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10 things you need to know about Cobra’s new King F8 lineup for 2018

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Following up on its previous King F7 golf clubs, Cobra is back with its full line of King F8 drivers, hybrids and irons, and you’ll notice a slew of differences from its predecessors. Cobra has thrown the proverbial kitchen sink at the new F8 golf clubs based on about 2.5 years of R&D, according to the company, and many of the new technologies are quite visible. It’s also the first line of “smart” golf clubs, which you’ll learn more about below.

Here are 10 things you need to about Cobra’s new F8 golf clubs, and don’t forget to join the discussion and see more photos of the product!

1) CNC-Milled Faces 

Unlike just about every other driver face on the market, Cobra’s new F8 and F8+ drivers have multi-directional CNC-milled faces. The process, which takes roughly 25 minutes per head according to Cobra, allows the faces to be produced thinner to increase ball speeds, and it saves weight to be used elsewhere in the heads (mostly low and rearward to increase forgiveness).

The surface roughness that the milling produces increases friction, which actually lowers spin on drivers. Additionally, milling the faces tightens the tolerances, leading to more consistency and overall ball speed — since there’s a tighter tolerance, Cobra can get consistently closer to the USGA’s CT limit (a measure of spring-like effect).

2) Aero-(S)trips 

While we’ve seen “speed trips” on the crowns of other drivers on the market to increase their aerodynamic quality, Cobra was able to add trips without adding much weight to the crown’s structure. That’s because Cobra is using polymer decal tape to trip-up airflow around the crown during the swing. The polymer trips, along with a re-designed, streamlined shape — Cobra calls this “360 Aero” — the company has reduced overall drag by 17 percent compared to the F7 drivers. According to Cobra, this leads to 1.1 mph more ball speed, and 4 yards in total distance.

3) Weight a second

Rather than three weight ports in the soles of the drivers, as we saw in the F7 and F7+ drivers, Cobra has switched to two weight ports in the F8 (draw and neutral) and F8+ (forward and rearward) drivers. According to the company, fewer weight ports in the head allowed engineers to drop overall CG (center of gravity) in the head, thus making them more forgiving, while not giving up the ability for golfers to adjust CG to their swing needs.

4) All of the F8 clubs are “Smart”

Cobra launched its Connect system, in connection with Arccos Golf, in the F7 drivers. That means Arccos tracking system was embedded in the grips of the drivers, which uses vibrations to return club analytics.

Now, Cobra Connect will be available in every club throughout the F8 line. When you purchase a set of King F8 or King F8 ONE iron sets, you will also receive a full set of Arccos 360 sensors for FREE; Cobra says this is a $249 value. With the new Cobra Connect system in every head throughout the set, golfers will receive stroked-gained stats and other helpful data in the app.

Side note: you will still need to play golf with your smartphone in your pocket for the system to work.

5) Doubling down on the rails

Cobra’s Baffler technology isn’t new, as it’s been featured in the last few iterations of fairway woods from the company, it has brought the rails closer together and made them taller. The technology works similarly to bounce on wedges, and helps the club glide through the turf, preventing digging and allowing for a more aggressive pass at the golf ball.

The new F8 and F8+ fairway woods have been given a sleeker head shape based on feedback from player testing. There is also Carbon fiber in the crowns to drop weight in the club head to make them more forgiving.

6) Carbon Fiber in the irons

Cobra’s new F8 irons, as with the F8 fairway woods, have also been given a carbon fiber addition. In the irons, there’s a new Carbon fiber medallion in the rear cavities — the design will work to provide a softer, lighter feel. Like irons in the company’s past, the F8 irons also have progressive TecFlo designs and spin technology throughout the sets; this means the long irons will fly higher and with less spin for more distance, while the shorter irons will fly lower and with more spin for greater control. The F8 irons utilize the familiar “PWRSHELL” technology that keeps CG low to boost forgiveness and speed.

7) One-length irons and… hybrids?

The one-length iron sets have been given a few tweaks. Most notably, Cobra has adjusted lie angles throughout the set to make long irons fly a bit higher and short irons a bit lower. Also, the longer irons have been given a wider sole, especially when compared to their variable-length F8 counterparts. The F8 ONE sets will also utilize carbon fiber for a better feel.

