First Look – Cobra KING F8 & F8+ Drivers
Drivers

First Look – Cobra KING F8 & F8+ Drivers

First Look – Cobra KING F8 & F8+ Drivers

I’m a longtime fan of Cobra drivers, but even I’ll admit that the F-series could use an infusion of excitement. FLY-Z wasnt just tremendous, it was a Most Wanted winner, but interested waned with F6 and F7 – like most everything else on the market – lost ground to Callaway’s Epic. Bigly.

While losing share is seldom a good thing, it provides an opportunity for Cobra to make a comeback. The F8 drivers offer more than your typical annual refresh. It brings to the table the kind of visible technology that grabs consumer attention at retail. Whether that’s enough to compete with Epic and the upcoming Rogue, go toe to toe with the G400, or hold its own against the power of the hammerhead or whatever twisted technology TaylorMade is preparing to bring to market with Ms 3 and 4 remains to be seen. What is certain is that between its new aerodynamic features and the industry’s only forged 100% CNC milled face, Cobra has its most compelling driver story since Fly-Z.

With that brief introduction out of the way, let’s take a closer look at what makes the F8 driver worth talking about.

2 Models, 2 Weights

As you would expect given Cobra’s recent history, the F8 driver will be available in both standard and plus (+) models. The standard version features what Cobra calls a full profile. That means it has a shallower face and is more elongated than the traditionally-shaped F8+. The latter offers a taller face and is more compact overall.

The standard F8 is more forgiving and offers higher launch, while the F8+ is more workable and offers a flatter more penetrating trajectory.

Both models feature Cobra’s MyFly8 adjustability. The F8 is adjustable from 9°-12° (draw settings at 9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5°). The F8+ is adjustable from 8°-11° (8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°). Both are CG adjustable too, though it’s notable that Cobra has shifted from the F7’s 3-weight design to a new, but not unfamiliar, 2-weight system.

For those wondering why Cobra decided to drop a weight – the company found that only 10% of F7 users were taking advantage of the front position, while only 5% of F7+ users were putting the heavy weight in the heel. Rather than continue to offer configuration options that were largely being ignored, the company elected to simplify and re-engineer the platforms to take better advantage of the settings golfers were actually using.

Cobra F8-405

To that end, the F8 allows for mass to be shifted between the back and the heel. As a refresher – placing the weight in the heel produces medium launch with a draw bias, while placing the 12-gram weight in the back produces higher launch while increasing forgiveness.

The F8+ is a front/back system not dissimilar from the Fly-Z+. The weight forward configuration, while less forgiving, will increase average ball speed by just under 1MPH, while at the same time decreasing launch and spin by .5° and 500 RPM respectively.

With the weight back, you can expect a higher, more controlled ball flight (more spin) along with an MOI number similar to the KING LTD.

And speaking of the KING LTD…

He gone. Dead. Not coming back. It’s disappointing, I know, but Cobra’s VP of R&D, Tom Olsavsky assures me that the F8+ will outperform the LTD due to its improved aerodynamics and milled face.

Forged CNC Milled Face

Cobra F8-402

The most significant feature of the F8 driver is the industry’s first 100% CNC Milled face. Before we can talk about why that matters, we need to take a moment to review the USGA CT limit and what it means from a design perspective. The USGA caps driver CT at 239 microseconds. Toss in a tolerance of 18, and that brings us to the number most reference as the allowable limit – 257 microseconds.

While manufacturers would love to be right at the limit – and most claim that they are – the reality is that between manufacturing tolerances and variations in measurement, companies have to design for 239. Few retail parts actually sniff the limit. 257 is for Tour pros, 239 is for you.

By using a 100% milled face, Cobra is able to eliminate the hand polishing necessary to remove the outer face welds. Because milling can be done to much tighter tolerances that what you can achieve with humans, Cobra can design closer to the 257 limit. The company isn’t claiming every head is at the limit, but it’s saying it can get closer than its competitors.

Milling the face also gives Cobra more precise control over the thickness in the various regions of its E9 face. The result is higher ball speeds over portions of the face; most appreciably in the high toe area where Cobra is claiming ball speed gains of 1.6 MPH.

The 25-minute milling process also results in more consistent bulge and roll, which means more consistent performance from driver to driver.

360 Aero Technology

Cobra F8-403

Golfers will immediately notice some significant changes to the F8 crown. For 2018, Cobra has joined the aerodynamics club with a set of crown-based features it calls Aero Trips.

Like the similar features used by PING (Turbulators) and Callaway (Speed Step), Aero Trips are designed to keep airflow close to the head and reduce turbulent wake (drag) leading into impact. What differentiates Cobra’s offering from its competitors’ is that instead of using the same material used in the crown (titanium or carbon fiber), its drag reducing features are made from a polymer that’s 90% lighter than titanium. The weight savings mean that the aerodynamic features don’t raise the center of gravity in any appreciable way, which helps Cobra keep comparatively more weight low in the head.

