Cobra F9 Speedback Driver PDF Print E-mail


Cobra's F9 Speedback driver, its aesthetics are bold, its sole design is

unconventional (and loaded with technology), but does it measure up

and perform like the Euro sports car it resembles? If it's validation you

need, the F9 is played on tours around the globe by Rickie, Bryson and

Lexi Thompson.







According to Cobra, there's a quandry with most modern drivers, those

possessing aerodynamic crown enhancements often end up with a higher

CG. The image above, shows the F9 Speedback's design - a low and deep

structure that's comprised of tungsten and titanium (optimizing energy to

the ball, all while giving off a streamlined appearance).







Cobra's CNC milled face was first introduced in last year's F8 driver,

and the company claims the process is up to 5 times more precise

than the competitors hand-polished driver faces. Not to mention, the

milled face exudes quality craftmanship.






Cobra's E9 technology features variable thickness in the form of an elliptical

shape that expands the "sweet spot" along 9 specific points. Dual Roll and

Perfected Bulge technologies are built in to the design to enhance consistency.





The technology in the F9 includes Top Roll Curvature - the top half of

the driver face has more curvature, promoting higher launch with

reduced spin on shots hit higher on the face. Bottom Roll Curvature -

typically this is where performance goes to die, but Cobra has Speed

Tuned the bottom half of the driver face to optimize the loft in each

clubhead (any loft).


Notice the axis is tilted at 7 degrees (image above), this allows for the

typical amount of toe droop that occurs during the golf swing. There is

also 3 different horizontal bulge curvatures that are CNC Milled into the

face to help control heel and toe misses and to ensure center strikes

achieve maximum results.








Cobra's F9 Speedback features a crown that’s 12% larger than last year's F8,

inspiring more confidence at address. Polymer crown trips direct airflow to

reduce drag and boost clubhead speed.







The breakdown of the F9 Speedback components. Even with the larger

crown surface, Cobra still managed to shave 4 grams of weight from

last year's F8 (and 10 grams from standard titanium driver crowns).








Aesthetics /Testing

For those who don't care for the race car yellow look (it has grown on

me), Cobra offers a version in what they call Avalanche, a frost like

white colorway to satisfy the golfer who prefers a less flashy look.


Cobra's MyFly allows easy adjustable settings to manage loft/launch and

shot shape preference by + or - 1.5 degrees SmartPad Technology keeps

the face looking square at address regardless of the loft setting.









At address it's tough not to like the clean and fast looking shape of the

F9 Speedback, it inspires confidence. It just has to look right when

you set it down, and it does. Top shelf here . . .







The powerplant for our testing was Fujikura's Atmos Blue Tour Spec. The

profile of the Blue is Mid launch/Mid spin. I expected the Blue to be a bit

spinny and high launching (for me), but nothing was further than the truth.

It was spot on.

Tour aftermarket shafts known by industry folks as the "real deal" are what

Cobra offers in the F9, not a "made for" watered down stock shaft. UST Helium,

Fuji Atmos Tour Spec Blue, Project X HZRDUS Smoke and Fujikura Atmos

Tour Spec Black offer differing profiles for all types of players.

I purposely decided to do the testing on the F9 backwards, lets see how it

performs "in the field" first, this way there is zero expectations of what the

launch monitor #'s showed us. For several weeks I tested the F9 versus my

gamer, during range time and on the course. Because I play midsize grips,

there is always the dilemna of getting the swingweight back to my preferred

"sledgehammer" spec of D5-D6. After several strips of lead tape (Cobra does

offer replacement sole weights in 18 grams, 10 grams and 6 grams through

their website, so you can customize tour set up), testing commenced. Almost

Immediately I noticed the dispersion pattern of my misses improved (taking

notes over a 12 round period, my typical left miss improved 21% in a 3 week

span) - encouraging. My yardages on these same designated holes over that

time improved by 13 yards. Ok, straighter and longer is always good. I even

had more than a few regulars in my group take note and say, "What are you

playing now? Testing a new driver? Damn what is that, you're killing it!".

Shaping shots in either direction on command was no problem, but I did alter

the 10.5 degree stock setting one degree down to 9.5 to offset my tendency

to overdraw the ball and I like to hit a teed down squeeze cut on holes where

anything left is punishable by death.

I also experimented with the sole weights, moving the 14 gram rear weight to

the front- didn't see much difference in spin, but I did notice the club was less

forgiving on miss hits in this setting. Also impact didn't sound or feel quite as

good, so I returned it to it's stock back position (and have left it there since).

The honeymoon effect as I like to call it happens quite often with new clubs,

until the new sensations become the norm and old habits creep back in. So it

was time to take it in to get some actual data on what the F9 was producing

from a launch, ball speed, spin and carry perspective.



Performance Data:

SS:106  BS:154  LA:12.9  Spin:1971  Side Spin:168L  Carry:256 yds

Total:284 yds


Simple truth - these performance #'s showed what I'd been seeing out

on the course, they are the best that I've personally produced in the

10 years of reviewing drivers. The Atmos Blue Tour Spec fit my swing

and ball flight better than I thought possible. If I had to nit pick, I go

with a 75 gram model instead of the 65 gram, but as I stated earlier,

I prefer a driver that feels a bit on the heavier side (promotes a slower

takeaway and smoother transition from the top - two things I battle with

in my swing constantly).






Ok, so the F9 is long and straight with low spin, but how does it feel?

That depends on who you ask. If you prefer a muted thwack that produces

a symphony of low key crushed ball/face compression (and I do!), than the

Cobra F9 is your flavor. If you prefer a louder crash or what I call that hollow

high pitched "tink sound" than you will hate the F9. As one over-zealous

addicted golfer who has owned every new driver told me a few weeks back,

"I can't stand the sound of the new Cobra. You actually like that?" So it's

a subjective thing. Know yourself, and get fitted. You likely won't be inspired

by something that doesn't sound/feel right to you.








For those who want to keep track of their performance via their phone app,

Cobra Connect powered by Arccos provides the technology.






At $449, the Cobra F9 is just about $100 less than the industry leaders new

drivers, so that's some pretty significant value for consumers.

Quite simply the F9 Speedback is the finest driver created by Tom Oslavsky,

Mike Yagley and the team at Cobra. Ever. We have many new drivers to test

in 2019, but Cobra has set the bar so high in every aspect, it will be fun

seeing if anyone can catch them. As of April 2019, there's a new gamer in

the bag, and it's name is F9 SPEEDBACK . . .


For more info on Cobra F9: