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Review: Cobra ZL Encore Driver

The ZL returns even better
When Cobra first introduced the Zero Limits driver, it was well received and many golfers still have found it to be one of their favorite and longest drivers to date.  While personally I only messed around with one a couple of swings on the course and hit it a few times indoors, it was a solid offering from Cobra. 

The ZL Encore comes back for another round, with some nice improvements.  The first improvement is the new look.    The Encore looks a little sleeker now, especially with its “White-Out” paint scheme.  The “Black and Yellow” version is a little more lively.  For my review I received the “White-Out” version.  It is pure white from head to toe.  I have really learned to like the new trend of white drivers.  I think Cobra does it as good as anyone, if not better. The all white shaft with the all-white dual compound grip looks great, along with the all white headcover. 

The ZL Encore is paired with a custom painted to match the head color Fujikura Motore F1 or F3 depending on desired launch, both in the 55g version.  While I have loved the F1 and F3 in the 65g and 75g version, I’m not sure the 55g is my favorite.  It seemed a little whippy in the ZL Encore; like I should have ordered an X-flex instead of the S-flex.  I also felt the backspin numbers were just a touch too high.  So I think it is important to demo this club in a couple of flexes and lofts to make sure you get exactly what you need for launch and spin parameters.

While the shaft might not have been a perfect fit, the head itself rocks.  Now the first thing that you will notice hitting this driver is the sound, or lack of sound.  The ZL Encore is one of the quietest heads I have ever hit.  The composite materials used to make up this head really dampen the sound and create was seems like an amazingly soft head too. It is personal preference on this one, some might say dead, others muted, and other love the quiet sound.  The pop feeling that it generates though is really solid.

The face is Cobra’s E9 Elliptical which I have found to be just about the most forgiving design in golf.  I tend to have the same misses and this face is designed to be forgiving right in those areas.  I love how little distance I lose even when I’m not hitting dead center of the face.  This driver also comes with Cobra’s 3 position adjustable hosel.  I found the N setting to be just right for me; but if you need a more open or closed look a quick wrench adjustment and you are good to go.

On the course is where I found the real benefits of playing this club, it was so straight.  I hit high bomb after high bomb right down the middle.  I was getting decent carry, but very little roll.  For a 9.5* head it felt like it launched on the high side.  I also happened to hit this on an indoor simulator a couple of times.   While I don’t judge a club hitting it indoors, the back spin numbers were on the high side too.  If tips were more readily available, I think I would have dropped a lower spin shaft in this club to see if I could bring those numbers down.

The ZL Encore is another excellent driver for Cobra.  The combination of the redesigned ZL body together with E9 Elliptical face makes the return of this driver even better. 

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Quick Hits
+Excellent Looks
+Very Straight
+Superb Forgiveness

+ or — Muted Composite Sound

–Shaft was too high spin

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