Similar to what PING did with its G400, Cobra has refined the shape of the hosel transition area to reduce drag during the part of the downswing where face isn’t in the square position. Finally, unlike its competitors, Cobra has added titanium Aero Trips to the sole (photo below) as well.

Cobra F8-406

Cobra claims that F8’s aerodynamic features reduce drag by 17% (compared to F7), though I’d be remiss if I didn’t again remind you that aerodynamic improvements provide greater benefit to faster swingers.

For a golfer with a swing speed in the 95-100 MPH range, Cobra is suggesting gains of .8 MPH clubhead speed, 1.1 MPH of ball speed, and 4 yards of total distance.

REAL DEAL SHAFTS

Cobra F8-408

Cobra acknowledges that it has taken some heat from its retail accounts over its continued use of less than real deal shafts. While many OEMs still have made for in their lineups, the market leaders all have at least some authentic aftermarket equivalent stuff mixed in with their stock offerings.

Made For gets spun a number of different ways, but the reality is they’re not the same shafts, and when you’re the last guy still all-in on the same name, different performance game, it doesn’t look good. To be taken seriously by gearheads, Cobra needed to make a change to its stock shaft lineup, and that’s exactly what its done.

f8shafts

The F8 lineup will leverage real-deal shafts. No co-branding, no Cobra graphics, just 100% the same as you’d get from a custom fitter shafts. Those stock options are as follows:

  • F8 – Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei Blue (50g – Lite, R), Aldila 2kNV Blue (60g – R, S), Aldila 2KNV Green (65g – S)
  • F8+ – Aldila 2kNV Blue (60g – R, S), Aldila 2KNV Green (65g – S, X), Project X HZRDUS Yellow* (75g – S, X)

f8plusshafts

*Like some others, Cobra is using a non-Handcrafted version of the Project X. While machine produced, the structure and bend profile are the same as the Handcrafted version.

Cobra Connect Included

Cobra F8-8

As it did in 2017, Cobra will include Arccos/Cobra Connect sensors with every driver. Building on the Arccos Driver functionality, all F8 clubs (drivers, fairways, hybrids, and irons) will come with Arccos sensors installed in the grip, which means that golfers who buy Cobra drivers get Arccos Driver, while golfers who buy Cobra irons will be able to leverage the full power of Arccos 360 under the Cobra Connect system.

Cobra Connect now includes a driver tuning feature which takes data from rounds recorded with the system and leverages Arccos’ AI to make recommendations on club setting adjustments to improve your driving.

tuning2

It’s also worth mentioning that Cobra has expanded its Arccos-embedded grip offerings. In addition to the Lamkin REL, Cobra will now offer Cobra Connect versions of the Lamkin Crossline and Wrap Tec as well as Golf Pride’s MCC, MCC +4, Tour Velvet, and Tour Velvet Ribbed.

As was the case last season, there is no upcharge for Cobra Connect.

Fresh (lack of) Colors

Cobra F8-6Once known for its array of bright crown colors, 2018 appears to be the year that Cobra removes the colored crown from its lineup entirely. While black persists, the vibrant blue option of the F7 is gone. It’s replaced in the lineup by Nardo Gray – or as I like to call it, light black.

Nardo is the hot color (as much as you can call gray a color) in the Auto (Audi loves it) and fashion industries right now. You’re seeing it pop up in other sports as well. You may have noticed THE Ohio State University wearing Nardo-like helmets in their recent victory over Penn State.

As much as I’ll miss the blue, the Nardo looks great and brings a modern look to the club in a way that won’t alienate traditionalists the way color often does.

CG & MOI

We’re planning on making some significant updates to our CG and MOI charts for the 2018 season, but for now, we’re working off what Cobra is telling us about the F8 series.

To give you some frame of reference for the mass properties of the new driver, consider the following:

F8

Weight Back – MOI is similar to the PING G and sits somewhere between the F7 weight heel and F7 weight back positions. At approximately 1.25mm above the neutral axis, the center of gravity is a bit lower than both F7 and G.

Weight Heel – MOI is similar to the PING G LS Tec and 2016 TaylorMade M2. Putting the weight in the heel position raises the CG slightly above that of the G LS Tec.

The best description I can give you is that from a mass properties perspective the F8 is like a lower CG version of the 2016 PING G family in a single head.

Cobra F8-5

F8+

Weight Forward – In the weight forward position, the CG sits just in front of the F7+ (weight forward) and on or slightly below the neutral axis.

