Cobra Fly-Z Driver Review
Cobra Golf’s new Fly-Z line has been garnishing some rather outstanding reviews across the golfing world since its release not too long ago, and I for one am thrilled this club has been in my bag to start out 2015.
There’s not too many things in the glorious game you can do that brings forth such utter jubilation as piping a drive right down the middle of the fairway. For some it’s an every tee box occurrence, but for others, present company included, it happens not as often as we would like. For players like us club manufacturers have been kind enough to develop more than just a tour-style head to ship out to the masses.
For Cobra this meant creating three unique driver heads, and by them doing so, I feel they’re more in touch with the modern golfer than the majority of club makers out there today.
Their top of the line model is the Fly-Z+ with its “FlipZone” technology- aimed at the low handicap players in the 0-10 range. Next, the Fly-Z offers a rear, low CG leading to a higher ball flight with less spin for the midrange player, and lastly for the higher handicap golfers they introduced the Fly-Z XL.
For this review Cobra sent us the Fly-Z driver fitted with their stock Matrix VLCT SP shaft in regular flex. . . yeah, I’m getting old. The shafts come in four different flex options, X / S / R / and Lite, so there are some different configurations to match your swing.
There are six different crown colors to choose from and I definitely stepped outside my comfort zone when I requested the Verdant Green. It’s a phenomenal color for a driver head. It carries with it some flash and flare but at the same times represents the look and style you’d find in an exotic “1 of 1” collectors piece. Even with the high gloss finish of the paint the glare was surprisingly minimal at address and never have I received so many comments and compliments about the color of a driver head since the “white” craze took off like it did a few years ago.
Cobra hasn’t been one to shy away from the adjustability thang when it comes to their drivers. The new “FlipZone” technology on the Fly-Z+ is refreshing and very unique, but with the Fly-Z model Cobra kept the rear weight stationary. It is customizable by changing the Fly-Z weight (4g, 6g, 8g stock, 12g or 16g) so you’re not entirely limited to just loft adjustability.
Speaking of loft, the Fly-Z driver features Cobras “MyFly8” Technology which brings 8 different settings for the player. They are:
9° / 9.5°/ 9.5°draw / 10.5° / 10.5°draw / 11.5° / 11.5°draw / 12°
Aside from the pure beauty of the Verdant Green crown I’m a huge fan of the black face. I’m sure after rounds and rounds of abuse my opinion may differ but for now I’m a fan. It’s a bold look that oozes a power demeanor while still encompassing a high-end persona.
The face of the club features another Cobra technology that’s called “SmartPad”. When the loft changing clubs started rolling off the shelves a few years ago it was new and exciting, but as I started learning more about what happens to the face when you make these adjustments I was surprised that I never heard many people talking about it. Maybe I missed out on all those conversations but here’s what I’ve learned.
When you increase the loft, the face of the club will open up (the higher you go the more it opens), and to counteract this, weight adjustments have been added to balance this out. Putting weight to the inside or outside of the clubhead helps keep the face square at impact after the loft adjustments, and if I was to make an educated guess, I’m sure it’s the reason why some driver manufactures have gone that route.
Thinking outside the box with their “SmartPad” technology, Cobra keeps the face square no matter what loft setting you choose. This enables them to keep the weight a stationary component and not add to the perplexing factors that can confuse someone trying to dial in their driver. Lofting up used to have consequences, with the Cobra Fly-Z driver that is no longer the case.
Aesthetically Cobra nailed it with the Fly-Z. It’s a stunning club that looks the part of the highest end clubs out there. It’s hard to argue with the looks, this is true, but when I started going to the range and practicing with the Fly-Z is when my eyes truly began to see what it was I was holding in my hands for the first time.
Before I get too much into why I’m now a loyal Cobra carrying patron I first want to explain a change in my swing that really has helped me identify with this club more than I ever thought possible.
I realized last year when I was fitted for some new irons that my ego was getting in the way of my progression. I was one of those arrogant types who swore I knew my distances better than even the best launch monitor. I couldn’t have been more wrong and during the fitting I was completely embarrassed at how off I was on my yardages. It was a tough pill to swallow but I managed to get it down and face the facts that I’m far, real far, from a power player.
During the fitting it became clear that switching to regular shafts was going to do nothing but benefit my game, so starting with my irons and wedges I made the change. The Adams Fairway wood I recently reviewed came in regular flex and now for the first time ever in my golfing career I’m swinging a regular flex driver.
When I came to the realization that I was off on my yardages, and I’m talking by 10-15 yards, I really listened to what the fitter was explaining and based on his assessment I started swinging more in tune with my abilities. No more was I thrashing at the club in a desperate attempt to hit some silly yardages. Instead I was focusing on my swing and being more consistent.
Getting the fitting I believe saved my golfing life so to speak. My aggression towards the ball with a club has been toned way down and my ballstriking has shown some serious improvements. With my focus no longer on swinging as hard and as fast as I possibly can, I’ve started to see more fairways and because of that I’m also seeing better scores.
Luckily for me all of this education came prior to me putting the Fly-Z in play because having a regular flex shaft in this new driver has been a blessing in disguise. I’m not trying to overpower the club and I feel I’m getting better feedback because I’m striking the face much more consistently. I’ve been letting the club do the work and it’s been refreshing.
