it for club length and swing weight. Club length measured right at 43.5” which is exactly as it should be. Swing weight measured on my Golfsmith Auditor swing weight scale came in at a D2 reading. This is pretty much the industry standard for fairway woods today; even if it is a little lower than my preferred D4. A D2 reading is about what I’d expect with the light Fujikura Blur shaft that comes standard in all Cobra S3 woods.
One of the really nice things about this S3 wood is that the head looks almost exactly like my LD 5 wood when I set it down behind a golf ball. Same black color, same size and shape. And the same Cobra coiled snake logo for an aiming guide. The head of the 3 wood is in fact slightly larger than my 5 woods’ head, but with the one inch longer shaft, it looks to be the same size. As it turns out, when I took the S3 outside in the bright sun, it turns out that the head is really a dark metallic grey color in the center, and only the outer ½’ of the crown is black. Depending on the lighting conditions, it either looks dark grey or black, usually black.
I normally play an 82 gram shaft in my fairway woods, as they help to smooth out my swing. I have a pro style Late release, and a heavier shaft is better suited to this type of swing. It would be interesting to see how the much lighter Blur shaft that comes in the S3 woods would perform with my pro style swing. Consistency is the common problem with a light shaft with a pro style late release swing that can reach 105 MPH with a fairway wood. While a lighter shaft my benefit the slower swing of the average golfer, it’s not always the best for my swing. It would be interesting to see how this S3 would perform.
As it my custom, I started my range session by hitting a couple dozen balls with my Gap Wedge to get loosened up and to get my timing in order. It’s my experience that I rarely hit a driver or fairway wood very well if I don’t start out with a short iron to warm up. If you’re going to demo a new fairway wood soon, you might want to do the same thing, and loosen up with a short iron before you swing the woods. It really can make a huge difference in how you hit the woods you’re testing. After getting loosened up with the irons, I decided to hit a few balls with my Cobra LD 5 wood to see how my swing was performing.
I figured there was no sense hitting a new 3 wood until I had an idea of how I was hitting a 5 wood that I was used to and hit well. My swing speed with the 5 wood was averaging right at 98-99 MPH on my radar unit, which is about right for me. Next it was time to see how the new Cobra S3 would perform.
First few swings were pretty good if a bit different due to the lighter shaft. But after a few more swings it was easy to tell that this S3 was going to go pretty well if given half a chance. Being an inch longer than my 5 wood, it wasn’t un-expected to see my swing speed move up a little. Top speed was measure at 105MPH with the average around 101-102 MPH. Based on my experience with light weight shafts in drivers, I figure the added speed is due entirely on the one inch longer shaft in this 3 wood, not the lighter factory shaft it comes with.
After a few dozen balls getting pounded down range off a short tee it was pretty clear that the Fujikura Blur S flex shaft was a pretty good performer. It felt very solid during the swing, and impact felt just as good. Ball flight was just about as good as it could get with a 3 wood. Good launch angle with a nice boring ball flight that went dead straight when I did my part. Distance was excellent as well. This Cobra S3 was looking like a nice fit with about 20 more yards off the tee compared to my 5 wood.
Next test was hitting balls off the ground. Once I know how a fairway wood performs off a tee I have a good idea what to expect from it, and can move on to testing it off the deck. Depending on your game, hitting off a tee with a wood might be your biggest concern. But if you hit your woods off the deck a lot, hitting balls off the deck might be your main concern. Again I hit a few balls with my trusted 5 wood to get a feel for my swing before hitting this new club. As it turns out, the new S3 3 wood performed just as well as my trusted one inch shorter 5 wood off the deck. It was pretty clear that Cobra had done a really nice job with this new S3 wood that I was testing. The S3 was just as easy to hit solid and long as my trusted 5 wood. It was only going to be a matter of more range time before this Cobra S3 found a home in my bag on a regular basis.
Bottom line is that this Cobra S3 fairway 3 wood is easy to hit. Excellent level of forgiveness. And very long off the tee with a nice boring ball flight. As forgiving as it is, it’s also very easy to work the ball side to side if you need that shot. I was able to hit a nice fade or draw when I tried. If you are looking for a new fairway wood or two, be sure to demo the Cobra S3 line of fairway woods before you buy. I think you will be quite impressed by the performance as well as the way they look.