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Cobra launches new King F9 Speedback drivers and fairways

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Every driver company boasts a couple technological advances with their new driver launches; maybe a new crown to save weight, an aerodynamic crown for more club head speed, a different sole design, a way to shift CG to dial in trajectory, higher MOI, or a different face technology. Cobra, on the other hand, has thrown the kitchen sink at its new King F9 Speedback drivers, checking off all of those boxes — even though aerodynamic designs are often detrimental to lowering CG.

At a recent media event at the Floridian, Cobra presented information on the new technologies and designs.

Compared to popular technologies in today’s current driver market, according to Cobra, the new King F9 Speedback drivers are the only ones to check off all the boxes.

In general, Cobra’s King F9 Speedback drivers are designed to help achieve more club head speed with a more aerodynamic crown, coupled with a lower center of gravity (CG) to make the driver fly farther. How did Cobra accomplish that exactly?

Below, we’ll dive into some of the key technologies in its drivers that are listed above. Then, we will get into Cobra’s new King F9 Speedback and Speedback Tour fairway woods, as well.

All King F9 products are available on January 18, 2019. Click here for more in-hand photos.

Cobra King F9 Speedback drivers

What does Speedback mean? Speedback is the combination of Aerodynamic, or “Aeroficient” crown designs, and a sole structure designed to lower CG. PWR Ridges on the top of the driver crown work to reduce drag as the club head flies through the air in your downswing, thus increasing club head speed. Cobra also raised the “perimeter skirt, tail and crown” and rounded off the edges to further reduce drag. To lower CG in the club head after raising it to achieve those aerodynamic qualities, Cobra built a visible structure on the rear sole of the club head.

Related: Cobra’s King F9 Speedback irons and hybrids

Cobra’s King F9 Speedback drivers, with bodies and faces made from 8-1-1 Titanium, also have carbon fiber crowns that “wrap around” the bodies in order to save 10 grams of additional weight to be distributed lower in the club head. Here’s a look at that wrap-around design via Cobra graphics.

Cobra is once again CNC-milling its King F9 faces, as it did with the previous King Cobra F8 drivers, in order to help deliver more precise faces that allow the company to design them thinner and hotter due to tighter tolerances. Cobra says the new faces are 3 percent thinner and 10 percent lighter.

Additionally, due to improved bulge-and-roll, the drivers have different loft measurements across the face in order to help your golf ball curve back to the center line no matter where you hit the ball.

With new “E9 Speed Tuned technology,” Cobra also says it’s optimized the bottom and top roll curvatures of the face — the goal is to minimize the negatives of gear effect (slices and hooks), according to Cobra. In theory, that means strikes off the toe and heel would both curve back to the center line, instead of hooking or slicing too much.

To help golfers dial in launch, spin and draw/fade bias, the King F9 Speedback drivers have MyFly8 hosels (8 loft settings, with 3 draw settings) with the familiar Smart Pad to keep the driver sitting flat, and two weight ports on the sole that house either 14- or 2-gram weights to move weight forward or back. Here’s a look at the specs:

In the end, Cobra says its new F9 driver (9 degrees, back setting) produces 1 mph more ball speed than the F8+ driver, 450 rpm lower spin and 8.8 yards more distance.

Cobra’s new drivers (available in yellow and “avalanche” colorways) will sell for $449 with Cobra’s Lamkin Crossline grips, equipped with Cobra Connect powered by Arccos. Aftermarket shaft options include UST Mamiya Helium 50, Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec Blue, Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec Black 7 or the Project X HZRDUS Smoke 60.

Cobra King F9 Speedback and Speedback Tour fairways

Like the F9 drivers, the F9 fairway woods are designed to have lower CGs to help increase launch and ball speed. To achieve this, Cobra added a fixed, 15-gram Tungsten weight in the rear sole of the woods.

