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Cobra’s King F7 and F7+ drivers, fairways and hybrids: What you need to know

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Cobra’s new King drivers — the King F7, F7+ and the new King LTD Black — may just change how drivers are sold. The secret is their grips, and the built-in technology could change the way golfers approach their tee shots.

Aside from the grips, Cobra’s King F7 clubs for 2017 use new technologies and materials throughout the line, while the King LTD Black drivers and fairway woods will blow you away with their stealthy looks. The King LTD Black drivers and fairways will be available on Nov. 18, while the King F7 and King F7+ lines will hit stores on Jan. 13, 2017.

Pricing is as follows (click the links for photos and more discussion): King F7 ($349), King F7+ ($399), King F7 fairway woods ($239), King F7 hybrids ($199), King LTD Black driver ($449), King LTD Black fairway wood ($299).

Here’s what you need to know about Cobra’s new line.

Cobra Connect

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When you look back at this article in five years, you may remember it as the first time you ever heard about a tracking device built into an off-the-rack driver. And in five years, a lot more drivers may have similar technologies in their grips… or not. But for now, Cobra’s new technology allows golfers to track their performance on the course, share it with friends on social media, and compete against other golfers with the same technology in their club.

Here’s how it works.

Cobra Connect, which is made by Arccos, is housed in the grip of the club, and is fully automatic once you download the free Arccos driver app. Cobra Connect then sends signals back and forth from your phone to the grip, picking up the location of where you hit your tee shot and where you hit your second shot, thus determining distance and if you hit the fairway.

To pick up the location of your second shot, the app uses a proprietary shot detection algorithm and sensors on your smartphone, which allows driving distance and accuracy to be recorded in real time. Remember this all-important step, however; you need to have your phone turned on and in your front pocket for it to work.

Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 5.52.50 PM

Cobra Connect users also have access to driving trends, performance tracking, global competitions and live game-improvement tips. Say you miss three fairways in a row to the right. You may have Rickie Fowler show up on your app with advice for curing a push or a slice.

Through the system, there’s a neat game called “King of the Hole,” where the longest drive on that particular hole keeps the crown. That means if Rickie Fowler plays golf in your area and hits a drive in the fairway and you play on the same course, you can effectively take the crown from him.

The app also doubles as an on-course GPS.

For an idea of what the user experience is like, check out the gallery below. Cobra Connect will come stock in the King F7 and F7+ in an Lamkin REL grip, and in a Lamkin UTx non-cord grip in the King LTD Black. Other grips are available through custom.

King LTD goes stealthy

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Cobra’s King LTD driver, launched in 2015, was wildly popular among GolfWRX Members. It employed what Cobra called a “Zero CG,” a design that led to more distance through a high-launching, low-spinning trajectory. It’s currently in the bag of Rickie Fowler, and performed extremely well in our 2016 Gear Trials: Best Drivers Club Test. So why not keep the same technology, but offer a better-looking alternative? Thus, the King LTD Black.

The original King LTD had a glossy crown, and Fowler’s familiar Oklahoma State color scheme — orange and black. This year, Cobra is offering the same driver, but with a matte black crown. All of the orange graphics have been replaced with gray.

Cobra_King_LTD_Black_Sole

Related: More in-hand photos of Cobra’s King LTD Black driver and fairway wood. 

Cobra Connect will come stock in the King LTD Black driver, and Cobra will also offer a King LTD 3 wood with the same color scheme. The King LTD Black will come stock with an all-black Aldila Rogue Black shaft.

Cobra amps up the Carbon

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Remember TeXtreme carbon fiber? It’s an Aerospace-grade carbon fiber that Cobra used in the crowns of the its King LTD drivers and fairway woods, which helped the company move weight from the top of the drivers and place it lower in the club heads, ultimately making the drivers longer and more forgiving. The material apparently did its job because Cobra has added crowns made from TeXtreme carbon fiber to the new King F7 and F7+ drivers as well.

