First of all, I just wanted to say that regardless of the title I’m not really a man of religion. I believe in something but I just don’t know what. That said, I don’t think that you necessarily need to be a religious person to feel blessed. But after the events of the last couple of months (or 20 years for that matter) I truly and honestly do.
The evening of September 15th is a night that I’ll never forget even though some portions of it I have no recollection of. The day itself was hot and while I was working on the brakes of my Ford F-150. At one point while working on the front brakes I was straining to loosen up a bolt that was holding on the brake calipers. I had a bit of a fall and after collecting myself I was hunched over the front end of my truck. My neighbor Debbie asked if I was okay and being the stubborn person that I am I said I was fine. I wasn’t.
After being helped up onto the front porch I was told to have a seat on one of the chairs and I sat down. My daughter Tiffany came outside and suddenly I had the worst, unimaginable headache come from out of nowhere. It was like I was stabbed in the brain with an ice-pick just over my left ear. After a few moments I decided to go lay down in my bed… my daughter helping me to get there. As I rested, I started feeling even more odd. I had weakness extend down my entire left side. Something wasn’t right. Shortly after, the left side of my face started to feel weird. Numbness, tingling and it felt like my face was drooping. I called my daughter into my room and asked her if my face looked right. It didn’t… and she immediately called 9-1-1.
I was taken to the nearest hospital and underwent a bunch of tests… bloodwork, ultrasounds, C.T Scans, and M.R.I’s. Unfortunately, at this time even though everything presented itself as a stroke they had found nothing conclusive. I would spend 6 days in Greater Niagara General Hospital before getting transferred from Niagara Falls to Hamilton General Hospital. It was then that I was informed after more testing that I had suffered a stroke that originated on my brainstem. The cause was lesions on my brainstem. The cause of the lesions remains a bit of a mystery as the reasons for them are numerous. In all likelihood… infection in my case.
I know that I was lucky with this stroke as it was minor in nature. But it still caused many problems. Paralysis down the left side, slurred speech, stuttering, loss of short-term memory and loss of words. I shake my head thinking if this was minor than what is mild or severe stroke like? I shudder to think. Anyways, since then I’ve undergone all sorts of therapy to get me back to where I want to be. I just want to golf again and have a sense of normalcy again. Speech therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy to name a few. There have been ups and downs with my recovery. I remember how great it was to get out of bed for the first time to work with the physiotherapist. I couldn’t go 3 steps but then it became 5, 10 and eventually with the use of a walker I was able to walk down the hallway. After more hard work I was able to start using my left arm more and eventually I was able to start going up and down stairs. All of this while being in the hospital still. But then I graduated again.. being allowed to walk the hospital floor with assistance.
I would be discharged eventually and would continue all of the therapy at home. With assistance from my wife I would go for walks with the walker gradually building up my endurance and strength. It took a while but I was able to lose the walker and for the first time I was able to walk my dog again. It felt like such a success. I was happy… excited.
Then it happened. Dayna (my physiotherapist) and I were talking and I asked her about returning to the gym. She gave me her blessings and recommended it. Since then I’ve been back to the gym commencing a new regimen seemingly from the beginning all over again. I never realized until now how much strength I lost from atrophy. I asked about golf half jokingly. I was so happy when she said that golfing would be good for me and recommended that as well. First, in the backyard or driving range. Then 9-holes and finally 18- holes. While I still haven’t been on a golf course or driving range since September I have taken swings and it feels so good. I can’t even express it in words how good it feels.
Unfortunately, since the stroke and all of my recovery efforts I made a boneheaded mistake. I was writing a blog entry in my room. As I was sitting on my bed I wanted to look out the window while I wrote. Our apartment is heated with baseboard heaters and as I was typing I had no idea that my right foot was resting on the baseboard heater. Because of poor circulation in my feet and legs (diabetic peripheral neuropathy) I had no idea that my feet were in harm’s way. Until my foot blistered from burns. The result. A long and tough road similar to 2014 when I developed gangrene and nearly lost my leg. I’m wearing an “offloader” on my right foot which prevents weight from placing pressure onto the wound.
Nothing will hold me down from golf. Nor will this stop me from attending the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show. I’m simply too excited to go. Not to mention that even with a bit of a wound I’m making swings like today as the snow flies.
