Cobra’s entire 2017 club lineup has been met with significant praise, but its F7 fairway woods and hybrids might be garnering the most attention given their unique design.
And in many ways, Cobra can thank PGA Tour standout Rickie Fowler for that attention.
Fowler, who’s the biggest star in Cobra’s stable of touring professionals, had approached Cobra engineers about creating a fairway wood that would allow him to be more aggressive through impact without having to worry about inconsistent turf interaction.
As a result, in 2016, Cobra revisited one of its design features from the past, which led to the release of the KING F6 Baffler Fairway, which featured rails along the sole.
“Last year, we brought back an old Cobra technology called Baffler technology,” said Tom Olsavsky, Cobra Vice President of Research & Development. “It’s a great way to help players with a lot of different shots.”
The F6 Baffler proved to be a huge success and prompted Cobra to do further testing with what it is now calling Baffler Rail Technology to see how it could further help golfers.
What did Cobra discover in its research?
“We found in many cases the reason players don’t hit fairway woods well is they try to lift the ball and one of the reasons they do this is sometimes they hit the ground behind the ball,” Olsavsky said. “The rails actually help the club continue to maintain its speed through the shot, but it’s also huge in terms of playability from all kinds of different lies, so this year we brought Baffler Technology into the full line of F7 fairways and hybrids for every player out there.”
What many recreational golfers might not realize is that the best players in the world hit down on the ball fairly significantly with their fairway woods and hybrids, on average between 3 and 3 1/2 degrees based on PGA Tour data.
That makes turf interaction crucial with fairways and hybrids, and the rails on the F7 models not only improve turf interaction by maintaining speed through impact but they also help keep the clubface square through impact, which results in straighter shots.
Also unique when it comes to the rails is their progressive design. In both the F7 fairway woods and hybrids, the rails are steeper in more lofted models and shallower in less lofted models to accommodate changing angles of attack to produce optimal results.
In the F7 fairways, players also have moveable weight technology available to help them achieve their preferred trajectory and spin. By positioning the heavier of two weights in a back weight port, higher launch conditions are achieved, while moving the heavier weight to the forward port will result in lower spin rates and a flatter ball flight.
The F7 hybrids, meanwhile, feature a fixed weight in the back of the clubhead, which has been designed to deliver high launch and optimal stability at impact.
Both the hybrids and fairways also feature a thin, high-strength steel clubface that ensures fast ball speeds from all impact points, as well as Cobra’s MyFly8 adjustable loft system, which allows for eight different loft and lie combinations, including three draw settings, without changing face angle at address.
The F7 fairway woods come in three different models, the 3-4 (170cc clubhead), the 5-6 (150cc clubhead), and the 7-8 (147cc clubhead). The 3-4 FWY can be adjusted for lofts between 13 and 16 degrees, the 5-6 FWY can be adjusted for lofts between 17 and 20 degrees, and the 7-8 FWY can be adjusted for lofts between 21 and 24 degrees.
The stock shaft for the F7 fairways, which are offered in black, grey, or blue, is the Fujikura Pro 65, while the stock grip is the Cobra Lamkin REL.
As for the hybrids, they are offered in 2-3 (16-19 degrees), 3-4 (19-22 degrees), and 4-5 (22-25 degrees) models. They also feature the Fujikura Pro 75 hybrid shaft and Cobra Lamkin Rel grips, as well as a black finish.