Light, fast, and easy.
For a growing subset of golfers, those three words rank right up there with healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Cobra’s latest update to its F-MAX line is the F-MAX AIRSPEED, and is aimed at what either is or will soon be the largest market in golf: the age 50+, higher handicap golfer who just doesn’t swing it like he or she used to.
F-MAX has been with us in name since 2017, but it’s really an evolution of Cobra’s Baffler XL line, and its motto is lighter, faster, and easier. Each iteration of F-Max has gotten lighter and, presumably, faster, and easier to hit. With that incredible lightness of being comes the obvious question: is there such a thing as too light?
Charge of the Light Brigade
The physics is simple: if you make a driver or fairway wood lighter, the golfer should be able to swing it faster with the same amount of effort. If he or she can swing it faster, the ball should go a little farther. Light is nothing new, but making a driver that’s both light and stable can be tricky.
Last year’s F-Max Superlite driver was Cobra’s first sub-300 gram club. By comparison, the new F-MAX AIRSPEED makes the Superlite look like a candidate for Jenny Craig. Overall, the new driver weights 285 grams, a full 13 grams lighter than the Superlite.
Cobra saved 10-grams by replacing the old titanium crown with carbon fiber – weight that was (and stop us if you’ve heard this before) redistributed low and back. The result is a clubhead 2-grams lighter than the previous model, that’s still stable and forgiving. MOI is 5,000.
Even the grip and shaft combo has slimmed down. A new 41-gram Lamkin midsize grip saves 6 grams, while the AIRSPEED shaft – at 40 grams – is 5 grams lighter than the previous model.
“Not a single aspect of club design was overlooked when we were trying to maximize weight savings,” says Cobra VP of R&D Tom Olsavsky. “We even use an unpainted shaft with clearcoat and a decal design to save two extra grams.”
The F-MAX AIRSPEED driver will be available in stiff, regular and lite flexes. As with previous models, you have your choice of an offset – or draw-biased – neck or a straight neck hosel. They’ll be available in 9.5-, 10.5- and 11.5-degree models for righties, and 10.5-degrees for lefties. Gearheads should note that actual lofts are a bit higher than what’s stamped on the club.
The driver will also be available in a Women’s version with a ladies flex shaft and in 11.5- and 15-degree lofts for righties, 15-degree only for lefties.
The driver will retail at $329.
F-MAX AIRSPEED Fairways
The F-MAX AIRSPEED fairways share the same DNA as the driver, and the message again is light, fast, and easy.
Cobra is saving weight with the carbon fiber crown and a 5-gram lighter shaft. The fairway a low profile, shallow face design, which lowers the CG. That’s particularly helpful for slower swing speed players, as the fairway can be the most difficult club in the bag to get airborne.
The fairway shaft – while lighter than previous generations – remains a bit heavier than the driver shaft: 50-grams in stiff and regular, 45-grams in lite and ladies flex. The men’s models are available in 16-, 20- and 23-degree lofts for both lefties and righties. The women’s model is available in 19-, 23- and 27-degree models, also in both left- and right-handed.
The fairways will retail at $219.
Cobra is also offering an all-in-one AIRSPEED package (with the new AIRSPEED irons and hybrids) aimed squarely at its target market – the distance and forgiveness craving beginner to intermediate slower swing speed player.
The men’s set features Driver (11.5-degree in lite flex, 10.5-degree in regular flex), 3W, 5W, 4H, 5H, 6-PW, SW, and a Cobra blade putter. The women’s set includes a 15-degree ladies flex driver, 3W, 5W, 7W, 5H, 6i-PW, SW, and a Cobra mallet putter.
Both sets are available for righties only, and come with what Cobra says is a premium cart bag with a 14-way top. As always, Cobra is fashion-conscious. The men’s clubs come in a black/blue colorway, while the women’s clubs are black/lilac. You do, however, have the option of buying a complete women’s set in a white/copper colorway.
The full sets will retail at $1,299.
The complete F-MAX AIRSPEED line will be in stores on January 10th, 2020.