Let's be honest:
All golfers crave longer-straighter tee shots.
Don't believe me?
Go to any driving range on a Saturday.
You will see the majority of golfers spending the bulk of their practice time at the driving range swinging the driver.
Some golfers take a different approach to add few yards off the tee.
These golfers jump on the best new driver technology that comes along every year or two.
While it’s one thing to decide on buying a new driver, the real question for most buyers becomes:
What new driver do I buy....
Cobra tries to answer that question with their latest offerings - the F8 and F8+.
Cobra King F8 Driver Review
Cobra King F8+ Driver Review
12 Great Features of the F8 and F8+ Drivers
While Cobra specifically designed the F8 and F8+ for two different levels of player, they do share many key features and technologies which are:
- CNC Precision Milled Face – Cobra employs a process known as CNC (computer numerical controlled) milling. CNC milling yields a thinner and more precise face thickness, which in turn, leads to faster ball speed off the club face. It also allowed Cobra engineers to create a larger “sweet spot,” and an aesthetically pleasing look. Professional golfer and F8+ tester, Ricky Fowler, also noted that the rougher milled face could provide better traction in damp conditions.
- Dual Roll Technology – Modern drivers have a slight and equal curvature, across the face, both horizontally and vertically. This shape helps players hit straighter and longer tee shots. Cobra’s “Dual Roll Technology” employs more vertical curvature on the top of the club face, and less at the bottom of the face. This provides optimal launch and spin on mishits above or below the face’s center.
- 360 Degree Aero Technology – Located on the crown and sole, a slightly raised pattern that Cobra calls “Aero Trips,” improve aerodynamics and lead to faster clubhead speeds and better distance. They do this by keeping airflow close to the club head and reducing drag as the club swings.
- Aero trips on the crown are made from a lightweight polymer while those located on the sole are made from Titanium. This configuration keeps the center-of-gravity low, where manufacturers want it. Cobra claims that these features reduce downswing drag by as much as seventeen percent.
- MyFly 8 With Smart Pad - Eight easily adjustable loft settings allow users to increase or decrease launch angles in half-degree increments, and increase or decrease spin by plus or minus 400 rpm. Users have the option of setting the F8 from as low as 9° to as high as 12°, with draw settings at 9.5°, 10.5°, and 11.5°. The F8+ adjusts from 8° to 11°, with draw settings of 8.5°, 9.5°, and 10.5°.
- Adjustable Center of Gravity System – Both the F8 and F8+ drivers feature two adjustable CG weights which allow users to tweak ball spin and trajectory for maximum distance. The F8 uses CG placements in the heel and back of the club head. The F8+ uses a front/back placement.
- Placing the heavier weight, in the heel on the F8, or the front of the F8+ produces medium launch and a slight draw bias. Putting the heavier weight, in the back, yields higher launch and increased forgiveness.
- TI-8-1-1 Body - The lightweight club head body, made from a titanium alloy known as TI-8-1-1, lowers discretionary weight and in conjunction with the two CG weights, improves launch angle and ball speed off the club face.
- E9 Technology – Cobra analyzed over twenty-five-thousand different shots and found that ninety-nine percent of golfers made ball-to-club-face contact in an elliptical pattern across the face from the low heel to the high toe. Using this information, Cobra engineers created a club face with a thirty percent larger “sweet spot.”
- Cobra Connect –The Cobra Connect app recognizes over forty-thousand courses worldwide and allows users to track their distance on every drive. It then analyses driving data and makes recommendations on CG weight placements and loft settings for the F8 or F8+. It also records dispersion, and percentage of fairways hit. In addition, the Cobra Connect app pairs with Arccos sensors installed in the grips of both the F8 and F8+. It analyzes this data, points out a player’s strengths and weaknesses, and leads to better and more productive practice sessions.
- Carbon Fiber Crown – The ultra-light crown, made of carbon fiber, saves weight at the top. This helps reposition most of the club head’s weight, low and towards the back, which improves launch and forgiveness.
- Real Deal Shafts – For the F8, Cobra offers three different aftermarket shafts as stock options – the 50 gram Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei Blue in Lite or Regular flex, the 60 gram Aldila 2kNV Blue in Regular or Senior flex, and the Aldila 2KNV Green 65 gram in Senior flex. For the F8+, they offer the 60 gram Aldila 2kNV Blue in Regular or Senior flex, the 65 gram Aldila 2KNV Green in Senior or Stiff flex, and the Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75 gram also in Senior or Stiff flex.