My initial swings with the Cobra Fly-Z were rather surprising; right away I noticed a dramatic change in the trajectory of the ball. I’ve never been a high ball flight type player but I was getting some serious air time that I have never seen before. Even with my previous driver set to 11.5° I wasn’t able to come close to the high trajectory I was effortlessly getting with the Fly-Z. The mid kickpoint from the shaft really helps get the ball up in the air and coming from stiff, high kickpoint driver this was by far the most dramatic change when comparing it to my previous club.
The other thing that was surprising was how effortless I was swinging and yet the ball was just jumping off the face on a bee line to the other side of the range. Without a doubt having the regular flex shaft was helping my swing more than I ever could have imagined.
The sound you’ll hear at impact is pure and not at all “pingy” or high up on the octave scale. A solid center of the face blow is met with a piercing sound that is very appealing. You’ll know when you flush it, the audible output is as good as it gets.
I spent a lot of time at home dialing in the club and even more time at the range tweaking the settings in an attempt to find the optimal setting. Turns out the 9.5° Draw setting was where I believe I was getting the most consistent ball flight out of the club.
The fact that the consistent ball flight has followed me from the range to the course is a surprising turn of events. Normally I’ll have a stellar range session but when I get to the course my mid-level skill set shows up. That hasn’t been the case with the Fly-Z and not by a longshot.
Each round I’ve played since putting the Fly-Z in my bag I’ve shown increasingly better stats and one number that has stood out the most is my accuracy. If I’m not in the fairway I’m incredibly close to it and that has made my approach shots much more obtainable. Greens are more accessible and I’ve been playing some very decent golf, not the hacker junk I’ve unfortunately grown accustomed to.
Another benefit to Cobra’s new head technology is how mis-hits are much more manageable. Believe me, as much as I’d like to be dead center of the clubface with every swing, it just doesn’t happen. You can feel a difference in a toe or heel strike but it’s not overwhelming. The club reacts very well to off-center hits and the end results are very appealing.
Swinging easier and being more in rhythm I haven’t lost any distance off the tee compared to my previous driver which honestly was a concern of mine. That may not be entirely true. I was longer with my old club by about 10-15 yards, but I was nowhere near the center of the fairway. As I mentioned before, because I’m not going at it so aggressively I am finding more fairways, and when looking back at my rounds prior to putting the Fly-Z in my bag my fairway percentage is a whole different story and my confidence is growing.
The absence of “Oh Crap!” and “Son of a B-tch!” being belted out by yours truly after my tee shots I’m sure has made playing with me much more tolerable as well. I haven’t quite nailed the pickup the tee quick and strut down the fairway “Tour Sauce” but I am getting some practice at it.
Hitting more fairways and playing better golf certainly can boost your level of enjoyment for a round, and since putting the Fly-Z in my bag I can honestly say I am having more fun. Standing on the tee box watching the high ball flight of a shot is a great feeling and I’m happy to be experiencing it more and more lately.
By moving the weight around the clubhead to different areas and implementing some new technology, Cobra’s redesign of their driver line has the golfing world buzzing, and rightfully so. As a reviewer it is easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding new driver releases and it’s easy to say “This club is the best club I’ve ever hit!” with each new driver we review. Is this the longest driver I’ve ever hit? No, it’s not but it is hands down the most consistent big stick I’ve ever played, and for me, being a mid-handicap player, that’s a game changer.
It didn’t take me long but I’m convinced after swinging this club for the last several months that Cobra has the best new driver on the market. I’ve hit all the new major driver releases going back to late last year and not one of them has impressed me the way the Fly-Z has. It has every component needed to be a top rated club- distance, accuracy, price and appearance.
If there’s any negative at all when it comes to the Cobra Fly-Z Driver it would have to pertain to the headcover. A lot of companies are taking this portion of the club purchase seriously and really adding to the overall buying experience by including some very unique qualities to their headcovers. The Cobra Fly-Z head cover is as basic as it comes; no flash, no bang and no boom just a simple cover like you would have seen on a new club released 10 years ago. Personally I really could care less, I have custom head covers like a lot of you do and maybe Cobra decided not to dump extra cash into headcover development and kept it basic. Kudos to them if that’s their thought process.
I’m looking forward to spending this season with the Fly-Z in my bag. It’s a club I highly recommend you go out and demo so you can see for yourself what a truly amazing driver Cobra has created. If you happen to be in the market for a new driver I implore you to take the opportunity to head over to their website and see what’s doin’.
The Cobra Fly-Z retails for $329.00 and in my opinion that’s a steal for this high level of a club. The driver comes with a matching Fly-Z head cover and a torque wrench. There are 6 crown colors (black / white / vibrant orange / verdant green / strong blue and Barbados red), and if you’re not happy with the stock “off the rack shaft” the Fly-Z+, Fly-Z & the Fly-Z XL all have the option to upgrade the shaft for free, with some very nice options, when placed through the Cobra Golf website.
There’s a reason this club is winning awards like crazy. Cobra has outdone themselves with their new line of drivers and the Fly-Z is by far one of the best drivers you’ll find in 2015.