I originally heard about this clubs release right here on MGS. Tony put out a forum post describing the features and benefits, and being the AMP Cell pro fan that he was, I thought we would surely see a review sooner than later. I also hoped there would be a demo popping up somewhere close by so I could give it a go in person. Neither, unfortunately, has happened yet.
Cobra Golf-always the stepchild
The trouble with this particular club, at least I am told, is that it is geared toward such a small niche that the big box stores in my area (golf smith, Edwin Watts, etc ) aren't bothering to get demos. *The bigger reason it seems to me is that it is Cobra golf . Cobra just doesn't get the play or press around here that the other big name manufacturers get. Especially when they release a club that doesn't coincide with â€œregularâ€ release cylces. Of course if this were a Callaway or TMAG club with the same specs I bet I could have gotten my hands on one.
For myself, and Im sure I'm not alone, I think this is a shame. From a performance standpoint the Cobra driver and fairway line this year has been a pretty big success. The Standard bio cell its a large very forgiving driver, albeit not for my swing, but nice all the same. The + was much more in the wheelhouse of what I need out of a club performance wise. Medium/High launch I would call it with very low spin. It really is a great performing club. But where it shines in performance it definitely leaves me somewhat wanting in the looks, feel, and sound department.
The fairways, at least in the plus line, are superb in my opinion. â€œGreat looking, feeling, and performing clubâ€ A rep from Cobra said they are probably the most popular in the line today and one of their best sellers. If I was in the market for a fairway the plus would definitely have a chance to be in the bag.
Then came the pro line. â€œLineâ€ is a stretch obviously since it is a single driver. The last minute add on and possibly what might have been a truly limited, "limited release" judging by its scarce to nonexistent presence in my area. When I asked around I was given the answers that I expected,,,,with some slight variances.,,,,but all to say basically the same thing.
The Bio Cell Pro is just "Too low launching and too low spinning to put on the shelves"
When I hear statements like that, yasomebody actually said it to me, I have to see it for myself. Not that I needed a lot of convincing because the Amp Cell Pro remains one of my favorite clubs to date. I have filtered dozens of club and shaft combinations in and out of my bag over the last 4 years but that particular driver stands out probably more than any other as the epitome of feel and sound perfection. Subjective opinion of course.
According to one Cobra employee the â€œPlusâ€ is really this year's Amp Cell Pro. Performance and target demographic are similar only they decided to lose the Pro denomination. So why not call it the Bio Cell Pro? Well I'm told that they believed that the word â€œPROâ€ had negative connotation for the greater portion of the golfing market. Their thinking was that too many golfers shied away from the ACP fearing it would be too difficult for them to use when in fact it was a very playable driver. So they came out with the â€œPlusâ€ reserving the â€œproâ€ for the club you really should shy away from.
Anyway I still wanted to see what the new club was all about.
Im not sure what sort of late release driver reviews MGS plans to do at this point. With so much to cover throughout the year and so few people to do it I'm guessing there will always be a few models that have to slip through the cracks.
So boredom, curiosity, and a lot of impatients have overwhelmed me again. I placed an order a couple of weeks ago and I spent the last four days giving this players model from Cobra a go.
The club arrived last Wednesday right before I left for the holiday weekend to visit my Wife's family in western Kansas. I was able to get out a little early and head over to the shop to do some quick numbers checks and get an initial feel for the performance. I switched out to a midsized grip and while the tape dried I warmed up a bit like I always do.
-black head set to 10 degrees
-stock Red Tie shaft in Xflex
Before I start I think it always helps others understand the performance of a club if I give a little background.
Age - 33 yrs old and getting older
Hanidcap - Around scratch and rising
Current driver - SLDR 430 12 degree set in â€œstandardâ€ with 7.2 MTS X
Swing speed- up and down depending on the workout day...from 110 to 115 according to Tman and SC100
AoA- Positive 3-6 degrees
Swing path- In to out path bordering on extreme at times ( this causes a lot of issues for me, severe left missed from hooks occasionally but more often my miss is a push)
Stock shot - My stock shot is a push draw which I chose to play due to the low spin high launch it produces
My tempo - if you believe a mizuno shaft optimizer, is on the smooth side. A fact that I find hard to believe but the shafts that tend to fit me best now seem representative of that general group.