Folks, always remember to #FightAndGrind and know what the acronym F.A.S.T. means. you could save a life. I am truly blessed that my daughter did.
Previously, I released information on the new KING F9 SPEEDBACK metalwoods that are being released by Cobra Golf. Also joining the KING F9 family are the KING F9 SPEEDBACK hybrids and irons.
In 2018, I was honored to have the opportunity to test and review the KING F8 ONE Length irons (review here) The KING F8 irons were impressive and I wondered what Cobra Golf would do to improve on an already impressive iron.
The new KING F9 look to deliver speed and power through Cobra Golf’s trademarked “SPEEDBACK Technology”. What is SPEEDBACK Technology? In brief here is a summary.
The new SPEEDBACK™ irons and hybrids utilizeCOBRA’s breakthrough SPEEDBACKTM technology, that for the first time successfully combines a low center-of-gravity (CG) and high moment of inertia (MOI) to deliver the perfect blend of ball speed and forgiveness, for the first time, in one iron.
The new Cobra Golf KING F9 irons come in both a variable and ONE Length set configuration. In most cases when golfer’s choose to play a game-improvement set of irons they normally have to choose one of two options. Distance or Forgiveness. That is not the case with the KING F9 irons. In this set you don’t have to compromise between one or the other. Cobra Golf R&D was able to take “innovative shaping elements different from a traditional game-improvement iron. Through SPEEDBACK shaping, engineers were able to optimize low CG and high MOI to create the company’s longest, fastest, and most forgiving iron”.
When the KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons become available they will be available with steel or graphite shafts. the shafts featured are either the KBS Tour (steel) or the Fujikura Atmos in 60 grams (graphite).
To compliment the irons are matching hybrids in a variety of lofts available in 17-degrees, 19-degrees, 21-degrees and 24-degrees of loft and come standard with a Fujikura ATMOS 70-gram shaft.
*** Once again Cobra Golf will be featuring cobra Connect by Arccos Golf.
I will be swinging these irons the first chance that I get. So stay tuned for more coverage on the Cobra Golf SPEEDBACK irons. In the meantime, please see the press release shared below by Rachel Rees. Ms. Rees is the Communications Manager for Cobra Golf. Thank-you for sharing Rachel!!
Carlsbad, Calif. (October 30, 2018) – COBRA® Golf, a leader in golf club innovation, unveiled today its new KING F9 SPEEDBACKTM irons and hybrids, the company’s most powerful and stable irons and utility clubs ever. The new SPEEDBACK™ irons and hybrids utilize COBRA’s breakthrough SPEEDBACKTM technology, that for the first time successfully combines a low center-of-gravity (CG) and high moment of inertia (MOI) to deliver the perfect blend of ball speed and forgiveness, for the first time, in one iron.
Available in a traditional, variable length set make-up and a forward-thinking, ONE Length™ configuration, the KING F9 SPEEDBACKTM irons are packed with an impressive array of cutting-edge technologies designed to deliver unrivaled performance. Traditionally, in game improvement irons, golfers had to choose between distance or forgiveness. In the new F9 irons, COBRA engineers were able to deliver the ultimate combination of both through SPEEDBACK™ Technology, a design concept that utilizes innovative shaping elements different from a traditional game-improvement iron. Through SPEEDBACK shaping, engineers were able to optimize low CG and high MOI to create the company’s longest, fastest, and most forgiving iron.
“It cannot be overstated just how technologically-advanced the KING F9 SPEEDBACKTM Irons are,” said Tom Olsavsky, Vice President of R&D for COBRA Golf. “Golfers have been forced to choose between distance or forgiveness in their game improvement irons. If you wanted more distance, then you sacrificed forgivness, and vice versa. With the new SPEEDBACK irons golfers can have their cake and eat it too. Never has a game improvement iron set had the perfect blend of distance and forgiveness, until now.”
Key elements of SPEEDBACK™ Technology include:
Low CG SPEEDBACKTM Sole – Mass is added low and back using a belt of steel that wraps around the back of the iron, creating a lower and deeper CG that maximizes ball speed, launch and carry distance. SPEEDBACK shaping strategically positions the weight belt just above the contact area on the sole to maintain the sole width of a conventional game-improvement iron.
