When it comes to drivers, Cobra probably doesn’t get enough credit for the technology and innovation that it has introduced to the market in recent years. That said, many recreational golfers are paying attention, as Cobra is starting to garner a cult following when it comes to its drivers, which have proven to produce an impressive combination of low spin rates and high forgiveness.
New for 2017 from Cobra are the KING F7 and F7+. Unlike their predecessors, the F6 and F6+, the new models share more similarities, especially in terms of the materials used in their design and how their moveable weights work.
“What we did this year, we decided let’s keep one (weighting) system that’s easy to use, add some draw weighting, and make both drivers very easy to play, low CG, high inertia, and great distance performance,” said Tom Olsavsky, Cobra Vice President of Research & Development.
More specifically, players have three different weight ports to utilize in the sole of the club to create their preferred trajectory, ball flight, and spin rate. Golfers can position the heaviest weight forward to reduce spin and create a flatter trajectory, or they can position the heaviest weight back to create higher launch and increase MOI. Additional draw bias can also be achieved by positioning the heaviest weight in the rear, heel position.
Also of note, both drivers feature an extremely low CG placement that has been made possible by the weight that was saved through the use of a lightweight TeXtreme Carbon crown, which helps create higher launch, low spin, and increased stability at impact.
Significant time and effort also was spent on improving the sound and feel of the F7 and F7+ when compared to their F6 counterparts, which was really the only knock some had about last year’s models. “Both of these drivers are big improvements on where we were last year,” said Olsavsky when asked about the acoustics of the F7 and F7+.
Additionally, an exciting new feature with both models is COBRA CONNECT, which offers players stat-tracking capability on the course through the use of a sensor that has been embedded in the butt end of the grip of the driver. Powered by Arccos, COBRA CONNECT pairs with players’ phones and tracks distance, fairways hit, longest drives, and other data to help them determine and work on their weaknesses. That data can also be shared with friends via social media, all of which makes the F7 and F7+ what Olsavsky calls the game’s “first smart drivers.”
All that said, however, there are also some significant differences in the F7 and F7+, many of which start with how they look behind the ball at address, even though both are 460cc clubheads.
Said Olsavsky: “The F7 is an oversize driver, has great performance, super high inertia, and forgiveness. Easy to launch, long and straight, whereas the F7+ (has) a little bit smaller, compact head. So there’s enough contrast for the two types of players we have in the market.”
Also different is the finish, as the F7 features a shiny, gloss finish, while the F7+ features the matte finish that’s preferred by many better players. And speaking of better players, the F7+ has been an immediate hit with touring professionals, including Rickie Fowler, who already has it in his bag.
“Our Tour players are already switching to the KING F7+. It’s been very exciting,” Olsavsky said. “When you get a Tour player and they switch that quick you know they switch only because it’s better.”
Both drivers come at a standard length of 45.25 inches and a swing weight of D2, as well as with Lamkin REL grips. But they do have different stock shafts. The stock shaft for the F7 is the Fujikura Pro 60, which is a lighter, mid-launching shaft, while for the F7+ it’s the Fujikura Pro XLR8 61, which is heavier and launches lower with less spin.
Both drivers also feature an adjustable loft sleeve that gives players eight settings to choose from to achieve their preferred ball flight and trajectory, including three that will help create a draw bias. The F7 can be adjusted for lofts ranging from 9 and 12 degrees, while the F7+ accommodates lofts between 8 and 11 degrees.