Cobra AMP Driver Review

2012 is shaping up to be a big year for Cobra Golf. They’ve settled into their new relationship with Puma and it seems like they are working hard to revitalize their brand. The recent signing of Rickie Fowler was a big part of that, and the release of the AMP line of golf clubs coincided with the announcement. While AMP isn’t the only line Cobra is offering in 2012, it does look to be their flagship offering. I was asked to test the AMP driver and will be sharing my thoughts in this review.

Click on all pictures for larger images


For testing purposes, I was given the 9.5° driver head with the stock, stiff shaft.

There isn’t much about the AMP that one would consider bland. It features a very bold (some would even say polarizing) look that starts at the grip, which is a bright orange Lamkin R.E.L 3Gen. I actually reviewed R.E.L 3GEN earlier this year and quite liked it, though the color featured on the AMP may not have been my first choice. The shaft, an Aldila RIP Speed Tuned, comes in a silver finish that fades to black towards the tip section. The weight ranges from 45 – 65 grams and the swing weight fell within what I’d consider a normal range. The color of the shaft compliments the rest of the AMP package well and seemed to play pretty true to flex for me. Over the course of testing, I did let a higher swing speed player use the driver on a number of occasions and he also felt it held up adequately for the ‘stiff’ designation.

The crown on the head of the AMP driver is a glossy silver finish with a script alignment aid and the sole continues with the orange/black theme. The face is black, which I personally liked, with a few decorations, namely nine dots that I’m assuming were placed to denote the enlarged ‘sweet zone’. Center-struck shots had a nice sound, though I’m having a hard time classifying it. My final stab at it was that the sound was slightly muted with a little high-pitched tone. It wasn’t what I’d classify as a loud driver.

Adjustable Flight Technology

Three simple face-angle settings (Open, Neutral, and Closed) optimize ball flight for increased distance and improved accuracy.

The AMP comes with a ‘T” shaped wrench that is similar to what we see with some other adjustable drivers. One thing I noticed right away is that the screw itself protrudes a bit from the head, which I felt made it a little easier to access when adjusting. The negative to that was that the screw seemed to trap dirt behind it and it wasn’t that easy to clean out without getting a pipe cleaner or something similar. The settings are definitely easy to understand and I found it quick to adjust.

I will admit to playing another company’s adjustable driver for almost a year and rarely adjusting it, but I did want to expand my horizons a little for this review. I tested the AMP mostly on the N setting, but towards the end I ended up using it on the Open setting as well. I did notice some difference in ball flight and direction from this change, namely less of a tendency to hit the ball left of center.

E9 Face Technology with Dual Roll

A 30% Larger Sweet Zone and a new approach to bulge and roll design delivers distance and accuracy.

A quick translation of that statement is that the AMP was designed to retain higher ball speeds on off-center hits; what many people would call forgiveness. My experiences during testing showed that this is a true statement, as the AMP was adequately forgiving on shots that missed the very center of the face. Having played a 420cc driver for a while, it was refreshing to have a little more help on those little misses. Misses well off the center of the face were punished just the same as with any other driver I’ve hit.

Advanced Material Placement

Sophisticated computer modeling and simulation allow designers to thin walls to save weight and re-distribute up to 15 grams of mass deep and back in the club head, to maximize distance through optimized launch conditions.

This statement alludes to the ever elusive ‘high launch/low spin’ that seems to be a common theme in today’s driver marketing. Launch monitor testing showed that the 9.5° head offered me what I’d call medium backspin rates and an acceptable launch angle. In outdoor testing, I was more impressed with the ball flight and distance I was seeing after opening the face. For me this combination produced a mid/high ball flight that carried well, while allowing for decent roll. This combination also worked well for two playing partners, including one that can be characterized as high swing speed. His ball flight was higher than mine, but lower than what he was seeing with his current driver.