For better turf interaction, Cobra shallowed out the Baffler Rail heights in the lower-lofted woods (which require more of a sweeping motion) and taller rails on the higher-lofted woods (which typically require steeper/more varied angles of attack).

As with the drivers, the fairway woods also have aerodynamic crowns that have PWR Ridges for more clubhead speed, and carbon fiber crowns to save weight. For the first time on a Cobra fairway wood are also CNC-milled faces, which, according to Cobra, increases ball speeds by up to 2.5 mph compared to polished faces.

Each of the King F9 fairway woods ($269 apiece) also come with MyFly8 hosels to help dial in loft and trajectory biases. As you may expect, the King F9 Speedback Tour model has a more compact shape and has a forward CG for a more penetrating ball flight. Here are the specs for each below

King F9 Speedback Specs via Cobra

  • Colors: Black/Yellow or Satin Black/Avalanche
  • Grip: Lamkin Crossline (58+) Connect – Black
  • Shaft Options: UST Mamiya Helium 60 or Fujikura Atmos Blue 7
  • Available in RH (LH available in custom)

King F9 Speedback Tour Specs

  • Colors: Satin Black
  • Grip: Lamkin Crossline (58+) Connect – Black
  • Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke 70
  • 3-4 wood available in RH (LH available in custom); 4-5 wood available in RH only.

Related: Cobra’s King F9 Speedback irons and hybrids

Bonus: Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau talk about the new driver (and in-hand pics of their clubs)

 

Click here to watch the full “What’s in the Bag?” video

Fowler’s new Cobra King F9 Speedback

See more photos and join the discussion about Rickie’s new driver

Bryson’s new Cobra King F9 Speedback driver

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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. CJ

    Nov 13, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Excited to give these a try when they finally get to my local golf stores

  2. ogo

    Oct 31, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    WOW!!!! Look at the Cobra picture for bulge and roll face mapping.
    The driver head DROOPS 7º at Impact!!! That means that F9 head must start 7º up and the shaft lie 7º down… go figure!!!

    • steve

      Nov 1, 2018 at 3:53 pm

      No you don’t… because when the driver head droops down it also torques closed… and that squares the face to some extent. However your driver should be toe up at address somewhat to compensate for shaft tip droop. Shaft tip torque is the real unknown factor for your swing action.

      • geohogan

        Dec 26, 2018 at 8:13 pm

        A decent shaft will zero out droop, gear effect and kick.
        one example : Nunchuk

  3. ogo

    Oct 31, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    Copious Cobra {{{love}}} flowing on the WRX forum… the gearhead wet dream… 😛

  4. Gee

    Oct 31, 2018 at 11:53 am

    If that was in Driver v Driver 2, it would have been voted off !

    Awful looking thing with yet more bullsh*t technology.

  5. valen

    Oct 31, 2018 at 12:00 am

    WOW!!!!!!! Lovely clubs… soooo pretty too.

    • Scheiss

      Oct 31, 2018 at 2:08 am

      I like your sarcasm.
      Puma, being a German company, is going for that flag color combo that TM did one time with their R7 series when everything was black red and yellow

      • Dr. Freud

        Nov 1, 2018 at 3:55 pm

        Bright colors really turn on adolescent gearheads…. only black is macho.

  6. Coach

    Oct 30, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    reminds me of Nike Vapor Flex, in terms of aero and cg.

    • Brandon Miller

      Nov 13, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      Reminds me of the Nike Sasquatch Sumo 2 driver. Very similar color scheme and a bit boxy as well.

  7. Jack

    Oct 30, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    The G400 has the least amount of features but frequently considered the best current gen driver. Hm….

  8. allan

    Oct 30, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    I love the colors on the sole.
    I love the colors on the shaft
    I love the colors on the grip.
    I love the colors on my glove.
    I am a golfer of many colors.

  9. Tiger Noods

    Oct 30, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    They look nice.

    But it’s Cobra. It’ll be half price next month.

