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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.

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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.

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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

Why Rory McIlroy will likely use the new TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver Copper at the RBC Heritage

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Although we spotted Rory McIlroy testing the new TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver Copper last week during practice rounds at the Masters, he ultimately didn’t decide to use the club in competition.

It seems that will change this week at the 2024 RBC Heritage, played at the short-and-tight Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head.

When asked on Wednesday following his morning Pro-Am if he’d be using the new, nostalgic BRNR Copper this week, McIlroy said, “I think so.”

“I like it,” McIlroy told GolfWRX.com on Tuesday regarding the BRNR. “This would be a good week for it.”

 

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According to Adrian Rietveld, the Senior Manager of Tour at TaylorMade, the BRNR Mini Driver can help McIlroy position himself properly off the tee at the tight layout.

Here’s what Rietveld told GolfWRX.com on Wednesday:

“For someone like Rory, who’s that long at the top end of the bag, and then you put him on a course like Harbour Town, it’s tough off the tee. It’s tight into the greens, and you have to put yourself in position off the tee to have a shot into the green. It kind of reminds me of Valderrama in Spain, where you can be in the fairway and have no shot into the green.

“I’m caddying for Tommy [Fleetwood] this week, so I was walking the course last night and looking at a few things. There’s just such a small margin for error. You can be standing in the fairway at 300 yards and have a shot, but at 320 you don’t. So if you don’t hit a perfect shot, you could be stuck behind a tree. And then if you’re back at 280, it might be a really tough shot into the small greens.

“So for Rory [with the BRNR], it’s a nice course-specific golf club for him. He’s got both shots with it; he can move it right-to-left or left-to-right. And the main thing about this club has been the accuracy and the dispersion with it. I mean, it’s been amazing for Tommy.

“This was the first event Tommy used a BRNR last year, and I remember talking to him about it, and he said he couldn’t wait to play it at Augusta next year. And he just never took it out of the bag because he’s so comfortable with it, and hitting it off the deck.

“So you look at Rory, and you want to have the tools working to your advantage out here, and the driver could hand-cuff him a bit with all of the shots you’d have to manufacture.”

So, although McIlroy might not be making a permanent switch into the new TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver Copper, he’s likely to switch into it this week.

His version is lofted at 13.5 degrees, and equipped with a Fujikura Ventus Black 7X shaft.

See more photos of Rory testing the BRNR Mini here

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Equipment

Spotted: TaylorMade P-UDI driving iron

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It seems like the RBC Heritage is full of new gear to be spotted, and you can add TaylorMade’s P-UDI utility irons to that list.

We spotted a 17-degree P-UDI 2-iron in Nick Dunlap’s bag yesterday, and now have some photos of both the 3- and 4-irons. Nick has his P-UDI 2-iron setup with a Project X HZRDUS Black 4th Gen 105g TX shaft.

From what we can tell, this new P-UDI utility iron looks to have some of the usual TaylorMade technology as we can see the Speed Slot on the sole of the club for additional face flexibility. A toe screw is usually used to close off the hollow body design that will probably be filled with a version of TaylorMade’s Speed Foam that is present in the current iron lineup. This hollow body, foam-filled design should offer additional ball speed, soft feel, and sound, as well as an optimized CG for ball flight.

“Forged” is etched into the hosel, so we can assume that either the face, body, or both are forged for a soft and responsive feel. The club looks good from behind and at address, where we can see just a little offset and a topline that I would consider medium thickness. We don’t have the full details on what is under the hood or how many loft options will be available yet.

TaylorMade P-UDI 3-iron – 20°

TaylorMade P-UDI 4-iron – 22°

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Whats in the Bag

Collin Morikawa WITB 2024 (April)

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Driver: TaylorMade Qi10 LS (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 60 TX (45 inches)

3-wood: TaylorMade Qi10 (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade Qi10 (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P770 (4), P7MC (5-6), P730 (7-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Mid 115 X100 (4-6), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (7-PW)

Wedges: TaylorMade MG4 (50-SB09, 56-LB08), TaylorMade MG4 TW (60-TW11)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: TaylorMade TP Soto
Grip: SuperStroke Zenergy Tour 2.0

Grips: Golf Pride Z-Grip Cord

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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