Cobra Golf, a leader in golf club innovation, recently unveiled the King Supersport-35 putter, the first of a series of revolutionary products featuring 3D printing technology. Developed over a period of two years in a collaboration between Cobra and engineering teams at HP and Parmatech, the club features a fully 3D-printed metal body with an intricate lattice structure.

Reinvention plays a crucial part in innovation, and Cobra’s 3D-printed Supersport-35 Putter represents a revolutionary advancement in the way that golf clubs are designed and manufactured. Cobra selected HP as its partner to pioneer 3D printing in golf due to the advantages that its Metal Jet Technology presented over traditional manufacturing and other 3D printing methods.

Cobra and HP began working together in early 2019 and, by early 2020, the team had created 35 different design iterations over the course of eight months, showcasing the design freedom and speed of product innovation available by utilising HP Metal Jet. With its quicker processing time, and greater design adaptability, the engineers were able to design, prototype, and test multiple iterations and bring the product to market much faster than traditional manufacturing methods.

The resulting club offers optimised weight distribution and delivers the highest possible moment of inertia (MOI) in a blade shape. In golf, MOI is a measurement of a club’s resistance to twisting. A golf club with a higher MOI will be more forgiving of off-centre strikes than a lower-MOI club as a result of its resistance to twisting.

“At Cobra Golf we strive to deliver high-performance products that help golfers of all levels play their best and enjoy the game,” said Jose Miraflor, Vice-President, Marketing at Cobra Golf. “To do that, it’s critical to use the most effective manufacturing processes to design, develop, and achieve optimal results, and we’ve certainly done that with this new putter.

“To continue innovating and transforming the way equipment is manufactured, we worked with HP and Parmatech to take advantage of the benefits of Metal Jet technology. During the development of the King Supersport-35 Putter, we saw immediate benefits from this process, including design freedom, rapid design iteration, and high-quality parts that meet our economic demands. 3D printing is accelerating design innovation, and this breakthrough putter will help usher in a new era for the sporting equipment industry at large.”

“The power of personalisation enabled by 3D printing delivers completely reimagined consumer products and experiences,” said Uday Yadati, Global Head of HP Metal Jet, HP Inc. “This first-of-its-kind putter is a shining example of the disruptive design and production capabilities of HP Metal Jet 3D printing technology. Cobra’s commitment to innovation and competitive excellence, combined with the technical expertise and leadership from Parmatech, has led to a breakthrough design win for golf fans around the world.”

In addition to the 3D-printed design, the King Supersport-35 putter features a face insert designed in partnership with SIK Golf. With an oversized blade shape, it utilises SIK’s patented Descending Loft Technology (DLT) to create the most consistent and accurate roll on every putt. Re-engineered into an aluminium face insert, this design strategically saves weight from the front of the putter to be repositioned heel-toe and tunes the feel to a slightly softer feel than a traditional all-steel SIK putter face. SIK’s signature face design utilises four descending lofts (4°, 3°, 2°, 1°) to ensure the most consistent launch conditions for every putting stroke. The exciting partnership, born out of work with SIK Golf partner and Cobra ambassador Bryson DeChambeau, yields flatsticks that not only provide superior stability and consistency due to 3D printing technology but also significantly improved consistency and roll performance.

“I’ve had a lot of success over the years with my SIK putter and was really excited to work with Cobra to develop a new way to manufacture equipment and bring this new putter to market,” said DeChambeau. “HP’s Metal Jet technology is an incredibly advanced production method and very exacting, which is pretty critical in golf equipment. I think golfers of all levels will benefit from the combination of Cobra’s high-MOI design and SIK’s Descending Loft technology.”

Superior quality, new possiblities

HP Metal Jet 3D printing delivers superior part quality and requires minimal post-process finishing. The entire putter body is printed using 316 stainless steel, and then sintered at a high temperature to bind the metal and form the final head part.

Due to the advanced capabilities of Metal Jet printing, engineers were able to print an intricate lattice structure within the body – a manufacturing feat that wouldn’t be possible using traditional casting or forging methods. The lattice fine-tunes the feel of the club and optimises the distribution of weight within the putter head to create the highest MOI without the need for additional fixed weights.

During the final step of the manufacturing process, the surfaces of the putter are precision milled using a CNC machine to ensure precise shaping and detail, while adding the finishing touches to the cosmetic appearance of the club. The Supersport features a high MOI heel-toe weighted design for maximum stability, and a plumber neck hosel with a 35-degree toe hang suitable for slight arc putting strokes.

The final product is a celebration of a major revolution in golf club manufacturing in the form of a high-performance putter that will appeal to golf purists seeking a clean look and feel but is packed with advanced technology to improve the quality of a golfer’s short game.

In the wake of the Supersport-35 launch, Cobra and HP are now working together on a strategic, multi-year product roadmap that leverages the design and manufacturing benefits of HP’s additive technologies to deliver further golf equipment designed to enhance performance and golfer satisfaction. The Supersport-35 marks the first foray into what promises to be a significant element in Cobra golf clubs in the future. Cobra has plans to launch two additional products in 2021 that feature 3D printed technology.

“HP’s 3D printing technology allows us to utilise a complex lattice structure to remove weight from the center of the putterhead and push significant amounts of weight to the perimeter,” said Miraflor. “The result is superior MOI levels and massively increased stability and forgiveness. So not only is the 3D production method more consistent but it also allows us to design products in a new and superior way.”