Speedback technology joins Cobra’s signature Baffler Rails on the Cobra King F9 Speedback Fairway Woods and Hybrids. I had the opportunity to test out the standard fairway wood and the hybrid at Fairwood Golf & Country Club on course and at the range.
Cobra F9 Speedback Fairway Wood
Before I get into the technology of the F9 fairway woods I want to say this right off the bat: after extensive testing on the course and at the range, there is no better fairway wood than the F9 Speedback for me.
Of all the fairway woods I’ve tested, it is by far the easiest to hit. The F9 Speedback effortlessly elevates the ball, producing towering shots from the tee and, more importantly, off the deck.
The Cobra King F9 Speedback Fairway Wood features a CNC-milled face that mirrors the rising sun pattern of the F9 Speedback driver. It works in concert with the Dual Roll and E9 Face technologies. This is the first time Cobra has introduced the CNC-milling to the fairway woods. The F9 Speedback Tour’s face is also milled, but has traditional scoring lines.
Both versions have the progressive height Baffler rails. The lower lofted woods feature shallower rails and the higher lofted woods have more pronounced rails. The purpose of the Baffler technology is to promote better turf interaction.
Polymer 360 Aero trips are located on the crown and on the sole and are designed to move the clubhead through the air with reduced drag, resulting in faster swing speeds from the same effort by the player.
There are a few differences between the standard and King F9 Speedback Tour versions. There is a weight on the sole between the Baffler rails. The location is all the way back on the standard version for the lowest possible center of gravity, while the weight on the Tour version is situated behind the face for maximum workability and lower spin.
Another difference is on the crown. The larger, standard version features the same creases in the carbon fiber crown as the F9 Speedback driver, but the crown of the smaller Tour does not have these wrinkles. Better players typically have higher swing speeds, so with the smaller head there may not be much of a difference in club head speed with and without the creases in the crown.
Last year, I had the Tour Edge CBX T-3 15° fairway wood in my bag, and while I loved the looks, the shape, the sound and feel, it was so hot that there was little separation between the 3-wood and my driver. Plus, it tended to come of the face with a very low launch angle off the deck and I needed something that I could confidently use both from the tee and off the deck.
After testing the Titleist TS2 fairway wood I thought I had found what I was looking for. The 16.5° head launches the ball higher when struck flush, but I still struggled with some consistency off the deck. Enter the Cobra King F9 Speedback Fairway Wood.
Like the drivers, I like the looks and feel of the Cobra F8 fairway woods, and thankfully, the F9 Speedback is a great continuation of that styling. The white or yellow accents on the heel and toe are a little subtler on the fairway wood than the driver, and when you set the club at address it features the same black composite and carbon fiber appearance.
As I said above, the feel is amazing. It is very stable all the way through the swing. I tried out a couple of shaft options, but ultimately paired it with the 70-gram Project X HZRDUS Smoke 75 6.5 shaft.
I carried the F9 and the TS2 fairway woods in my bag for quite a few rounds, and somewhere in the middle of the third round I realized that I hadn’t even thought once about pulling the TS2 over the F9 Speedback. My confidence level with the Cobra is so much higher than any other fairway wood I’ve hit off the deck.
For most of my playing life I have preferred to layup if the distance I needed to cover was greater than my reach with a 2 iron. If I did take out the fairway wood in the fairway, I would find myself overswinging, thinking I needed to really thump down on the ball to get it airborne.
That all changed with the Cobra King F9. I found a calmness while standing at address with the Cobra in my hands and that translates into purely struck shots that launch quickly and hang in the air for a long time.
With a natural right-to-left ball flight, it was important for me to be able to hit both draws and cuts with a fairway wood. This is imperative at my home club because there are quite a few tee shots that require you to shape shots both ways or risk running through the fairway into the rough or worse. I was delighted when I was able to shape a fade around the corner and not see it over cut.
There is a Cobra King F9 Speedback fairway wood that is right for all players. Do not let your preconceptions of a brand stop you from giving something a try. Over the last couple of years I’ve learned that there are a lot of good club manufacturers out there, and you only hurt your game by placing brand loyalty over performance.
If you are looking for a new fairway wood, get out and give the King F9 a try. I already ordered mine!
Cobra King F9 Speedback Hybrid
The Cobra King F9 Speedback Hybrid features Baffler and Speedback technologies, a 15-gram tungsten weight positioned between the rails on the back of the sole, a lowered toe with a 10% larger clubhead size than the King F8 hybrid. The reshaping of the toe also creates a squarer leading edge at address. The body and face are both made from stainless steel, and the high strength forged 455 face has more responsiveness and flex adding forgiveness and ball speed on off-center hits.
Even in winter, I typically prefer to carry a Mizuno MMC Fli-Hi 2-iron that I’ve dialed in to my exact custom specifications. However, I understand the allure of hybrids have for a lot of players, so I put the King F9 hybrid in my bag for a couple of rounds and hit the range to see what it was all about.
The larger clubhead size gives it an overwhelmingly easy to hit shape off the deck and from the tee on longer par 3s or short par 4s. I like the looks of the hybrid, it has a clean, dark crown with only a Cobra logo alignment aid.
As Cobra claims, it does feel like it sits square at address. Using the stock Fujikura Atmos 7 Black shaft, I was able to elevate the ball from the fairway and out of the rough. This is a great rescue for anyone looking to add controllable, forgiving distance at the low end of their irons.
The size is confidence inspiring, the sound from the stainless steel body is right on point and the progressive height Baffler rails help the club get through the turf, including in thicker roughs. If you are in the market for a new hybrid give the Cobra King F9 Speedback hybrid a chance in your testing. For the ONE Length fans out there, there is also a ONE Length King F9 Speedback Hybrid.
Thanks for reading the Expert Review: Cobra King F9 Speedback Fairway Woods & Hybrid post. Leave your comments and questions below, I’m more than happy to answer your questions about the new F9 fairways or hybrid.
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