Cobra Fly Z Driver Series: The Finest Distance Driver?
Last Update: August, 2019. The Cobra Fly Z is no longer available for sale. It's now been replaced with the Cobra F8 Driver, which we recommend if you're looking for an alternative to the Cobra Fly Z.
Our Review: "Even though the Fly Z is not the latest driver from Cobra, It is well balanced, with a deep center of gravity that will lead to prime shots. The current price tag for this driver is well below what the newest drivers are priced at - yet the Cobra Fly Z has nothing to envy to these models".
Cobra Men's Fly Z Driver: The Best Driver For Distance
- Speed Channel Face: An engineered trench around the perimeter of the face thins the wall structure around the perimeter to increase Speed
- Crown Zone Weighting Technology removes weight from the crown to reposition low and back in the head for a Low deep CG
- Forged E9 Zone Face Structure removes weight from key areas around the face and hosel areas to increase the size and speed of the sweet zone for more speed on off center hits
I have been a huge fan of the Cobra golf clubs, ever since their introduction of the AMP cell, back in 2012.
The AMP cell was a revolutionary driver, being the first to introduce adjustable loft angles to the market.
Arguably, Cobra is responsible for how adjustable hosels have truly become the standard of today's drivers.
Since then, many of Cobra's new releases always offer something new to the equipment scene, especially their drivers.
Although quality wise, there are arguably many other manufacturers on par, or better compared to Cobra, Cobra has always been in front in terms of innovation.
Cobra drivers, however, are not only about innovation. They certainly got the good looks, amassing a lot of followers for it's modern, eye-catching colors alone.
Their performance is consistent, with a proper balance between forgiveness and distance.
Sound and feel-wise, they are definitely up there among the best, with the penetrating flight to ensure the adrenaline rush for every well-struck shots.
Today, we are going to focus our discussion on the Cobra Fly-Z and its variants, the Fly Z+ and Fly-Z XL.
However, the Fly-Z series remains one of the most popular driver selection today, and this has its reasons.
The first thing you would notice with all Cobra drivers is, of course, the look.
Cobra is known to have the motto we are the cool stuff that works, and the Fly-Z series perfectly represented that mission.
The Fly-Z is certainly a good balance between coolness and performance.
Without further ado, let us review and discuss the qualities that made the Fly-Z so popular.
OVERALL PROS OF FLY Z SERIES
- Distance: All three of the Fly-Z variants produce at least average distance compared to the competition. The Fly Z+ offers the longest distance.
- Forgiveness and Accuracy: The Fly-Z XL provides the most forgiveness, with the Fly Z+ being more designed towards better players.
- Feel and Sound: Very bright and resonant on impact, typical of Cobra drivers.
- Look: Using a Cobra club is simply a fashion statement.
OVERALL CONS OF FLY Z SERIES
- Spin: Too much spin, typical of drivers with an emphasis on forgiveness. The Fly Z+, however, provides less spin intended for better players.
- Clubhead size: Although the clubhead size is one of the key advantages of the Fly-Z, some golfers might find the clubhead too big and can feel it during their swings.
Cobra Men's Fly Z Driver: The Best Driver For Distance
Key Features of Cobra's Fly Z Driver Series
The Fly-Z, Fly Z+, and Fly-Z XL are all three different drivers on their own, with some of their differences have been discussed above. However, there are some similarities they shared with each other, which formed their key values, they are:
Unique Feature 1: Speed Channel Face
This is one of the major improvement over its predecessor, the Bio Cell. The Fly-Z features a Speed Channel along the outer rim of the face, which will flex during ball impact.
As a result, it will generate a little extra ball speed, which will be especially helpful during off-center hits. The extra ball speed will allow easier elevation, and in turn, extra distance.
In combination with Cobra's Forged E9 Zone Face with its specially designed sweet spot, the speed channel increased the club's forgiveness to another level.
With the Cobra Amp Cell and Bio Cell already regarded as some of the most forgiving drivers around, even the smallest improvement in forgiveness will say a lot.