High MOI Design – To maximize performance, SPEEDBACK shaping allowed more mass to be added low and wide (out to the heel and toe) compared to a traditional iron. Also, up to a combined 33 grams of Tungsten were added to the heel and toe in the 4-7 iron, a material used in premium priced irons. These shaping improvements increase MOI by up to 10% in the long irons, creating more stability through higher inertia that results in substantial improvements in ball speed, distance, forgiveness, and even accuracy.
Other technologies featured in the irons include:
Forged E9™ PWRSHELL™ Face – An improved E9TM (variable thickness) face is 3 grams lighter and features thin, 1.8 mm pockets in the upper heel and toe that expand the SWEET ZONE™ area on the face. The forged PWRSHELLTM insert features a deep undercut sole design and an all new2 mm internal Speed Channel that absorbs and returns more energy to the ball for faster ball speeds and increased launch angle.
Co-Molded Medallion – a 3-piece multi-material medallion combines Aluminum, a soft Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) and Acrylic foam that improves sound and feel by damping vibrations at impact.
CNC Milled Face and Grooves – CNC precision milling delivers more accurate lofts and allows for tighter tolerances on face roughness and groove shaping to optimize spin and trajectory control. Unlike cast grooves, which can vary in shape, CNC milling reduces the variability in the groove shapes to ensure that the performance is consistent in every iron.
Progressive SpinTechnology™ – The long irons, mid irons and wedges are each designed with different groove shapes to deliver specific performance characteristics. CNC milled V-grooves in the 4-7 irons improve distance by reducing spin for increased distance and flight time, while U-grooves in the 8-PW optimize spin for improved control and accuracy. Tighter-spaced wedge grooves in the GW and SW maximize spin and improve trajectory control for enhanced greenside precision.
Progressive Hosel Lengths – Shorter hosel lengths in the long irons position the CG lower to promote higher launch, while progressively taller hosel lengths in the short irons and wedges raise the CG progressively to promote a lower, more controlled ball flight.
COBRA CONNECT – The COBRA CONNECT, Powered By Arccos™ system features electronically enabled grips that work in conjunction with the Arccos Caddie app to give users the ability to track their stats and improve their game. **Consumers who purchase a COBRA 6-piece (or greater) iron or combo set will receive complimentary screw in sensors, or smart, COBRA CONNECT grips, to utilize on the rest of the clubs in their bag, including one putter sensor (valued at $350).
The KING F9 SPEEDBACKTM irons in variable length, (MAP: $799 Steel/$899 Graphite) come standard with regular or stiff KBS Tour 90 shafts and black Lamkin Crossline COBRA CONNECT grips. The stock steel set make-up is 5-GW with optional 4-iron and SW complements available through custom. The KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons are also available in a Graphite Combo Set ($999) utilizing Fujikura ATMOS 60-gram shafts in S, R or LITE flexes. The set makeup includes a 5H and 6-PW, GW. A Steel Combo Set in the same make up is available in Custom. Both set makeups (iron set and combo set) are available in right-hand and left-hand configurations.
KING F9 Women’s SPEEDBACKTM Irons ($899 Graphite Combo Set) utilize the same cutting-edge technologies as the men’s set, with a design engineered specifically for the needs of female golfers. The stock women’s SPEEDBACK irons come in a Graphite Combo Set makeup featuring a 5H, 6H and 7-PW, SW. The KING F9 women’s SPEEDBACK irons come standard with Fujikura ATMOS 55-gram shafts in ladies flex and black & rose gold Lamkin Crossline COBRA CONNECT (standard men’s size) grips.
COBRA® Delivers Revolutionary SPEEDBACK Technology in ONE Length Design
In addition, COBRA® Golf is introducing an updated option for players who opt for the consistency and simplicity of a ONE Length set configuration. The KING F9 SPEEDBACKTM ONE Length Irons offer all the same ground-breaking technologies as the variable set, with some additional improvements geared towards optimizing the performance of ONE Length irons including:
ONE Length Configuration – Engineered using matching 7-iron length and head weights, a ONE Length set simplifies the game by promoting a single, repeatable setup and swing motion through the set, leading to more confidence and consistency.
