If you’re trying to wrap your head around the timing of the Cobra Pars and Stripes SPEEDZONE and SPEEDZONE Xtreme drivers, remember that if not for the misery that is 2020, the best golfers in the world would be competing in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot this week.
Pars and Stripes was supposed to be Cobra’s limited-edition U.S. Open driver. But as was the case when The Masters was postponed, the schedule change has left the brand in a pickle.
What do you do now?
You could hold it for the U.S. Open. A limited-edition driver in September is infinitely more practical than an azalea print polo in November but that would push you perilously close to end of the buying season.
Fortunately, there is a second option.
Cobra checked its colorway against the calendar and, boom, here’s your red, white and blue limited-edition Pars and Stripes driver just in time for the 4th of July.
A deft maneuver for sure. I respect the hustle.
A Tradition of Limited-Edition Awesome
While nearly every equipment brand has dabbled in the limited-edition game, you can bank on Cobra releasing something special every season. And with few exceptions (the tan camo F8 maybe wasn’t my favorite), Cobra’s special-release designs continue to improve and impress.
Granted, it’s just one guy’s opinion but with this 2020 Pars and Stripes SPEEDZONE design, Cobra has set a new bar. It’s the company’s coolest limited-edition design to date. So much want.
To be sure, the story of the Pars and Stripes SPEEDZONE Driver is mostly about paint but, damn, Cobra painted it right. The 360 Carbon Wrap crown is glossy white with blue accents. The sole is red, white and blue (because America, that’s why). And while all of that would look dandy on its own, what sets the Pars and Stripes SPEEDZONE Driver apart is the blue CNC-milled Infinity face.
Full disclosure: The finish is PVD, so the longevity of the finish is questionable. That doesn’t thrill me but, without the constant turf interaction and bag chatter, PVD on drivers tends to be more durable than it is on irons. The contrast between the blue finish and the underlying silver titanium isn’t nearly what it is with a black PVD, so when if/when it starts to wear, it shouldn’t be as noticeable. I’m not particularly concerned about it, especially since the full package is exceptionally well done.
It’s sexy in a way that should make you uncomfortable with this conversation.
Most of the rest of the story is the same as the mainstream retail version of the driver. In addition to the Infinity face, you get the 360 carbon wrap crown, the low center of gravity and the aerodynamic SPEEDZONE shape. No need to rehash the details here, we’ve covered the tech in detail.
Short version: Pars and Stripes is like the black and yellow (and a little bit of red) SPEEDZONE Driver with a well-themed and well-executed paint job.
Pars and Stripes SPEEDZONE – A Real Ventus Shaft
Remember, I said the Pars and Stripes SPEEDZONE Driver was mostly about paint. There is a bit of a ripple here that justifies the $549 price.
The Pars and Stripes SPEEDZONE driver is outfitted with a Fujikura Ventus Blue shaft. The Ventus color scheme fits perfectly with the US Open 4th of July theme, so the choice makes sense – especially in a limited-edition offering. To be clear: we’re talking about a same-as-the-aftermarket Ventus Blue and not the less -than-real-deal Ventus* offered in the SIM lineup. The shaft drives the costs of the driver up $100 over the standard retail offering but it’s arguably worth it, considering that the retail price for the shaft remains $350.
As was the case with ATMOS in the Wilson Cortex, in Year 2 of its life cycle, Fujikura has made a premium aftermarket available to a club manufacturer, presumably at a price that makes it viable as a semi-stock option.
I loved it with ATMOS and Cortex and I love it every bit as much here.
Cobra Pars and Stripes SPEEDZONE Driver Specs and Pricing
The Cobra Pars and Stripes SPEEDZONE Driver is available in 9 degrees only. The Pars and Stripes SPEEDZONE XTREME is available in 10.5 degrees only. Both models are available in stiff and regular flex with X-flex available through custom.
An Arccos Powered Cobra Connect grip is included.
Sorry, lefties, this one is available only in right-handed. You poor bastards had to see that coming.
Retail price for the Cobra Pars and Stripes SPEEDZONE Driver is $549. Availability begins Friday, June 19, at Cobragolf.com and key retail accounts.