50 Words or Less
The Cobra King LTD driver is one of the most anticipated releases of 2015. Cobra believes they have unleashed their best driver to date.
I distinctly remember the first time I saw pictures of the new Cobra King LTD driver. Based on pictures alone, my reaction was, “What the hell is this thing?” What I saw was a design that was trying to leap into the future and take metal woods to a new level. As the industry has been chasing zero Center of Gravity (CG) for years, Cobra claims to have finally hit the neutral axis line which brings the CG to zero. Ideally, this means golfers should get that perfect blend of higher launch, greater ball speed, and low spin. Looks alone had me hooked, and the claims only made me that much more pumped to test the King LTD driver out.
At the risk of sounding like I’m blindly swooning, I think the Cobra King LTD is one of the best looking drivers I’ve ever seen, and it’s certainly the coolest looking. The Spaceport on the bottom immediately draws your attention and curiosity even though the bright orange, black, and grey color scheme could have easily done this on its own. The Spaceport even gives you a cool look inside of the head (something I haven’t seen in a club before).
From address, the 460cc King LTD has a moderate pear shape, and the toe seems to sit just a bit higher than the last couple of generations of Cobra drivers. To be fair, this could be how the black crown looks to my eye after previously using drivers with white and red club heads. The face is “deep-ish” in that it’s large and confidence inducing, but doesn’t feel like a giant wall of a hitting surface like the old Taylormade Super Deep. My favorite aesthetic touch is the checkerboard design on the crown that you can only see in the right lighting. It’s not a distraction, but it’s a nice little touch of character.
I played my first round with the King LTD with a group of strangers, and around the 8th hole, one of the guys in my group asked me what driver I was playing because he’s never seen it before. I handed it to him to look at and his reaction was “Holy @#$%, this thing looks amazing.” I’ll just say that this guy was far from the demographic that normally gets associated with Cobra Golf, and his reaction is a good testament to this driver’s appearance and “wow factor.”
Sound & Feel
2015 has brought with it two of the best sounding and feeling drivers I’ve ever hit, and that is no small feat. Topping the list is the Cobra King LTD driver. Frankly, I haven’t ever hit anything that’s quite felt like it. The sound comes from a combination of the titanium face, the Cobra speed channel, and the hollow carbon fiber crown. What you end up with is a soft, yet very solid “whap!” off the club face. Shots away from the center of the face do sound different than the sweet spot, but far from the typical offensive and dreadful noises we usually expect to hear.
Now the feel…I don’t quite know how to describe it. I’ll precede my comments by saying I truly believe you will need to try it for yourself to really appreciate what I will try and convey with the following statements. Golfers often say an exceptional forged iron feels “buttery” when you hit a crisp shot. Well, for the first time in my life, I would say the same thing about a driver. The King LTD driver felt buttery and smooth. You’re likely thinking “I don’t know if I’d want a driver to feel buttery, I want it to feel solid and explosive.” Rest assured, the King LTD is extremely responsive and shots feel like they’re jumping off of the face. With a lack of junk all over the inside of the club head, you get a very pure and explosive feel unlike anything I’ve ever felt in a driver.
A key point to note when it comes to feel is that the King LTD feels like a very light driver head. I tried a lighter shaft in the King LTD at first, but found I tended to “lose the club” throughout the swing. The two ways to combat this are with a heavier shaft or adding weight to the head. I went with a heavier shaft and no longer had this issue. The stock Aldila Rogue is a fairly stout shaft and works well. Interestingly, when compared to the Fly-Z+ driver head, which felt much heavier to me, the King LTD actually came out five grams heavier.
One of the biggest things serious golfers look for in their drivers these days is to have as little spin as possible. In recent years, manufacturers have made all sorts of efforts to drop spin rates whether by changing the location of the CG, using different materials, or installing telephone pole shafts as stock options. The Cobra King LTD attacked the spin issue by moving the CG to the neutral axis of the club (as seen in the picture below) whereas most clubs’ CG is above the neutral axis.
When I hit the King LTD driver on a launch monitor with the stock Rogue shaft, I saw pretty low spin numbers for me. In fact, I even had a handful of shots under 2000 rpm which is unheard of for me. I was also seeing some pretty solid roll which is not too typical for me. Most appealing to me was the forgiveness of the King LTD. On multiple occasions, I was expecting a big miss and instead got decent distance and shots that weren’t way offline. I would feel comfortable in claiming that the King LTD is one of the most forgiving drivers I have ever put into play.
The two most anticipated drivers of this fall are the Cobra King LTD and Taylormade’s M1. After hitting both, I was completely underwhelmed by the M1 (I thought it was awful all around) and totally blown away by Cobra King LTD. I genuinely feel the Cobra King LTD driver could be the first sign of a major shift to come in the equipment industry and golfers really won’t want to miss out on what Cobra has to offer.