Our Cobra F8 driver review took place at The Golf Shack at Moor Allerton in Leeds.
We had already given the F8 driver a hit at the launch event in London back in September but weren’t able to get launch monitor numbers.
So with the driver back up in Yorkshire we were able to use James Whitaker’s GC Quad launch monitor to gather a bit of data.
This review is very much on a ‘first hit’ basis rather than after any extensive on-course testing.
Cobra F8 driver review – First impressions
Where do we start? I think we have to start with the milled face.
This is something we have seen on putters and occasionally wedges but it’s never something we have seen on a driver.
We’ll get stuck into the technology behind it shortly but it grabs your attention right away.
There’s an interesting new pattern on the crown which improves the club’s ability to move faster through the air which makes for quite a striking design.
There’s a bit of grey (Nardo grey to be exact) which blends nicely with the black carbon fibre on the crown – the grey colour is inspired by the car industry so think of it as a colour you might expect to see on a Lexus, Audi or BMW.
We’ve got some moveable weights on the sole and we’ve got the Cobra Connect powered by Arccos built into the grip as standard on all F8 drivers.
As with the F7 there is an F8 and an F8+ which is slightly more compact and is the driver we expect Rickie Fowler to use in 2018.
Cobra F8 driver review – The technology
So what is a CNC milled face and what does it do?
Well, CNC means computer numerical controlled milling so the faces on the F8 driver will have the perfect bulge and will be more precise from club to club.
Cobra also say this new titanium face is thinner, faster and will be better on off centre hits with a larger ‘sweet zone’.
Cobra also say the ball should leave a longer imprint on the face so you can get instant feedback on where you’ve struck it. There’s also a ‘hit me here’ circle on the face for anyone who is unsure.
The other key area which Cobra have focussed on is aerodynamics and they’ve improved it through something they call 360˚ Aero Technology.
Ping have done it with their turbalator technology and Callaway have worked with Boeing on their speed-step crown and it all helps the club move more efficiently on the down swing.
Cobra’s method incorporates a system of aerodynamic strips made from a polymer material which strategically positioned to improve drag reduction.
In short, Cobra say the F8 will give you mare club speed, more ball speed and then through the Cobra Connect Arccos system, you’ll have something to help you brag about it…
Cobra F8 driver review – The results
We were really impressed with the driver when we hit it for the first time purely from a looks, sound and feel point of view.
We’ve definitely seen a marked improvement in this area from the F6 to the F7 and now with the F8.
The look is a bit busy at address but it’s not loud or bright which may have put people off Cobra drivers in the past.
This driver comes in just the one colour option this year – Nardo grey and black – no orange, silver or blue versions this time around.
Cobra mean business with this driver and we feel that is reflected in the performance.
The carry numbers were pretty solid for an off-the shelf product with no custom-fitting.
This is a driver which really needs to be dialled in to get the best out of it. The right shaft and weight positions will make a huge difference.
This was carrying over 230 yards for me so I know that’s getting up for as good as I can hope for with my 98-100mph swing speed. I currently play off 17 so can more than live with 230-240 yard drives on any course.
So the numbers are good, the sound and feel is excellent and you have the added bonus of the Cobra Connect built into the grip.
Cobra F8 driver review – NCG verdict
It can be hard for the consumer to look past the Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping and Titleist drivers when they walk into their pro shop.
But Cobra have some really cool technology stories for 2018 and we feel the performance is right up their with the other brands.
They don’t get the credit they deserve for the innovations they are adding their products. Every year are coming up with new and exciting ways to help people enjoy their golf more.
You really do need to give this driver a hit before making a decision – it’s the least Cobra deserve for all the technology and effort that has gone into it.
And we’re pretty sure lots of people will be pleasantly surprised.
Cobra F8 driver details
SRP: F8/F8+ driver £329
Lofts: F8 adjustable 9˚-12˚, F8+ adjustable 8˚-11˚
Stock shafts: F8 – MRC Tensei CK Blue 50g (lite/regular flex); Aldila NV 2KXV Blue 60 (regular/stiff) or an Aldila NV 2KXV Green 65 (stiff)
F8+ – Aldila NV 2KXV Blue 60 (stiff/regular), Aldila NV 2KXV Green 65 (stiff/x-stiff) and Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75 (stiff/x-stiff)
On sale: February 2, 2018