    • allan

      Oct 30, 2018 at 9:53 pm

      “nice”? … “nice”?!! … they are absolutely gorgeous hot hot hot !!!!

  10. Cognitive behavior

    Oct 30, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    Have 2 flyz7’s and a f8 ,cali bb,r11,r15,slider ,Nike and I only bought 2 new .so I’ll try it when the price goes down in a few years

  11. eddie

    Oct 30, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Gorgeous…. totally gorgeous…. and they will soon be in my WITB arsenal of weapons. Watch out!!!!

  12. Tom

    Oct 30, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    WOW, it sounds like an investment of hundreds of dollars in these new woods will result in a massive increase in distance….like up to 6 inches more carry and roll……LOL!

    Sellers be sellin!

  13. Jordan

    Oct 30, 2018 at 11:02 am

    I am all in for the Tour Fairway….. in 2 years when its $80 on eBay.

  14. Snacks

    Oct 30, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Love me some Cobra gear though im kinda disappointed with this. Theses marketing (sorry, golf mfg) companies are all headed in the same direction and its boring. ME ME ME “WE are the fastest, longest, most forgiving blah blah blah”. They’re all yelling the same language and story. It has just become who can yell the same A.O.I. story the loudest. Come up with a new angle to take peoples money (its there).

  15. ~j~

    Oct 30, 2018 at 10:20 am

    If only they’d lose the tear drop / pear shape. For whatever reason, I just can’t center these types of head designs. Just doesn’t line up in my head right.

  16. Blue

    Oct 30, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Love how it says that it has movable weights but the Calloway does not, ummmm you can move the weights in it.

    • Jp

      Oct 30, 2018 at 10:14 am

      The Rogue has 1 weight. Where can you move it?

      It may have a changeable weight, but not a moveable weight.

      • SB

        Oct 30, 2018 at 10:47 am

        That driver comparison slide is misleading for Callaway. Yeah, there is Rogue but there is also Rogue Sub Zero which has 2 weights. Callaway also has Speed Step on the front of the crown.

        I think the F9 looks good, sleek. However, would have preferred it with some sliding weights to add some weight based draw or face trajectory. Better looking than the F8 for sure. Nice Cobra!

      • Blue

        Oct 31, 2018 at 2:11 pm

        You are right, sorry, I was thinking of the Sub Zero like SB said. But still misleading.

  17. MB

    Oct 30, 2018 at 9:35 am

    In time we will see how it sells.

  18. dat

    Oct 30, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Love the colorway. Two tone bottom with a nice looking crown. Should be a worthy contender for my LTD.

  19. BJ

    Oct 30, 2018 at 8:59 am

    Ok Cobra….Im interested

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight Review: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

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Product: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

Pitch: The TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3 is a stronger-lofted version of the standard TaylorMade M5 3-wood. The Rocket is 14 degrees. The standard M5 is 15.

Our take on the TaylorMade M5 Rocket 3

“WOW, you really hit that 3-wood like a rocket!”

” Not like a rocket… an actual Rocket!”

The beloved 3-wood. A favorite club of both average golfers and pros alike, a club that many will hold onto well after what some might consider their “best before” date. But with new options and improved technology, these old faithfuls are getting the boot quicker for a lot of reasons including the ability to better dial in a fit and help minimizing misses.

Since making a club faster off the middle is becoming more and more difficult thanks to the limits set forth but the USGA, OEMs are changing the way we think about clubs and putting a greater focus on decreasing dispersion and optimizing misses. TaylorMade is doing this with TwistFace, which was originally introduced in drivers a generation ago, and has now been included in the M5 and M6 fairway woods.

I got to spend some time with the knowledgeable crew at TaylorMade Canada in their new indoor facility just north of Toronto (lets call it Kingdom North) In that time, we went through a driver fitting, and then to the new M5 fairway woods to try and replace one of my oldest faithfuls: a 14-degree SLDR Tour Spoon. To say I have a unique ability to elevate a fairway wood is something that even my fitter was a little surprised by. My numbers with my cranked down to 12 degree (measured) fairway off the deck were good but could be improved. I can hit it both ways (as much as a 6-handicap can actually claim that) but my trusted go-to shot is a slight fade with some heel bias contact because of my swing. I am willing to sacrifice some distance but usually hit it where I want.