I was a big fan of the Amp cell line for looks. Clean, sharp, and sleek. The looks of this club are ok. The bio cell line as a whole has been steps back in my opinion , not hold your nose and avert your eyes bad, just not quite as good. I personally don't care for the snake skin shadow or for the thin white line that traces the outline of the head. It's better than the plus by a long shot but it seems a bit toyish in comparison to last years line. Toyish might be a bit strong...how about slightly cheaper looking. Maybe I'm just so partial to the old one that i have trouble being objective about the new...I can't be sure. I do know that as I used the club through the test and even more so in the on course testing I found myself forgetting about the looks as is often the case.
To be honest I ebb and wane a lot on what I like for looks, and looks are so subjective,,,I don't know. The point is who cares what I like the look of. I really think I should have gone with blue and I'm bitter that I didn't make that choice in the first place. Anywayâ€¦lets move on.
"The white shaft"
this part is simple. The white shaft to the head still looks â€œawesomeâ€. I didn't know just how much I liked the look of the white until I used it outdoors but something about it just appeals to me. Like guys wearing white shoes to make it seem like they are running fasterâ€¦I just feel like I'm getting more out of it. I can't prove that the lighter/ brighter shafts help my swing but whenever I use them I seem to feel more aware of what path my club is taking in the back swing.
The first thing that i noticed in unboxing was the balance of the club. I am coming from clubs that feel to me much more head heavy ( Covert 2.0 and SLDR 430 ). By comparison the bio cell pro seems to be much more neutrally balanced. I don't feel any sort of heavy point in the club. In warming up I and taking a few practice swings I really liked the feel but I was concerned as to how this would affect my ability to sense the clubs positions in my swing and how it would affect my contact. A few swings in and I was relieved of that worry. In fact I think the balance helped me regain some control at the top of the swing. When using the heavier heads I seem to have a tendency to let the weight drag me further back than I should be and get across the line. From there its gonna be a dead pull or a push unless I can do some fancy coordinating of the club face down by the ball. This doesn't happen all the time or anything, it's more of a tendency for a miss. The bio pro feel seemed to more or less eliminate these occurrences while still maintaining enough feel to get good consistent contact.
I think that feel by far the hardest thing to describe. My best description is "surprising".. but if I left it at that might as well not say anything at all. I thought or hoped that the 440 head driver would be reminiscent of the Amp cell pro in most ways. That club felt hot of the center, very connected at impact, definite feedback on a miss that you weren't dead on with enough forgiveness to keep in play and out there a ways. When you did hit it right it had a sound that too my ears equated to crushing a ball flat of the center of a wooden bat and springing off like a rocket.....
The BIO CELL PRO is not the same driver. Not bad but not the same. Unlike the the Plus's composite construction it is made entirely of titanium giving it a very different sound/ feel profile. It is much better than the Plus in this regard but compared to the old Amp cell pro well I don't think it feels quite as connected, or meaty, its more of a remote soft clicky contact that feels pretty good and from anywhere on the face with much less feedback on contact. I often found myself having to check for white marks to see exactly where I had a hit any given shot. To compare it to another club i would say it's like hitting a G25 with a "springier but soft" face and more quiet sound. I would never describe it as dead it actually feels really nice. But much more like a game improvement feel than a 440cc players club. It took some getting used to but by the end of the session i was enjoying the new feel.
There are some major pluses and a few definite cons when it came to the numbers on the monitor.
Forgiveness - Major plus. I didn't seem to matter what i did with this club It just wanted to go straight. My usual misses where all but nonexistent and this club seemed to be "left proof". That being said if you tend to struggle missing to the right I could see this club not working out very well for you. Feel was good from almost anywhere on the face. And the ballspeed were affected as little, probably less, than anything I have ever hit and certainly any â€œplayers clubâ€
Flight / distance- As I said in the "about me" section I play a stock high push draw to kill spin on my drives. It became quickly apparent that this technique was not ideal for this club. My shots averaged good ball speed. 164 ish ( a little low but i was hitting everything in my bag that way on this particular day), good launch but lower than I am used to @12-14 degrees, but the spin of sub 1500 rmps .
Basically hitting knuckle balls out there resulting in a big loss of carry. I either needed higher launch, higher spin, but most likely both.