In this case, the speed channel is a major improvement.
Unique Feature 2: Crown Zone Weighting Technology
Research and development in the center of gravity (CG) placement are the current technology trend in golf club equipment for the last half decade or so.
Each major manufacturer has their own takes and approaches to CG placement, and the Crown Zone Weighting Technology is Cobra's answer to the challenge.
This technology moves the crown weight to the low and back position, which will provide more forgiveness and higher flight trajectory, in the sacrifice of more spin.
While more spin certainly is not for everyone, the Fly Z+ tackled that issue with its own technology (more on that later).
Unique Feature 3: Forged E9 Zone Face
The Forged E9 is what made the Cobra Amp Cell so popular back when it was introduced, and it is revamped and updated in the Fly-Z series.
In its essence, the Forged E9 Zone Face is Cobra's way to make a bigger sweet spot and Moment of Inertia (MOI), by removing the weight from the face, maintaining the overall MOI right across the face from left to right and top to bottom.
As a result, the face is significantly taller and wider, and it dramatically increases forgiveness on off-center hits. You will find your mishits still gaining satisfying distance, if not awe inspiring.
Unique Feature 4: MyFly8 System Adjustable Loft
The MyFly8 technology was first introduced with the Cobra Bio Cell and has gained significant popularity ever since. MyFly8 allows 8 different adjustable loft angle settings that can be adjusted on the fly, hence the name.
The Cobra Amp Cell was revolutionary back in its days with the first adjustable hosel ever, but the MyFly8 system perfected it. With the MyFly8, your driver can be set at 9, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 or 12 degrees in a very quick manner. There are also three different draw-bias settings at 9.5D, 10.5D, and 11.5D.
Unique Feature 5: SmartPad Technology
The SmartPad technology further complemented the MyFly8 technology. Even during all the eight different settings, the SmartPad on the sole will adjust the face angle, so it will remain square to the ball at all times.
This feature tackles the issue of many golfers when it would take time (and practice) to adjust their swing and habit when changing a loft angle. Another feature introduced on the Bio Cell and is retained on the Fly-Z due to its popularity.
Key Differences Between The 3 Models (Fly Z, Fly Z+ and Fly XL)
We have discussed the key traits shared across the three models, and now we will discuss the key differences.
To summarize it simply, the Fly-Z + is designed for less spin and intended for players with higher swing speeds above 100 mph. The Fly-Z XL are intended for maximum forgiveness, allowing higher flight even on the worst off-center hits, and the Fly-Z stands in the middle.
Here are the key differences in technology:
Key Difference 1: Offset Design for the Fly-Z XL
The Fly-Z XL features an offset design, placing the club face slightly behind the hosel of the club. An old technology developed in the late 1970s, this design is perfected on the Fly-Z XL, making it one of the very limited options for offset drivers available today.
The offset design will allow players who tend to slice the ball to hit the ball straighter.
Basically, it provides an extra split second to hit the ball, allowing players to keep it square through impact.
We will discuss more about the Fly-Z XL and its features further below.
Key Difference 2: Adjustable weight setting, different material, smaller club head for the Fly Z+
The Fly-Z+ is Cobra's first effort in the adjustable weight technology, which is really popular on newer drivers today.
This technology allows you to manipulate the CG position of the driver, with the forward position reduces spin and allows lower, more penetrating flight.
The Fly-Z + also features a different, multi-material construction which will further decrease spin while maintaining enough forgiveness, and features slightly smaller clubhead at 455cc, compared to the 460cc found on the Fly-Z and the Fly-Z XL.
The Fly Z+ will produce more satisfying distance and feedback for better players. We will also discuss the Fly Z+ in a greater detail further below.
First, let us have an in-depth discussion about the Cobra Fly-Z Driver.
Detailed Review: Cobra Fly Z Driver
The standard Cobra Fly Z driver is mainly aimed at players with 5 to 25 handicap, which is a fairly broad range.
