It’s not every day you get to track your shots with real time numbers from tee to green, but it can be. The new Cobra King F7, debuting its new Cobra Connect technology, is designed to do just that with GPS tracking, hole layouts, King of the Hole challenges and more delivered right to your smartphone.
Ever since Taylormade’s iconic “bubble shaft,” drivers have stayed at the forefront of new golf stuff conversations — Epic, “pull the pin,” vertical grooves, “the no.1 driver on tour,” you know what I’m talking about. It seems to be getting more and more difficult for club makers to stay ahead of the competition while maintaining results for the pros and selling to average hackers, but Cobra’s new Connect technology is an interesting approach.
Using the Arccos Driver app on your smartphone, the F7 (along with the F7+ and King LTD Black) tracks your progress on the course using a special sensor implanted in the grip. GPS data from thousands of courses enable you to view satellite images of holes and renderings of your shot trajectories, and provides some extra competition with King of the Hole challenges (more on that in a little bit).
Getting used to the set up with the app takes a bit — much like figuring out all the features of any kind of new technology — but after a couple holes you’ll get the hang of how it all works. Set up at the tee with your phone in your pocket, the Connect sensor in the grip sends a signal to the app once the driver is hit. Using a number of sensors in your phone including GPS and the microphone (surveillance-wary be warned) the app reads your body movement and the time between shots, “listening” to ball contact to track shot to shot.
Taking full advantage of the Connect technology can get a little annoying. I for one don’t look at my phone after each shot — which is necessary to ensure the app is working — nor do I like keeping my phone in my pocket while swinging a club (Cobra recommends your phone be kept in your front pocket to capture the most accurate data). And one hiccup — 9 of 10 times due to user error — can leave you high and dry data wise until you reach the next tee box. After a couple of rounds playing with the new tech, though, working the app into your pre (and post) shot routine gets a little easier and won’t really mess with the flow of your game.
The highlight of the mobile app has to be the King of the Hole challenges which puts your longest drives up against every other Cobra Connect player who’s played at a given course — and who doesn’t like a little more competition. Seeing what other players were able to accomplish with the same club at the same course is a great feature, almost as great as the feeling of one upping them.
Cobra’s technological trailblazing may be more than just a worthwhile gamble, this could be a bridge to another level of golf technology. Oh how far we’ve come. Players at every level are always excited about the newest drivers, but giving them an accessible way to be more engaged with their individual game, with real time data and feedback, is something we haven’t seen before.