What I saw at the end of the fitting was a club that produced longer shots along with a tighter dispersion without having to make or to try and make any changes to my swing. The final fit was a 14-degree “Rocket” M5 fairway set to 12 degrees. It beat out my SLDR by a total of nine yards, which is an increase of just over a total of three percent, including an additional six yards of carry.

To say I was honestly surprised would be an understatement. The SLDR TS is a club that the first time I hit it I went WHOA! Low spin, workable, looks exactly how I want that club to look (small and compact). You can see from the numbers below when it works it works.

Why does TwistFace work?

Let’s explain and get a little deep in the technology weeds for a second. Bulge and roll is not a new concept. In fact, it would be a lie to claim that all OEMs haven’t done something similar to this is the past or played with these two variables to help golfers hit better shots. Fact: Every OEM optimizes the bulge and roll on their clubs to increase speed and maximize performance. Tom Wishon actually had a line of woods at one point that went the other way had VERY limited roll from the top tine to the sole. With this design, more loft on the bottom of the head helped players who miss low or need help elevating the ball off the deck increase launch and spin. It worked. Cobra also has what it calls E9 technology to tweak bulge and roll to help maximize the speed and forgiveness of their woods. It also works.

What makes TaylorMade’s TwistFace different is that it is the most aggressive iteration of this bulge and roll tweaking yet, and by introducing it into the fairway woods and hybrids, it’s proving to be a winner — even for this now-proven wrong skeptic.

At the end of the day, the M5 Ti “Rocket” was a measurable improvement over my previous 3-wood. Now it would be disingenuous to say “if you aren’t using TwistFace in your fairway woods you’re not maximized,” but if you are someone that struggles with fairway wood dispersion and looking to find some extra distance for taking on par-5s, taking a look at the new M5 and M6 fairway woods as part of your next fitting should be very high on your list.

 

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Low handicapper switching to game improvement irons”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from jasonTel3 – a low handicap player who plays blades but who has had his head turned by game improvement irons. According to jasonTel3, every ball was hit straight when testing out a set of Ping G400’s at a simulator, and he’s been asking fellow members for advice on whether he should make the move to GI’s.

Here are a few posts from the thread discussing jasonTel3’s conundrum, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • balls_deep: “My first thought is to say don’t do it.. but then if you’ve hit them, liked them, and the numbers were right, it could be a good option. A friend I play with uses G400 and they have too much offset for my liking. I also don’t like that you can see the cavity on the 4 and 5 iron. Top line is actually very nice for a SGI iron. I just read the Ping Blueprint article on Golf Digest where they were talking about how some players hit small heads better. I definitely fall into that category. That said, I just ordered a set of i210 to try as I had really good luck with the i200 and should never have sold them. Have you tried the newer I series? IMO it’s GI help in a players look with an acceptable sole width. Long story short though – if you felt comfortable and the fit was right, why not try them? If you don’t work the ball a ton, I don’t see any issue with it. High and straight is a good way to go!”
  • hammergolf: “I’ve been playing Ping G25’s for 6 years. Still can’t find anything I like better. I can hit any shot I need to whether it’s my stock draw, fade, high, or low. And when I hit it a little thin, or on the toe, it still lands on the green. My thought is why play golf with a club that will punish you for mishit when you can play one that will help you.”
  • azone: “Everyone has an opinion, and here is mine. If you are/have been a good ball striker with a sound mental game, your mind will keep writing checks your body may not be able to cash as you get older or don’t practice enough. Those “ugly” forgiving irons look beautiful when a miss ends up on the green, and you are putting– not in rough or deep in a short side bunker. Those irons won’t be AS ACCURATE as, say, a blade, BUT if you aren’t as dependable as in the past, your results will be better. I used to keep two sets of blueprinted irons; blades for practice and CB for play. I play with guys that have cashed checks playing…and they don’t care how ugly the iron is.”
  • Jut: “As a decent player (and ball striker) and a sweeper/picker (I could hit off of a green and not take any landscape with me), I’ve found much success with the F9s (which, with the wide sole, are very similar to the G410 irons). In the past 4 years I’ve gone from Mizuno MP-68 to Callaway Apex CF16 to Ping i500 (a brief and bad experience) to the Cobra F9’s. For what it’s worth, the Cobras have been the best of the bunch by far.”