Weight Back – In the weight back position, the CG of the F8+ sits approximately 1mm above the neutral axis with a MOI just a tick better than the LTD.

On a comparative basis, the F8+ is an expanded version of the F7+ (CG more forward in the front position, more rear in the back position).  From strictly a mass properties perspective it can also be thought of as a lower CG, higher MOI take on the Epic Sub Zero.

Cobra F8-400-2

F8 Performance

By the time you read this, I’ll have had the chance to try the F8 first hand. I’ll share my initial 2 cents in the comment section, but from Cobra’s perspective, the early returns have been good.

Prior to nearly every launch, Cobra takes its stuff to public courses and asks consumers to test the new clubs against what’s in their bag. Cobra matches head and shaft as closely as possible to that gamer and then lets the numbers tell the story.

Cobra doesn’t always share the results of these tests, but this time around it’s particularly enthused by the results. With the F8, Cobra won 69 of 72 times. FYI – in this case, winning is defined as showing a distance benefit of 4 yards or more. 70% of those wins were with stock shafts, and the typical gain was 8 to 12 yards.

Reasonably, all of us should treat this as a curiosity rather than a universal truth. OEMs habitually finish on top in their own tests, and we can’t ignore the reality that most guys you encounter at public courses haven’t been properly fitted for their clubs.

Still, when the dust settled, 60% of the testers said they preferred the F8. I’ll be spending plenty of time with it as I look to get my abysmal game sorted out for the 2018 season.

Cobra F8-2

The Final Word

The reality is that in today’s golf equipment world, marketing matters more than performance, so while Cobra is confident the F8 can match any driver on the market yard for yard, its message often gets drowned out by its much louder competitors.

While I’m confident the F8 will perform, we have to acknowledge that Cobra has an uphill climb. Callaway has an abundance of positive momentum, TaylorMade will fight to stop its slide, and PING’s G400 is exceeding expectations. The point is that competition at the top of the market is fierce and a sizeable number of golfers are still reticent to give Cobra the chance to compete with the leaders in the hitting bay.

The good news is that F8 should benefit from Titleist being in the 2nd year of its driver cycle. The bad news is that the market isn’t’ getting any bigger and growth opportunities are limited. Nobody wins without somebody else losing.

The fact is that while Cobra is always performance-competitive, it’s next to impossible to beat for value. At $399 each, Cobra drivers are still priced below the market average and its value-added Arccos-powered Cobra Connect System is something that no other manufacturer offers.

As I’m fond of saying, it’s your money, spend it however you’d like, but given the possibility that you could spend less and actually get more, shouldn’t you at least bring the F8 into the demo bay?

Pricing and Availability

The Cobra F8, F8+ and F8 Women’s have a retail price of $399. Availability begins 1/12/2018.

For more information, visit Cobragolf.com.

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Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony is the Editor of MyGolfSpy where his job is to bring fresh and innovative content to the site. In addition to his editorial responsibilities, he was instrumental in developing MyGolfSpy's data-driven testing methodologies and continues to sift through our data to find the insights that can help improve your game. Tony believes that golfers deserve to know what's real and what's not, and that means MyGolfSpy's equipment coverage must extend beyond the so-called facts as dictated by the same companies that created them. Most of all Tony believes in performance over hype and #PowerToThePlayer.

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey





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      Gerry T

      3 years ago

      I just picked up a demo set of F8s. I don’t see me getting the One length anytime soon. I will be adding the 4 to 6 irons as this set came with the 7-GW. I have a good feeling this set of irons will be my best irons for years to come! Kudos to Cobra for the design of their gap wedge! And awesome review as always, Tony!

      Reply

      Gerry T

      3 years ago

      I just picked up a demo set of F8s. I don’t see me getting the One length anytime soon. I will be adding the 4 to 6 irons as this set came with the 7-GW. I have a good feeling this set of irons will be my best irons for years to come! Kudos to Cobra for the design of their gap wedge! And awesome review as always, Tony!

      Reply

      wbn

      6 years ago

      Put 3 drivers head to head yesterday, Rogue, PXG 0811X and Cobra F8. On the launch monitor the F8 had the best numbers on distance and dispersion. Not a great difference but still ahead of the others.

      Reply

      SUE

      6 years ago

      Callaway can’t get the sound and feel right . Cobra has the best
      feel and sound in the game. Now the best face . Most suppliers
      are paid more to keep there product and others out. Golf Galaxy doesn’t carry Cobra clubs. Cobra is most underestimated sleeper .
      Had TM 2018 , Callaway 2018 Ping 2018 the F 8 + beat them hands down. This is not a test, it is the real deal .