Cobra says the material change allowed its engineers to save 7 grams of weight from the crowns of the King F7 drivers, which enabled them to add more adjustability to the clubs.

Cobra-King_F7_driver

Related: More in-hand photos of Cobra’s King F7 driver

Also, the King F7 has a 5 percent larger club face than its predecessor, and is made with an updated E9 Ti 811 structure with variable face thickness, meaning the sweet spot will play effectively larger than the King F6.

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The King F7 will be available in three colors (black, blue and silver).

The King F7+ is also made from forged 811 titanium with variable face thickness for higher ball speeds on off-center hits. Stock shafts will be Fujikura’s Pro XLR8 shafts, but 25 other shafts will be available at no upcharge through custom.

Addressing the draw

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The heaviest weight (12 grams) is differentiated by color; the color of the weight depends on the model.

The first thing you may notice about the new King F7+ driver is that it doesn’t have the weight track that was featured on the King F6+ driver. According to Jose Miraflor, Director of Product Marketing at Cobra, that’s because Cobra could not improve on the consistency it wanted to provide to golfers with the track design.

The King F7 and King F7+, however, make strides to improve consistency with their new adjustable weight system. It uses three weight ports that house either the heavy 12-gram weight, or one of two 2-gram weights. They allow golfers two neutral settings — lower spin (heavy weight forward) and higher spin (heavy weight back) — and a draw-biased setting. The draw setting is new, and one that addresses a long-time problem in golf among amateurs, and even pros.

“Eighty percent of golfers still struggle with a slice,” Miraflor said. “The center of gravity (with the draw setting) will help them to close the club face at impact… Even guys like Rickie (Fowler) and Bryson (DeChambeau) said they wanted something they could turn over.”

So there’s no more weight track, but for slicers, this may be for their benefit.

King F7 and F7+: So what’s the difference?

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Now that there’s more uniformity to the King F7 line of drivers, you may be wondering what the difference is between the F7 and F7+ drivers. While they are made with the same technologies, the F7+ is made with what Miraflor calls a “standard head,” instead of the “oversize head” the F7 uses. That means the King F7+ has the more compact look better players tend to favor.

Also, the F7+ is available in lower lofts, which will likely benefit those with higher swing speeds. The King F7’s MyFly hosel has settings ranging from 9-12 degrees, while the King F7+ ranges from 8-11 degrees.

Staying on the rails

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Cobra’s King F7 hybrid

If you watch the PGA Tour, you may have seen an odd-looking utility club in Rickie Fowler’s bag. It’s called the Cobra F6 Baffler, and it features rails on its sole that look a lot like train tracks. The front of the rails are designed to improve turf interaction upon entry into the ground, while the back of the rails help the club glide out more smoothly.

Why not put that technology into all of the new King F7 fairway woods and hybrids? Well, that’s what Cobra did.

Cobra_King_F7_fairway_wood

Cobra’s King F7 fairway wood.

The fairway woods and hybrids use a progressive rail design where the rails get deeper as loft increases. That means the 3 wood has the most shallow rail design, because it’s intended to be hit using a sweeping motion, while hybrids have the deeper rails, because they’re designed to be hit with a more descending blow.

This graphic from Cobra below shows off the progressive design. See more in-hand photos of Cobra’s King F7 fairway woods and hybrids.

 

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The King F7 fairway woods are made with a 475 high-strength steel face insert, and will be available in three different head models: 3-4 wood (13-16 degrees), 5-6 wood (17-20 degrees), 7-8 wood (21-24 degrees). Like the King F7 driver, the King F7 fairway woods have CG adjustability by way of two weight ports that house a 20-gram weight or a 2.5-gram weight. Cobra says flip-flopping the weights move CG either 3.5 millimeters forward (to create a lower ball flight) or backward (to create a higher ball flight).