Players of all swing speed level looking for consistency in distance with plenty of forgiveness will definitely benefit from this club. The highlight of this model is the fixed, low and back CG positioning, which will produce a natural mid-high launch angle even on the worst off-center hits.
Without further ado, here are how the Cobra Fly Z Driver perform on all the different aspects:
Distance: the key is consistency
The Cobra Fly Z driver is definitely not the longest driver available in the market, even back then when it was first released, but it's satisfyingly above average, compared to other game-improvement drivers.
The key here is consistency. You won't lose a lot of distance on your mis-hits, and during well-struck shots, it could compete even with the longer, performance-oriented drivers.
The overall design and profile of the standard Cobra Fly Z driver will produce a sufficient flight trajectory during off-center hits while maintaining a mid-high flight on a square impact.
In our opinion, the Cobra Fly Z driver achieved a rare balance of forgiveness and distance color, which is saying alot, considering it is a mission sought by so many golf equipment manufacturers even today.
Super-forgiving and accurate
Back when the Cobra Fly Z driver was first released, Cobra proudly announced that it was their most forgiving driver ever. Considering the success of its predecessors, the Cobra Amp Cell and Bio Cell drivers, that is a big statement to say.
There are, generally, only two big technological improvements from the Bio Cell regarding forgiveness, the new Speed Channel on the face and the fixed weight on the back of the sole.
Would those two make a significant improvement from the already excellent Bio Cell?
The answer is yes. The Speed Channel alone will increase the club's MOI by 10 to 15 percent, by increasing the face flex and redistribute the mass more evenly.
On the other hand, the manipulation of a CG placement has been scientifically proven to alter a club's performance in significant ways.
In the Cobra Fly Z driver's case, the low-back CG position will increase flight trajectory and MOI, while maintaining a low enough spin to promote more distance.
Built on the solid foundation of the Cobra Bio Cell, we agree that the Cobra Fly Z driver is definitely one of the most forgiving drivers available, not only when it was first released, but also today.
The sweet spot is really big, and the consistency on off-center hits are amazing. It is simply really hard to miss with the Fly-Z.
How does the Cobra Fly Z driver feel?
Cobra drivers are always famous for that loud crack on impact, which produces a pleasant and responsive feedback for the player, and the Cobra Fly Z driver certainly lives up to that big fame.
During impact, the response is always resonant and loud, regardless of where you catch it.
The clubhead is heavy enough to give you feedback of the club's position during the swing, which is important for a lot of golfers.
The highlight, however, is its stability. The Cobra Fly Z driver is amazingly stable and consistent through the ball.
It is also nice to see a proper 45.5-inch shaft, the Matrix VLCT SP in the Fly-Z. Many manufacturers fit longer shafts in their game-improvement drivers nowadays, which in our opinion, reduce the overall feel and playability.
Very firm, but with much spin
The standard Fly-Z model provides a natural, mid to high launch. Easier elevation would mean a lot for many players, especially those with 5 to 25 handicap range, of which the driver is intended for.
Tight draws and fades are common with this driver, which might or might not be a good thing, depending on your play style and preference.
The spin produced might be a little too much for players with three-digits swing speed. For that issue, there's the Fly-Z+ model (more on that below).
The combination of the MyFly8 system and the SmartPad allows fast adjustment of your loft angle, which is nice compared to other brands where you would need to unscrew the shaft first.
The SmartPad, which will auto-adjust the sole with each MyFly8 change, will keep the face to appear square across all loft angle settings. Firm, with a proper weight of the clubhead.
It's heavy enough for you to feel your swing, but not too heavy to disrupt your balance.
Does the Cobra Fly Z look good on the golf course?
There are simply a lot of golfers who use Cobra clubs because of their looks alone. Arguably, one of the manufacturers who modernized the club looks, using a Cobra club is always a fashion statement.
Available in a wide variety of colors of black, white, blue, orange, green and red to suit your taste, with their own matching grips. For the women's model, the colors available are raspberry, silver, and ultramarine.
