Cobra has a long tradition of producing excellent hybrids. Does the
Cobra Baffler T-Rail hybrid meet this high standard? Read this review to
Most golfers know Cobra Golf as one of the early pioneers of hybrid clubs, although I don’t think they were called “hybrids” back then. Instead, they were called “rescue clubs,” but regardless of the name, the point was the same. Thirty years ago, the Cobra Baffler was one of the best. Long irons like a 1-, 2- or 3-iron were notoriously difficult to hit, but the Baffler transformed long approach shots. It and other clubs like it eliminated the need to use long irons.
There have been several editions of the Cobra Baffler hybrid over the years. The latest is the Cobra Baffler T-Rail hybrid, and it’s the subject of this review. It takes its inspiration from the original Cobra Baffler but it incorporates Cobra’s decades of experience and new technologies. This club is intended to provide all the distance, versatility and forgiveness of the original Baffler, only on a higher, better level. It represents a significant step forward over the earlier (and admittedly already-excellent) Cobra hybrids. Yes, the Cobra Baffler T-Rail hybrid is attempting to live up to Cobra’s tradition of excellence in hybrids. Does it succeed?
The club is designed to be used by players of all skill levels. Its body is made of 17-4 stainless steel, but it uses a thin, light but strong maraging steel face insert. It’s available in various lofts, including a 2-hybrid (17 degrees), 3-hybrid (19 degrees), 4-hybrid (22 degrees), 5-hybrid (25 degrees), 6-hybrid (28 degrees) and 7-hybrid (31 degrees), so there’s something for every player.
An innovative four-way rail sole is responsible for the name of the Cobra Baffler T-Rail hybrid. The tungsten-weighted rail sole is designed to lower the club’s center of gravity, promote better turf interaction, and make the club more stable, versatile and forgiving (the raised rails mean less of the club contacts the ground, reducing turf drag and promoting cleaner contact). The lightweight but strong face insert permits some of the head’s weight to be redistributed down and toward the rear to promote higher launch angles, but it also produces faster ball speeds for more distance. And a shallow face design using Cobra’s “9 Point Face Technology” provides a large sweet spot (Cobra calls it the “sweet zone”) for forgiveness and consistency no matter where impact occurs. The overall result, according to Cobra, is a club that’s easier to hit and more forgiving, while carrying longer and flying higher.
The club is intended to be easy to hit and extremely forgiving while still delivering maximum long-approach power. I tested the men’s versions of the 4- and 5-hybrid. Both were fitted with a Graphite Design Tour AD Baffler T-Rail shaft in “A” flex (senior), although regular, stiff and ladies flexes are also available. The grips on my test clubs were the stock neon yellow Lamkin N-DUR 3Gen.
The crown of the men’s Cobra Baffler T-Rail hybrid has an appealing black finish with a bright yellow alignment aid. At address, the club sets up to the ball nicely, although I thought I detected a slight offset. Those of you who tend to hit a slice will be thankful if I’m right, although the offset could cause people who already hit a draw to have a bit of trouble.
My solidly-hit shots were high and long, and even my off-center hits were fairly straight. You’ll hear a nice, solid “click” when you strike the ball well. The club was extremely easy to hit from several types of lies, including fairway, tight lies, hardpan, and light to medium rough. And it was like a dream come true off the tee.
On an overall basis, I’d give the Cobra Baffler T-Rail hybrid an A- for performance. It’s just about on par with the performance of the TaylorMade Rocketballz hybrid, and that’s high praise indeed (please read our review of the TaylorMade Rocketballz hybrid on another page of this site). The Cobra Baffler T-Rail hybrid might be a slightly better value, though, because it costs around $20 less than the Rocketballz.
The Bottom Line: Cobra has a stellar reputation for building great hybrids, and in my opinion, the Cobra Baffler T-Rail hybrid lives up to this high standard. It was a pleasure to hit, but watching the ball fly off the face like a missile was even more fun. All in all, I’d say the Cobra Baffler T-Rail hybrid is one of the top hybrids out there. The only drawback I could see was the fluorescent yellow grip – and that’s just a matter of personal taste. If you don’t like the grip’s color, it would only cost $5-10 to replace it. The Baffler would still be cheaper than the Rocketballz.