Wider Long Iron Soles – Wider soles in 4-6 irons deliver lower, deeper CG for higher, towering ball flights.
Progressive Shaft Weighting – 3 different KBS shaft weights – a lightweight, Tour 80 in the 4-6 iron promotes high launch, a mid-weight Tour 90 in the 7-9 iron delivers control and accuracy, and a heavy-weight Tour Wedge in the PW-SW improves feel and precision on specialty shots around the greens.
Updated Lie Angles – more upright long iron lie angles are used to create more towering trajectories while slightly flatter lie angles in the wedges create straighter, more penetrating trajectory.
The KING F9 SPEEDBACKTM ONE Length irons(MAP: $799 Steel/$899 Graphite) come standard with blue Lamkin Crossline COBRA CONNECT grips. The stock steel set make-up is 5-PW, GW with optional 4-iron and SW complements available through custom. The ONE Length irons are also available in a Graphite Combo Set utilizing Fujikura ATMOS ONE Length 60-gram shafts in S, R or LITE flexes. The set makeup includes a 5H and 6-PW, GW. A Steel Combo Set in the same make up is available through custom. ONE Length irons are available in RH, and LH is available through custom.
Providing the perfect complement to the SPEEDBACK Irons, COBRA is also unveiling its new KING F9 SPEEDBACKTM Hybrids, available in variable length or ONE Length designs. COBRA has integrated its breakthrough SPEEDBACK technology with its popular Baffler® rails to produce the highest performing Hybrid in its history. This Hybrid’s performance can be attributed to the following key technologies:
SPEEDBACKTM w BAFFLER® Technology – This year, COBRA has improved upon its BAFFLER® Rails by adding SPEEDBACK™, a low, back weight structure that sits in-between the two rails, which are strategically centered around the clubs’ center of gravity. These technologies fuse to deliver the best combination of low CG and improved turf interaction, increasing ball and club speed to maximize distance from any lie.
Forged 455 High-Strength Stainless Steel Face – maximizes the amount of flex at impact for increased ball speeds and distance across the entire face.
High MOI Design – Shaping improvements include a 10% larger clubhead compared to KING F8, creating a higher MOI for increased forgiveness. Additionally, the hybrid features a straighter leading edge that allows golfers to align the club to the target similar to how they would with an iron for improved accuracy.
Back CG Position – A fixed, external 15-gram tungsten weight is positioned low & back, creating a low/deep CG that produces more speed and high, towering ball flights. The 15-gram weight is interchangeable, allowing golfers to golfers to customise their swing weight.
The KING F9 SPEEDBACKTM men’s Hybrids(MAP $219) are available in 17-degrees, 19-degrees, 21-degrees and 24-degrees of loft and come standard with a Fujikura ATMOS 70-gram shaft in R, S or LITE Flex and black Lamkin Crossline COBRA CONNECT grips. The KING F9 SPEEDBACKTM Women’s Hybrids are available in 22-degrees, 25-degrees, 28-degrees and 31-degrees of loft and come stock with Fujikura ATMOS 60-gram shafts in ladies’ flex and Lamkin Crossline (Standard Men’s Size) COBRA CONNECT grips.
The KING F9 SPEEDBACK TM ONE Length Hybrids(MAP $219) offer the same performance boosting features that the traditional length hybrid options do, with the infusion of COBRA’s patented ONE Length configuration. Engineered using matching 7-irons length and lie angle, the SPEEDBACK ONE Length hybrid simplifies a players’ game by allowing them to use one repeatable set-up and swing for their irons and hybrids. These hybrids are available in 19-degree, 21-degrees and 24-degrees of loft and come standard with ATMOS ONE Length 70-gram shafts in S, R or LITE flexes with blue Lamkin Crossline COBRA CONNECT grips.
“We have seen some golfers put this consistent, easy-to-hit ONE Length Hybrid in their bag, replacing their more difficult to hit long irons, or even a variable length hybrid. It’s really a great club that golfers can hit consistently, with confidence,” said Jose Miraflor, VP of Marketing COBRA Golf.
All of the KING F9 SPEEDBACK IRONS and KING F9 SPEEDBACK Hybrids will be available at retail and at http://www.cobragolf.com beginning January 18, 2019.