Final Thoughts

Like most things golf, this won’t be a club that appeals to everybody. The bold styling makes that statement even truer. I suspect that golfers younger than I am will find the AMP driver far more attractive to the eye than I do. That being said, I found it to be a good offering when it came to performance. The distance I saw was more than acceptable and it offers a good level of forgiveness. The adjustability was easy to maneuver, though it comes at the cost of a dirt trapping crevice. If it looks good to you, I’d recommend giving it some swings. For more information, you can head to Blind9 Golf, a THP approved retailer, can also assist you, should you be in the market for a new driver. As always, thanks for reading and best of luck on the course this year.

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  • Nice job Hawk…sounds like a good overing from Cobra

  • Nice review Hawk! I agree and understand that the orange is not for everyone but the look at address is easy on the eyes I suppose except for the grip. Seems like it performed pretty well for you overall along with a few others that you had try it.

    Interesting/good observation on the adjustment screw, a little good/bad going on there.

  • Good review Ryan. I agree with your statement on the bold looks not being for everyone, but I do like the look of the face. Cobra definitely separated themselves from a crowded driver market with this offering, and it will be interesting to see if this move pays off. From the pic of the face, it looks like you REALLY tested the forgiveness on the high toe misses 🙂 Thanks for the review THP!

  • Nice write up Ryan, good to know that an adjustable driver is very easy and intitutive to adjust, I know there is a lot of buzz out for this driver and I look forward to hitting one. I am a older golfer and the colors don’t appeal to me, but I really don’t think color combination should make a person buy or not buy a driver that just might be very good for them.

  • Todd thanks for sharing. Ever since the PGA demo day I have wantedto hit this club. I like the styling and the sound I was hearing at the show. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Great review Hawk, enjoyed reading that.

    There’s been a lot of AMP talk on the forum, and it sounds like Cobra have another solid driver coming out here. The looks don’t really do it for me, but I’d still like to give it a swing and see how it performs for me.

  • Nice review, Ryan. While this sounds like a solid performer, the looks are – as you said – polarizing for me.

  • Thanks for covering all the bases on this one Ryan. You did a fantastic job!

  • Great review Ryan! Its good to hear that Cobra is trying to really put themselves back in the game. I like the looks of the face and it sounds like this is a solid driver.

  • Great review Hawk. I’m pretty interested in this driver so it’s great to hear this feedback. Thanks for the review!

  • Great review, Hawk.

  • Good review. Sounds to be a solid driver. I’m looking forward to trying it out!

  • Good review Hawk! The orange scheme is annoying, but I think Cobra did a good job of limiting the the design to the bottom of the club, as to not distract the golfer at address. Looking down on the club, it has a very clean look to it, that plus distance + forgiveness, sounds like a quality driver.

  • I was really looking forward to this review. This is a great looking driver and it seems like the performance is there. I’m sure we will start to see these pop up in players’ bags.
    Great review Hawk.

  • Ryan very good review dude and I like that you messed with the adjustble settings. Not sold on the looks but after reading definitely more inclined to not pass by.

  • Nice work Hawk! I kind of like the color scheme on this one. Glad to hear it performs too!

  • Great job! I really like the look of the gray head.

  • Nice review Ryan! I think this driver is definitely a good performer, but the looks of it will surely turn some people away from it.

  • Extremely thorough just like we’ve come to expect from you Hawk, great review buddy. I’m not a golfer younger than you and I still like the look, it’s different and kinda cool. I’m glad to hear the performance is there as well, aside from that pesky dirt filled crevice that is. Great work!

  • Solid review on this one Ryan!!!

  • Great review Hawk. I like the pic of the Club Face, it looks as though it could put a good swack on the ball.

  • This truly seems like a solid offering from Cobra. Thanks for the review Ryan.

  • Nice review, Hawk! Sounds like an overall solid driver offering from Cobra.

  • Nice review Hawk, I think the driver is a great offering when you consider that you can get fairway woods and hybrids that have matching shafts and all with adjustability.

  • Thanks for suffering through the AMP review Ryan, like you said I think it will appeal to some and not to a lot. Count me in as one of the not.

