“The door gives access to the inside of the golf club, which no one has had or seen before,” Yagley says.
Normally a finished driver head is just under its target weight—typically around 200 grams—because it’s easier to add weight than to subtract it, he explains. Then, just enough hot melt—a sticky substance which doubles as weighting material and debris catcher—is injected through a small hole in the sole of the club.
However, “we would prefer not to have to put the hot melt in,” says Yagley, noting that it’s hard to control where the mass goes inside the club, and it can also affect acoustic properties. Instead, with the spaceport door in the KING LTD Driver, a tungsten weight can be inserted. The metal can be filed to the precise weight necessary for each club before it’s locked in place. The aluminum door itself, which features a polycarbonate window into the club’s interior, also serves as a 16-gram weight.
All this has helped Cobra Golf make what it believes is the first zero-center-of-gravity golf club, meaning the center of gravity for the entire club is on the neutral axis, an imaginary line extending back from the center of the club’s face, maximizing the transfer of energy from club to ball. “For 500 years, centers of gravity have been above that line,” Yagley says. “Everybody’s been trying to get the center of gravity lower, and we believe we’re the first to place it on the neutral axis.”
He adds that the door to the club’s interior also allows the company to make custom clubs, adjusting the size and position of the tungsten weight to suit individual golfers’ styles. “This is the best golf club we’ve ever made, and we think it’s just the beginning,” he says.
As for the ISS experiment, Yagley says the results are part of ongoing research that should pay off in the future, especially as the company continues to partner with NASA, sharing knowledge about construction materials, processing, and testing.
“As we all march down this path together, I’m very confident that not just our industry but all industries are going to benefit from the research being done on and for space applications.”