New in this year’s F8 ONE set is the addition of a hybrid — it also utilizes Baffler Technology. Along with bringing the long-game benefits of a hybrid into the one-length concept, a Cobra representative also notes that it will be utilized by many as an option around the greens due to its shortened length.

8) Nardo

The “nardo” gray color (pictured on the right), which is an option in the metalwoods aside from black, is undeniably popular right now throughout the sporting world and beyond. You may have noticed Oklahoma State and Ohio State’s college football teams using the color recently for their alternate jerseys, and several automobile manufacturers utilizing nardo in their color schemes. It’s the hottest color in sports right now, so why not bring it into the world of golf?

9) For the kids

Cobra is offering F8 Junior heads that are “real deal drivers,” in 39 (7-9 year olds), 41 (10-12 year olds) and 43-inch (13-15 year olds) length options. The best thing is that if you register the club through Cobra, the company will upgrade the driver with the longer shaft option for free as he/she gets older.

10) Specs, pricing and more

Note: All drivers, fairway woods and hybrids will hit stores on January 12, while all irons will hit stores February 2.

King F8 and F8+ Drivers ($399)

  • The F8 drivers (9-12 degrees) come with stock MRC Tensei CK Blue 50, Aldila NV 2KXV Blue 60, or Aldila NV 2KXV Green 65 shafts with Lamkin REL Cobra Connect grips.
  • The F8+drivers (8-11 degrees) come with stock Aldila NV 2KXV Blue 60, Aldila NV 2KXV Green 65 or Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75 shafts and Lamkin Crossline 360 Cobra Connect grips.

King F8 fairways ($249)

  • Head options: 3-4: (13-16 degrees), 5-6: (17-20 degrees), 7-8: (21-24 degrees)
  • Grip: Lamkin REL 360 Cobra Connect
  • Stock shaft: Aldila NV 2KXV Blue 70

King F8+ Fairways ($249)

  • Head options: 3-4: (12-15 degrees), 5-6: (16-19 degrees)
  • Grip: Lamkin Crosline 360 Cobra Connect
  • Stock Shaft: Aldila NV 2KXV Green 75

King F8 hybrids ($199)

  • Head options: 2H (17 degrees), 3H (19 degrees), 4H (22 degrees) and 5H (25 degrees)
  • Stock Shaft: Aldila Rogue Pro 75
  • Grip: Lamkin REL 360 Cobra Connect

King F8 ONE hybrids ($199)

  • Head options: 3H (19 degrees), 4H (22 degrees) and 5H (25 degrees)
  • Grip: Lamkin REL 360 Cobra Connect
  • Stock Shaft: Aldila Rogue Pro One Length

King F8 Variable length steel ($799 steel, $899 graphite)

Steel irons (5-PW, GW) come with True Temper XP 90 shafts and Lamkin REL 360 Cobra Connect shafts, while graphite (5H, 6-PW, GW) come with Aldila Rogue Pro 65 shafts with Lamkin REL Cobra Connect grips.

King F8 ONE ($799 steel, $899 graphite)

One-length iron sets (5-PW, GW) come with either Aldila One Rogue 65 shafts or True Temper One Flighted shafts and Lamkin Crossline 360 Cobra Connect grips.

 

Discussion: See more photos, and read what GolfWRX members are saying about the clubs in our forums

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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.

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Steve

    Dec 17, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    I think this looks like it wants to be in my bag. I want to play these clubs. This just might be what can get me to give up my ping driver. Definitely want the baffler. I sold an old 7 cobalt 7 wood from Tony Penna golf many years ago that had rails I miss that club.

  2. Crazy About Golf

    Dec 14, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Put a Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero in my bag a couple months ago and it is a bomber…..but I’m definitely going to give this new Cobra a few swings! Just for fun! It looks bad a$$!

  3. Ian

    Nov 29, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Cobra trying to change the game. Could be great

  4. Val

    Nov 15, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    I WANT all those awesome wild weapons sitting in my WITB arsenal !!!!!
    I’m a King Cobra golfer and others will fear me and my WITB weapons !!!!
    Man ‘o man am I itching for all the FFFFF88888 destroyers !!!!!