They all look pretty good. For us, there's never a question of whether Cobra drivers will look good, but whether they will also work as intended.
However, the tall and deep face might not be suitable for everyone, as it might feel too bulky. For that issue, again, there is the Fly-Z+ model.
How does the Fly Z Driver sound?
Another common, and perfectly valid reason to pick up a Cobra club is the signature, crashing sound, and it is good to know that for the Cobra Fly-Z Driver, the loud cracking sound is prominent without being annoyingly loud.
The loud crack can also act as a feedback for your swing, bright and resonant. You can definitely tell whether your hit is well-struck or off, although there won't be any significant difference in performance, thanks to its great forgiveness rating.
In my personal taste, it is definitely one of the better-sounding drivers out there.
Overall Performance of the Cobra Fly-Z Driver
The Fly-Z, honestly, is placed in a weird spot, in our opinion.
Distance-wise, there are a lot of longer drivers available, even back then when the Fly-Z was first released. On the other hand, while we agreed that the Fly-Z is the most forgiving driver from Cobra, at least before the release of the King F6 and F7, there are certainly a lot more forgiving options out there.
What then, made the Fly-Z so special? It is the balance and well-rounded qualities.
The true reason of using a Cobra driver, for many golfers, is the sound and the fashion statement, and it might be good to know that you can get a good looking driver with a good balance on all fronts with the Cobra Fly Z Driver.
This driver truly represents the Cobra motto We are the cool thing that works, yes Cobra, we agree with you on this one.
Cobra Fly-Z Driver in the Driving Range
Aesthetically speaking, the Cobra Fly-Z is a sure head turner on the driving range. Its stunning looks will certainly boost your confidence, but as we have said above, would it also work?
The highlight for the Fly-Z, in the driving range, is its natural mid-high flight trajectory.
Even if you are not a high ball flight type, your first shot with the Fly-Z will surprise you. Even on the lowest loft, the trajectory will still be above average, thanks to its SmartPad technology.
Would the Cobra Fly-Z Driver work in the driving range then? Definitely!
Even on your worst mis-hit, you will still gain an acceptable distance. On a well-struck shot, you can keep up with even the longest, better player-oriented drivers on the market.
Again, the key value is its balance and consistency. What you get is the club that not only looks good, sound good, and forgiving, but can net you satisfying air-time and distance.
Last updated on 2020-07-08. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Our verdict? A good looking driver that works well-rounded, period.
Detailed review: Cobra Fly Z+ Driver
We have discussed briefly about the key differences of the Fly Z+ compared to the Fly-Z above. Now, let us dig a little bit deeper about the differences, and how it will contribute to its performance.
Key Differences of the Cobra Fly Z+ Driver with the Fly Z and Fly XL
Key Difference 1: Multi-Material Construction
While the Fly-Z and the Fly-Z XL feature an all-titanium clubhead, the Fly Z+ features carbon fiber sole and crown to further alter the center of gravity placement.
This feature is intended to lower the spin, which admittedly might be too much on the Fly-Z, much more on the Fly-Z XL.
However, it sacrifices the signature sound of Cobra drivers, slightly muting the sound due to the carbon fiber material, especially when the adjustable weight is moved up front.
Key Difference 2: FlipZone Adjustable Weight System
The highlight of the Fly-Z+ is the movable weight system, featuring a 15-gram sole weight that can be loosened and moved towards the front, center, or back.
The back position will roughly create the same characteristics found on the Fly-Z, while the further forward the weight is, the less spin you will generate, in the sacrifice of forgiveness.
Moving the weight forward will produce a significantly lower and more penetrating flight, which in turn will translate to more distance. However, to truly benefit from this feature, you will need a high swing speed of above 100 mph.
Key Difference 3: Clubhead Size
The Fly Z+ features a slightly smaller clubhead at 455cc, compared to the 460cc found on the Fly-Z and Fly-Z XL.
There are generally two benefits of having a smaller clubhead: workability and looks.
