Cobra Golf: Profiling the Equipment Company

Camilo Villegas displays his unique way of reading putts
Putting on a Cobra Golf cap won't (necessarily) make you capable of reading putts like this. Chris Condon/Getty Images

Cobra Golf (browse Cobra equipment on Amazon) is one of the major golf equipment manufacturers, producing a full line of golf clubs (minus putters) as well as accessories such as golf bags. Today, Cobra Golf is a division of Puma, which acquired Cobra from the Acushnet Company (owners of the Titleist brand) in 2010.

The Early Years of Cobra Golf

Cobra Golf was founded in 1973 by an Australian named Thomas Crow.

Crow, a former amateur champion in his home country, had worked for an Australian golf equipment company named Precision Golf. But tinkering with his own designs, he resettled to San Diego, Calif., and founded Cobra Golf.

The company's first major product debuted in 1975, and it's a club Cobra Golf still brings back periodically (albeit in a very different form): The Baffler. The original Baffler was a 23-degree, persimmon 7-wood, marketed as a utility club and generally considered the progenitor of today's hybrid clubs.

Under Crow's guidance, Cobra Golf continued to innovate in ensuing years, introducing an extended-length driver (46 inches, which was several inches longer than standard for its time) in 1979 designed to bring more speed and distance to recreational golfers.

Cobra Innovations

Over the years, Cobra became a name associated with game-improvement clubs on the basis of other innovations: In 1985, Cobra Golf became the first United States-based equipment manufacturer to offer graphite shafts as stock options in woods and irons; in 1992, Cobra became the first major company to offer a full set of oversized irons.

Other Cobra innovations include developing the autoclaving manufacturing process that allowed for strengthening of graphite shafts; and in 2000, developing the Airweight shaft, the first graphite shaft of less than 50 grams in weight.

In 2017, Cobra became the first major brand since Tommy Armour Golf in the 1980s to introduce sets of single-length irons to the consumer market.

Greg Norman's Role at Cobra Golf

In 1991, Greg Norman came on board as an endorser of Cobra, in exchange for partial ownership of the company. Working with Crow, Norman helped design Cobra Golf's first set of forged irons. Norman later became the full owner of Cobra's Australian distributorship.

Norman's initial stake in Cobra was worth $2 million at the time he acquired it. Five years later, when Cobra was acquired by a larger company (see below), Norman's stake ballooned in value to $40 million. Norman hasn't had an ownership stake in the Cobra brand in many years, but continues as a "brand ambassador."

Cobra Golf Gets Sold ... and Again

The larger brand that acquired Cobra Golf five years after Norman's involvement was the Acushnet Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortune Brands, Inc. That sale happened in 1996, and it made Cobra a sister brand to Titleist, which was (and still is) owned by Acushnet.

Acushnet positioned its two major golf brands so that Titleist was the brand that focused on lower-handicappers, while Cobra was the brand that focused more on recreational golfers and game-improvement equipment.

In 2010, though, Acushnet sold the Cobra brand to Puma, best-known as a sports apparel and footwear company.

Cobra Golf remains today part of the Puma company.

Cobra Golf Web Site:

cobragolf.com (or see the Australian, Canadian, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Swedish or British websites)

Cobra Golf Contact Info:

To contact Cobra customer service in the United States, call toll free (800) 917-3300.

Mailing Address
Cobra is headquartered in California:

Cobra Puma Golf
1818 Aston Avenue
Carlsbad, CA 92008

Other phone numbers, as well as regional mailing addresses, can be found by visiting the Cobra Golf Web site for the region in which you live. Go to CobraGolf.com and look for the "Cobra International" link across the bottom of the page.

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Kelley, Brent. "Cobra Golf: Profiling the Equipment Company." ThoughtCo, Jul. 24, 2017, thoughtco.com/cobra-golf-profile-1563954. Kelley, Brent. (2017, July 24). Cobra Golf: Profiling the Equipment Company. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/cobra-golf-profile-1563954 Kelley, Brent. "Cobra Golf: Profiling the Equipment Company." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/cobra-golf-profile-1563954 (accessed November 21, 2017).