  5. Gorden

    Nov 15, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    One thing for sure we are seeing them going to major bells and whistle’s to sell a driver at $399. Anyone playing to a 12 or more will never need any of this, (unless they are under 10 and at a 12 already).

  6. Underachiever

    Nov 15, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Curious what the numbers will be like on high toe shots I hit when I catch it on the text…

  7. Jeff Newman

    Nov 15, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    So, friction now decreases spin??? WTH? So what is Cleveland and their wedges touting and are they totally wrong? Come on….. Something or someone is not telling the truth.

    • John

      Nov 16, 2017 at 12:04 am

      well if you hit up with a driver and down with a wedge, wouldn’t it produce opposite results?

      • Robert Parsons

        Dec 20, 2017 at 12:08 am

        Explain how that works with so many people that have negative AOA? Thanks for playing, and feel free to try again.

    • Mike

      Nov 16, 2017 at 11:14 am

      Bridgestone did this with the J715 for the past few years and it was amazing. That is still one of my all time drivers because it did drop my spin and I am still using that driver today. All new drivers could not match that head/shaft combo and that was after extensive testing of the other latest and greatest. This might be the new driver for me since I am a true believer of that milled face.

    • Troy

      Dec 3, 2017 at 7:41 am

      I was curious about this too. Seems like CNC milling will only add spin, but there has been no word on this from anyone. I am super interested in the driver, but I am going to have to see how the numbers compare to my current gamer before making any decisions.

  8. alexdub

    Nov 15, 2017 at 11:46 am

    This could be the best looking driver cobra has ever put out. Love it.

  9. Milo

    Nov 15, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Guess we’ll see how the F8+ does against my LTD Pro

  10. Bo Pence

    Nov 15, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Doesn’t look as good as the white and black carbon composite the Taylormades have. Price is good though!

  11. Duncan Marc

    Nov 15, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Is it 7 yards longer? J/K.
    Cobra makes great stuff. I’ll have to give their irons a look when I’m ready this spring.

  12. M-Herd4

    Nov 15, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Awesome!!! My wife made the switch to a full bag of Cobra’s 3 years ago and I traded in my Pings for Cobra’s 2 years ago. Best moved we ever made. Absolutely love Cobra products!!

  13. Dat

    Nov 15, 2017 at 9:08 am

    At least it isn’t $899.

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Whats in the Bag

Sebastian Munoz winning WITB: 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 @9 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 6.5

3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow

Irons: Ping i200 (3), Ping i210 (4-PW)
Shafts: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI Hybrid 85X (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (4-PW)

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth (50), Titleist Vokey Design SM7 sand (56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Valor

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride Z Grip Cord

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Whats in the Bag

Danny Willet’s winning WITB: 2019 BMW PGA Championship

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Driver: Callaway Rogue (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 60X

3-wood: Callaway Rogue (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 70X

Irons: Callaway Apex UT (18), Callaway X Forged (21), Callaway X Forged (5-9 iron)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold SuperLite X100

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged (46 degrees), Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (50, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Superlite X100

Putter: Odyssey Stroke Lab Tuttle

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

Related to Danny Willett WITB

 

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Equipment

New Mizuno MP-20 irons now available at retail

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The 2019/2020 Mizuno MP-20 irons family, the next series of MP irons to connect golfers to the classic  “Mizuno Feel,” with four new models (MP20 Blade, MP-20 MMC, & MP20 HMB – Hot Metal Blade), are now available at retail.

The MP-20 series was born from tradition and the idea of creating the ultimate set of irons for every player. Mizuno has accomplished that goal with modern design and an attention to detail on every level with all three models. Speaking to the Mizuno tradition, and something they touched on when these were originally teased on social channels with #LayersOfFeel, Mizuno is going back in time to the TN-87s and reintroducing a copper underlay to their irons—all of them!

Mizuno MP20 iron copper underlay

“Mizuno Feel”

It is part of the golf vernacular. It’s ingrained in golf (nerd) culture—it’s a real thing.

But where does it comes from, how did it get here, what is it really, and how is it a component of 2019 Mizuno MP-20 irons?

