Martin Hopley

When Cobra first appeared on the market, the King Cobra driver was in the hands of the best driver in the world, Greg Norman. Look back at early pictures of Tiger Woods and you will see it in his hands too.

The head was large for its day and offered a fast forgiving face, attributes which have continued through most Cobra drivers since.

The use of the King name continued until the Pro S9-1 Driver in 2009 before being overthrown. Now, in common with a few other manufacturers, Cobra has restored a classic brand name with their new King LTD driver.

Cobra King LTD Driver

Cobra say it is because they have created a premium driver that is the longest and straightest they have made so far. This is some boast as their drivers are usually pretty good in this regard. The price is high end too, so what do you get for your money?

Well, less, because Cobra has used space to bring down the weight of the materials in the King LTD head to improve the performance.

The Cobra King LTD is their first driver to align the Centre of Gravity (CG) with the neutral axis of the driver head. This is a line from the centre of the face to the back of the head and the optimum CG placement is as far back on this line as possible.

Cobra King LTD Driver

It is easier to hit this line closer to the face as the axis line is higher, but the benefit of the forgiveness is less and manufacturers have for years tried to get the compromise right.

Cobra are calling this the Zero Gravity CG position and the space analogies do not stop there, as they have worked with boffins on the International Space Station to research the best technology and materials to reduce weight without losing strength.

To get to this Zero Gravity position Cobra has reduced the weight of the crown using TeXtreme Carbon Fibre that is 20% lighter than normal Carbon Fibre and this is then moved to the outer reaches of the head to make it more forgiving.

Cobra King LTD Driver

Lowering the weight further is the SpacePort, which is the 16g circular weight in the sole made from aerospace aluminium.

Cobra King LTD Driver

You can unscrew this using your fingers or the supplied SpacePort Key to look inside at some funky space themed graphics and the back of the variable thickness face on the inside of the head.

Cobra King LTD Driver

This unique feature actually has a purpose, because having an open gap in the sole with the screw thread on the edge means that Cobra don't have to add more material create a housing where the weight screws in and therefore they can get the CG lower.

Cobra King LTD Driver

When you peer through to the front of the head you will notice the back of the E-9 face. This is now created from Forged 8-1-1 titanium that is lighter than normal titanium and that weight saving is also relocated to the SpacePort.

You can see how the face is thinner towards the edges to increase the ball speed and thicker in the middle to keep the faster centre within the legal limits.

Cobra King LTD Driver

If you have not seen the inside of a driver face before then this can be quite enlightening and shows what these manufacturers mean about variable face thickness.

I would recommend unscrewing the SpacePort and hitting a few shots to hear the air whistle on the backswing followed by the husky 'woof' sound as it comes into impact as is shown in the video below. Guaranteed to put a smile on everyone's face.

I tested it on Trackman with the SpacePort in and out and there sadly was no change in performance, as if it had gone further with it out I would love to have seen what Cobra made of that. It would have been up there with aligning the seam on the original Pro V1.

With the Space Port back in, the driver sounds very solid and the feel from the now familiar, but re-engineered, E-9 face was very good too.

Cobra King LTD Driver

The whole club felt very light to swing, thanks to the 60g Aldila Rogue Black 95 MSI shaft, which has a softer tip section to raise the launch a little. The flight was medium to high for each loft, even though the distance, spin and launch were right up there with the best in the market.

As ever the centre strike performance was pretty similar to previous models, but the launch monitor showed slight improvements in off centre strikes.

As standard the King LTD comes in one head that you adjust using the MyFly hosel from 9° to 12° through five positions and plus three draw settings too, so that enables you to tweak the launch angle.

Cobra King LTD Driver

If you need a lower spinning version, the King LTD Pro driver has a smaller head and covers the same loft range, but starts at 7° and goes up to 10°.

Cobra King LTD Driver

You can also see a slight gap in the head where the MyFly window shows through the hosel, which I can't imagine helps the aero-dynamics, but in reality has little or no effect.

Cobra King LTD Driver

This combines well with the slightly more subtle and reptile looking SmartPad on the sole that enables the face to pivot as you change the loft to keep the face square.

Cobra King LTD Driver

Cobra has gone for a shiny all black finish at address, including the shaft and whilst I know this is a 'stealthy better player' look, certain golfers may miss some sort of face/crown colour differentiation for alignment.

