What we say...
Cobra King F8 One Length Hybrid: Cobra's latest club is the length of a 7-iron, but what is it like to hit?
The hybrid that thinks it's a 7-iron. Golf is a breeding ground for eccentric ideas. Remember Callaway’s square driver? Or Cleveland raving about an “anti-shank” hosel-less VAS iron?
Cobra King F8 One Length Hybrid Review: You need to know
A hybrid the same length of a seven iron. It sounds absolutely bonkers to us but Cobra insist thanks to the wider sole you’ll launch shots higher than a traditional 4 iron but you’ll do it with the control of a typical seven iron. Expect the same shaping, styling and sole rail design as the standard length F8 hybrid.
Cobra King F8 One Length Hybrid Review: We say
One Length hybrids came about mainly because some golfers who liked the One Length concept struggled launching long irons the length of a seven iron from the deck. But rather than appealing only to One Length fanatics we reckon in particular the 25deg 5H is a very credible 5 iron replacement.
If you’re a fan of hybrids and have struggled to find a transition club between your irons and hybrids the One Length seriously could be the answer. Standing over a hybrid with the loft of a 5 iron but shaft length of a seven iron and taking on a tough approach shot is really weird sensation to start with, but it doesn’t take long to get used to. If like Simon you can stick with it and very quickly start pinging shots higher into the air and more consistently than a normal length five iron you’re onto a real winner.
Cobra King F8 One Length Hybrid Review: Verdict
Definitely not a club for everyone, but if you’re already a fan of One Length irons then the hybrids should be a consideration. If you own an average or above swing speed and seriously want to replace a five iron, we reckon you’d be surprised at the F8 One Length’s ability to make the long game more fun.
Need help choosing hybrids? Wide body vs Narrow body vs Utility irons here
Cobra King F8 One Length: First Hit Review
Cobra unveiled their own novel idea in 2017 – One Length irons – and for 2018 the concept has been rolled into hybrids. The new King F8 One Length, launched alongside a new driver and irons, features three lofts (19°, 22° and 25°), but each is the length of a 7-iron. It hits the shops in February 2018, but we arranged a sneak early test to see how it performed.
Cobra King F8 One Length Hybrid Review:
Standing over a hybrid the length of a 7-iron is just plain weird; it’s like playing with your nine-year-old’s clubs. I thinned shots initially as I struggled to get such a short-shafted club down to the bottom of the ball.
Crucially, though, I was intrigued enough to keep going as the F8 gave the impression it could do a job for me.
I’m glad I stuck at it; within half a basket of balls, shots were pinging higher into the air and more consistently than I ever would expect with a 5 or 4 iron from the deck. This, say Cobra, is thanks to how the hybrid has a centre of gravity 3.4mm lower and 3.5mm further back from the face than a typical 4-iron, which in club design is substantial.
Recently I’ve realised I carry a 5-iron only six yards further than my 6-iron when hitting shots off the turf, which isn’t a big enough distance gap. The 5-iron stays in my bag for longer par 3s as I usually feel I lose control with high lofted hybrids.
After initial reservations at how bonkers an idea a hybrid the length of my 7-iron is, I’m really shocked how quickly and how much I came to like the F8. It’s a great looking head shape, with neutral cosmetics and the very short shaft generates confidence like no 4- or 5-iron I’ve ever hit. To my mind, it can do a job for golfers who don’t typically generate enough club speed to hit a mid-iron successfully from the turf.
Where addressing a 4- and 5-iron (including One Length models) gives the sensation of having to swing faster to generate club speed and launch, the shorter-shafted One Length hybrid (after a bit of bedding in) just feels more natural. I certainly didn’t feel I needed my Sunday best swing to get shots airborne or generate the carry required.
We certainly aren’t saying One Length hybrids are for everyone, they aren’t. If you don’t have an issue launching and flighting a 5-iron from the turf, move along now, there’s nothing more to see here. But if you do struggle, the F8 One Length is seriously worth exploring. I didn’t think I’d ever say it, but I want one!
Where it fits in the bag...
Simon usually carries a Ping G400 21° 7-wood (195 yards), Cobra Baffler DWS 23° 4-hybrid (180 yards) and a 23.5° lofted Ping G400 5-iron in his bag. This is how the 22° One Length hybrid would fit in.
King Cobra Baffler 4H 23°
Cobra always said loft has a bigger effect on carry distance than shaft length, and that plays out here. The One Length ball speed is 3mph slower than a traditional hybrid with similar loft, but carry distance is virtually identical. Simon would replace this hybrid with the One Length model.
Ping G400 5-iron
Crucially, even though backspin is reduced with the single-length hybrid, shot height is a fraction higher than a 5-iron. It means shots will still stop on a green. With a 14-yard gap (from the One Length hybrid) to a 6-iron (165 yards) there might be a case for carrying a 5H and 3H instead.