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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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Equipment

Confessions of a gear junkie in Korea: My new Ballistic Golf irons

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As an avid golfer and a self-professed equipment junkie, few things in life are better than discovering a piece of shiny new golf gear that brings a smile to my face and a dent to my wallet. And in Korea, where outpacing the Joneses is a national pastime, one has to be vigilant to stay ahead of the crowd.

To onlookers, most Korean golfers might come across as posers who seem more interested in looking good than playing well. It is not unusual for a set of clubs and golf bag to exceed $10K, and the 500-plus custom golf fitting studios across the country are our playground.

The colorful world of Korean golf.

Searching for the latest and greatest

The equipment and fashion we use and wear here will probably make most golfers in the Western hemisphere question our masculinity. But as the saying goes, “When in Gangnam…”

Koreans have a word to describe this expensive affliction, called “Jang-bi-byung.: It translates into “equipment-itis.”

I’m sure that such an insatiable desire for the latest and greatest gear isn’t limited only to Koreans, but I’d wager it affects a lot more of us than in most golfing countries.

And our scope of search isn’t limited only to this side of the world either.

Ballistic Golf MB proto iron heads – bullets and ball not included.

Meet Ballistic Golf, a fledgling golf brand hailing out of Iowa. And if the initial reactions from my friends are any indication, it may well be the next “it” brand for many Korean golfers.

Love at first sight

Back in mid-December, I was scouring the internet, as usual, looking for that special something when I first came across the Ballistic Forged MB irons.

I was immediately won over by the universal language of the classic muscleback—the name and logo instantly resonated with me.

I’d like to say I did the due diligence and carefully weighed the pros and cons of owning these beauties. But the truth is, I didn’t.

Luckily, the price of the clubs was lower than initially expected, thanks to the DTC (direct-to-consumer) model, and I soon became a proud owner of a set of MB irons (5-PW) and two bad-ass looking Covert wedges (52, 56).

After arranging for the clubheads to be delivered to Korea, I reached out to chat with Kyle Carpenter, founder and CEO of Ballistic.

Here’s what he had to say about the brand

“Ballistic Golf launched in July 2019, but I’ve been focused on the idea of starting the company for quite a while. The name was chosen because one definition of ballistic is ‘of or relating to the science of the motion of projectiles in flight.’ And that fits golf so perfectly. My main goal was to design clubs that golfers could perform with, while also keeping a classic look and feel to them.

“Confidence is a major key to good play on the golf course. At Ballistic Golf, we feel that our clubs radiate that feeling right from when you open the package to when you take your first swings. Players irons require confidence and consistency to play well with them, and having irons with a sleek minimalist design and surprisingly good feel on slight mishits, gives you that confidence.

“Wage War on Par’ is our mantra. We really wanted people to have the feeling that they can go out and kick par’s ass. So we made a club that looks and feels great and build on the confidence it gives you to execute the shots you know in your mind that you can hit.”

The hard pelican case and the Ballistic Golf dog tag were a great touch!

A match made in fitting heaven

Long before they arrived, I was snooping around various fitting shops in anticipation, looking through the many options of shafts. My goal was to find shafts that would best suit my game, while at the same time, elicit oohs and aahs from those who have yet to discover the brand.

After an in-depth fitting session with Jay Chung, a master club fitter with over 20 years’ experience, I had decided on Fujikura MCI graphite shafts. I was looking to try something lighter than my usual True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shafts, as I have struggled with elbow pain over the summer.

Jay Chung, master fitter at Fujikura center in Gangnam, Seoul.

During the club-making process, the first thing I noticed was how meticulous he was in preparation. After measuring every component from clubhead, to shaft, and grip, he proceeded to walk me through various factors and that can affect a club from performing at its optimum. He left nothing to chance and wrote everything down on a spec sheet that would be saved on file for my future fittings.

In the end, I was holding one of the finest-looking set of clubs I have ever owned.

The first Ballistic Golf irons in Korea—mission accomplished!

Ballistic performance

My efforts were rewarded with the appropriate amount of praise from friends and begrudging envy from the Joneses. But now it was time to put these beauties to the test.

The clean club head looks great at address, checking all the requisite boxes for a traditional muscle-back blade. Made from forged 1020 carbon steel, the heads are compact with a thin top line and sole. The progressive blade length is optimized throughout the set, and the reduced offset and classic loft make these clubs a true player’s iron.

I am by no means a superb ballstriker, but it wasn’t difficult to find the sweet spot with the new irons. Even for off-center strikes, the ball traveled farther than expected with immediate feedback. The MCI 80 stiff graphite shaft complimented the head and helped to absorb the vibrations from off-center hits.

7-irons comparison on indoor screen golf simulator

The numbers from the first simulator trials were quite comparable to my current gamer (Yonex N1MB with Matrix Ozik 70R graphite shaft), which is fitted with regular flex shafts a 1/2 inch longer.

The look and feel of any club are subjective, but the Ballistic irons felt great in my hands. At impact, it felt as if the ball stayed a fraction longer on the face, then rocket off with a soft yet firm feel and a pleasing sound.

