Most will associate Cobra with Greg Norman who flew the flag for Cobra for a number of years when he was world number 1. Norman also assisted Crow in designing Cobra’s first set of forged irons that he used as well. The Shark is now Cobra’s longest standing endorsed player and although he doesn’t play as much, he acts as a brand ambassador and collaborates on new designs and product development.
Cobra Golf Brand Profile
- Founded: 1973
- Founders: Thomas Crow
- Headquarters: Carslbad, California, USA
- Revenue: $350 million annually
- Employees: 660 (2017)
- Major Professional Endorsements: Rickie Fowler, Bryson DeChambeau, Lexi Thompson, Alexander Bjork
- Website: www.cobragolf.com
Recent Cobra Product Reviews
Cobra - Brief History
Crow originally founded Cobra with one club in mind – The Baffler. He found that people were spontaneously purchasing new individual clubs and managed to get $150 000 in venture capital to kick start his idea. The Baffler was a hybrid club that aided ball striking and got the ball up into the air quicker and easier. This turned out to be a revelation that many golfers took advantage of.
In 1978 Gary Biszantz joined Crow and together they created the Baffler wood which took the same principles as the hybrid and created an easy hitting fairway wood. Through aggressive marketing they managed to create huge demand for the club and for the brand. In fact, they did turnover in excess of $4.5 million in Bafflers alone in 1985.
Another key factor in Cobra’s success was they were one of the first to introduce graphite shafts for both woods and irons. This was massive as it appealed to the fastest growing and wealthiest sector of the market who were ladies and senior golfers.
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s Cobra adopted innovative technologies that helped produce the most advanced clubs on the market at that point in time. It used the most recent computers, high-speed cameras, and robotic testing in order to get to where they wanted to be.
When Greg Norman signed an endorsement deal in the early 90’s and because he was one of the best players in the world at that time, he came at a price. Crow realised that Cobra would probably not be able to afford him so they offered him an equity stake in the business and future distribution rights for Australia which The Shark accepted.
Later in the 1990’s Callaway was dominating the woods market with its Big Bertha range and Cobra decided to get involved in the oversize market. It released the King Cobra range that was available in both woods and irons and were graphite shafted. This was a huge success as one year after their release these made up 75% of the company’s annual sales.
Cobra went public in 1993 raising $35 million in the process and this allowed them to launch an aggressive advertising blitz amongst other things. In 1995 Cobra Golf was purchased by American Brands for $700 million and at this time they also owned Footjoy (who now make up part of Acushnet).
In 1998 the Trusty Rusty wedge was launched and as the name states, the aim was to have it as rusted as possible in order to maximise spin off the clubface. Fast forward to 2005 and the Speed line of woods was introduced and at that same time, Cobra’s drivers were ranked #1 in consumer satisfaction poll.
In the last few years since 2014, Cobra have released hugely successful woods and irons that Rickie Fowler has been using being. In particular the F6, F7 and most recently the brand new F8. Sleek design and alternative crown colours appealing to a slightly younger ‘cooler’ market.
What Cobra have also done so well is offering such a wide range of clubs to suit every type of golfer whether they are a tour professional or a hacker.