      Reply

      Rich

      6 years ago

      Very disappointed. I purchased this F8 king cobra driver and found out its new design February 2018 was cutting a deep gash splitting my golf balls with it’s new design and sharp edge. If you look at the outside edge you will see a razor sharp edge that cuts into the ball if you hit the ball low or high. You’re going to see reviews from all over the world explaining this major design flaw. My clubhouse pro at Naples heritage golf CC in Florida found this hard to believe and called his king cobra rep. After this report he sent his pro out with my new f8 to see if I in fact was having a problem cutting and ruining my new golf balls. The pro came back and found out I was telling the truth and showed me where he himself put a large cut into the new ball he hit. With this new resolution they offered me my money back. My next round the pro offered me a new king cobra demo f8 driver and a new sleeve of three balls. I certainly wasn’t going to hit the new demo king cobra f8 and ruin three new balls he gave me. At this point I went back to my old driver very disappointed.

      Reply

      Josh

      5 years ago

      Same here

      Reply

      Milo

      6 years ago

      Been gaming the Fly Z+ since it come out.
      Might be walking out with the F8+ today.
      Pro shop appointment at 2 today. Giggity!

      Reply

      TheRod

      6 years ago

      My swing has a natural draw bias. The + model would intrigue me. I’m currently gaming a Fly-Z, but I would probably try to avoid any heel weighting if I could. The black/gray is sweet-looking, wow!

      Reply

      Brian Jay Murra

      6 years ago

      Anyone ask what the milling might do to the durability of the golf ball? Maybe more so at higher swing speeds at or above 110mph?

      Reply

      ole gray

      6 years ago

      I love the looks of this driver and the two weight system is boss! I won a fitting at Club Champion so it would be a perfect time to game one of these.

      Reply

      TheRod

      6 years ago

      Currently gaming the Fly-Z. Are the adapters the same? Will I be able to pull my shaft out of the Fly-Z and slide it right in to the F8?

      Reply

      Al

      6 years ago

      Any chance we could see a matte crown and no visible carbon fiber?

      Reply

      Mike

      7 years ago

      With that milled face, rub some Vaseline on its face and that Bridgestone ball will fly straight as a dye,

      Reply

      Jeff

      7 years ago

      Dang…..wasn’t planning on getting a new driver…..until seeing this one….

      Reply

      Al

      7 years ago

      With me, if it’s a club I think I can hit well It’ll be in my bag. And, this looks like a club I can hit well. Can’t wait.

      Reply

      Mark Cintula

      7 years ago

      Gotta see 1st hand, in hand

      Reply

      Nick Ounstead

      7 years ago

      It’s awesome

      Reply

      Alan

      7 years ago

      I have a simple question of machining & engineering that hopefully Tony can answer.

      Ok we get it the thinner the face and still remaining on the USGA side of CT limits the faster the ball speed. So, this circular CNC process can theoretically snug up th the limit better/closer than the alternatives.

      BUT, unless there is something I do not understand, however so small the ridges ( high points) equal a thicker face than the grooves ( low machined out circles)

      SO, if the ball makes contact with the ridges, it is being impacted by face material that is not thinned so much that it is at the limit but at a lower CT value.

      The ball does not melt into the groves, it stays only on the surface points it contacts which are the thicker ( and therefore lower CT measure) ridges of the face.

      WHAT AM I MISSING ???

      Reply

      Tom Olsavsky - VP Cobra R&D

      7 years ago

      Alan,
      All the surface details are within USGA regulations for roughness, so slight variations in roughness will not have any effect on CT.

      Additionally, at relatively low impact angles (10-15°), there are minimal tangential forces, so this is why grooves on drivers (in any legal form) don’t have big effects on performance.

      The CT benefit comes from a tighter process and tolerance so that the average CT can be consistent and as high as legally possible (within measurement variations).

      As OEMs, we all say we get drivers up to max CT speed, but we do measure some competitive drivers down into the 220s on CT. (NOTE: the rule is actually 239, with a max of 257)

      Every little bit helps, hence the benefit of CNC Milling the face.

      Tom

      Reply

      Alan

      7 years ago

      THANK YOU !!!!

      I will make sure to test the new F8 against my current big stick on a launch monitor when it is in a golf shop near me(. I’m guessing early January)

      Hoping it performs as good as it looks !!!
      Seasons Greetings

      Andrew Han

      7 years ago

      Thanks Tom! Didn’t think the VP of R&D of Cobra would be here to explain it. Since you are here, amazing job on the driver and its looks. The thing looks sexy as hell! I haven’t tested it, but looks promising and online reviews seems good.

      Mike McCaffrey

      7 years ago

      Just gimmie some popcorn and a cocktail….some Vaginas getting hurt out here!

      Reply

      Tedd Branstetter

      7 years ago

      I guess they couldn’t resist putting that tacky “CNC MILLED” decal on the clubs face. Other then that this might be my next driver, especially if I can get that decal removed.

