PLAY­ING WITH … COBRA KING F8 DRIVER

Cost: $599. Tested by: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Aus­tralia Writer (GA Hand­i­cap 9.4)

Golf Australia - - CONTENTS -

Jimmy Emanuel dis­cov­ers the many ben­e­fits of this unique driver.

MODEL PLAYED: King F8, fit­ted with Aldila NV 2KXV Blue 60 Stiff shaft. FIRST IM­PRES­SIONS: The grey ‘Nardo’ fin­ish and CNC face milling of the King F8 made it in­stantly grab my at­ten­tion from a vis­ual stand­point and while vis­ually big­ger than some other driv­ers in the mar­ket, the shape when com­pared to some of Cobra’s older mod­els is an im­prove­ment to my eye.

Easy to align and ap­pear­ing to carry less loft than stated on the MyFly sleeve courtesy of the con­trast of the black club­face and grey crown, the F8 pro­duced a high and strong trajectory that didn’t seem to spin too much, even in heavy winds. HOW IT PER­FORMED: Armed with the knowl­edge that the King F8 is built for for­give­ness, I was pleas­antly sur­prised when mul­ti­ple of my early shots bested my own cur­rent driver for dis­tance with an ex­tremely straight ball flight. And once I found my op­ti­mal loft set­ting, the driver’s for­give­ness re­ally came to the fore, while the dis­tance re­mained right up there with my own cur­rent model.

My typ­i­cal mis-hit with the longer clubs is high on the face and to­wards the toe. With the F8, these strikes re­sulted in a ball flight that was very sim­i­lar to shots hit in the cen­tre of the face in terms of dis­tance and ac­cu­racy, and only pro­duced a slight dif­fer­ence in feel. And the same was true for my rare heel strikes, which were more no­tice­able from a feel per­spec­tive but only faded frac­tion­ally and seemed to stay in the air a lit­tle longer.

Hav­ing not tested a driver with a milled face pre­vi­ously, I was in­trigued to see if there was any dis­cernible dif­fer­ence in re­gards to feel due to the dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­nique. And while the F8 pro­duced a slightly louder sound and what I would de­scribe as a firm feel off the face when com­pared with some other driv­ers, it was not sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent or un­pleas­ant in any way. Mak­ing changes to King F8’s loft sleeve and weights had a no­tice­able ef­fect on the ball flight, with the ad­just­ment of the driver to its max­i­mum draw set­tings pro­duc­ing some of the most im­pres­sive re­sults dur­ing my test­ing. Mak­ing mul­ti­ple swings at­tempt­ing to pro­duce a fad­ing ball flight, I was sur­prised to look up ev­ery time and see a dead straight trajectory that although not draw­ing sig­nif­i­cantly, never once faded or sliced de­spite my best at­tempts. Over­all, the F8 im­pressed in both for­give­ness and dis­tance, and of­fers a unique look and slightly dif­fer­ent feel that makes it stand out from the crowd. And while the lower spin­ning F8+ suits my game bet­ter, the stan­dard F8’s for­give­ness and con­sis­tently straight ball flight makes it an out­stand­ing op­tion for play­ers who strug­gle to reg­u­larly hit the cen­tre of the club­face.

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