Cobra F9 Speedback

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Editor’s Conclusion
I’m a big fan of this club. It’s versatile and really well-performing, and I think could appeal to most golfers out there, from low single figure players to 20+ handicappers. The adjustability of the face means most players could get it set up to fit them and would find themselves with a club that looks great, feels great, and hits fairways.

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Features & Technology

In their marketing and description of the King F9 Speedback driver, Cobra make quite a bold claim: that their ‘engineers identified a common problem in today's driver designs: to get optimal aerodynamic properties, you have to sacrifice other parts of the design’.

They go on to state that the F9 Speedback is revolutionary in driver technology in that it ‘is the first [driver] to combine a streamlined, aerodynamic shape with a low center of gravity’. This feels like a slightly outlandish statement - I’ve done a lot of these driver reviews by now, and the two buzzwords with any new release always seem to be ‘aerodynamics’ and ‘centre of gravity’.

So how have Cobra achieved this revolutionary design, and how will it help you with your golf?

In fairness to Cobra, there does seem to have been a lot of thought given to the shape of this driver head, and how that interacts with the air around it. The leading edges of the face are softer, and more rounded, reducing drag as the club whips through the air.

The crown and skirt of the club are both raised slightly, as is the tail of the clubhead. This is supposed to promote an uninterrupted flow of air from the leading edge to the tail, once again reducing drag, and increasing the speed with which you can swing the club.

As can be expected from a club named the ‘Speedback’, most of the innovations Cobra have packed into this driver are to do with maximising speed, both of the clubhead itself and of the ball as it launches off the driver. One of these is the carbon wrap crown.

Most modern drivers utilise carbon fibre in the crown of the driver to reduce weight, but Cobra’s wraps all the way round into the body, making the carbon fibre area 12% larger and saving ten grams of weight. The parts of the club that aren’t made of carbon fibre are constructed from tungsten and titanium, and are specially designed to move the centre of gravity low and deep in the club head.

This helps to optimise launch angle and spin rates, and also provides better forgiveness on off centred hits.

The most fascinating part of this driver is the face. It’s CNC milled, which is supposed to be five times more precise than other methods, but that’s not the cool bit. The face is, as Cobra calls it, ‘Speed Tuned’. This means that it’s shaped to maximise launch and speed even when you don’t find the middle of the club head.

Normally shots high on the face will have more spin and low on the face will have less spin; in the F9 Speedback, the top half has more curvature to promote even launch and spin rates wherever the strike. There are also ‘bulges’ in the toe and heel of the club, which look to work the ball back to centre wherever you hit the face. This is technology Taylormade have also used in their ‘twist face’ drivers.

As well as all the tech to make it fast and forgiving, the F9 Speedback is also pretty adjustable - the MyFly sleeve offers eight loft settings, while you can also move around the two weights to adjust the center of gravity in the club depending on whether you’re looking for distance or forgiveness, and allowing you more control over ball flight and launch angle.

As standard with all Cobra clubs, it comes with Cobra Connect powered by Arccos, allowing you to track your shots and improve your game - a really neat little feature.

The Looks

I’m a really big fan of the way the King F9 Speedback looks. The crown is very sleek and stylish, blacked out with just the yellow Cobra alignment aid to catch your eye. The bottom, with its Lamborghini yellow stylings, is a little more ostentatious, but not in a way that’s overly offensive.

Some drivers to me would draw far too much attention on the course, but I feel like the F9 Speedback just about toes that line. It catches the eye but doesn’t come across as too flashy or over the top. You can also get a version where the yellow is replaced by silver, which I have to say also looks extremely attractive and classy.

I’m also very keen on the shape of the clubhead. It’s slightly pear-shaped, tapering into more of a point at the end, which gives it a really deep and low look when it’s set up behind the ball. This is personal preference, of course, but I massively prefer that to clubs like Taylormade, which always to me seem to set up very squat and tall.

The Cobra feels very encouraging and fills you with confidence that you’re going to get the ball high and far down the center of the fairway.

Overall Performance

Performance-wise, the F9 Speedback is really impressive.

It’s not the biggest hitting driver on the market, so if you’re someone really trying to maximize distance, this might not be the club for you. That being said, it’s no slouch in the distance category, and most golfers will find them hitting as far with this as they will with anything else out there.

What’s really impressive is the forgiveness - it’s a really straight flying driver, so if you’re somebody who struggles to find fairways, this might be the club for you. On top of excellent performance, it sounds and feels great, which is a huge plus.

I’m a big fan of this club. It’s versatile and really well-performing, and I think could appeal to most golfers out there, from low single-figure players to 20+ handicappers. The adjustability of the face means most players could get it set up to fit them and would find themselves with a club that looks great, feels great, and hits fairways.