Driver Test: Cobra King F8+ v F7+

It is no secret that on the day of testing and producing my review of the Cobra King F7+ driver, I was not especially blown away. Maybe I was tired (I had already tested a lot of other clubs prior), not swinging well or the hot weather had got to me. Whatever it was, I just couldn’t get decent numbers from it.

So I tried it again recently alongside the King F8+ and the results couldn’t have been different. The F7+ driver was surprisingly impressive and pushed the F8+ all the way, although the old did just fall short of the new model in the majority of, but not all, areas of comparison.

Looks
I much prefer the look of the F7+ at address. It’s modern without being busy or in your face like the F8+ and comes in some colours that catch your eye on the shelf, while the solitary nardo grey of the King F8+ is dull and the numerous polymer trips on the front of the crown are distracting. 1-0 to the old…

f7-and-f8-drivers-address

Feel/Sound
The F8+ notches its first win here. It offers a duller hit with a more muted sound and an authoratative thud at impact, while the F7+ produces a louder, less preferable clang at impact. The F8+ generally feels more solid and powerful and the numbers back up those feelings of a more stable clubhead across the face.

Performance
You’ll see that despite the F7+ producing some very good numbers on the Foresight Sports GC2 launch monitor, the F8+ just pipped it. There was a big jump in ball speed from 155mph to 159mph although this only translated into two extra yards of carry distance.

F7 v F8 driver data web

Why? Because the King F7+ launched the ball higher with lower spin – a recipe for distance – narrowing the gap between the two models. The King F8+’s ball flight seemed marginally more playable and suited our eye out on the course, albeit a touch high. It certainly seemed to help return the ball back to the fairway on off-centre hits more than the F7+. The premium shaft offerings, including the Project X Hzrdous Yellow 75, could certainly have contributed to adding control to my shots.

Verdict
While the King F8+ might seemingly only offer marginal improvements in carry distance over its predecessor, that wouldn’t where the performances differences end. The King F8+ is generally easier to hit and take them out on the course, it becomes clear that your misses are managed much more efficiently – finishing in the semi rough rather than the trees on many occasions. The ball flight is still a touch high – Cobra has always made high-launching drivers – but it’s still playable and is aided by the low spin.