Cobra King F7/F7+ Review by Dominic Choma, Club Fitter
Needless to say, Cobra had the tough task of improving on the King F6 and F6+ for 2017. This is where the King F7 and King F7+ drivers come into play. New for 2017, the King F7 driver will replace the King F6 and will retail at $349.99. The King F7+ will replace the King F6+, and retail at $399.99.
The King F7 driver features a movable weight system that is very similar to the King F6 with a couple of differences. For starters, there is now a third weight port in the King F7 that is positioned in the heel of the golf club. This adds a completely new weight setting that can be utilized to create a more draw biased ball flight than was even possible in the King F6. Considering that the vast majority of golfers tend to slice the golf ball, this is a very welcome addition to the new model that should make it a good option for a wider range of golfers. In addition the heaviest weight has been increased from 10 grams to 12 grams, which will increase the effect of the different weight settings. The King F7 driver has eight loft settings, ranging from 9-12 degrees with three settings that are more upright for the golfer that tends to slice the ball, or the golfer who tends to hit the ball too high on the face.
As for the King F7+ driver, this one differs from its predecessor more than the King F7. First off the sliding weight track from the King F6+ is gone, and replaced with the same 3 weight settings that are in the King F7 with a weight port in the back, front, and heel. The King F7+ also features the same 12 gram weight that is in the King F7 driver. So if both drivers have the same weight settings with the same weights, what is the difference you might be wondering?
There are a few differences between these drivers that will help determine the type of player that each will benefit. The biggest difference in the overall shape and look of each driver. Compared to the King F7, the F7+ has deeper clubface as well as a shorter profile front to back at address. Both of these features will tend to appeal to the lower handicapper as this is the look they tend to prefer. Also this will make the King F7+ a little more workable compared to the King F7, giving the skilled golfer slightly more control over their ball flight. The King F7 with its larger footprint and shape, should appeal to the higher handicap golfer who wants more forgiveness on their mis-hits and a straighter ball flight. Another difference between the two models is the loft settings in the King F7+ driver. The F7+ still has three degrees of loft adjustability just like F7 as well as 8 different settings, but the lofts range from 8-11 degrees. This provides a lower lofted option for the player who tends to hit their tee shots too high.
To get an idea of how these new drivers perform, I put them to the test in The Cluboratory at Miles of Golf Ann Arbor. I hit each model (King F7, King F7+) in each weight setting (Back, Heel, Front). I had each head set at 9.5 degrees in the standard lie angle setting, which is the proper loft for my swing. I used the Aldila Rogue Silver 70 gram Extra Stiff shaft for this test, as this shaft fits my swing profile well. The only variables that changed in this test were the clubhead model and the weight settings. The results are below:
|Setting||Club Speed||Ball Speed||Launch Angle||Spin Rate||Carry||Total||Launch Dir.||Spin Axis|
The results are interesting and I think we can definitely see the differences in how each club head performs with the different weight settings. With each club head, the heel setting definitely wanted to start left of the target as evidenced by the launch direction being more to the left compared to the others. The ball also wanted to curve to the left as well, with my spin axis on both heel settings jumping up to -6.1 and -7.2 respectively compared to the other 4 settings which are all within 2.2 degrees of 0. This shows the heel weight is doing what it is supposed to do, which is encourage a ball flight that starts more to the left and curves more from right to left when compared to the neutral settings. Golfers who tend to slice the ball or who tend to miss to the right will benefit from this.
As for the front and back weight settings, there were differences in Launch Angle, Spin Rate, and overall dispersion that I think are interesting. For Launch Angle, the F7 launched 1.9 degrees higher for me in the back setting compared to the front setting. The spin rate dropped 273 rpms from the back setting to the lower setting. For the F7+, Launch Angle was much closer between the 2 settings, dropping from 12.3 degrees in the back compared to 12.1 degrees in the front. Oddly enough, spin rate dropped 273 rpms which is the same difference that I saw with the F7. A consistent theme throughout the test was launch being higher, and spin being lower with the F7+ compared to the F7. I’ll get into why that could have happened later.
In terms of the differences we saw in Launch Angle and Spin Rate, everything I saw is what should happen in theory. The front setting creates a lower and more forward Center of Gravity which should create a lower launch and lower spin ball flight. The back setting creates a CG that is farther back in the clubhead and also slightly higher when compared to the front setting, which should produce a higher launch and higher spin ball flight.
Dispersion can be dramatically affected by a change in CG, and with the F7+ the results definitely show that. A CG that is farther back in the clubhead creates more stability, which in turn should help the golfer with consistency especially on mis hits. With the F7+, weight forward combination my dispersion was not very good as there was a lot more variance in the direction in my shots when compared to every other setting in this test. It definitely felt like I had to be more exact with my swing to hit a shot where I wanted to with this set up. This setting will work best for a player who is very consistent with both their strike pattern as well as their dispersion pattern, and who will gain a little bit is distance from a slightly lower spinning ball flight.
F7 weight forward was interesting because as the chart shows, my dispersion was very good with this setup. I can attribute this to the lower flight this produced as a lower ball flight tends to be straighter, as well as the design of this club head being more forgiving when compared to the F7+. F7 with the weight back also produced a good dispersion pattern, even if it was not quite as consistent as the weight forward set up. Both settings provided added forgiveness for me when compared to weight forward F7+, which should benefit the majority of golfers.
F7+ with the weight back provided me with the best combination of dispersion and carry distance. The added stability when compared to the forward setting was noticeable for me. The club felt more stable to me, and my dispersion benefitted from the added stability that the farther back CG created. This setup will work best for the player who prefers the look of the F7+ over the F7, but would like a little help with their misses.
Back to the F7 being lower launching and higher spinning for me when compared to the F7+. The King F7 has a lie angle that is 2 degrees more upright when compared to the King F7+. This will create a more fade biased ball flight in the F7+, but it also has another effect that is often overlooked by many clubfitters. A flatter lie angle will bring the toe closer to the ground, which will shift the clubhead down slightly, encouraging a higher impact location. It was definitely easier for me to hit the F7+ higher on the face, and I believe that the flatter lie angle was a major factor in that. A higher impact location generally produces a higher launch angle combined with a lower spin rate, which is exactly what I saw with the King F7+ when compared to the King F7. Impact location is an extremely important factor in determining the flight of a golf ball, and it should definitely not be overlooked in any club fitting.
Both the Cobra King F7 and King F7+ drivers perform extremely well and offer an improvement over their predecessors. The addition of a weight port in the heel of both of these drivers was a great addition, as it will allow them to fit a wider range of golfers. This test showed how the different weight settings can affect the ball flight and it shows the importance of being properly fit. Miles of Golf has both the Cobra King F7 and King F7+ drivers available to be fit in The Cluboratory, and our staff is highly qualified to help you hit the ball longer and straighter off the tee.