A lot of golfers will prefer the more composed, smaller look of the Fly Z+.
The larger a clubhead, the more mass there is around the shaft axis, which will increase the difficulty to square at impact. The 455cc clubhead size will also produce less spin, which is generally preferable for more distance.
Key Difference 4: Shaft Type and Model
The stock shaft featured by the Fly Z+ also differs from that of the Fly-Z, albeit coming from the same manufacturer.
The Fly-Z+ features the ST version of the Matrix VLCT/VELOX shaft, allowing lower spin and low launch.
Being the most premium of the Fly-Z series, Cobra also offers free shaft upgrade for the Fly Z+, and you can choose between the Aldila Tour Blue 75, Aldila Tour Green 65, or Matrix White Tie. We wouldn't call it an upgrade, but rather, they can cater to different needs.
The Aldila Tour Green is very similar to the stock VLCT ST, with a low launch and low spin characteristics. However, the Aldila Tour Green offers more kick point and slightly lower torque,
The Aldila Tour Blue is slightly heavier at 75g, compared to the 65g of the VLCT ST, while providing a mid launch and low spin. If you are looking for a heavier shaft and desire a slightly higher flight, this one is for you.
The Matrix White Tie is, on the other hand, slightly lighter at 55g, and offers high launch with low spin.
Main Differences in Performance
We have learned about all the differences in technology and design compared to the Fly-Z. However, how will it translate to your game? Here are the key differences in performance:
Both the Fly-Z and the Fly-Z+ are not the longest drivers around, even back when they were first released. Rather, their design is focused on the balance between performance and forgiveness.
The Fly-Z+ does offer a slightly better average distance compared to the Fly-Z, due to its lower spin and more penetrating flight. The lower flight trajectory might seem boring, but it will help with achieving more distance.
Too much spin will allow air pressure to come behind the ball, dropping the ball faster to the ground that it should. Especially with the movable weight set to the front, the Fly-Z+ will produce 300 RPM less spin, allowing longer distance.
Adjustability and Playability
The movable weight system allows some form of adjustability, mainly to alter your desired spin rate. As a general rule of thumb, the higher your swing speed is, the higher the generated spin will be.
The back position of the movable weight will produce roughly a similar effect with the Fly-Z model. For a lower swing speed players, it will produce a low enough spin rate, but that will not be the case with players with over 100 mph swing speed.
As the result, the adjustable weight system will benefit better players more. If you are looking for more spin, for example, to produce an intended draw, you can easily move the weight further back for more spin.
Forgiveness, Sound & Look
With the smaller head size, we can expect the Fly-Z+ to be less forgiving than the Fly-Z.
Intended for better players, however, the Fly-Z+ is fairly consistent as long as you have enough swing speed, even on mis-hits.
We have also mentioned that the sound on the Fly-Z+ is slightly muted and dull, due to its carbon fiber material on the crown. This might be a problem for those looking for the signature Cobra crash sounds.
The smaller head provides a more balanced, classic feel to the overall look. In this area, we felt that the Fly-Z+ is superior, albeit slightly.
To summarize, the main benefits of the Fly-Z+ compared to the other two models are the lower spin, which in turn produce more distance, especially for better players with high swing speeds.
The shaft upgrade options also bring a nice touch, allowing you to customize the driver further to your exact needs. In the looks department, the Fly-Z+ is slightly better looking compared to the other two.
Should You Pick The Fly-Z+ Over The Other Two?
The price difference between the Fly-Z+ and Fly-Z is not as significant today, compared to when the two was just released a couple of years back.
Back then, we wouldn't suggest purchasing the Fly-Z+ if you don't have the swing speed of over 100 mph, simply because you won't experience the benefit of the driver.
With the current price tag, you might want to consider the Fly-Z+ for more versatility if you are striving towards the lower handicap.
You can use the back-weight setting for more forgiveness, and use the front setting for your swing practice. This can also mean you won't need to change club as you improved your game.
