The Cobra King F8 fairway is staying on the rails that were introduced to the previous King F7 fairway.
It was Rickie Fowler's inspiration that brought them back and now he has been pestering the Cobra designers to make them larger and bring them closer together, so that is what they have done.
This increases the straightening effect of the rails as Cobra claim a 50% improvement in dispersion and no matter what type of surface you are on, the rails work equally well.
It also should get more distance as the rails are now more centred either side of the CG and it is really in the longer grass where they come into their own and this is what should give it a bit of distinction in the market.
The Cobra King F8 fairway has also lost weight, or one of them to be precise, as the option to move a heavy weight between a front and back port has gone, leaving a lone weight in the back.
In theory it can be removed, but unless you have a Tour van close by it is unlikely that you will be able to replace it with anything so it is more for show now.
The lack of the front weight port does however save weight as there is less infrastructure required inside and therefore the CG can be moved lower and further back.
This is also helped by a new carbon fibre crown that is 20% lighter than the previous steel one and weighs just 12.6g and again moves the CG position lower by 1.46mm compared to the F7.
The body is made from cast 17-4 Stainless Steel and the E9 face is forged from 475 Stainless Steel and still features the same E9 design to maximise ball speed on off centre hits.
The King F8 fairway looks good at address with a mid-sized head that has a nice rounded look to it in a nice shade of Nardo, which is the posh name for the grey that you see in places over the black head.
The Nardo coloured raised ribs on the crown are Cobra's 360 Aero feature to trip the airflow as it moves over the head and is made of a polymer to save on weight.
The aerodynamic theory is sound enough, but unless you have a high level swing speed, in this size of head the benefit is going to be minimal.
Like all the clubs in the King F8 range, the fairway comes with a Lamkin Crossline 360 Connect grip that has an Arccos sensor in the butt that you can pair with the free Cobra Connect app on your smartphone to track you distances on course.
There are three head lofts that all have the same MyFly adjustable hosel which covers five lofts over a 3° range plus three draw settings and had a reasonable effect on distance.
Like the King F8 driver, the middle 14.5° loft performed about the same as the lower 13° loft for distance, with spin, launch and peak height varying. Possibly changes in lie angle could be the reason, but this is really all fine tuning if you stay close to the middle of the range.
If however you need something lower spinning then there is also the Cobra King F8+ fairway.
Cobra King F8+ Fairway Review
The Cobra King F8+ fairway is a smaller headed version with a 1° lower range of lofts than the standard model and only in a 3-4 and 4-5 head that goes up to 19°.
Compared to the standard model the King F8+ sounded a little more solid as the smaller head gives less of a space for the noise to reverberate around and on sound alone it would be my choice.
The single weight is now at the front instead of the back and that is principally there to move the CG forward and reduce the spin for higher swing speed players.
With both models set to 14.5° I compared them on GC2 with Pro V1x balls and you can see that the spin was down with the F8+ and with a better launch angle I was getting more distance.
This is probably because the slightly heavier Aldila NV 2KXV Green 75 shaft suits my 100mph fairway swing better and combined with a different lie, as the loft is effectively going up on the F8+, might have contributed to the difference.
However as you can see it is not much and it shows that going with an open mind to a custom fitting session would be a worthwhile investment of time.
Cobra King F8 Fairway Summary
Overall the King F8 is another quality fairway from Cobra. It takes the successful parts of the F7 and simplifies the adjustability and improve the performance from a better CG position.
The Nardo colour offsets the carbon lattice on the crown to provide a hi-tech look and also provides a visual contrast to the face for better alignment.
It probably is worth an upgrade from the F7 and even though it is smaller, the King F8+ still provides enough forgiveness for better players to get a lower spinning club.
The key buying reason is still those rails that increase playability from semi-rough and with a competitive price the King F8 fairway should keep you on the straight and narrow.