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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.

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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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Equipment

Wunder: I’ve hit THESE new drivers this year…and this is what I think

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During this lockdown, I have done quite a few “Friday Q & A’s” on my IG, and one of the questions I get asked constantly is “have you hit this?” That, and “whaddya think?”

So, in the spirit of organizing my brain, it seemed like the right time to share what new drivers I have actually hit this year…and this is what I think.

Now, it needs to be said that there is a lot of new gear out there, but, to be honest, I’ve only actually hit a select few enough to actually build an opinion. “Enough” in this case is at least 20 balls. Some of these sticks I tested during our pre-launch preview with the OEMs, at the PGA show, a friend has one, or I actually have it in the bag.

Here we go.

TaylorMade SIM

Setup tested: SIM 9 @8.25 w/ Mitsubishi Chemical Kuro Kage XTS 70TX

LOOKS: The best way to describe how SIM looks behind the ball is “comfortable.” TaylorMade has always made drivers that just look correct. The lines are clean, the shape inspires playability, and I dig the paint job. They hit a home run with this one for sure.

FEEL: Best sound out there in my opinion. Heavy, dense, and if you get one dead-nuts center, it lets you know. The feel at contact is just as TaylorMade drivers have always done, center strikes feel like Thor’s hammer and mishits don’t kill your good vibes.

VS THE M5: I get asked this a lot. I loved the M5. Still do. To be honest the two drivers data wise were legit apples to apples. The only difference is my stock shot with M5 was a low spin straight ball and with SIM its a slight draw with a touch more spin and slightly lower launch. I prefer that.

OVERALL: In my opinion, the TaylorMade SIM is the cool kid in high school for 2020. Last year it was F9 followed closely by M5. TM knocked it outta the park on this one.

TaylorMade SIM Max

Setup tested: Sim Max 9 @8.25 w/ Mitsubishi Chemical Kuro Kage XTS 70TX

LOOKS: It has a bit more of a longer face at address, which makes the head appear shallow which inspires a bit more confidence to turn it over. That’s the main thing I noticed with MAX. Other than that its a tried and true TM shape.

FEEL: Like its sibling, it has a nice solid hit audibly at the impact. So, overall its apples to apples with SIM. However, due to the front weight missing on the MAX, the actual strike doesn’t feel AS meaty as SIM. Not a negative necessarily just something I noticed.

VS M6: Both of these sticks I launched a bit too high versus the weighted versions. That’s why they never got any serious consideration to actually put in play.

OVERALL: As a high launch, more forgiving option, it’s an ace.

Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero

Setup tested: Sub Zero 9 w/ Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei Blue AV 65TX

LOOKS: To my eyes, the newer versions of the Callaway drivers have looked a bit more compact than its competition. To me, this always looked “low spin” for whatever reason. The Mavrik has the same shape which is good.

FEEL: They really fixed the sound. The Epic Flash sounded like a pop can to me, and the Mavrik Sub Zero sounds like a sledgehammer. The good thing here is the sound now matches up with what the hit feels like. I think the Mavrik is the best feeling driver Callaway has made since Epic.

VS EPIC FLASH SZ: To me, a complete improvement on all fronts. Sound, feel, and performance for me were all substantially better. Now I must say that the Epic Flash Sub Zero was a great driver, I always got great numbers out of it, but the sound took me out of it. I’m sure there isn’t that much difference audibly between the two, but in this game, even something minor can represent so much. Sound to me is huge.

OVERALL: In all honestly, I haven’t given a Callaway driver a real hard look to actually put in the bag since Epic. The sound got louder wit Rogue and Epic Flash. The Mavrik SZ  however is a fantastic driver and will def get some more testing out of me.

Cobra SpeedZone

Setup tested: Cobra Speed Zone 9 @8.5 w/ Fujikura Ventus Black 7X

LOOKS: The F9 was a winner on all fronts. The only critique I had was optically it looked like the driver was a little too fade biased. The SZ with its milled in top line gives it softer look at address and for me, softer lines mean more workability, just what my eyes tell me.

FEEL: As with F9 and the earlier mentioned SIM, the Speed Zone sounds EXACTLY how a driver should sound. It has a very heavy hit audibly and that’s across the face. I love the sound of this driver.

VS F9: Apples to apples, it’s the same. Beyond the optics, it feels, sounds, and performs like the F9. Not a bad thing though, the F9 was the driver of 2019 in my opinion.

OVERALL: Nothing wrong with repeating an already awesome driver. SpeedZone will stand up to anything out there. If I’m being fair, I think F9 elevated things in 2019, and this year the competition caught up to it. Changes nothing about how good this driver is.

Cobra Speed Zone Xtreme

Setup tested: Cobra Speed Zone Xtreme 9 @8.5 w/ Fujikura Ventus Black 7X

LOOKS: Like the other drivers in this higher MOI category, it looks a little longer heel to toe.

FEEL: No different than the SpeedZone, sounds great, the impact is solid across the face, and even thin shots feel solid.

OVERALL: The Xtreme is the sleeper hit of 2020 and I’ve heard the fitters love this thing. It’s by far the easiest to hit and overall good time of any driver on this list. Is it longer? No. But is it Xtremely (no pun) playable and competitive? Hard yes. It’s a blast.