Players looking for more workability and shot-shaping will also benefit from the smaller clubhead, which can be easily adjusted for more spin if necessary.
If you do have the swing speed of above 100 mph, however, you will truly benefit from this club, with its rare balance of forgiveness, distance, and performance.
We have discussed how we felt the standard Fly-Z is placed in a weird, well-rounded spot, which is a rarity in the world of golf equipment nowadays.
The Fly-Z+ is intended as a better player version of the Fly-Z, designated for players with 0 to 10 handicap. We felt that the Fly-Z+ is placed in a unique place compared to the competition.
Forgiveness wise, the Fly-Z+ is unique in a way, because it's a better player driver instead of a game-improvement one.
As a better player driver, it is definitely one of the most forgiving available in the market, with a 455cc head compared to 430cc found on most better player drivers. The sweet spot is simply big enough for you to hit consistently, but not too big to sacrifice workability, control, and looks (the bulkiness).
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While the standard Fly-Z is a jack-of-all-trades in its game-improvement competition, the Fly-Z+ also achieved that sort of balance in its own league.
Some players might regard Fly-Z+ as a boring driver. It lacks the high, awe-inspiring flight of the standard Fly-Z. It also lacks the signature, crashing Cobra sound. However, we could argue that consistency is, in a way, boring, and that is precisely what the Fly-Z+ is about: consistency without sacrifice in any aspect.
In the looks department, however, we felt that the Fly-Z+ is the best-looking out there. The smaller head and the carbon fiber lining simply made the crown more classic-looking and composed. While some people might dislike the tall and deep face of the standard Fly-Z and the XL version, we believe that won't be the case with the Fly-Z+.
One thing you might also like about the Fly-Z+ is the adjustability. Not only the movable-weight settings but the option to customize your shaft depending on your preference, which is a nice added bonus.
To summarize, the Fly Z+ is the most premium option in the Fly Z Driver Series, and certainly, has its nice extras. Players with three-digits swing speeds will definitely love the extra distance and workability from the Fly-Z+.
Cobra Fly Z XL Driver
While the standard Cobra Fly Z is a game-improvement driver, and the Fly Z+ is the better player version, the Fly Z XL is designed to be the max game-improvement version of the series.
The key highlight of the Cobra Fly Z XL version is its slice-correction feature and its added draw bias.
Here are the key differences between the Fly Z XL compared to the other two:
Key Difference 1: Offset Design
The main highlight of the Cobra Fly Z XL is the offset face design. Offset clubface is not a new technology, has been introduced in the late 70s and early 80s as a way to correct slices.
In its main principle, offset is when the clubface is positioned further back from the hosel or neck. As a result, you will have an extra split second in your swing to square your shots.
Seemingly a minuscule addition, this design has been proven effective to correct slices. That extra split second counts, and along the way, you can improve your swing habits to correct the slices by itself.
Another added benefit of the offset design is that it is a natural flight booster. The offset design will further move the center of gravity backward, which in turn, will increase flight trajectory, spin, and moment of inertia.
As a result, you will find the flight of the Fly Z XL a little higher compared to the Fly Z, with slightly more spin rate.
In combination with all the amazing forgiveness technology of the standard Fly Z, you will find the most forgiving version of the three in the XL.
We have discussed that the offset design will increase flight trajectory. However, too high of a flight will also be undesirable in a driver, because it will translate to the loss of horizontal distance.
Cobra's answer is to replace the stock shaft of the Fly Z XL with a lighter Matrix Fly Z XL, specially designed for the Fly Z XL with less kick point compared to the Matrix VLCT/VELOX SP found in the standard Fly Z.
It is also roughly 5 grams lighter compared to the VLCT SP, which will certainly cater to higher handicap players striving to improve their swing. It is slightly longer at 45.75-inch, compared to the 45.5-inch found on the standard XL. The .25-inch difference is mainly to cater to the offset design.
