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Cobra AMP Cell Driver: Editor Review
Summary: With two heads, four colors and six settings, it's easy to find an AMP Cell that will work for you.
Pros: Idiot-proof loft adjustability as long as you pick the right head. Your choice of four very cool colors.
Cons: The stock shaft in the non-Pro version, a proprietary Fujikura Fuel, plays softer than labeled. The “real deal” Mitsubishi Rayon Kurokage Black shaft that comes in the Pro version is better, but still might be too spinny for high-speed players.
Bottom Line: The colors will get all the attention. But just like previous drivers from Cobra, the AMP Cell drivers are long, straight and forgiving. The adjustability system isn’t perfect, and the lack of removable weights and ability to adjust the face angle or will be a loss for some. But it’s a solid all-around driver and one most golfers will enjoy tweaking.
Cobra sandwiches its AMP Cell technology between two specific trademarks: MyFly and SmartPad. MyFly refers to the adjustability of driver loft, while SmartPad (a specialy designed portion of the sole) ensures that the club will sit relatively square, regardless of the loft. The AMP Cell terminology certifies that discretionary weight is freed, increasing the effective sweet spot of the club by 12 percent.
“To save a few grams doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s huge,” said Tom Preece, vice president of R&D for Cobra.
Drivers available in Blue • Orange • Red • Silver
The AMP Cell boasts a titanium body and face, and comes in five colors (orange, blue, red, silver and for a limited time, green). The colors are solidly displayed, devoid of any distracting lines or geometric figures. The 45.75-inch standard shaft is a Fujikura Fuel, with weights from 55 to 63 grams. The MyFly technology allows for flexible lofts between 8.5 and 11.5 degrees, with 1-degree gaps, including two special “draw” settings at 9.5 and 10.5, which Cobra says gives the club a 2-degree more upright lie angle.
“The AMP Cell Driver offers golfers the adjustability, innovation, customization and choice they want but have not been able to get — until now,” said Bob Philion, president. “We are taking adjustability to another level with our MyFly technology, offering six different loft/trajectory settings golfers can change to adapt to their swing or playing conditions. The technology combined with the color choice reaffirms Cobra’s positioning as a performance driven brand infusing more joy into the game.”
The AMP Cell carries a street price of $299, while the smaller, lower-spinning AMP Cell Pro model of the club retails at $399. The limited-edition green AMP Cell, in honor of the first major championship of the year, has a price point of $399.
The Cobra AMP Cell Driver features Cobra’s new MyFly technology, allowing you to select from six different loft/trajectory settings for optimized performance and distance based on your swing
The rounded sole of the Cobra AMP Cell allows golfers to adjust the lie of the club at address, regardless of hand position. It doesn’t matter if the hands are low, medium or high at address, the sole moves on an arc. There is no raised toe or heel to give the head an awkward feel or appearance. This makes great sense to the legion of golfers who all hold their hands in different places at address.
Our tester began experimenting with the Cobra AMP Cell set to 11.5 degrees. That loft, for a high-ball hitter, will bring rain from the clouds and might even threaten Felix Baumgartner’s altitude record and scare a few orbiting satellites. A drop to the opposite extreme, the 8.5-degree loft, will certainly bring shot trajectory to a boring, penetrating one.
At the higher loft, a good swinger might find an enhanced draw action. If you like the look of a right-to-left flight, keep your loft set high. The more you lower the loft, the straighter your flight will be. If you take it down to the 8.5 degree setting, you might even catch a fade. Despite these performance variations, the club face maintains a consistent directional look (in this case, square) through all four loft settings.
The AMP Cell comes with two additional draw-biased settings, labeled 9.5 D and 10.5 D. Cobra says the “D” settings simply make the club 2 degrees upright, but to our tester they brought the appearance of a slightly closed club face.
Watch the video below, where our Zak Kozuchowski compares Cobra’s ZL Encore to the AMP Cell. Click here for the full story.