The King F7 hybrids are also available in three models: 2-3 hybrid (16-19 degrees), 3-4 hybrid (19-22 degrees) and 4-5 hybrid (22-25 degrees). Each of the fairway woods and hybrids come stock with a Fujikura Pro XLR8 shaft.

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Cobra’s King F7 fairway woods are available in black, blue or silver.

Fairway woods will be available in three colorways, while the hybrids are available only in black-and-orange.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Matt W

    Nov 2, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    I have owned Cobra clubs in past, I detest the grips. Will there be different grip options?

    • josh

      Nov 3, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      you know, the same store you buy your cobra driver at has a boat load of grips for sale as well. there are endless options.

  2. Jack

    Nov 2, 2016 at 12:37 am

    That’s a great idea. That gives people more of a reason to buy a complete set of their clubs. But really just buy different brands but also Arccos sensors to put on all the grips.

  3. MP-4

    Nov 1, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    How does the head size of the Cobra F7 5-6 wood (17-20 degrees) compare to the Cobra F6 baffler?
    Wonder if it is much larger. With the Cobra F6 baffler as a 5 wood, liked that the head size was smaller than a 3 wood and larger than a hybrid.

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Forum Thread of the Day: “New PXG putters”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases an array of new PXG putters. The flat-sticks have got our members talking, with the new look and weighting options proving to be popular amongst WRXers.

For lots more photos, check out the full thread here.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • nova6868: “These new putters look so much better than their first line.”
  • keto: “My eyes a popping out. I could roll most of those confident I would put a decent stroke on them. I haven’t checked $$, I imagine they are $$$$$, but I sure like the weighting options.”
  • chip75: “Look so much cleaner without the weights visible.”

Entire Thread: “New PXG putters”

 

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Forum Thread of the Day: “New Mitsubishi AV shafts”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases new Mitsubishi AV shafts which have caught many of our member’s interest. While speaking in the thread, Mitsubishi Chemical shared some details to WRXers on what they can expect to see soon:

“We are working on bringing 2nd Gen Tensei product to market – this is the first week of PGA Tour testing.

Be sure to stay tuned for more information towards the beginning of 2020!”

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • AdamStoutjesdyk: “I’m already a huge fan of the Pro White, I can’t wait to see how these look and perform in person!”
  • ForTourUseonly: “Please make an Orange!”

Entire Thread: “New Mitsubishi AV shafts”

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Honma launches new XP-1 Series driver, fairway woods, and hybrids for 2020

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new 2020 Honma Driver

For 2020, Honma Golf is launching the all-new XP-1 line of clubs comprised of an entire family holistically designed to help players maximize forgiveness and get the most out of their games with one set. The new Honma XP-1 drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids, all the way to irons, is a new direction for the premium Japanese company that brings together ultimate craftsmanship with performance.

The highlight of the XP-1 line from Honma is the fact that they were designed from top to bottom to work as a comprehensive set of tool to achieve maximum performance. The technology in the metal woods flows from the driver to the hybrids with a seamless transition that creates consistency for feel and looks for the player.

Honma XP-1 driver

new 2020 Honma Driver

New 2020 Honma Golf Driver

Honma is known for its dedication to quality and craftsmanship, and every part of the XP-1 line was developed with the golfer in mind to both look appealing and perform to the highest standards. The XP-1 driver packs a lot of technology into a very classic looking club, and we’re here to take you under the hood—or in this case, the carbon fiber crown—to show you how it can help you hit better shots.

2020 Honma XP1 Driver toe

Honma XP-1 Driver Toe

It starts with a tour-inspired look from address, designed to inspire confidence for any level of golfer. Underneath ther gloss black crown, there is a lot of technology to generate faster ball speeds around the entire face and help get you dialed into the right setting. Speaking to the crown, it’s made from ET-40 fiber, making it one the lightest in golf. This weight savings helps engineers relocate an additional 15g of mass around the head towards the heel for increased MOI and greater ability to help players close the club face more easily.

