Need To Know
If you are looking to hit missiles off the tee in 2016, you will want to make space in your bag for the Cobra King Ltd driver.
Cobra King Ltd driver - Key Features
Taking design inspiration from two space companies during a material investigation on the International Space Station, the King Ltd driver features an eye-catching Space Port window on the sole to generate what's claimed to be the lowest centre of gravity (CG) on the market to date.
The Space Port consists of a 16g aerospace-grade aluminium dual-purpose weight and translucent port, which lets players view the inside of the head for the first time.
There is method behind the madness, however, as utilising an open gap in the sole with a screw thread on the edge means Cobra doesn't have to add more material to create a housing where the weight screws in.
As a result, this allows Cobra to design an ultra-low CG position that helps players receive faster ball speeds, lower spin and higher launch angles.
Cobra has ensured the King Ltd driver aligns its CG with the neutral axis of the head, something the brand labels as "Zero Gravity CG".
To locate this Zero Gravity CG position, Cobra has also designed an ultra-light TeXtreme Carbon composite crown (a material frequently used in aerospace that is 20% lighter than a standard carbon fibre) and a thin, lightweight 811 titanium face with E9 zoning that removes 10g from the face structure.
So how does that all come together?
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Cobra King Ltd driver - Looks and Feel
As always with Cobra drivers these days, the head shape of the King Ltd is hard to fault.
Its shiny black crown and orange Cobra logo in the front middle aids good alignment at address, although perhaps a more colourful crown - like with the former Cobra Fly-Z driver - would distinguish the face and crown a little better. You will need to go to Specsavers to realise there is a stylish checkerboard pattern on the crown.
The all-dark paint job, with dark black Aldila shaft and comfortable Lamkin UTx grip, provides an understated look. It possesses the aura of a secret weapon, which is probably explains why Cobra dispatched it in a big, dark, black suitcase.
Now while many of us have probably wanted to stick a hole in our driver before, Cobra has thankfully done it for us with the introduction of the new Space Port window on the sole.
While the viewing facility not only looks pretty cool, it allows us to see the technology behind the King Ltd driver, especially when looking at the variable face thickness right at the front.
When peering inside the head, the real golf geeks will notice the forged titanium face is thinner towards the edges and thicker in the middle.
One of the sweetest sounding drivers we have tested this season. There is by no means a "Big Bang" to it, like with the former Fly-Z, it's more of a solid "thwack" noise this time around.
The feel at impact generated off the E9 face is typically rewarding, too. It's an extreme, fast face.
While certainly one of the lighter drivers to swing due to all the new weight-saving materials, it was by no means a rattlesnake in the hands. We found its well-balanced stock Aldila Rogue Black 60g shaft aided an improved launch angle to our drives due to its softer tip section.
Cobra King Ltd driver - Performance and Forgiveness
Of the 30 drives we struck with the Cobra King Ltd driver, 23 of them crashed the 275-yard total distance mark, with two whizzing past 285 yards.
Not only did this driver prove one of the longest we have tested ahead of the new season with a 278-yard average, it also vindicated Cobra's claim that this is the company's most forgiving driver to date.
With the new TeXtreme Carbon fibre being 20% lighter than normal Carbon Fibre, Cobra has been afforded the luxury of shifting all the weight low and in the back of the head for maximum MOI, resulting in an abundance of forgiveness.
A total of 26 drives landed no more than 12 yards outside of our target line, with the remaining four finishing inside of 16.
Spin rate (2300 RPM), launch angle (15.1 degrees), ball speed (148.8 mph) and clubhead speed (102.4 mph) were also slightly improved numbers against the Fly-Z driver.
And as always with Cobra drivers, there is a user-friendly MyFly hosel on board that allows you to adjust your loft through five positions between 9 and 12 degrees, plus three draw settings to alter your ball flight.
Should you buy the Cobra King Ltd driver?
A missile with laser-like accuracy and rocket launch. Cobra appears a brand on a mission when it comes to driver technology and the King Ltd is the perfect example of that.
By no means a cheap investment at £349, especially when you consider the Cobra Fly-Z driver did not perform too dissimilarly earlier this season, but can you really put a price on hitting more fairways and outgunning your opponents on a regular basis?
Those of you simply dismissing this product as a gimmick may just want to head to your local Cobra store and give it a bash. We think this one should be very much on your radar.