I’m here to give you some answers and introduce you to MP-20 family of irons from Mizuno.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-irons-7-iron-

2019 Mizuno MP-20 irons: 7-iron

Born from tradition, and the idea of creating the ultimate set of irons for every player, the 2019 Mizuno MP-20 family is the next series of MP irons that will connect golfers to the “Mizuno Feel.” Speaking to tradition, and something I touched on when these were originally teased on social channels with #LayersOfFeel, Mizuno is going back in time to the TN-87s and reintroducing a copper underlay to their irons—all of them! (Before someone tries to correct me: yes, I realize that they have done this for more recent Japan market model)

What does this copper layer mean? Here’s the funny thing, even Mizuno has had a hard time trying to quantify it. Through multiple rounds of extensive blind prototype testing with all of their staff players, the irons with a copper underlay won on feel EVERY SINGLE TIME! How’s that for dominance?

But why? They are truly still trying to 100 percent figure that out. Mizuno has used its HIT (Harmonic Impact Technology), metallurgy analysis, and every test it can to try and figure out why. Engineers even went as far as trying to prove the hypothesis the copper underlay “feel” was based on nostalgia but time and time again Cu won in blind testing. At the end day, the human element was still the deciding factor because humans are the ones that ultimately hit shots.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-7-iron-address

2019 Mizuno MP-20 irons

This brings us to the flagship MP-20 (Blade) (The Ultimate Tour Blade as described by Mizuno’s Product Manager & Engineer Chris Voshall). Evolving from the tradition built into the MP-18, and taking design cues from historic models like the TN 87 and MP14, the MP20s provide more flow throughout the set from top to bottom leading to even more control over ball flight. This flow also increases forgiveness (please remember it’s still a blade) and launch in the longer irons, with an increased ability to flight the ball in the scoring clubs…all of this AND a thinner top line.

Now about that top line: it’s an extremely important part of the look of the club, but what many don’t realize is it also plays a big role in feel and acoustics too. Let’s simplify for a moment: think of a clubhead like hunk of metal—a cube—now when you hit that thick piece of metal on something it doesn’t reverberate much and when it does, it’s at a different frequency making it sound heavy and “thuddy,” or as some would say, SOLID.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-7-iron-face

Now imagine if that same piece of metal, and same mass, was stretched out like a saw blade. Have you ever hit something with the side of a large saw blade? It’s wobbly, loud, and generally unpleasant, that’s what happens when an unsupported part of a club gets too thin, it acts like an amplifier of bad sound, creating terrible feel. By blending a small channel (think MP5) with the classic looks of yesteryear you get a club that feels and performs like no Mizuno before it, and as I said, with a thinner look from address.

What’s all this talk of “Flow”?

Center of gravity and mass placement (or as a Mizuno Engineer explained to me “Vertical Moment of Inertia”). Since each club is designed individually, you need the center of gravity to shift throughout the set to help control launch/trajectory (or “traj” as the kids say), and make sure spin is also at an optimal level.

For the MP-20, it means long irons that are “easier” to hit (air quotes, because like I said before, it’s still a blade), and short irons that can be more easily flighted lower with greater spin and control. Just like with the MP-18s, Mizuno is keeping with the continuous reduced blade length into the short irons for a look preferred by better players and for improved grass and turf interaction.

But What About the Rest?

You might have noticed off the top I called it the “MP-20 Family.” Here’s why: In golf, like with any other industry, data is important. But it’s only as good as you use it and well…let’s just say Mizuno has been paying close attention to how golfers and fitters have been making combo sets over the last few years. It’s all about understanding what golfers really need and thanks to some proprietary data they went even deeper when it comes to designing each and every iron in this family to make sure its performance is maximized. This is why I continue to emphasize how each set has a flow—to make sure each club in your bag is just right for you. Now to introduce you to the rest of the family members…

2019 Mizuno MP20 MMC irons (Multi-Material Construction)

2019-mizuno-mmc-irons-1

2019 Mizuno MP-20 MMC irons: 7-iron

I know, you think you’ve heard this story before but…NOT LIKE THIS!

The new MP-20 MMC is a BIG shift in design, not just because of the Cu underlay, but a radical change in how the whole club is put together. I know it sounds very “big biz,” but in the world of manufacturing it truly comes down to how “parts” are manufactured. Now, with Mizuno, I will reiterate a well-known story. All of its forged irons are single-sourced from one foundry (Chuo) in Japan through a handshake agreement that has been in place for decades.