Flip the driver upside down, and we have a lot more going on with the sole than initially meets the eye. Honma is introducing a new double slot in the sole for increased ball speed across a much larger area of the face. What starts off smaller in the middle increases in width and depth as it reaches towards the heel and the toe of the club. These slots, along with improved MOI, keep ball speeds up and misses closer to the intended target. The last part of the equation: How these wider parts of the face, flex around the more narrow middle to also increase gear effect—think of it like one more way to help the bigger misses stay in play.

New 2020 Honma Driver XP1

2020 Honma XP-1 Driver sole and shaft adjustment connection

The last piece key piece of technology in the XP-1 driver head is exclusive to Honma—the adjustable hosel that changes face angle, lie, and loft, but never changes the orientation of the shaft. This gives the player or fitter the ability to truly dial in hosel settings without having to worry about the constantly changing of the grip orientation. This, according to Honma, also keeps the shaft spine in the ideal location for consistent performance.

Honma 2020 xp1 driver shaft

Honmq Vizard 43g shaft

Honma is the only manufacturer that produces its own shafts from start to finish in house, and the XP-1 is getting its own custom-designed and built shafts to complement the technology built into the heads. The Vizard stock shafts are engineered to produce a smooth feel that promotes faster clubhead speeds, yet also remain extremely stable. For the XP-1 driver, the matching Vizard shafts will come in weights of 43g, 53g, and 63g, and flexes from senior to stiff.

Honma XP-1 fairway woods

The XP-1 woods bring the same level of craftsmanship and technology as the drivers to a club designed for use both off the tee and off the fairway.

New for 2020 Honma XP-1 Fairway wood

New for 2020 Honma XP-1 Fairway wood

The Honma XP-1 3-wood uses the same weight-saving ET-40 crown to position a large amount of the club’s total mass low and on the sole for greatest possible launch and spin consistency. The 3-wood is the second-lightest club in most players bags by total weight and head mass, and unless you are carrying a second driver, it’s also the second-largest by volume. By using the carbon crown designers get everything they can from the other technologies including the double slot sole and thin fast face without having to sacrifice the overall design of not just the head but the entire club.

New Honma XP-1 3 wood crown fairway

Honma XP-1 3 wood crown

The XP-1 fairways also include a 5  7-woods, but with the smaller volume of the heads and the reduced crown size, using a carbon crown would actually increase the mass higher in the head, so they instead utilize an extremely thin high strength steel crown.

New Honma 53g Vizard Fairway Shaft XP1

Honma 53g Vizard Fairway Shaft

All of the fairway woods come with the same made-in-Sakata, Japan 43g, 53g, and 63g Vizard shaft options as the driver to help every player get the most of each club in the set. If might seem like a minor detail, but being able to design an entire club in house from head to grip is a big advantage for Honma versus other OEMs. This holistic approach to designing an entire club/set is a big benefit to the consumer looking to get the most out of each club in their bag and not feel like something may be working against them.

Honma XP-1 hybrid

With the Honma XP-1 hybrid, forgiveness and flow from the fairway woods is the number one consideration for these club. The flow includes a wood-like shape that keeps the club shallow and the center of gravity as low as possible for higher launch and approach shots that fly higher and land softer. Considering the target player for the XP-1 line, the wood-like shape is also very confidence-inspiring.

New 2020 Honma XP1 hybrid

Honma XP-1 Hybrid

Honma continues the design philosophy of keeping the XP-1 both forgiving and fast by utilizing the double slot sole all the way into these hybrids that go from a 19-degree 3-iron replacement to a 25-degree 5-iron replacement.

Honma XP-1 specs & availability

The Honma XP-1 driver, fairway wood, and hybrids will be available starting in October.

New 2020 Honma XP1 Driver fairway hybrid specs

Honma XP-1 line club specs

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