Make no mistake, pound for pound the King F9 Speedback has an extremely strong case for being the best driver on the market. It offers performance that matches premium drivers, helped by its effective adjustability and drag-reducing crown features. Factor in the Cobra Connect shot tracking and you have an enticingly complete package, all for a mere £349. This is a must try if you’re looking for a driver upgrade in 2019.
Light, efficient clubhead and face design maximizes club speed and ball speed without sacrificing forgiveness. Exceptional value for money.
Busy address looks won’t please everyone. Not able to adjust the shot shape.
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Cobra King F9 Speedback Driver Review - Technical Editor Joel Tadman tests out the new Cobra King F9 Speedback driver
Cobra King F9 Speedback Driver Review
The Cobra King F9 Speedback driver is packed full of technology said to assist with enhancing clubhead speed, ball speed and forgiveness. You can read all about that here.
We tested the driver in the Project X HZRDUS 6.5, one of the stock shaft offerings, after a brief fitting session.
The looks of this driver at address will divide opinion. There’s a lot going, for us it appears quite busy, but the various elements have been added in a way that aren’t overly distracting.
It’s long from front-to-back and a little more triangular in shape than most other modern drivers you'll find on the market.
The first thing that strikes you is how easy this club feels to swing fast. At 45.5”the shaft isn’t particularly excessive in length, nor was it lightweight.
The feel was firm, powerful and solid, regardless of where you strike the ball on the face. There’s quite a low-pitched ‘thud’ sound at impact that indicates power and it feels light and easy to swing.
From the off in 9° and the low setting (14g weight in the front) the numbers impressed. Ball speeds were pushing 156mph (our typical average at the time was 154mph) with low spin and high launch producing carries in excess of 275 yards on average.
Thinking we could get more out of it, we knocked the loft down to 8° and sure enough our ball speed went up slightly and spin reduced, generating average carries of a 280 yards, with one shot carrying 286 yards.
This consistently high ball speed was unusual, where did it come from? Interestingly, our clubhead speed had also increased to nearly 110mph on average.
Yes, it has increased from where were last year (around 106 mph) but testing with a competitor driver on the same day we were averaging 108mph. This would suggest the redesigned crown shaping and 360Aero trips on the King F9 Speedback are doing their job at reducing aerodynamic drag.
To assess the adjustability, we switched the 2g and 14g weights around and the results were even more interesting. As you can see above, our ball speed jumped up again to 157.3mph, with one shot flying off at 159mph.
Even though launch stayed the same, the spin did go up by around 400 rpm, although this could partly be because the strikes were slightly lower on the face. Carry distance in this setting was reassuringly similar, albeit on a slightly higher flight with less run on landing.
Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.
One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 87 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.3.
Joel's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9°
Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15°
Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18°
Irons: TaylorMade P770, 4-7 iron, TaylorMade P7MC 8-PW
Putter: Evnroll ER2V
Ball: 2021 Titleist Pro V1x
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