      Reply

      MyGolf Spy

      7 years ago

      No a decal, milled into the face as well, I believe. I don’t love it, but it’s just what golf companies do. No different than stamping words like ‘Forged’ or ‘Tungsten’ on irons.

      Reply

      Andrew Han

      7 years ago

      Why wouldn’t they decal the club with “CNC Milled”. It’s a proud feat and it differentiate itself from its competitors. I guess you remove the forged decal on your clubs, if you play forged. Its like removing the M decal from BMW, AMG decal in a Benz, S in Audi, or Type R in Honda.

      Reply

      Tedd Branstetter

      7 years ago

      MyGolf Spy That’s one of my pet peeves with the golf industry, they overdo the logo’s and marketing on their clubs appearance. It’s tacky. I can remove the white paint fill and fill it with black paint if I decide to go with this driver. Thanks.

      Reply

      Mike Yagley

      7 years ago

      Hey Tedd,

      We had the same concerns in R&D, better player especially; “CNC Milled” on the face looking tacky… bold it is face-on, but at address you barely notice it. In the end, marketing guys had great branding and players were ok with it, all good.

      I am looking forward to hearing what you think once you see it where it really matters; at address, on #1, with money on the line! I know it performs, that is most important.

      Be good and play lots of golf,

      Mike

      JDBWalla

      6 years ago

      Amazing – just cant please everyone, that’s what’s wrong with this world

      Kevin

      7 years ago

      I like bright, bold colors and will miss Cobra’s colors. Even in black and gray this driver looks sweet. I bet the single color offering reduces manufacturing costs. The $100 saving certainly puts their value way up there. I’m curious to see performance numbers (accuracy is most important; 10 yards further into the bushes doesn’t help). I play Cobra irons and know how easy they are to hit. Nice job Cobra and nice write up Tony!

      Reply

      Mark Cintula

      7 years ago

      Well said Kevin, I too play Cobra irons and love them, looking very forward to trying out this new driver

      Reply

      Charlie

      7 years ago

      I’d love to see the scuff marks on the golf ball after a full round. If the CNC milling works, fine, just flip it around and have the milling on the inside of the head. This is all advertising, nothing to see here, move along.

      Reply

      Martin Chuck

      7 years ago

      Charlie, I have been playing the club for a while now. No scuff marks. Just a great club w excellent performance. A lot of people will be happy they got one. I’ll move along…

      Reply

      Peter

      7 years ago

      Time to move on from balata balls?

      Reply

      Greg P

      7 years ago

      I always liked the feel and performance of Cobra products…irons and metals both. Just couldnt get past the aesthetics.
      This is a nice looking club and a great value. They have earned a closer look from me.

      Reply

      Ethan Cowlbeck

      7 years ago

      That’s a sexy club.

      Reply

      Leo

      7 years ago

      Will the milled face potentially increase spin, including sidespin?

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      7 years ago

      No spin story associated with the face.

      Reply

      Mills

      6 years ago

      milling reduces the “sliding” of the ball on the face, slightly lowering spin and transferring more energy to the ball

      Reply

      Jason Tyrrell

      7 years ago

      That’s a good looking driver.

      Reply

      OTG

      7 years ago

      If nothing else, this driver looks amazing. The Cobra Connect and shaft offerings are also great. No reason not to try it if you’re in the market.

      Reply

      Scott

      7 years ago

      Nice looking club. Will give it a try for sure and compare to the titleist I have now along w all the others. I love this time of year. Watch the leaves fall, ground freezing and new technology to re tool for 2018. Agree w comment above w golf galaxy. Can’t find a demo on Mizuno S18 wedges anywhere. Wtf. Nice write up here though on f8.

      Reply

      Josh Wurzberger

      7 years ago

      That is amazing. So sleek. Feel like I can crush that a mile!

      Reply

      Andrew Han

      7 years ago

      I keep telling myself, I don’t need a new driver or clubs. Especially a driver. The USGA place limits to where the emphasis is on the person and not the equipment, but damn this driver looks good! I got to hold off, unless gifted.

      Reply

      Rich

      7 years ago

      I really like the look. But the price is out of my range .. I don’t see all the milling grooves helping other than to put spin on the ball..
      I like the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) method..

      Reply

      Jon D

      7 years ago

      Well another year and the beginning of another set of new drivers. This one with likely a very small (measurable, who knows?) difference in performance.

      And all for the low low price of $399.

      This one is likely equipped with a standard length shaft of 44.5 to 45 inches. A shaft length that is too long for 90% of us.

      Year after year I look forward to the introduction of new drivers. But this year for some reason it feels like it is really getting to be same ‘ole same ‘ole. Maybe it has been that way for a while and I am just starting to notice it.