Exclusion of The MyFly8 and SmartPad
The Fly Z XL, unfortunately, use a different technology to adjust its loft angle. Although at first, Cobra's decision to exclude the MyFly8 on the Fly Z XL might seem questionable, it will make more sense once we understood more about the offset design and its effects.
The Fly Z XL's offset design, as per Cobra's own testing will produce up to 17.5 yards of draw bias, which is a lot. Even with the standard Fly-Z adjusted to its MyFly8's draw bias setting, the XL still produce 10.5 yards additional draw bias.
With that reason alone, having the draw bias setting on the Fly Z XL will be simply unnecessary, and in fact, can confuse players with too much draw. With that regards, there are only three loft angle settings available on the Fly Z XL: 9.5, 10.5, and 11.5 degrees, which is in our opinion, proper.
Another thing about the MyFly8 and the offset design is that the offset design will naturally produce more spin and higher flight trajectory. A 1-degree change in loft angle will roughly increase the flight trajectory further by 0.7 degrees while increasing spin by approximately 350 RPM.
Simply put, having too many loft angle settings will further complicate the flight trajectory and spin problem, which will, in turn, decrease your gained distance.
The exclusion of the MyFly8 and the SmartPad, in our opinion, is a bold and correct move by Cobra, to make the Fly Z XL a simpler driver with less problem with spin rate and flight.
Main Benefits Of The Cobra Fly Z XL Driver
There are generally two benefits of the Fly Z XL compared to the other two models:
The Fly Z XL is simpler than the standard Fly Z and the Fly Z+. There's a simpler setting to adjust the loft angle, there is no adjustable weight system, and there are no other gimmicks which might be too complicated for beginners.
Slice-correction and even more forgiveness
The offset design may seem like a minuscule addition over the standard Fly Z model, but in truth, it improves a lot of things regarding its forgiveness.
Obviously, the offset design will act as a slice-correction device, but it will also further increase the MOI and allow easier pick up for high ball flight.
Should You Pick The Fly Z XL Over The Other Two?
If you are looking to improve your slice habits, definitely! The offset design, in addition with the superb forgiveness provided by the Fly Z technology, will certainly cater to players with a higher handicap of say, 10 to 25.
While the standard Fly Z is designed for balance, and the Fly Z+ achieved that balance for better, lower-handicap players, the Fly Z XL broke that balance in a good way.
The Fly Z XL is simply put, the most forgiving of the three, and that is saying a lot, considering the standard Fly-Z itself is already regarded as one of the most forgiving drivers in the market.
The harsh truth about the golf equipment is, with more forgiveness, there is always more sacrifice in performance and control.
However, what's really great about the XL is, even with that extra forgiveness, the sacrifice in both performance and workability over the standard Fly Z model is very small.
Cobra did a great job by replacing the shaft and tweaking the loft angle adjustments, which will counterbalance all the negatives about the offset design.
If you are looking for the maximum forgiveness with a satisfying distance and performance, the XL version is for you.
Fly Z Series VS Others: How Does It Compare?
In this section, we will discuss how the Fly-Z will fare when compared to other brands. We have chosen three drivers available today, which is comparable to the Fly-Z in many aspects.
Without further ado, let us start with the first one.
Cobra Fly-Z VS TaylorMade R15
The name TaylorMade needs no introduction, especially when we are talking about drivers.
They are brave enough to use the tagline #1 Driver in Golf in their website not without its reasons. TaylorMade's R series driver is simply put, a living legend and the R15 is their latest entry to the R series.
While there are newer TaylorMade drivers available today, namely the M1 and M2, the R15 was released at roughly the same time as the Fly-Z, and was often compared to each other back when they were released.
One thing to keep in mind is that the R15 is designed more for better players, and only players with swing speeds above 100mph will truly benefit from the R15.
However, the R15 will naturally provide significantly more distance, even compared to the Fly-Z+, provided you got enough swing speed.
