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Rickie Fowler explains why he switched into new driver (and shaft)

3 Min Read



    Written by GolfWRX

    Rickie Fowler still has three laser-etched lines on his driver face, but now the lines are on a different driver head that’s designed to hit the ball straighter.

    Rickie Fowler has three lines etched into his Cobra Darkspeed driver face. (Courtesy GolfWRX)

    Rickie Fowler has three lines etched into his Cobra Darkspeed driver face. (Courtesy GolfWRX)

    So far in 2024, Fowler has been working to figure out his driver setup, and his tee game, in general.

    He started the season using his previous Cobra Aerojet LS driver, equipped with a unique Mitsubishi Diamana Whiteboard prototype shaft, then switched into a new Cobra Darkspeed LS (Low-Spin) driver for The American Express, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and WM Phoenix Open. He then switched back into his Aerojet LS at The Genesis Invitational, and he switched yet again into a new Cobra Darkspeed X model – equipped with a new Project X Denali Black 70TX shaft – at last week’s Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches.

    The inconsistency with his driver choices has reflected in the stat sheet. For the season, he ranks just 167th on TOUR in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and 127th in Driving Accuracy.

    Fowler has recognized the issue, and by putting the more forgiving Cobra Darkspeed X driver model into play, he’s aiming to hit more fairways.

    Rickie Fowler's Cobra Darkspeed X driver model. (Courtesy GolfWRX)

    Rickie Fowler's Cobra Darkspeed X driver model. (Courtesy GolfWRX)

    “The LS head is really good; I was just struggling with it a little bit on dispersion and left-right,” Fowler said Tuesday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. “I felt like the misses, I thought they could be a little tighter, and it was still pretty similar to Aerojet. It wasn't like the LS wasn't as good (as the Aerojet) or anything. And I would say that it was probably a little faster, but, a big thing out here is hitting fairways. So hitting out of the middle (of the face) it’s very good. I was just struggling with mishits.

    “Yes, we do mishit them. And I just thought I could get a little tighter dispersion. So, that was where the thought of going and trying the X head. Just trying to get, like I said, a tighter window on mishits. And so with that head, there's obviously different shape, different weighting, probably starting out, it's maybe a touch more – or can be – not draw-biased, but have a little bit more left versus the LS.

    “But I was just looking for some stability, something that I was going to be able to hit and trust to hit at the fairway more often. So that was kind of the main idea behind it. It was pretty solid last week. Trying to validate a little bit more.”

    Rickie Fowler's new Project X Denali shaft. (Courtesy GolfWRX)

    Rickie Fowler's new Project X Denali shaft. (Courtesy GolfWRX)

    Fowler also found more forgiveness in the Denali shaft, further inspiring him to make this adjustment.

    “Obviously, I’m a big fan of the Whiteboard; always have been," Fowler said. "(Cobra Tour rep Ben Schomin) sent this Denali over. It felt pretty similar, maybe a little more stable. And so I went with that … it just matched up as a good combo, good feel, felt stable, had the forgiveness. The spin window is good. Heel shots weren’t spinning off the charts. Toe balls that were drawing weren’t getting too low. You know, it felt like I was able to hit shots, as far as lower flight, get it up in the air if I wanted to.

    “But, ultimately, the dispersion window on mishits and left and right seem to be a bit tighter, which that can give you either more confidence or feeling more comfortable, and ultimately making better swings.”

    Click here to learn more about the differences between the Cobra Darkspeed LS and Darkspeed X head models.

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