Review: Cobra Long Tom Raw Driver

The longest driver I’ve ever hit!
Let’s start with a little history behind the Long Tom name.  Cobra called upon a WWII artillery cannon as its inspiration for a persimmon driver many years ago and again with its newest driver to the market.  The Long Tom cannon could fire shells up to 14+ miles.  It became an important weapon for delivering heavy artillery from a long range.  Thus the driver was given this name because of its long range. 

In late 2011 the new Cobra Long Tom was introduced.  It pushes the limits yet again with many new features not seen on retail clubs prior to this.  1st it is being offered in a limited edition raw finish.  (more on that later) 2nd it is 48” long the maximum USGA length for a club. 3rd it has a new speed coated shaft. 4th it has a new shorty grip.   Every aspect of this club was designed for extreme length off the tee.

Once the club was announced by Cobra is seemed to be immediately polarizing on the internet.  It seemed golfers either loved the idea or hated it.  Some thought it was unique and cool, while others saw it as foolish.  I was just simply intrigued by the concept.  I wasn’t really on either side, if I had to take a side I was probably leaning to the skeptical side.

First let’s talk about the raw finish.  It is unpainted grey metal.  It just looks great.  It is just what you would expect, it has a slight metal roughness too it.  The face is polished and there is just a little bit of buffing on the sole on the words Long Tom.  There are also a bunch of markings on the club that designate things like CT and weight and measurements.  The face it polished just like a normal cobra driver.  While it might not be for everyone, I got just as many comments about this driver as I did my white driver.  Raw just might be the next white?

The 48” length is what is going to have most people skeptical of using it.  Most people have a hard enough time controlling a 45” driver; add 3” and the assumption is that it will be the wildest driver on the planet.  Sure maybe once a round a long drive will happen but how many will be OB or lost due to lack of control.  I had never hit a driver at 48” before, so this was the longest driver I hit in this regards too.   First off let’s confirm the assumed.  This is the longest driver I have hit by 10 yards.  I played 6 very familiar courses and on each one there were multiple holes that I hit the longest drive I have ever had on them.  That shouldn’t come as a surprise, a 48” driver should gain clubhead speed thus longer drives.  Everyone expects that and will get it.  The shocker was that my fairways hit didn’t go down one bit.  I’ve been averaging about 12 fairways hit per round.  This was exactly the same.  I didn’t hit less than 11 fairways with this driver and hit 13 of 14 on one round.  The couple that with 10+ more yards on average, I was simply shocked.  Even my missed fairways weren’t as bad as I expected.  Most were just a typical left pull still in play or a right fade that was just off in the rough.  I didn’t lose any more golf balls or shots with this driver than any other driver I have played.  A poor swing still has poor results, nothing wildly worse than other drivers.

This E9 face technology that Cobra used in the S3 driver I thought was great, so using that in the Long Tom is a great move allowing even this longer club to still be very forgiving.  It set up square and hit towering straight shots over and over.

The grip and shaft are new to the market.  The Grafalloy blackbird shaft has exceptional feel and is amazingly stable even at 48”.  It also has this cool texture paint that is wind-tunnel tested to improve the aerodynamics/turbulence around the shaft as it is swung.  I can’t say for certain if the shaft texture helps with clubhead speed vs. the added shaft length, but it is a great shaft.  The shorty lightweight Lamkin grip is also very different.  Not only is it short, (to discourage gripping down) but it too has kind of a raw finish.  It is almost like they took off the outer coating.  But it is soft and works great.  I had a fellow golfer ask me about getting more of them for his whole set he liked it so much.

The sound and feel are also really solid on this club.  A number of golfers commented how much they liked the sound.  It isn’t ear piercing, but it is no dead composite either.  Just solid metallic crack.

I was so impressed I just let anyone and everyone hit this club on the course.  I think I made believers out of all of them.  They were all skeptical because of how long it was, but became believers after they watched how long their drives were.  Not one golfer that tried it had control issues.  Everyone just bombed it off the tee.

I also like the Special Ops Divot tool, which came with this raw driver.  It really is tribute to its heritage.   The simple sock style headcover was nice too in keeping with the raw theme.

Now if you can’t hit a 45” driver, this won’t solve any problems, but if can swing the big stick, this one will be even longer.  I can’t see a reason for me to take it out of the bag, I love the looks, it is the longest driver I have ever hit and I didn’t lose a single fairway hit.  It is not just a regular driver that someone stuck a 48” shaft in, this was designed from the ground up to be the longest driver; it has a different lie angle, special shaft, special swingweighting and a light/short grip.  Cobra blew me away with this club.  Paint or raw this driver just flat out hits bombs.  While some might call it a gimmicky club, it is my gamer.  Give it a try, you might just be blown away by how long, yet accurate this driver is.  The Cobra Long Tom Raw driver is the longest I have ever hit!

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Quick Hits
+Excellent sound and feel
+Cool finish and details

–Not for a poor driver