During his testing, there were a few hits that came courtesy of a wide-open club face. Although these shots missed the target on the right side, they did not do so in the way that serial slicers fear. These mistaken face-angle shots, along with balls low and high on the face, were pardoned by the AMP Cell technology.
Be aware that the 8.5-degree setting doesn’t play like an 8.5 — it’s more like a 9 or 9.5, which seems to increase launch trajectory and add a bit of spin. If you need a lower launch and less spin, opt for the AMP Cell Pro, which is 440 cubic centimeters (20 CC’s smaller than the AMP Cell), for better workability.
Looks and Feel
Some golfers like an odd geometric driver head, like the triangular and the boxy ones. Others insist on the traditional pear shape that continued from persimmon wood heads. If you like a rounded driver head, the round shape of the Cobra AMP Cell will catch your eye. As mentioned above, there are no distractions in the way of racing stripes, vents or figures.
AMP Cell and E9 Technology for a 12% larger effective face delivering faster ball speeds even on mis-hits
The stock Fujikura shaft is a bit softer than labeled, so you might jump from an S to an X, or from an R to an S. Knowing this, our tester chose an X-Flex, which in most cases for him has delivered a ball flight that is too low and tends to fade. But he found the X to play more like an S, which gave him the ball flight and workability that he was looking for.
One of the biggest uncertainties when buying a new driver is the sound they create. The visual aspect is apparent from first glance, but the auditory feedback happens only after you strike the ball. If you love everything about the club but can’t stand the sound it makes, it’s a tough sell. The Cobra AMP Cell has a sound to match its appearance: full, consistent, agreeable.
Watch our hilarious video below with Cobra’s VP of R&D Tom Pernice and Cobra-Puma Spokesman John O’Hurley.
The louvered head cover that accompanies the club is novel and nuanced. If you’ve ever put a wet driver back in the cover, you know that funky smell that comes after a while with a sealed head cover. The gaps in the AMP Cell cover allow for drying air to flow in and eliminate the moisture and the funk. It represents attention to detail that won’t change your club choice, but will make you a bit happier that you purchased a Cobra AMP Cell driver.
MyFly Technology: 1 Driver, 6 settings
The wrench is very easy to manipulate — you only need to make certain that you align the teeth on the shaft and the clubhead portions of the hosel before locking down. But make sure you only use a Cobra wrench, because it has teeth that are smaller than those from other OEM’s.
The color interaction on the AMP Cell is admirable, and the minor silver piping that frames the major portion of the club head is a nice touch. As a member of our tester’s foursome remarked with a tinge of envy, “That club makes you look like a player. That’s sweet.” For the aesthetically-inclined, “sweet” is high praise.
If you’re looking for a new driver to replace an old or untrustworthy one, you should pay a visit to the Cobra AMP Cell aisle. If you’re a slow swinger, the non-Pro version is the one for you. It more forgiving with its larger size, higher launch and higher spin. If you’re a golfer who pounds the ball with consistency, take some swipes with the Pro version. For serious slicers, Cobra also offers a non-adjustable offset version for $249, but we recommend you get a lesson instead.
The key to the Cobra AMP Cell, as with any big-ticket purchase, is the shaft. As indicated above, the labeled stiffness might be a bit misleading, so don’t just grab an S or an R because you always have. Work with a certified fitter to reveal your tendencies and determine the proper component equation.
Tested by GolfWRX Featured Writer Ron Montesano
The Cobra AMP Cell (non-Pro) is adjustable from 8.5 degrees of loft to 11.5 degrees of loft. It’s available with a 45.75-inch proprietary Fujikura Fuel shaft in Lite, R, S and X flexes with a swing weight of D4.
The AMP Cell Pro is adjustable from 7.5 degrees to 10.5 degrees of loft, and comes with a 45.25-inch “real deal” 6–gram Mitsubishi Rayon KuroKage Black Shaft in R, S and X Flexes at a swing weight of D5.