- 460cc head Low-forward CG promotes low spin
- New Front Track system performs like a Speed Pocket reduces spin and increases size of sweet spot
- New sliding split weights heel for draw toe for fade 12 point 5 grams each and 4 degree loft sleeve to dial in your launch conditions
- New Fujikura Speeder 57 Evolution shaft and Lamkin UTX Grip
Last updated on 2020-07-07. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Here is how the R15 will compare to the Fly-Z series.
Pros of the R15 vs the Fly Z Series
- Distance: Simply put, the R15 is one of the longest drivers available today. Even the Fly-Z+ with the extra distance wouldn't be able to catch the R15 in the hands of the same player.
- Feel: Very few drivers available on the market can compare to the great feel of the R15. The Fly-Z provides a more raw and bright response, while the R15 offers a more subtle and classic approach.
- Playability: The R15 provides a naturally mid-high trajectory with an extremely low spin, perfect for distance. It also features a movable weight system very similar to the Fly-Z+, but it involves two weights instead of just one. As the result, you can have more adjustability and personalization on the R15.
Cons of the R15 vs the Fly Z Series
- Looks: The R15 is often regarded as the ugliest model ever made by TaylorMade. In our opinion, the Fly-Z is better looking.
- Forgiveness: Looking at the club heads alone, we can see that the face of the R15 is more compact, which will translate to smaller sweet spot. The R15 is not a game-improvement driver, so forgiveness is not its emphasis.
Our Verdict: Fly Z VS R15
If you have the swing speed to get the most from the R15 and is looking for more distance, the R15 is a better pick than the Fly-Z+, which is also a better player driver.
Compared to the standard Fly-Z, and even more to the XL model, the R15 is simply designed for a different audience.
Players with single digit handicap should definitely look between R15 and the Fly-Z+. If you want more distance, pick the R15. You want more consistency and playability, pick the Fly-Z+.
If you're interested in learning more about the TaylorMade R15, we've reviewed this driver extensively in a separate article. Check it out here:
Cobra Fly-Z VS Callaway XR 16
Callaway is another big name that needs no introduction, and the XR 16 is one of their most popular entries to the game-improvement driver market.
It is relatively new compared to the Fly-Z, so we can expect a better technology, and of course, a higher price tag.
The clubhead is designed by a Boeing aerodynamic specialist, and Callaway is proud to introduce the XR 16 as their most aerodynamic head. It is significantly lighter to the Fly-Z, so we can expect faster swing from the XR-16.
Forgiveness-wise, it took a similar approach to the Fly-Z (we did mention that Cobra is always a trendsetter), moving the CG back and low, while allowing a bigger sweet spot by making the face deeper.
It also utilizes a loft angle adapter system similar to the MyFly8, so in many ways, the XR 16 is very similar to the Fly-Z.
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How then will they compare in performances? Here are our takes.
Pros of the XR 16 vs the Fly Z Series
- Distance: Although it utilizes a lot of technologies and design approaches similar to the Fly-Z, there is one clear difference: the aerodynamic. It is surprisingly effective in increasing its maximum distance, and as the result, the XR-16 performs better distance-wise.
- Feel: A firm grip with perfect weighting, one of the most responsive clubs in the market today. It's hard to compete with the XR-16 in terms of feel.
Cons of the XR 16 vs the Fly Z Series
- Looks: Although it boasts a nice, matte finish, the tribal-inspired graphics might be too much for some. Seems too busy.
- Spin: The XR 16 could cause too much spin, especially for players with higher swing speeds. As the result, it could be hard to penetrate windy situations, as well as causing tight draws and fades.
- Cost: Being a relatively new driver, the XR 16 will cost you more.
Our Verdict: Fly Z VS XR 16
It is a driver very similar to the Fly-Z (hence a very small pros section). In many ways, it performs similarly to the Fly-Z. It does provide more distance significantly, due to its newer aerodynamic technology.
If you can spare more bucks, and if the looks suited your preference, the XR 16 is unquestionably a better choice.
If you're interested in learning more about the Callaway XR 16, we've reviewed this driver extensively in a separate article. Check it out here: