- Steve Baker
COBRA F8 - MILLING, STATS & AERO
The KING F8 driver is the latest Cobra driver to hit the shelves and is packed with new and unique design features that produce more distance and consistency in accuracy than its predecessor, the KING F7, while also helping you to improve your game from the tee using your smartphone. It is a must try before settling on your driver of choice.
For the sake of clarity this review is only about the KING F8 driver. There is a lower spinning KING F8+ driver that is more compact in size and is designed to offer more distance and workability for better players with faster swingspeeds, but this has been reviewed separately.
It’s quite difficult to compare the KING F8 driver to its predecessor the KING F7 thanks to the many differences in design and look. In fact, Cobra had been working on the design of the KING F8 for two and a half years before signing off on it and it was during this time that the KING F7 driver was launched.
This meant that the predecessor only saw certain design elements of what is now in the KING F8. Elements such as the CNC Milled face, the Aero 360 system on the crown and sole and the improved adjustable weight system in the sole are all new in the KING F8 and combine to produce much more consistency in both distance and accuracy. And it’s in the way that these new elements have been used that makes all the difference, especially when it comes to finding your target more often when you miss the centre of the face. It would be remiss of me not to discuss the Cobra Connect Arccos system.
Although this was launched in the KING F7 driver it is a great concept that brings a digital aspect to your golf equipment. By pairing the connect system found in the grip to your smartphone you are able to track your drives on various golf courses using gps. It records distances, dispersion averages and fairways hit to help you improve your game off the tee. It can also recommend the correct settings on the driver to help you achieve more distance or accuracy depending on which you require.
While this may sound gimmicky, it offers a new perspective for the modern golfer to engage more with their game.
It is noticeable how much effort has gone into the design of the KING F8 driver, especially when you look at all of the elements on this one clubhead. Various materials have been used in the construction of the KING F8 and they all combine to improve the performance. The body and face are made from a lightweight titanium to save weight. The face is also forged and CNC milled to ensure the thickness is more precise where it needs to be to make the entire face livelier when struck. Cobra conducted tests on this face and saw an improvement in ballspeed on many different areas of the face thanks to the CNC milling.
By CNC milling the face Cobra has also been able to enhance the bulge of the area to improve left and right dispersion as well as trajectory on shots hit too high or low on the face. This is referred to as Dual Roll Design and has a similar affect to what another brand refers to as Twist Face.
The noticeable patterns on the crown and sole are referred to as Aero 360 trips and they are there to improve airflow of the clubhead through the swing. These trips on the crown are actually made from a polymer that is much lighter than the titanium they are fused too. This again saves weight in the crown much like the carbon fibre piece that makes up the rest of the crown area behind the Aero 360 trips. The Aero 360 system on the sole is made from titanium and works with the crown to ensure maximum aerodynamics throughout the entire downswing so that no speed is lost through the hitting area.
Lastly, the adjustable sole weights are positioned near the heel and towards the back of the clubhead to allow you to further enhance a draw or produce a higher more forgiving flight when the heavier weight is placed in the back slot. These two weights only weight 12 and 2 grams respectively but produce up to 300 rpm difference in spin depending on where they are place.
The KING F8 driver offers plenty of adjustable control thanks to the weights in the sole and the MyFly hosel system. As mentioned before the adjustable weights can change the spin rates by up to as much as 300 rpm both in backspin and sidespin. When combined with the ability to adjust loft and lie angle in the hosel this can change the spin rates even more and will definitely tune your trajectory and ball-flight if needed.
The clubhead profile of the KING F8 driver is quite large, however the nardo grey finish on the front section of the crown which extends around the edge of the crown really frames the clubhead well at address.
For those who find this two-tone crown too distracting there is the option of an all-black finish too. The CNC milling on the face is visible at address but is pretty neat and lines up your clubhead behind the ball very effectively. All in all the KING F8 is quite busy looking at address and this may bother some, but it’s all there to improve the performance.
Surprisingly the KING F8 driver is one of the more affordable premium clubs on the market and just goes to show how the popularity of a brand can affect the value of its equipment.
This is not to say that the KING F8 is any less desirable or its quality is not as high.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite and as mentioned before the KING F8 is a must try if you are testing out different drivers in anticipation of upgrading or taking the game up.