Entire Thread: “Low handicap going to game improvement irons”

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WRX Spotlight: Stitch headcovers

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Product: Stitch headcovers

Pitch: From Stitch: “Your game should match your style. At Stitch, we aim to merchandise our line of products so you can easily put together items that not only match your bag and what is it in it, but also match your style and personality. We want to make it easy for you to have a unique and color-coordinated golf bag. We have designed unique products that have defined color schemes so that choosing which items to put in your bag becomes easier. We aim to provide you with various looks, mixing and matching our head covers to give you confidence that the purchase you make for your bag will take you to the course in style. Let us help you dress your game.”

Our Take On Stitch Headcovers

Stitch is a relatively new company – founded in 2012. The company initially only created premium headcovers but has grown into so much more, with all sorts of golfing accessories now on offer on their site StitchGolf.com. Their bags, in particular, are now some of the most popular amongst golfers, with the quality and uniqueness provided leading multiple Tour players to sport them in tournament play.

That sign of quality in the bags bodes well for what the company was founded on – their headcovers. Stitch provides both leather and knit headcovers in a variety of designs that do as good a job as any in covering the needs of all golfers.

Stitch describes the companies Monte Carlo headcover as being their “classic, timeless design”, and for those looking for that vintage style to add to their set up then they can’t go wrong with this headcover. A mainstay in the likes of multiple tour winner Paul Casey’s bag, the Monte Carlo headcover, as with all of the companies leather covers, is hand-crafted from 100% leather and is both water and stain resistant. The cover comes in four color codes: Black, White, Navy and Red, and at $68 is the most affordable of all their leather headcovers.

Other options in the leather department range from their intricately designed Camo cover which comes in a multiple color design, as well as Stitch’s tribute to “The King”, through their Arnold Palmer headcover.

The AP cover comes in a minimalist black with white stripes for a classic feel, but it also comes in a white color code decorated with red, white and yellow stripes which, for myself at least, looks even more alluring. Part of an exclusive collection, the only issue with the AP cover is that only those located in the U.S. are currently eligible to get their hands on one. But for those in the states, the company is now offering a set of three AP leather covers for $128 instead of $298 should you use the code APLEATHERS on their site.

From their Tour Racer, USA, Shamrock and Bonesman editions, Stitch provides a great choice when it comes to their leather covers, and as previously mentioned, all are hand-crafted from 100% leather, water and stain resistant and will assure an excellent fit on your clubs.

Stitch also provides knit headcovers which contain not only excellent designs but also the same quality which has gone into their leather covers. All of the companies knit covers are made from Techno Wool, which is 100% acrylic and designed in order for your clubs to stay entirely dry. Another feature of the knit covers from Stitch is their smart fit design which ensures all of the covers retain their shape over a long period, as well as providing for a cover that will reliably stay on your club.

The knit covers from Stitch cost $68 ($72 for the limited AP cover), and there are currently seven different designs available to choose from over at StitchGolf.com. The leather covers are, unsurprisingly, a little pricier, but still very affordable, ranging from $68-$98. The covers deliver in both style and performance, and for a relatively new company, it speaks volumes that the likes of Jim Furyk, Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau and many more tour pros are now sporting the company’s creations.

 

 

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