I have played Cobra drivers in the past. From the King Cobra (loved the distance, hated the frying pan bang!) to the ZLE (loved it!), but I have never used any other club made by them. While I am a fan of Rickie Fowler's golf ability, his style is not mine so I have never given much thought to the brand. I have noticed their clubs as of late and will say the looks and style have definitely been improving in their latest models. For that reason, I was very excited to play and write a review on the new Fly Z+ fairway wood.
Like others on this site, I have a confession to make: I am a club ho and an equipment junkie. I am always excited to try out new stuff and to see how it compares to what is in my bag. That said I had high hopes for this club. I have played Titleist, Taylormade and Callaway fairway metals in the past and wanted to see what the new clubs and changing, aggressive club manufacturers were offering.
The Challenger: Cobra FlyZ+, 13* 43â€ Matrix VLCT ST 95 Stiff-Flex shaft.
The Champ: Titleist 915Fd 13* 43â€ Fujikura Motore Speeder TS VC 9.2 X-Flex shaft
I use the range as place to develop a feel for my clubs. I want to see how it feels and what can I do with the club. You can't expect much from range balls, so I'm looking for ball flight and how well I can move the ball with my shots. With the Fly Z+, the shaft caused me to slow my swing down so it took some time with the club before I felt comfortable taking it to the course. My range time was very extensive.
I have to consider the 3 wood the toughest club to find. Because it can be hit off the tee and off the deck it is, in my opinion the hardest club to fill in the bag. It needs to be long, accurate and stable. I have played a variety of 3 woods from the Taylormade R7TP to the Titleist 910 Fd, Then to the Callaway XHot Pro and back to the Taylormade SLDR and finally back to Titleist with the 915 Fd. Out of all of them, the Titleist clubs have been my favorites. I was also fond of the Cally XHot Pro. The Cobra sets up very nice and has a small compact head that is very similar to the 915. The silver strip along the back gives it an image of being even smaller. The swing weight feels good and the club just looks good! The shaft is an altogether different story. I found the stock shaft to be less than a typical stiff shaft. So I took to my clubfitter and measured it on the frequency machine and it came out as a regular flex.
Accuracy: The FlyZ+, when compared to my 915, was not even close!. I have a very loaded swing and found myself having to back off considerably with the Fly Z+ because the shaft couldn't handle the load. If I gave it a full swing, which is 85%, I consistently lost this to the right (I am a left hander). I was swinging at 60% and could hit the ball with a controlled draw with this club. Advantage: 915Fd
Distance Because I couldn't swing as hard with the Fly Z +, distance was not even close. But, I will say this about the head, if it is paired with the correct shaft, it has the potential to be a bomber! You can feel the ball come off the face and it does feel like it wants to go far. I am thinking of putting another shaft in this after the trial to see what the head will do with the proper shaft. In my opinion the stock shaft isn't a good match for me. Advantage: 915Fd
Trajectory: I am a naturally high launch hitter. So, I have to find what works best to keep my launch levels in control so I can get optimum launch and roll. The 915 paired with the Motore Speeder TS is great. I would like to see the Fly Z + paired with a similar shaft. I did find that with a controlled swing, I could keep a very medium height trajectory with the Cobra and saw no ballooning at the end of the shot. It did achieve good roll , 15- 20 yds at the end of the shot as well. Advantage: 915Fd
Control: I like to work the ball, especially with the 3 wood as it is my go to on a tight par 4 where placement is key. I can't control that as well with the Fly Z + because of the shaft. Advantage: 915Fd
Range Score: 70 out of 100
Performance on the Course
Once I find â€œmy swingâ€ on the range I can take it to the course. We all have our days where nothing works but that is usually on both the range and the course for me. That is why we develop our â€œgo toâ€ shots that get us through those rounds.
I knew that the Fly Z+ would serve me well as long as I swung with a more controlled tempo. It has helped me find a tempo that slows my space down and gives me a more fluid swing. I was excited to see how this compared on some holes that always seemed to have my number.
I played my normal courses with both clubs and got 7 rounds in with the Fly Z+. I found my accuracy numbers went up as I hit 6 of 7 fairways where I used the Cobra and 4 of 7 with the Titleist (2 of the Titleist misses were just barely in the first cut). But I did notice I was consistently 20 yds shorter or more off the tee. On approach shots, I on ly had two per round, the distance gap was about the same. I will attribute that to the drop in power usage that I was going with to keep the shaft in control. I will say this, because I was swinging with more control, I was very confident my shots would end up where I had planned.
Course Score: 88 out of 100
I am very excited to provide a review and dropped all expectancies of what I would or could think of this club until I was able to swing it. I think Con=bra did an excellent job in manufacturing this head. I think they left something to be desired in picking the stock shaft. It seems everyone is coming with exotics or â€œnearâ€ exotics for stock shafts these days and Cobra is lagging there.
Total Performance Score: 79 out of 100
It is hard to argue with the looks of this club. It has a smaller head and a very clean design. There are no funky logos or garish designs to distract you. The silver along the back gives a great outline and frame for the club. I wouldn't change a thing. Great job.
The headcover on the other hand, is a bad choice. It looks like a thick sock with a logo sewn on. There a lot of better options out there.
Looks Score: 100/100 on the clubâ€“ 10/100 for the headcover.
Sound and Feel
I do not like a lot of boom when I hit a ball with a fairway metal. I prefer a muted sound and that â€œpopâ€ when you know you have felt perfection. Cobra did a great job with this club as it has a very muted sound and feels great when you hit it perfectly. Found it to be very responsive and hold well when swung with control.
I am not a fan of the stock shaft as I felt it way under performs. It was too whippy and not a true stiff shaft. I am not a user of the Lamkin Crossline but found it an acceptable grip
Sound and Feel Score: 90 of 100
Likelihood of Purchase (LOP)
Knowing that I typically change the stock shaft out of whatever club I purchase, I would say the Fly Z+ has a 50% chance of likelihood of something I would purchase.
LOP Score: 50 out of 100
The FlyZ+ is a very solid candidate for someone looking for a new fairway wood. Make sure you try it witht eh stock shaft and see if it fits your swing or if you'll be replacing it. The head performs very well off the tee and the deck. I would definitely get a new headcover.
Total Subjective Score: 62.5 out of 100
This is a very solid club. My low ranking come from things that are changeable about the club, shaft and headcover. I could play this club and be very happy but I know my 915 very well and can't see that coming out of my bag from this test.
Total Score: 71 out of 100
1. Will this FlyZ+ Fairway go in your bag? Why or why not?
A: No, I don't want to go through the hassle of finding the right shaft at this point and my 915 is performing well.
2. To whom, if anyone, would you recommend this FlyZ+ Fairway? Why?
A: Anyone that is looking for a new fairway. This is a very solid clubhead and with the right shaft will be an excellent performer..
3. How, if at all, did this FlyZ+ Fairway change your overall impression of Cobra?
A: This showed me that Cobra is in this to make a mark. They have made a very solid club and I will look at all their offerings in the future.
4. What feature would you change or eliminate from the next generation of this model?
A: Get better stock shaft selections and get a new headcover.
5. What feature do you really like, and would most like to see continued or evolved in
A: Keep doing what you're doing with the clubhead. This is a great head and once it is paired correctly will make a big splash.