When most people think of golf equipment, they do not normally associate it with space. However, Rickie Fowler, PGA superstar and COBRA PUMA Golf (CPG) brand ambassador, unveiled a new driver in late 2015 that has something that no other brand can tout—space is in it.
In 2014, CPG partnered with CASIS to send a variety of materials science investigations to the ISS to understand plating characteristics of metals in a microgravity environment. The purpose was to see whether the metals could be used to manufacture a more durable and efficient product line. CPG is currently evaluating the results from these initial investigations and hopes the findings will inform future product lines.
Through its partnership with CASIS, CPG learned of space-tested metal threads developed to combat the intense torque generated during a rocket launch. This torque is similar to the torque involved in hitting a golf ball with a driver. CPG incorporated these space-tested metal threads in its new KING LTD Driver, which Rickie Fowler is using during his 2016 PGA season. The driver is the first commercial product to feature the CASIS “Space Is In It” seal.
If you ask the 25 million Americans who play golf about the importance of advanced technology in golf equipment and the extent to which it impacts the game—innovation matters. Golfing manufacturers are constantly striving to develop drivers and clubs that are more durable and that can hit the ball farther and straighter. By utilizing space technology, CPG believes their “Space Is In It” driver has unique technological benefits that set it apart from drivers of other brands.
CPG’s “Space Is In It” driver recently made its debut in the winner’s circle. Using the driver in one of his first tournaments of 2016, Rickie Fowler won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship over an elite field of golf’s biggest stars. This just goes to show that microgravity on the ISS National Lab has the ability to impact everything from drug development for human health all the way to improving your game on the golf course.