I later compared both clubs on a TrackMan, and although I don’t have the pictures, the launch numbers and overall distance were much closer to my gamer. I attributed the improved performance to becoming more familiar with the new irons and shafts.

The Covert wedges performed as well as they looked. The cast head is made from 8620 carbon steel and framed the ball squarely at address. The sole design is designed for a variety of shot-making options around the green, and the laser-etched micro-grooves reminded me of Cleveland’s RTX-4 wedge.

The Patriot wedge has the same specs as the black Covert wedge and features a satin finish with an American flag etched on the back of the head.

Specs and price

So far, the design and presentation of the clubs were more than enough to draw the attention of everyone who saw them. The pairing of the club heads with the graphite MCI shafts continue to produce good numbers, and I can see them being in my bag for the start of the season.

The best feature aside from the eye-catching design was the price. A set of MB proto irons (4-PW) with KBS Tour steel shafts and Golf Pride Tour Velvet grips is priced at $749, and each wedge is available at $109.

When I inquired about his plans to add new club models, Kyle said he will focus only on the MB irons and the two types of wedges (RH only) for the time being; to keep things simple and traditional.

For more information, visit Ballistic.golf

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Today from the Forums: “Best sand-specific wedge?”

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Today from the Forums, we take a look at a discussion on sand-specific wedges. Alpha3 is on the hunt for a forgiving wedge for bunker play, and our members have been talking about what they have found to be the most effective wedges from the sand.

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.

  • harricli: “I play mostly desert golf with terrible sand; however, I have an old 64 degree sm5 Vokey that is about as automatic as possible out of a bunker. It goes in the bag if I’m playing anywhere that has real bunkers.”
  • nphillips0613: “Hi-Toe is great out of sand. I haven’t tried it but look into the Bigfoot hi Toe. 15° of bounce has to make it easier to get out of sand.”
  • Lepatrique: “The best place to start is a high bounce wedge. They tend to be much more forgiving from most bunkers, for most players. Low bounce wedges are great if you’re trying to nip a high shot off of a firm lie in the fairway, but tend to dig a bit in bunkers. I would recommend finding a couple high bounce wedges and seeing what you like the look/feel of best.”
  • uglande: “Depends on conditions. I like a low bounce, high loft club for firm sand (mostly what I play) and have a Vokey 62 in an M grind (8 bounce) for that. But for versatility, I would say take more bounce and keep loft high — like a 56-58 degree D grind Vokey (12 degrees bounce). That’s a great club from bunkers and plenty of bounce for full shots as well.”
  • BCULAW: “K Grind was easiest for me out of the sand. I used a little different technique with it, where, instead of splashing the ball out, I would turn the leading edge down a little almost like a chip. Ball came out fluffy and soft. Easy as pie.”

Entire Thread: “Best sand-specific wedge?”

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Today from the Forums: “Best 3-wood off the deck?”

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Today from the Forums shines the spotlight on 3-woods which are most effective off the deck. MarcellusW asks WRXers for their views on the best 3-wood from the fairway which is also forgiving, and our members have been posting their thoughts in our forum.

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.

  • uglande: “Think about a 4 wood instead of a 3 wood. But either way, PING fairways always test among the easiest to launch with the most spin. Also, the COBRA fairways are very easy to hit, and the rails on the sole are great for sketchy lies. If you want to save a few bucks, last year’s models of both the PING and COBRA fairways (G400, F9) are nearly identical to the ones offered this year (G410, SpeedZone) and can be had for a bargain price.”
  • leftylama: “Don’t be afraid to test a few, and don’t limit yourself to 2020 offerings. My 3 wood search has seen Cobra F6 and F9, Rogue and Epic, Ping G400, and TM M4 and M5. I found a Mizuno JPX850 in an old demo bag at the local shop, which I loved the look of and brought without hitting. Best 3 wood I’ve ever had.”
  • shoot4par: “Redundant but 4W. I know so many good & elite players that play a 16* head it’s not even funny. Look at tour edge. I love mine but don’t know if they’ve come along since then. I started with a CB2 and got the CB Pro Limited and re shafted it.”
  • HappyGilmore22: “I’ve never been able to consistently hit a 3 wood off the deck until I got a TS3 last year. Mine plays 14.25 deg, and it’s so easy to hit and forgiving. Actually bought it because it was great off the tee and was surprised how well I hit it from the fairway. Only use it once per round at my home course but have been getting to a long par 5 in 2 using this when I used to lay up with the dogleg over some trees into the green. Love it so much I’ve been contemplating getting the TS3 driver instead of ordering a SIM.”
  • 10of14: “This tends to be the Achilles heel of my golf bag. Now with the Cobra SZ fairway, I have a ton of confidence in launching high, long shots of the turf. The Tensei Blue shaft was the perfect fit, and I play mine at 14.5*. BTW, it is as good off the tee too. Good luck.”

Entire Thread: “Best 3-wood off the deck?”

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