The number on foresight Gc2 look OK but I know that this system tends to be overly forgiving on low spin. If you take these numbers and plug them in to Flightscopes trajectory optimizer you will see that the carry is not what it could be.
Dispersion - This is the part of the club test that I could not ignore and what pushed me to give it a shot on the course in my weekend rounds. The screen shot above represents a single group of data points with out a single dropped shot. They are actually a bit hard to see but there are 4 or so that are almost right on the line. --a statement I have never been able to make about any test off the tee before now
No club I have ever tested that can match this grouping ( especially without any outliers) . The best part is that I did this several times deleting a group and starting over. I have had longer clubs but nothing with this accuracy. The largest factor in the dispersion was the short shot and the two longest that for some reason got cut off of the screen. The longest two were the last two that I tried hitting a cut. The shortest was a complete miss that was forgiven almost to the point of being unfair.
CONCLUSIONS- if any
Honestly it is still to soon to draw any real conclusion on a whole. The results of this session were not ideal but they certainly warranted more testing. My theory was that I could work on changing my setup to play a cut to add the needed spin and play the stock push draw in to the wind. So I packed the club up with my things to play it for three rounds over the weekend.
Friday came and it was time to for some real world trials. They have a small narrow range at this course so I had some time for a short warm up. I tried my stock shot on the range first just to confirm. The ball launched a little higher than I expected but as I saw on foresight it more or less dove for the ground. A few setup tweaks and I was hitting some pretty decent highish, straight to straight-cut shots. The range hits in to trees at about 270 so i couldn't tell much about distance.
It's funny how hard it is to line up for a shot you haven't been playing at all. My first few drives were right of the fairway but in play. After that I fought every instinct and aimed it down the left center and at that point things really started looking up. Once I got in the groove I was right in the middle as many or more times than I can remember on that course. Distance with cross wind was great using the cut shot, again not the longest ever but the extremely consistent. Distance in to the wind was outstanding several shots dead in to the western Kansas wind were out there 290 plus.
By my third round I was getting longer and more confident playing the straight shot. I think my stock shot caused a lot of stock misses that I didn't really seem to have to fear with this club. Going after it usually meant a duck hook for me and by then end of the second round i was getting out to some spots I cant remember being in on that course actually ended up shooting the lowest round I have ever managed.
I swung this club 10 times in that round which is actually a lot for me compared to my home course. I know I have to make a lot of other shots but I cant deny that that low round was due in part to the Bio Cell Pro.
Its not that I didn't believe the hype on this club but after testing it I'm still surprised at just how "not for everyone" this club really is. It truly deserves the â€œPROâ€ name they have given it. The fact of the matter is I'm still not sure its going to work out for me. I will probably invest some time and money in testing some higher launching higher spinning shafts and see if I can keep up the accuracy that I have seen while regaining some of the carry that I lost. Regardless of that loss it is still plenty long and I know that I can hit more fairways with this club than my SLDR.
As for anyone else considering this club I think the BCP could actually benefit players with decent club head speed that don't have problems getting the ball in the air, but need help controlling spin.
"It is without a doubt the lowest spinning driver I have hit to date and probably the most forgiving for its size"
If you are like me and are generally a lower spin player already be prepared to have to make some adjustments either in the way you swing or the shaft this club comes in
I hope this sheds a little light on the Bio cell pro. I plan to continue to post on this thread as my testing continues and will answer any questions you might have regarding my experience or comparisons to other clubs out there today.
Had another round with this driver last night. Great warm up on the range but i kept missing right when a target was involved on my home course. I have points on that course that I am so used to lining up with that I found it extremely difficult to adjust. I dont know how well I will be able to handle playing a draw with every other club but the driver at this point.
Basically it was just a bad day.
I had one driver on the first hole that I'm fairly certain carried past where I normally hit as it smacked in to a fence that runs perpendicular to the fairway at about 290 out. Great shot except that it was 20 yds right of the fairway. The fun continued from there I missed right on all of the 5 holes I used it on. I just wasn't lining up correctly.
For now I am still very much enjoying the feel of this club but I am still concerned the low spin is taking its toll on distance as well as the type of shot I am forced to hit to make it functional.
I may get another session on the monitor tonight so I'll come back with more numbers when I get them. Hopefully I can get out of my own way when I play again this weekend.