PXG Proto

Setup tested: PXG Proto 9 w/ Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 6 TX

LOOKS: Slick. Like all PXG gear, the look is there. The matte crown and elegant lines make it very pleasing optically. I also appreciate that although it’s designed to look high tech. The lines inspire playability, and who doesn’t love a driver that looks like a stealth bomber?

FEEL: I only hit about 20 balls with the PXG Proto in the short time I had with it, but, wow, did this thing surprise me. The sound oddly enough is a bit higher-pitched than the others on the list but for whatever reason, it’s not a distraction. It actually adds to the experience of the hit. I typically detest that, but this sound matched up with the solid hit I was getting. I’m not sure if this is the final version since its a limited tour proto but what is happening is definitely interesting.

VS GEN2: It’s just better. Feels better, sounds great, more playable across the face. The Gen2 did one thing better than everyone else, it destroyed spin. The problem I had was control. The PXG Proto is still low spin but with the new 4 weight system (no intel on the tech yet) seems to add quality launch to the low spin profile and puts the player in a situation where very few to any sacrifices are made.

OVERALL: I was a fan of Gen2. No doubt. But it never flat out beat M5, F9, or SIM. The Proto has elevated PXG’s driver game. I don’t think its a matter of whether or not the driver stands up with the irons, I believe PXG is on the right track to having a driver that eliminates any “yeah, but…” to the conversation. That’s a huge leap since Gen1. These guys are trending hard.

I hope this was helpful.

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What GolfWRXers are saying about the final version of Bryson DeChambeau’s LA Golf ‘Texas Rebar’ wedge shafts

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the final version of Bryson DeChambeau’s LA Golf ‘Texas Rebar’ wedge shafts. The look of the ultra-stiff shafts, which originated from Bryson wanting a “graphite shaft that was stiffer than the Dynamic Gold X7″, has impressed our members who have been praising the final version and sharing their thoughts on the concept.

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.

  • QuigleyDU: “Awesome.”
  • My2dogs: “Really coming out with some great new stuff.”
  • HateTheHighDraw: “MMT 125TX are absolute fire, but these must be much stiffer.”
  • Robkingasu: “Sweet!”

Entire Thread: “Bryson DeChambeau’s LA Golf ‘Texas Rebar’ wedge shafts”

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Should I move to heavier iron shafts? – GolfWRXers have their say

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the strategy of moving to heavier shafts in irons. WRXer ‘Z1ggy16’ has been making swing changes lately, and the transition has been most challenging for his iron play. ‘Ziggy16’ says:

“Been making some swing changes lately, most notably working to really shallow my club into the downswing. I’m finding that I’m doing this well with my heavy wedge shafts and driver, but I’m struggling a bit in my irons. My strike pattern with my wedges is pretty good, but the irons are a bit all over. Driver is 80g raw, wedges are 132g raw, irons 120g raw. I don’t think I want to go any stiffer, but is there a chance I’ve “outgrown” this weight and need to move to something a bit heavier to help keep these feels going through my set? No idea what swing speed is at this point, but my 7i is normally a smooth/comfortable 175-180 for me.

I really like the feel of my Accra Tour Z Xtreme 475 and my S400’s in the GW-LW. I’m kind of leaning maybe soft stepping modus 120TX or X100’s.. Heck maybe even S200 straight in? Normally I’d just get a fitting, but with Rona still going around, I’m not than keen on it. 2020 is the year of the self fit for me. FWIW, I used modus 120TX 2xSS in my GW & SW last year and that was pretty good feeling. Perhaps a touch too soft… they seemed to really whip/bend hard when hitting from the rough on full swings.”

Our members discuss whether they feel a switch to heavier shafts in the irons will have the desired impact.

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.

  • Pepperturbo: “You’re not alone. Regardless of age, some of us swing better with heavier shafts. I went from 70g driver and 85g 3wd graphite shafts to 58g Ventus shaft in driver and 70g Ventus shaft in 4wd. In irons went from 130g X to 120g 6.0 PX steel shafts which lasted about fifteen years. Then last year made another downward weight change to Steelfiber (steel & graphite) 110g Stiff shafts, lightest I have ever played. Keep in mind as you transition, changing shaft weight is not the only answer. Increasing swing weight can make up for shaft weight. Though I really like them in 6-3i, not thrilled in SW-7i, so just ordered heavier Steelfiber i125g shafts for my PW-7i blades.”
  • Jeff58: “As someone who has gone through and continues to work on what sounds like a similar situation, your ideal iron shafts will likely change. Where they change to isn’t possible to predict with any degree of accuracy. Don’t change your current irons without knowing. It’s frustrating, expensive, and you won’t have any clubs while they’re being changed out. Instead, get a single club from dealsandsteals or similar and experiment with that. Also, the only relevant experience is outdoors under your actual turf conditions. Indoor and mat use can be grossly different.”
  • Red4282: “Just depends on your tempo and load and preferences tbh. My numbers are about identical to yours; I play 77g in the driver and 125 in the irons. I don’t think I could go lighter than 125.”
  • gvogel: “I have a set of hickory clubs. Of course, hickory shafts are darn heavy, maybe 150 grams or so. I probably hit straighter shots with the irons, and particularly hit better shots with the niblick (wedge). Driver and fairway woods, not so much. That might be a stupid insertion into an intelligent thread, but heavier goes straighter, lighter goes longer. You can go heavier, and it helps in transition, but don’t go too stiff.”

Entire Thread: “Should I switch to heavier iron shafts?”

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