      I know technically they are getting better every year but the yearly gains in performance that we saw 15 to 25 years ago are a thing of the distant past. Where once it made sense to buy a new driver every three years or so, now you need to wait 6 years or more to see the same incremental difference in performance. I predict that this will not change any time soon, in fact absent some radical new break through, I am guessing that the amount of annual incremental difference in club performance in the future will decrease even further.

      This summer the Ping G400 irons came out. The hype was two clubs further and one club higher than before, which I knew going in was BS. Tried them out on a launch monitor. 3 yards further and one foot higher than my current 11 year old set of irons. I wanted to buy and would have if the clubs performed even close to half of what they were hyped up to be. Disappointing to set such an expectation and fail to deliver by so significant a margin.

      Reply

      Alex

      7 years ago

      More like 45-45.75 inches. At least cobra had an f7 built to 44.25. And at least cobra and Titleist have weights available to fitters so you can see what the club will feel like with the extra weight in it if you order it shortened and swing weight balanced. Ping doesn’t even give the weights to the fitters, and sell a driver that is stupid long. Can’t even tell what it will actually play like if the shorten it 1.5 inches and have to add 10 grams of weight to the head…

      Reply

      Dave

      7 years ago

      I have the cobra rescue clubs and the ball really moves off these. This looks like a real good driver, but the face i will wait to see how it performs. I wish them all the best in their product.

      Reply

      Stevie Gee

      7 years ago

      The Bridgestone JGR driver has a milled face. Milling a driver face isn’t a Cobra first.

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      7 years ago

      That’s actually incorrect. Bridgestone’s face was laser-etched to look like milled, but it was not actually CNC milled.

      Reply

      Art

      7 years ago

      Here’s an article from MGS that describes the JGR face as “milled”.
      http://mygolfspy.com/bridgestone-jgr-driver/

      Tony I didn’t see you telling John he was incorrect in that article–what’s changed?

      Does it really matter if a club face has grooves cut with a sharp metal object vs a laser? Isn’t laser etching just a more advanced form of milling?

      Tony Covey

      7 years ago

      Such a typical Art comment.

      Bridgestone used a process called power milling, which is actually laser etching, which isn’t the same as CNC milling. And even if you want to argue – because if there’s one thing Art loves it’s to argue – the devil is still in the details e.g. CNC Milling vs “Power Milling” (laser etching).

      So to answer your questions.

      1) The original article was correct and nothing has changed.
      2) Yes it matters. Power Milling was 100% a spin story. Faces were 100% hand polished and then laser etched. No tolerance/consistency benefit. With Cobra, the welds are polished to the minimum necessary to allow for the face to milled. Essentially Cobra’s is a precision story.

      You’ve no doubt read other comments noting the finer points of tolerances and what not. And while those are reasonable, Cobra isn’t making any wild claims that every piece is at the limit. We’re talking about just a few CT points across the board, greater consistency from part to part, and more precise control of the bulge and roll radii for better control on off center strikes.

      Jay

      7 years ago

      I believe cobra offred some of the best equipment in the market the F8 will be a welcome addition to 2018 drivers I think cobra is on the right track to give any driver a run for it’s money if you have a choice of shafts and grips you’ll make all the difference in the world signme up

      Reply

      ole gray

      7 years ago

      That gray color scheme looks hawt! I wonder if the sensor in the grip works with mid size grips?

      Reply

      Michael Macke

      7 years ago

      Butter

      Reply

      Steve S

      7 years ago

      I’ve always been intrigued by Cobra stuff but haven’t had an opportunity to hit them. Most pro shops around here don’t carry Cobra and my local Dick’s never had much of a selection. Never saw a Cobra demo day here, either, though lots of Ping, Taylormade, Callaway, Titliest days.

      While everyone(me included) focuses on drivers, I think my game would be helped by a fairway/hybrid fitting more than the driver.

      Reply

      Brett Townsend

      7 years ago

      I need this right now

      Reply

      Tim Dotson

      7 years ago

      I like the milled face and the fact that they are using my idea of including Arccos technology in all their F8 line.

      Maybe I should get a royalty

      Reply

      xjohnx

      7 years ago

      The + looks pretty good. Looking forward to your updated impressions on performance, Tony!

      Reply

      TBT

      7 years ago

      This looks sweet, love the milled face!

      I love the fact that they took my idea and built the Arccos technology into the grips of all of their clubs!

      I should get a royalty!