Cobra King LTD Driver

It is a very shiny head all over and what doesn't come through on the pictures is a very subtle checkerboard pattern within the gloss black finish that you can see if you look carefully with the light in the right direction. It's hard to notice, so for all intents and purposes, the crown is gloss black.

Usually premium drivers use the best materials and have lots of visual technology, but this is not the King LTD's style. SpacePort apart, the looks are understated and not as visually dramatic as say the old Cobra ZL Encore. You half expect some sort of gyroscopic moveable weight mechanism to be revealed when you opened the Space Port, as if you were entering a new world.

Cobra King LTD Driver

However the technology is all built in to the chassis, as getting the CG on the neutral axis is a good technical achievement and you don't want born fiddlers like you and me messing with that by changing the weight balance of the club manually.

The MyFly adjustable hosel, SmartPad sole and E-9 face with its Speed Channel trench around the perimeter are all tried and trusted features, so it would be madness for Cobra to change them too much, especially as most independent fitters I know highlight the Cobra face as one of the best for ball speed on off centre hits.

Cobra King LTD Driver

You can take the perfectly acceptable view that this is a well engineered head that delivers as is, with high tech materials to reduce weight so it doesn't need to add in adjustable bells and whistles to fine tune the performance. It is these materials that increase the RRP by over £100 from the Cobra Fly-Z driver, which has most of the same design features with the exception of the SpacePort.

Cobra King LTD Driver

So in simple terms, the Cobra King LTD is an advanced driver life form of an existing civilisation with a twist of a SpacePort that delivers performance of this world, rather than out of it. If all this and the dark looks appeal to you, then taking off for your local Cobra store will result in a successful mission for your next golf related missile launch.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
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Cobra King LTD Driver - Product Details

UK Launch15 October 2015
UK Launch RRP£349
USA Launch01 October 2015
Handicap Range
Hand AvailabilityLeft, Right
Right Handed Lofts9°, 9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5°, 12°
MaterialTitanium, Composite
Head Volume460 cc
Club Length45 inches
Swing WeightD4
Shaft NameAldila Rogue Black
Shaft TypesGraphite
Shaft FlexRegular, Stiff, X Stiff
Shaft Weight60 grams
GripLamkin UTX 360
Manufacturer's WebsiteCobra Website

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User Reviews

October 2018

My friend got a Callaway Epic driver, which I hit many times with great success; definitely puts the ball out a bit further (with more forgiveness) than my Callaway DBB 816. So, I went to Golf Galaxy to buy an Epic off the used rack...if the price was right. There were three Epics on the rack with different shafts and different heads (both regular and sub zero). I hit them in the simulator a bunch (about 80 balls) with pretty good results. There was also a Cobra LTD on the rack, which I decided to try out. My first ball hit with the Cobra went the furthest (by 10 yards) of any of the other 80 balls I hit. The other few hits with the Cobra were okay; maybe a little more dispersion and around the same distance as the Epic, possibly a little less distance. I found a great deal on eBay for a new, wrapped Cobra LTD, so I bought it. I’ve played one round with it, and also hit some practice balls with it throughout the round. I have to say my simulator session basically matched my on-course experience. I sprayed the ball a little more than I normally do (4 of 14 were too far offline to be considered suitable), but I absolutely killed 4 of my 14 drives. The other 6 drives were decent. It was a little chilly and the ball was definitely out there further than normal for me on those 4 crushed balls...even when compared to a hot humid day. I took off one star in my rating for now because of suspect accuracy and forgiveness. I feel like if I hone this driver in, it will become a monster for me...especially on my good days...

February 2017

Sadly after my tests put this top of the list, when I purchased it I have struggled to replicate those tests. The driver head and shaft feels 'dead' compared to my previous callaway XR. I didn't realise that this shaft is up to 1 inch shorter which may explain its 'dead' feel. Yes, I achieve the low spin rate and optimum launch on centre strikes (during my fitting) but if you hit off centre then these results will become very different. I'm gonna give it a few months to decide. Up to now i feel I made a mistake.

May 2016

Terrific performance after being professionally fit in terms of all aspects--nice pre shot set up, great impact feel, impact sound, trajectory, accuracy and distance. A real winner vs my prior drivers though I have had issues with the orange plastic window in the spaceport coming loose inside the head. Easily fixed by opening the spaceport and snapping it back into the housing, but temporary and re-occurs after a few stricken so may be a design flaw Cobra must address.

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