Just made a quick stop in to the shop this afternoon to see if i could improve upon my outlook. Had some shots,,,OK ONE,, shot yesterday that i thought was pretty big if not right of where I wanted to go. My launch angle seemed very high compared to my first monitor test and even to my first weekend on the course so I really wanted to get some numbers to see if anything was really improving or if I really needed to make a change.
Waiting all day to get out of the office I spent most of my time looking at others experiences online and talking with a few reps about Cobras product.
Here is what I learned. **Rob (my boss) if you are reading this don't worry, I'm a brilliant multitask-er.***
the Plus has basically, yes "basically", the same MOI as the Pro because they didn't really move the cg forward like the SLDR , they just moved it low.
The Plus sound definitely has to do with its construction and the shaft it is built for. This may seem obvious to most of you but the more hotmelt you use the less "tinny" and more quite the sound. I was inquiring about severe differences I perceived in sound between two different demos and this was the explanation..take it or leave it. WHAT I DIDNT KNOW is that If you are unhappy with the sound you can send it in, and at the expense of adding a few grams of weight to the head, you can have a different sounding driver if that is important to you.
Yes for any of you that don't know by now the Plus and Pro adapters are interchangeable. You will have to do some quick converting to know what you and shape bias are but that is an easy enough adjustment to make.
I was checking in to a couple of these things but it occurred to me that if my numbers didn't really change from my first session I could easily move in to the Plus head if need be. So really my intent was to go test my PRO again and give the Plus another look if it didn't' work out.
I've enough words in this review at this point to require chapters already so I'll try and get to the point here.
Quick warm up..quick bs with the guys at the shop...fast forward sounds... and here you go.
Again no deleted shots. Not quite as accurate today but nothing crazy or unplayable. I cant say just how bad a couple misses were on the face but i basically skied one of them and it still would have been in the fairway.
The better news!
Launch is up several degrees in fact right where I like to be more or less
Ballspeed on good contact is pretty good, not amazing but what I would expect out of a 10 degree head hit off the top of the face. More loft, more glancing blow, less ballspeed. Ballspeed isn't everything or we would all be using 4 degree drivers.
Shots are starting to draw a hair more
Most importantly the spin up on average from 1450 to 1650 and if you dropped the mishits its closer to 1800.
One question you might be asking at this point is why the change. Well I think the answer might be in the fade bias of the head vs the draw bias in the one i had been using. As I said in the initial review my shot was a stock push draw and my misses where hook and pushes. The hook miss was the worst and the push really was more just the ball staying on the line it started with less punishment and less distance loss. Because of this the hook miss was the most feared. With at fear I learned not to release very hard through the ball. As I use this club more and more that fear goes away and I am holding off a little less and as I do that the launch increases as does ballspeed and in turn spin. At least that is my theory.
For those of you that might be curious i tested my old SLDR just to see how the numbers stack up. You can pick them apart below but the synopsis was this.
Cobra- More ballspeed ( if you take out the miss) , higher launch, and lower spin. Hard for me to believe but its true.
If you are a numbers person you can see why I am missing right with the pro. "Azimuth", or horizontal launch, is twice as far to the right with the Pro and the spin axis is about half of what the SLDR produces. Starting too far right with less draw. Again these these are improving and I hope they will continue to do so as I practice with the club.
The other thing that you might notice is that i seem to be more consistent today with the SLDR than the Pro. This is true but its only fair to say that the Pro represents my first few swings with a driver. By the time I picked up the SLDR i was getting ina bit of a groove.
That being said its only one day.
So that was my afternoon.
I'll be back with more when the AD Di7x comes it to tell you how I fare with that. I also think that just for fun I will do a head to head on the Pro vs Plus on the same day.
thanks for reading!
Back with more,
Spent another weekend with the Pro. My own shortcomings aside this club is performing very well. I have managed to get some big drives out of it despite myself.
Several holes I have compared directly to the SLDR 430 12degree.
Is it longer? No not really in fact I would say the edge is to the SLDR but only on dead center impact shots. The average distance is better though as is the distance offline on not so great shots * and I have lots of experience with that so far.
Still waiting for the AD DI 7x to come in. The "three days" I was told it would take to ship seems a lot more like 2 weeks by my calendar but what do I know.
More on that soon hopefully