      Reply

      PassInterference

      7 years ago

      Everyone should be wary of the CNC milled face story. First of all, those mill lines are like a rough cut. To control tolerance really well (say +/-0.002”), you’d have to be CNCing to a high resolution. From the picture, I am guessing you can feel the high and low points with your fingernail, and if so, there’s probably at least +/-0.003″ in just the high/low points. Then there’s another +/-0.003″ in the forging process. Now we’re at +/-0.006”. That’s where everyone is (or even slightly worse than most OEMs who work with good vendors and are doing a program with a face insert). The claim about the CNCing helping to tighten tolerances and thus reduce CT variability holds no water. The second issue I have is that weld lines are both exterior and interior. I don’t hear Cobra talking about how they’re handling the weld line that fully penetrates the face cavity. That weld line is also critical, and it’s plenty inconsistent due to variations in both welding machinery and face insert fit with the head cavity. An interior weld line will work to strengthen the face around the perimeter, and ultimately reduce CT and its consistency. Lastly, hand polishing isn’t some horrible process. If you have the right person and equipment, and you test a lot, hand polishing is going to yield higher and more consistent CT results than any other technology. The only way to machine effectively is to 3D scan each insert, develop an adaptive CNC program to cut each insert differently, and then do an ultra-fine CNC cut (with high/low points immeasurable). This would cost $50 a head and take a few hours to complete. Cobra’s process takes 25 minutes and is probably $3-6.

      From a bulge, roll, and even loft perspective, by all means, this process will help tighten the data. But, if they’re trying to say that this process is raising their CT average and shrinking CT range, we’re going to need to see lots of data. And if so, their average CT better be 252uS (basically as high as you can go when you consider a CT testing variance around +/-5uS).

      Reply

      Alan

      7 years ago

      Stop making sense !!!
      No one is interested.
      Hey those concentric lines are a lot sexier than the passe vertical or horizontal score line most other drivers now employ.
      If the average golfer averages a driver SS of 85-95 MPH, the actual gain in ball speed will be 0.6 MPH .

      Add to that most golfers do not consistently have a smash factor of 1.44 so total real yards of advantage will be more like 2.5 yds !!!!!

      I AM NOT saying that the new Cobras may not be the second coming, BUT how about waiting till real world testing with golfers demonstrates a understand of dispersion, consistency, feel, etc.

      Reply

      Benseattle

      6 years ago

      This falls into the category of “get a life.” Think about it: you’re talking about a golf club, the cast majority of which will be purchased by the 90 per cent of golfers who shoot over 90. Swing speed… what, perhaps 80 to 90 mph? Who hit the center of the clubface maybe twice per round. Seriously, you know as well as I do that a driver that’s been milled or lasered or forged and may be off by a few THOUSANDTHS OF AN A Inch won’t make a damn bit of difference. Thus goes for elite players as well. You think that giving Tour professionals another 3 to 5 yards will Actually Matter? Dream on. You forget that pros were shooting in the 60’s before most of us here were born. And that’s with persimmon and balata. Absolute precision makes sense for surgeons and snipers. We golfers are aiming at a target 50 yards wide. Don’t be so anal….it’s just a golf club.

      Reply

      wbn

      6 years ago

      Passinterference, is your playing partner DeChambeau?

      Reply

      Doug Nutter

      7 years ago

      Never been much of a Cobra fan, but I really dig the look of this.

      Reply

      Martin Chuck

      7 years ago

      The F8/F8+ is awesome…I’ve been testing one for about a month now and they have made the perfect driver. The performance, sound, look and feel is phenomenal. The big OEM’s all have a good driver at the top of their food chain, but golfers would be missing an opportunity and a savings if they don’t give an F8 a hard look. Simply put as good or better than the other OEM’s for less money. Pretty good, right there…

      Reply

      Jiro

      7 years ago

      Wow looks fantastic. Like the milled face. I feel like Bridgestone had some drivers with a milled faces as well—maybe this will be a thing.

      Reply

      Ron

      7 years ago

      Looks awesome. I wish they would do away with be cobra symbol as the alignment aide, though. It’s the one thing I do not like about the LTD/F6

      Reply

      Ric W.

      7 years ago

      I used Taylormade for years…decided after the epic failure of the R15 for me to try something new…went to Cobra F6+ and never regretted it once. I’m definitely going to check out the new F8+…color (Or lack of) scheme is already a hit, now if it performs, I’m in…

      Reply

      MGoBlue100

      7 years ago

      As I read this, looks like no ‘X’ flex available as as a stock option for the F8? That’s a little disappointing. Assume you’ll have to pay upcharge for that? #Ugh

      Reply

      McaseyM

      7 years ago

      My last driver fitting was for my currnent Fly Z+, and the fitter told me that if you swing fast enough for an x flex, they typically fit you into the plus version. I’ve had great customer service from cobra, i would think you could call in and possible get an X for the F8.

      Reply

      Nick

      7 years ago

      My guess is that will be the in store retail offerings. You will still be able to order any of those shafts in any head but there will not be an F8 in store buy.

