The likes of Rickie Fowler, Bryson DeChambeau and Jesper Parnevik haven’t played the kind of golf they have by wielding duds, and there’s no doubt that Cobra upped the ante with the King F6.
But 2017’s revelation will be the King F7, coupled with the release of the F7+. We got to sample them not long after they received USGA approval in October, and it’s fair to say that the two are similar on the face of it, and yet subtly very different. A confusing paradox which will make more sense after reading this Cobra King F7 Driver Review.
But do read on. There is no doubting that this is a quality club, and the fact that Cobra have been the ones to really break new ground in terms of combining digital technology and drivers is a great credit to the suits and brains over at their HQ.
The question is: will the F7 be a quality addition to your bag, and at good value?
We reviewed the Cobra King F7 Driver as part of our Best Drivers Review.
Cobra King F7 Driver Review
Obviously the big headline grabber regarding the King F7 (and indeed the F7+) is that it is the first commercial driver to come with a preinstalled tracking sensor, which is an impressive breakthrough. We’ve focused on the King F7, which is the more forgiving of the two, while the F7+, with lower levels of spin, is more conducive to working the ball, and, perhaps by extension, better players. But the King F7 delivers premium levels of adjustability, and every other feature you’d expect from a modern day driver. This new club really could mark the launch of an exciting new era.
Pros and Cons
- Cobra Connect sensor in the grip, powered by Arccos, means you’re getting an absolute first in terms of a driver stat tracker
- Also includes a GPS app to measure distances
- TeXtreme Carbon Fibre crown adds immense forgiveness and performance
- Adjustable weight system is easy to operate, and very effective when it comes to shape and trajectory
- Probably not going to carry as much appeal for low handicappers
|Product Details||Cobra King F7 Driver Review|
|Launch RRP||$419.00 | Best Prices at: Amazon and GlobalGolf.com|
|Handicap Range||Low to High|
|Hand Availability||Right and Left|
|Right Handed Lofts||9° – 12° (eight intervals including draw settings)|
|Left Handed Lofts||9° – 12°|
|Shaft Type and Name||Fujikura Pro 60 (Lite, R, S, X flex)|
|Grip||Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360|
|Manufacturers Website||Cobra Golf|
Cobra King F7 Driver Assessment
Let’s start from the top, shall we? If you’re familiar with swing analyzer devices, and specifically the Arccos variety, well, you’ll know how cool they are! But this is no gimmick, and Cobra have introduced the use of this technology very deftly indeed. The sensor, which is concealed in the butt of the grip, weighs less than 5g, and certainly doesn’t interfere with your swing.
It’s simply a case of pairing the app on your smartphone with this, and putting your analytical hat on as the data flies in.
Cobra King F7 Driver Review
A look at the F7 in detail and it's performance benefits
In fact, you may not even have to do that, because if the device detects something wrong with your swing, it sends you what feels like very customized content. Even a cheeky little coaching video from Rickie himself popped up (okay, that is a gimmick!).
And to top it all off, you also get access to GPS via the platform too, which means you’re effectively getting a rangefinder (based on over 40,000 courses) thrown in for free too!
Digital technology aside, the most important thing of all is that the club itself can cut the mustard, and we think it largely does. The TeXtreme Carbon Fiber crown is considerably lighter than its titanium predecessors, which in turn means that more weight can be redistributed to the sole, thus lowering the CG.
The big difference between the King F7 and those most recently released in the Cobra bloodline is with respect to weight technology. Neither the so-called FlipZone, nor the carbon sliding track from the F6 Driver feature here, and instead it is just a simpler, lighter triple-interchangeable weight system. More on that below.
A last word on the build: the MyFly8 adjustable adapter has been persevered with, which gives you 3 degrees of loft to play with, and the SmartPad has been retained which helps to keep the club square when you do so.
They’ve also enhanced the E9 face technology, and the weight savings elsewhere in the head means the face is thicker, and significantly bigger. It shows too, and it all serves to ensure that this club oozes both adjustability and forgiveness.
Control & Performance
Everyone loves to hit a draw. Well, almost everyone.
Rickie Fowler himself who requested a driver which was easier to turn over, and this may have had something to do with the weighting system in the sole. Comprising a heavy 12g CG setting, and two smaller 2g weights, which can be positioned at the front, back or heel of the club (draw bias).
It sounds complex, but it’s actually incredibly simple, as, regardless of where you put the 12g weight, you would only need to unscrew one of the other 2g weights at a time, because they are exactly the same (ie: you switch the 12g with one of the 2g weights, and the other just stays where it is).
As someone who hits a draw anyway, there wasn’t much point in me putting the heavy weight in the heel. Yet putting it in the front port resulted in the most penetrating ball flight I think I’ve ever hit.
Understandable, given the lower center of gravity. I guess it’s each to their own.
When we moved the heavy weight to the back port, we could really feel the improvement in forgiveness, but a few shots did balloon. Ever so slightly similar to the Great Big Bertha in that aspect although the latter is more consistent in terms of powerful ball flight.
We really do like the E9 club face on this bad boy though, and when it’s sitting on the deck, it really doesn’t feel like you can miss the sweet spot – or ‘Sweet Zone’, as they call it. Most importantly, my weak old heel shot that I occasionally butcher still got good yardage.
Overall, we were certainly impressed with the performance of the F7, albeit not blown away. As we’ve alluded to above, the F7+, although less forgiving, will undoubtedly offer a bit more to the more-skilled player in terms of shaping your golf ball.
As for the F7, there was nothing special in terms of distance, but it definitely ticks the boxes for adjustability and forgiveness pretty handsomely.
- Extreme Carbon Fiber Crown-Extreme carbon fiber yields a 20% lighter crown allowing for more weight to be redistributed lower and deeper into the club head for extreme distance and forgiveness
- 3 DRIVERS IN 1-Three different CG settings in the front, back, and heel positions
Design & Appearance
The F7 head comes in a trifecta of very pleasing colors, including a glossy blue, silver, and black & orange – the latter having Rickie’s name all over it, you’d think.
Aside from aesthetics, the clubhead (460cc) is appreciably bigger than most, which is no bad thing at all, especially given the moderate (and cleverly distributed) weight. It’s also a club which is borderline rotund, but in a good, confidence-building way as you look down from the heady heights of address.
The sole looks a little bit like a workshop, but that’s neither here nor there really. What is of interest is the choice of shaft: Fujikura Pro 60. It’s a crowd favorite, and for good reason.
And given that the standard, shelf model of the F7 will come with this shaft in four different flexes, you can’t really go wrong here.
Value for Money
Nearly gave this a 9/10 for price, you know. To come in at under $350 for what in some respects is a game-breaking driver, is to play a very competitive game. I think there will be a few in the industry who may do a double take.
Then again, is the Cobra King F7 a chart topper in terms of performance? We’re just not wholly convinced. That’s not to knock what is a very impressive club. It’s just that if we’re comparing this to the cream of the crop like the Titleist 917D2, perhaps it doesn’t quite offer the benefit to a low, single-figure handicap that others might.
So perhaps on balance, the price tag is just about fair.
That said, if you’re a higher handicap player, who struggles with a slice, you may want to go ahead and snap this one right up.