A lot of drivers have come onto the market since Cobra released the L4V in 2007. In fact, Cobra itself has already released the L5V with adjustable face technology and the Zero Limit. However, sometimes the latest isn't always the greatest and the L4V is still VERY popular with Cobra fans. So....
Last year, I started out the season needing a new driver. I had gamed my Ping G2 for years and thought an update in technology would help my game. My search was been well chronicled including some time spent with the Ping G10 and the new Cleveland Launcher. Both are good in their own right, but unfortunately I couldn't find the correct head/loft/shaft combination to suit my game. I went back to the drawing board and did more research. The L4V was receiving rave reviews from what seemed to be a very loyal message board following. I was intrigued and decided to give it a try.
L4V stands for Limit 4 Variables and Cobra designed this driver to reach the limits on all four of the USGA defined performance variables: Maximum COR (.830), maximum head dimensions (5" by 5"), maximum volume (460cc), and MOI. The most apparent of these is the size of the head - the L4V seems ginormous at address. This inspires a ton of confidence to bomb away but players who prefer a smallish head probably need to look elsewhere. The other technology clearly visible is the carbon composite crown which in my opinion looks wicked cool and futuristic.
Another great thing about the L4V is it includes the best driver head cover I've ever come across. It is made with high quality materials and the magnetic enclosure makes taking the club in and out a quick and painless operation. Sometimes little nuances make a huge difference and Cobra evidently recognizes this.
OK, enough with aesthetics you say! How does the driver perform? I've never been a huge fan of composite drivers, but with the L4V Cobra has found the right mix of face and crown materials to optimize performance and enhance feel. After a dozen rounds logged with the L4V in my bag, I can honestly say it is hands down the longest driver I'd ever hit.
There are three different models (X, F, and M) - each with Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Red Board shafts with distinct flex and kickpoint combos. My mid to high nineties swing speed put me right between the F and M models, but I eventually opted for the M. The determining factor was the 2-degree closed face, which gave me a predictable high draw ball flight that consistently took the right hand side out of play. As a result, I began hitting more fairways.
The only consistent negative comment I've heard about the L4V is the sound it produces at impact. This driver is LOUD. It sounds like a M-80 going off in a coffee can. More than once, I've had groups in front of me in the fairway or on the green turn and look when I tee off. I get a lot of undue attention on the practice tee. It doesn't bother me now and in fact I've come to like it. But, Cobra should package the L4V with ear plugs (for your playing partners).
I'm very particular on drivers. Good drives can set the tone for a round and nothing beats standing in the middle of the fairway while your playing partners poke around for their ball in hazards or in the woods. The Cobra L4V is a terrific driver if you can live with some of its quirky characteristics. I can given how it is benefiting my game and it will likely be a mainstay in my bag for a very long time.
If you notice, the L4V in my bag has been replaced by the Nike Str8-Fit. I finally decided while distance was spectacular with the L4V, my ball flight was too high and here in the windy Midwest that is an issue. I thought about re-shafting, but I ended up going with a 9 degree in the Nike. Once a club ho, always a club ho.