      Reply

      Dave Huber

      7 years ago

      $100 cheaper than the m3/4, cobra connect, seems like solid competition. Who cares if they look similar, which one performs

      Reply

      Guy Crawford

      7 years ago

      Great review and yes the MyGolf Spy Most Wanted 2015 Driver Cobra Golf Fly Z Driver is in my bag. The F8 might be able to kivk it out!

      Reply

      Randy Waddell

      7 years ago

      I’ve been a fan of Cobra for years. I still play a set of UFI irons!!! These new F8 drivers are beautiful!!! With the outstanding performance from these drivers, Cobra should sell many more of them!!!

      Reply

      Jim

      7 years ago

      Always liked Cobra clubs, for forgiveness and playability, but this one is suspect. The top looks very much like the TM products but with some ugly graphics (aero features). And the CNC face just doesn’t look appealing. Guess this one isn’t for me as there are other brands mentioned that have driver options that have all the tech but in a refined package that performs. We’ll have to see the performance results.

      Reply

      bajaokie

      7 years ago

      The grip chip and setting recommendations are something different and potentially helpful. I hate seeing the phone entangled with playing golf, but if it helps you get the settings dialed in, it seems like a good idea.

      Reply

      Steve

      7 years ago

      Went to 2 Golf Galaxy’s this week and all the Cobra equipment was removed. Not sure how this will help them increase market share with zero presence. Now if only Golf Galaxy would remove themselves from the market.

      Reply

      Jack

      7 years ago

      Steve,

      I just order an F7 5 wood to complete my Drivers, woods and hybrid in F7… I really like the F7 and if F8 is as good as the say I wish everyone good luck with them…

      I loved the F7 for its forgiveness, I have enough distance and I say the F7 is probably not as long as Ping G10.. But for hitting Fairway F7 is the baby and I have no problem giving up a few yards for that…

      The F7 woods should be declared illegal they are so easy to hit and keep on target and ditto for the hybrid…

      Don’t need anymore equipement… I will spend it on lessons, switching golf clubs to one 300 yards away…

      Reply

      Austin

      7 years ago

      I 100% agree about the fairway metals!!!!!

      xjohnx

      7 years ago

      There have been rumors circulating about Cobra no longer being in GG/DSG stores. That said, I know absolutely nothing.

      Reply

      chris ewalt

      7 years ago

      Cobra has stopped selling a Dicks and GG. Met with my Cobra rep yesterday and he told me so.

      Tony Covey

      7 years ago

      This isn’t entirely true. Sufficed to say negotiations are ongoing and will probably so right up until the end of the year.

      A bit of reading between the lines here, but Dick’s is feeling the pinch in golf…general decline coupled with stiffer retail competition (Amazon), and so DSG is focusing more on its house brands. Nothing is settled yet, but it sounds like it won’t be an all SKUs all doors situation for sure. I’d bet on a reduced presence in general, with Galaxy carrying more than Dick’s.

      CarolinaGolfer2

      7 years ago

      And the critics have been saying, driver technology is maxed out. The CNC milled face on a driver, just goes to show these R&D guys are kinda smart!!

      Good read, very thorough look at the driver, thanks Tony!

      Reply

      Spitfisher

      7 years ago

      2 comments, 1 before the read and 1 after.
      1) I rarely ever see a new cobra driver, I don’t believe I saw any last year. In my neck of the woods its all Titleist, Callaway and Taylormade. I know these guys advertise, but so does Cobra. Ricky and Lexy are great ambassadors, Bryson not so much. I see the full rack in the stores, I see them drop price the earliest, or offer a come on “a free something” in the seasons half way point. Come January ’18 the reselling of Puma Cobra will be lifted for its parent company, I’m curious what will happen.
      2) Looks like a great value, with inline shafts and archos. It shares the same look IMO of several of the top brands. The crown of TM, the overall sole look of ping and the face that could be Callaway. I hope they don’t talk to much about aerodynamics, consumers could care less. The hozel creates most of the air flow disturbance now a days when comparing brand to brand , model to model.

      Reply

      PKC

      7 years ago

      Cobra is a year late to even get me to try it, bought the epics and love them.

      Reply

      Dave Allshouse

      7 years ago

      Great review, lots of info, but i think it ,like most other drivers on the market look too busy. Looks like a bootleg m1. With that being said, if it’s a bomber, I could make myself look at it

      Reply

      Matt Dumble

      7 years ago

      I love that colour scheme – the grey on black is seriously stealthy!!

      Reply

      jlukes

      7 years ago

      Interesting to see what companies are doing to try to squeeze out extra yards. Not in the market for a new driver, but if I were this would definitely be getting some swings.

      Reply

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