Now back to the MMC. Before the MP-20 the MMC always had one tiny design difficulty (not a bad one, just a truth) and that was the titanium piece in the back was the same size throughout the whole set. This lead to a set with almost constant sole width. That doesn’t mean previous generations were constructed poorly, but it just means there were improvements that could be made to how the set flowed (there’s that word again) from top to bottom…which leads us to the tech story.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-mmc-irons-3

For the first time in the MMC’d life, the titanium piece of the iron will actually vary in mass depending on the club. It will be broken up in the middle of the set to allow better CG placement, and like its blade cousin, improved turf interaction in the shorter irons.

What is also very cool from a build and engineering perspective is the way the titanium gets into the club in the first place. Here we go down a metallurgy rabbit hole, buckle up…

  • Titanium has a mass density (rounded) of 4.5 g/cm3 – cubed
  • Carbon steel has a mass density of (rounded) 7.9 g/cm3 – cubed

That means that from every cubed cm of steel volume you replace with titanium in the head, you save 3.4g… which might not seem like much, but in a 4-iron for example that has an average mass of 248g for (4) cm3 you save 13.6g or just over five percent. I realize this is DEEP into the mass property weeds, but when you think of what a club head weights and how every half percentage point matters, five percent is a lot! That’s more forgiveness, more MOI, more spin control, and overall better performance.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-mmc-irons-3

What is also very cool is all of these parts (titanium and tungsten) have ZERO chemical bond—no epoxy. They all fit snug based on the shrinkage rates of the different materials. Ti & W( tungsten – W comes from the ore Wolframite) shrinks less than the steel so as the steel cools around the titanium and tungsten pieces it creates a mechanical (solid) bond.

All of this together adds up to an iron that looks smaller than the previous version, offers more “flow” in CG, something we mentioned earlier that creates more forgiveness and control throughout the set, and at the end of the day it means a better-engineered version than the one before it.

Hot Metal 2019 Mizuno MP-20 HMB irons

YES…you read that correctly. Mizuno is bringing Hot Metal tech to the MP line!

A hollow body blade looking iron using the same strong yet highly flexible Chromoloy material as the 919 Hot Metals except this time forged to create an iron like they never have before. The look and shape of a blade the speed of a Hot Metal.

Let’s break things down.

The look is clean as clean can be, from there the face of the HMB is thin and fast, while hidden inside the back of the club is complex geometry for both acoustics and precisely positioning mass. These will be the replacement for the MMC Fli-His but unlike that set, only going to the 6-iron, the new HMB will go all the way to the pitching wedge.

What is also different for the HMB vs. the MMC Fli-Hi is the way tungsten is used in the head to create different impact dynamics. The Fli-Hi had all the tungsten (20g worth) in one place in the head (low and towards the toe). The CG was still located right in the middle but through in-depth testing some players found that the Fli-Hi was a more difficult club to turn over and draw.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-hmb-irons

To improve the workability of the new HMB, the Tungsten was split into two 12g pieces (four more grams than previous Fli-Hi) and positioned into precisely formed pockets on the heel and toe in the back of the club. This allows the unsupported face to flex and makes the club more workable while still maintaining all the forgiveness you would expect from a hollow body iron built for speed. Seriously who doesn’t like the sound of that?

Since the new HMB is a full set and not just long irons, there is more to the tech story… here is comes… better flow and CG positioning throughout the set. This is hugely important for the mid and short irons where loft is already going to create spin so controlling ball flight and traj on approach shots is vital for scoring better.

This is again where the MP-20 Family discussion comes into play. Mizuno knows they are going to sell a lot more HMB long irons vs. blade and MMC long irons, so the entire family is designed holistically for every player to find each and every head that optimizes them on the course.

The Full Package

Like with previous generations going back almost a decade, Mizuno is keeping its industry-leading matrix of shaft and grip options available at NO upcharge. BUT… based on the growing demand for more exotic options the newly expanded shaft line up will include a few shafts that will come with a slight upcharge.

Whatever you end up being fit for, it’s important to realize that there has never been family of Mizuno irons designed like this, which could also mean you could be bringing home some new family members soon.

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