The Cobra AMP Cell fairway wood features a larger E9 face for more forgiveness on off-centre hits. It did seem more forgiving and easier to hit than the previous AMP fairway. The feel was also a little better due to the new face and possibly the stock Fujikura Fuel shaft that replaces the Adila RIP in the AMP Cell.
Technically the main difference is the innovative SmartPad bar on the sole that combines with the wide range of lofts on the MyFly adjustable hosel to give you a single club that can offer 4 different lofts. If you play on different courses and need a fairway to lay-up or reach a long par-3 then having a fariway that could be a strong 3-wood, a 3-wood or a more lofted 4-wood in one club could be a very valuable and space saving option.
On most clubs when you adjust the loft you change the face angle and then the club sits differently at address. However in the Cobra AMP Cell fairway there is only a single point of contact on the sole and as you decrease the loft the balance point of the sole moves to the front edge of the SmartPad and vice versa. This allows the club to still sit square at address whichever loft you choose and still have the ability to shape it.
We liked this option and in practice it does work very well. We tried the 3-4 wood and the strong 3-wood loft gave a low penetrating flight as you would expect. Going up to 15 and 16 degrees gave the ball a slightly higher flight that was still penetrating, even if it did have a little of a feel of a fade. The 2 draw settings at 14 and 15 degrees were much more playable and a couple of our testers felt that these were the better settings for most. The flight was better and a little straighter with just a hint of a draw so this will probably suit more players.
The other big change with the AMP Cell fairway is the choice of vibrant colours. They all look very good, especially on the course, so make sure you give them a try. The face graphics maybe give the impression of the face being smaller than it is, but the face and head are the same size as the previous AMP fairway.
Overall this is a very competent club and performance is above average across the board, with the draw settings the best. The solution to the adjustable face/lie angle issue was one of the best we have seen so if you like to vary the lofts on your fairway then the Cobra AMP Cell could save you carrying 2 clubs instead of 1.