  • Solid review buddy, but I have to say that the styling of it with the bright orange will keep it out of my bag. Just not sure why they would do something like that which will alienate a lot of consumers IMO.

  • Yeah I’m not sure I would get it simply due to the color scheme. But I can certainly see it being popular with the youngsters.

  • Nice review Hawk, I bet this sales like crazy to the young golfers.

  • nice job Hawk….. i’ve been hearing good things about this driver and its def on my list to hit.

  • Good review. I agree that this is their flagship – as are all the clubs being hit by their flagship sponsorship. I doubt I’ll be changing drivers anytime soon, but if this club performs as well as it looks (minus the orange grip), I’d love to hit it.

  • Nice! I love the orange.

  • Enjoyed reading your review Ryan.

    I haf a chance to hit this at a demo day recently and I came away impressed. I’m not too worried about dirt trapping with a driver as I don’t dig in with the tee shots. The crown of the club looks great and the underside I could care less about. It’s a solid club for sure.

  • Great Review. Last night I went into a demo session fully expecting to walk out with a Taylormade Rbz or Ping G20. The G20 was adequete but not special. The Rbz was terrible for me, it felt odd and unbalanced. Out of curiousity I picked up the Amp and was in awe. The balance of the club felt great, almost feeling as though there was a gyroscope bulit in. I hit the ball straighter, and the off center hits were much more forgiving than the prior two tests. I walked out with the Amp in hand.

    The real question is whether is looks cool because it is or because it is so ugly it actually is kind of neat.

  • I went to the store today prepared to buy the R11. I hated it. it felt heavy and awkward. Alxo tried the RBz. No good for me. Tried two or three other and none felt good. Then I tried the Cobra. I hit 10 balls and 8 felt amazing. 2 were ok. I bought it and am looking forward to the range tonight.

  • I was looking for a forgiving driver and tried the Taylormade RBZ as well as the Cobra AMP in the Proshop computerized model. The theoretical results were very much of a muchness, but the fell of the shots when driving was quite a difference. I selected the Cobra without hesitation and off to the driving range I went. Echo Varnco’s comment about the first 10 balls with 8 balls very good and me smiling ! Good buy…….I also bought the Taylormade RBZ Hybrid …..hit it well in the Proshop but the results on the driving range less than what I expected.

  • I was looking for a new driver, read many online reviews and shop reviews. Found no negative reviews about this driver except for the color. Went to demo it at a shop and was hooked immediately! The balance is great, the length and weighting is great, I hit it superbly and the sound is solid. Oh, guess what? I’m a Syracuse University alumni, ( aka Syracuse “Orangemen”), orange uniforms for the perennial top 25 basketball team, premier lacrosse team, rebuilding football program under coach/alumni Doug Marone and all things S.U.
    As such, The orange theme on the cobra clubs works for me and, due to probabilities, I suspect I may not be younger than Ryan.

  • Awesome review Hawk! This one intrigues me quite a bit too.

  • Almost a year later, and I finally have one of these in my bag. I’ve been looking for a new driver to replace the 2008 F Speed and have gone through probably ten of them with no luck. The AMP has finally displaced my old Cobra. Kind of funny that it took a Cobra to replace a Cobra. I’ve had far more success in any of my last five rounds than I have in months. I hit more fairways, and can often even keep the drives on the side of the fairway I want. The distance is comparable (in the stock head position), but the dispersion and ball flight are much better.
    I am going to try and utilize the “C” setting soon and see what comes of it, but I LOVE this driver.

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  • I started with the 5 wood. Love. Then got the Driver. Some more love. Now I have the hardest to hit one — the (dreaded) 3 wood. More love, big love, love like lemon pancakes from room service love! I am a club builder and this 2012 series just seems like the perfect *balanced* combination, with the logical added benefit of an adjustable head — simple and bullet-proof. PLUS, thanks to mighty Ebay and online sellers like Dallas Golf (they are sooper) this stuff is available for a great price.

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