Glancing at the Cobra F9 SPEEDBACK Fairway, two things are nearly impossible to miss.

First is its bold yellow paint (also available in avalanche) that matches the driver. Second is Cobra’s now signature CNC milled face. F9 is the first time Cobra has offered a milled face fairway. The company says the added precision nets 2.5 MPH of ball speed compared to hand polished faces.

That’s all well and good because everybody wants distance, but with fairway woods, golfers list being easy to hit and accuracy as the things they’re looking for most (though I bet most still buy the one with which they hit the longest ball).

Cobra believes it can address those desires – particularly the easy to hit thing – with its Baffler rails. The rails are designed to provide better turf interaction for more head speed at impact. Speaking from more experience than I’d care to admit, if you’re the kind of golfer who finds himself off the fairway from time to time, I don’t think there’s a better design for bad lies. It works just fine from short grass and the tee as well, but it’s one hell of a get out of trouble club.

With the F9 SPEEDBACK, Cobra moved the 15-gram tungsten weight to sit between the rails. That helps push the center of gravity down, making it easier to launch the ball into the air. For the most part, turf interaction with a fairway wood takes place near the front of the head, so the weight shouldn’t interfere, but just in case, Cobra gave it a little bit of a fin to help you get through the turf when you stick the club in a bit deeper in the ground than expected.

Additional weight is saved via an ultralight carbon fiber crown, while the PWR Ridge design (also found in the driver) stiffens the crown prevent energy loss at impact.

While you probably shouldn’t expect a ton of additional head speed because of it, as with the driver, the F9 SPEEDBACK fairway features Cobra’s 360° Aero polymer crown and titanium sole trips to help reduce aerodynamic drag.

Specs, Shafts, and Grip

The standard F9 SPEEDBACK Fairway is available in a 3-4 (14.5° in the neutral position, adjustable from 13° to 16°), 4-6 (18.5° in the neutral, adjustable from 17°-20°), and 7-8 (22.5° in the neutral position, adjustable from 21°-24°) models in both Yellow and Avalanche colorways. Cobra may add a lower lofted option in the future as Bryson DeChambeau prefers the larger head, but needs less loft.

Stock shafts include the UST Helium 60 (R,L), and the Fujikura ATMOS Blue 7 (R,S).

The stock grip is a Cobra Connect enabled Lamkin Crossline.

KING F9 SPEEDBACK TOUR

Players looking for a compact fairway wood – possibly THE most compact fairway wood on the market – should consider the F9 SPEEDBACK Tour. While Cobra has changed the nomenclature a bit, the Tour is the direct replacement for the F8+ fairway.

There’s not a ton of competition in this space. Whether you know it or not, Cobra owns the compact front CG fairway wood space, and the F9 SPEEDBACK TOUR only increases the advantage.

That’s not to say compact is for everybody; it isn’t. The smaller footprint and enhanced workability come at the expense of forgiveness, but Cobra believes that for strong fairway wood players, front CG is better. If you’re not a strong fairway wood player, or need help generating spin, the standard model is almost certainly a better fit.

As a guy who sometimes feels stuck between a 5-wood and a 2-hybrid, the compact Tour design gives me a look I like with more forgiveness than a hybrid offers. Better players may appreciate having a true 13.5° option as well. Average golfers will likely appreciate the forgiveness of the standard model.

The F9 SPEEDBACK Tour offers the same features (Baffler Rails, PWR Ridge Crown, and CNC milled face) as the standard model, but the milling pattern itself is more traditional. The circular milled pattern common to the driver and standard fairway looks wonky with scorelines. Tour guys (Rickie) wanted scorelines, so Cobra went with a simple horizontal milling pattern. The consistency and speed benefits are the same, however.

Any Color You Want…

Unlike the driver and standard fairway, there’s no yellow option for the F9 SPEEDBACK Tour. As they say, you can have it in any color you want, so long as it’s black, or in this case, black on black. A low glare leading section is paired with a glossy black crown.

Specs, Shafts, and Grip

The F9 SPEEDBACK Tour Fairway is available in a 3-4 (13.5° in the neutral position, adjustable from 12° to 15°), and 4-5 (17.5° in the neutral, adjustable from 16°-19°) models. The 4-5 is available in RH only.

The stock shaft is the Project X HZRDUS Smoke 70 (S,X).

The stock grip is a Cobra Connect enabled Lamkin Crossline.

Retail price for the KING F9 SPEEDBACK Fairway Wood is $269. Availability begins January 18th, 2019.

For more information, visit Cobragolf.com.