EquipmentNovember 1, 2016

Cobra’s new driver family poses an interesting theory: Can drivers be simple and smart at the same time?

The new King F7 and King F7+ drivers offer a straightforward approach to adjustability and combine that with unique materials in the crown, body and face that optimize the design with a lower center of gravity and a high moment of inertia. The low CG is key for tee shots that launch higher with lower spin, while the higher MOI oversized shape means more forgiveness.

But on top of these new driver designs (literally) is a focus on golf’s latest “smart” technology. Embedded in the butt end of the grip is a sensor called Cobra Connect. The sensor works with the Arccos game analytics smartphone app to provide golfers with both distance data, as well as the option to compete in virtual long drive contests and other games. “The sensor only weighs 4.3 grams,” said Tom Olsavsky, Cobra’s vice president of research and development. “This is drastically reduced from what was previously possible. It has 40,000 courses and offers GPS as well as shot tracing."

The King F7 and King F7+ both feature Cobra’s proven eight-way hosel design that encompasses a loft range of three degrees 9-12 degrees on the F7, 8-11 degrees on the F7+). Added to that level of adjustability are three weight ports in the sole designed to both alter trajectory and direction. A heavier, 12-gram weight can be positioned in the back port for more forgiveness and higher flight, in the front port for lower flight and less spin and in a heel-side port for slice correction (up to 13 yards, according to the company). The two other weights are two grams each.

According to Olsavsky, the key to adding the third weight port is the use of a lightweight carbon composite Textreme in the crown. Olsavsky say the overall lightweight construction allows the CG to be lower than the center of the clubface.

The King F7 is a larger profile than last year’s King F6, including a five percent larger face. The use of a lighter weight titanium alloy (Ti 8-1-1) allows for the face to be thinner and the body to be lighter than the F6.

The King F7+ is designed with a more tour-preferred compact shape for more workability. It also features an upgraded Fujikura Pro XLR8 61 shaft.

The Cobra Connect feature also has been added to a new King LTD Black driver. The King LTD Black incorporates the same design elements as last year’s King LTD, but now features a black-matte finish.

The King LTD Black ($450) will be available Nov. 18, and the King F7 ($350) and F7+ ($400) will be on sale Jan. 13.

The F7 fairway woods boast a flexible 475 stainless steel face in an effort to achieve a coefficient of restitution close to .800 -- or slightly below that of a driver. The fairway woods ($239) also have movable weights as well as Baffler rails on the sole. The rails change from the 3-wood to the 5-wood, creating different effective bounce for each club, allowing the leading edge of the rails to interact with the turf more effectively. The F7 hybrids ($200) use a 455 stainless steel face insert to promote a better sound.

MORE EQUIPMENT: Do single-length irons work?


WATCH: GOLF DIGEST VIDEOS

More from The Loop