The F8 and F8+ Review
Before almost every launch, Cobra visits public courses and asks players to test their new product against what’s in the player’s bag. They don’t always share the results, but this time around they did. With the F8, players saw a gain of at least four yards on sixty-nine of seventy-two drives. Seventy percent of those wins came with stock shafts.
Some players saw as much as twelve more yards, with an average gain of eight yards. With the right setup of CG weights and loft adjustments, however, some users experienced even larger gains. For the F8+, testing showed that when configured with the heavier weight in the forward position, it comes in about five yards longer than most of its competition. While, at the same time, this setup flattens launch by .5 degrees, and reduces spin by almost 500 RPM.
Cobra went to great lengths to make a driver that doesn’t punish off-center hits, and they’ve succeeded. The “Duel Roll” technology and larger sweet spot, on the F8s, work to send heel or toe mishits, and high or low mishits, noticeably straight with good launch. Players of every level found, both the F8 and F8+, exceptionally forgiving.
Both the traditional shape and high face of the F8+, and the long profile and shallower face of the F8, provide confidence at address. The carbon fiber tail and polymer trips that make up the “360˚ Aero feature”, give it a slightly “busy” look. But, the contrast, between the grey crown and black face, make visual alignment an easy task.
How does the Cobra King F8 and F8+ compare to previous Cobra Models?
For the F8, Cobra dropped the front position weight featured on the F7 and moved the two remaining CG weight ports to new positions in the back and heel of the club. They found that only ten percent of F7 owners were taking advantage of the front post, and just five percent were placing the heavier weight in the heel. For the F8+, Cobra used a front/back weighting system reminiscent of the Fly-Z+. Also new for this latest offering, Cobra replaced the usual bright crown colors with the light-black Nardo Gray.
How does the Cobra King F8 and F8+ compare to drivers by the other guys?
With the addition of “Aero Trips,” Cobra joined the quest for improved aerodynamics started by Ping (Turbulators) and Callaway (Speed Step). However, for the Aero Trips, Cobra used a polymer that’s 90% lighter than titanium. Whereas Ping and Callaway used the same titanium or carbon fiber, that make up their respective crowns.
Cobra’s design keeps weight lower in the head; a sought-after quality among club makers. Cobra also added titanium Aero Trips to the sole, a feature not present on either Ping or Callaway drivers. Much like what PING did with its G400; Cobra refined the hosel transition area in an attempt to reduce drag on the downswing.
The Mizuno JPX 900 and TaylorMade M1 drivers offer a higher level of customization with two sliding CG weights and “quick switch” loft adaptors, for “on the fly” adjustments. In truth though, most players don’t need, or even know how to take advantage of that much flexibility. Overall, the F8 and F8+ match up well against these clubs for distance and adjustability but may be the clear winner in the forgiveness category.
For a more comprehensive comparison to other drivers, head on over to our review of the best drivers of 2018.
Which Driver Works Best For Me?
Cobra developed the F8 with the majority of golfers (mid to high handicappers) in mind. They optimized the club-head’s shape, the adjustable loft settings, and the CG weight locations, to increase spin, increase loft, and maximize distance and forgiveness, for the average player. Scratch golfers and professionals, however, will prefer the workability, reduced spin, and more penetrating trajectory, of the F8+.
Not extremely workable
Mid to High Handicaps
A very slight amount of forgiveness
Buyers may find it difficult to sort through the myriad of choices when it comes to spending their hard earned money on a new driver. Every major golf club manufacturer incorporates a wealth of knowledge and technology into their products.
While much of it often sounds like marketing gimmickry, in truth, the gimmicks do work. Lighter materials, coupled with aerodynamic designs, increase clubhead speeds and noticeably improve distance. CG weights and adjustable shafts allow owners to customize clubs to fit their swing today, as well as tomorrow.
So what makes this latest offering from Cobra, stand out? While distance-wise, the F8, and F8+ perform as well as any of their competitors, thanks to CNC Face Milling, only Cobra offers the improved forgiveness of “Dual Roll” technology.
Also, no other manufacturer has the Arccos-powered Cobra Connect System. These features, along with the fact that the F8 and F8+ retail at a somewhat lower price than most other drivers in their class make the Cobra F8 and F8+ a top choice in a field of exceptional choices.