The Cobra King F8 driver is packed full of innovative technology, including a uniquely CNC milled face. See what happened when we put it to the test.
TESTED BY: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Australia Writer (GA Handicap 9.4).
MODEL PLAYED: King F8, fitted with Aldila NV 2KXV Blue 60 Stiff shaft.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The grey ‘Nardo’ finish and CNC face milling of the King F8 made it instantly grab my attention from a visual standpoint and while visually bigger than some other drivers in the market, the shape when compared to some of Cobra’s older models is an improvement to my eye.
Easy to align and appearing to carry less loft than stated on the MyFly sleeve courtesy of the contrast of the black clubface and grey crown, the F8 produced a high and strong trajectory that didn’t seem to spin too much, even in heavy winds.
HOW IT PERFORMED: Armed with the knowledge that the King F8 is built for forgiveness, I was pleasantly surprised when multiple of my early shots bested my own current driver for distance with an extremely straight ball flight. And once I found my optimal loft setting, the driver’s forgiveness really came to the fore, while the distance remained right up there with my own current model.
My typical mis-hit with the longer clubs is high on the face and towards the toe. With the F8, these strikes resulted in a ball flight that was very similar to shots hit in the centre of the face in terms of distance and accuracy, and only produced a slight difference in feel. And the same was true for my rare heel strikes, which were more noticeable from a feel perspective but only faded fractionally and seemed to stay in the air a little longer.
Having not tested a driver with a milled face previously, I was intrigued to see if there was any discernible difference in regards to feel due to the different manufacturing technique. And while the F8 produced a slightly louder sound and what I would describe as a firm feel off the face when compared with some other drivers, it was not significantly different or unpleasant in any way.
Making changes to the King F8’s loft sleeve and weights had a noticeable effect on the ball flight, with the adjustment of the driver to its maximum draw settings producing some of the most impressive results during my testing. Making multiple swings attempting to produce a fading ball flight, I was surprised to look up every time and see a dead straight trajectory that although not drawing significantly, never once faded or sliced despite my best attempts.
Overall, the F8 impressed in both forgiveness and distance, and offers a unique look and slightly different feel that makes it stand out from the crowd.
And while the lower spinning F8+ suits my game better, the standard F8’s forgiveness and consistently straight ball flight makes it an outstanding option for players who struggle to regularly hit the centre of the clubface.
FACTS AND FIGURES
SUITABILITY: With eight loft settings and two adjustable weights, as well as a range of shaft options, the King F8 suits low to high handicappers looking for increased forgiveness on off-centre hits.
MODELS: In addition to the standard model, the King F8+ offers reduced spin, lower launch and increased workability in a more compact head shape preferred by better players.
SHAFTS: A range of premium aftermarket shafts in a variety of weights and ball flight profiles are available, including the Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei CK Blue 50, Aldila NV 2KXV Blue 60 and Aldila NV 2KXV Green 65.
LEFT HANDED: Both the King F8 and F8+ are available in right and left handed.
COBRA SAYS: Cobra’s thinnest and lightest driver face is produced through the use of CNC milling, which delivers more precise face thickness controls in comparison with hand polishing, and incorporates the company’s ‘E9’ technology, a variable thickness design with elliptical pattern ‘Sweet Zone’ for increased ball speed, distance and accuracy across a larger area.
The King F8’s oversized profile raises the moment of inertia (MOI) for added forgiveness, while the adjustable weight system offers both higher ball flight and draw bias centre of gravity (CG) settings.
The driver’s lightweight 8-1-1 titanium body and ultralight, 5-ply carbon fibre crown save weight to move the CG lower and deeper for higher trajectories and further increase forgiveness.
And to improve drag reduction, ‘360 Aero’ technology incorporates aerodynamic trips that are strategically positioned around the perimeter of the face of the King F8 driver, which like the entire F8 family, boasts the Cobra Connect Powered by Arccos connected golf system.
For more information and to find your nearest stockist, visit www.cobragolf.com.au