Here I’ll be fully reviewing the Cobra Fly-Z XL game-improvement hybrid. Part of the Fly-Z XL family of clubs (full irons review here), the Fly-Z XL aims to produce superb distance and high-launching forgiveness for the higher handicap.
So, how well does the Fly-Z XL live up to its performance claims? Is it worth it? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Read on to find out everything you need to know about it to make an informed purchase.
What are the reviews like?
The Fly-Z XL hybrid has high average consumer ratings — 4.6/5 on Amazon (customer reviews here), 4.5/5 on Global Golf, 5/5 on Golfsmith, 4.5/5 on Rock Bottom Golf and positive verdicts from critics. The club has been praised for its easy high and straight ball flight. It really is a best friend to the beginner or high handicapper looking for forgiveness.
What are the features?
Like the fairway wood in the same family, the Fly-Z XL hybrid features a low and back center of gravity achieved through Crown Zone Weighting which takes weight away from the crown and moves it low and back in the head. This results in a higher launch and higher moment of inertia (MOI) for increased forgiveness on off-center strikes.
Also contributing to the distance and forgiveness of the Fly-Z XL is Cobra’s Speed Channel Face. The Speed Channel Face is an engineered trench that surrounds the clubface; it reduces the thickness of the face, increasing face flexion at impact and thus producing faster ball speeds all across the face.
Another characteristic feature of the Fly-Z XL hybrid is an offset design that helps players more easily square the clubface at impact for a straighter ball flight. This will be discussed more later in the review.
The stock shaft and grip offered with the Fly-Z XL hybrid are the Fly-Z XL Graphite and Cobra Lamkin REL, respectively. The specs of the Fly-Z XL hybrid are tabulated below. More information on related shafts and grips can be found on the official Cobra website.
|Model||Loft||Length||Swing Weight||Stock Flex||RH/LH|
|3H||19°||40"||D2, D2, D2||S, R, Lite||RH/LH|
|4H||22°||39.5"||D2, D2, D2||S, R, Lite||RH/LH|
|5H||25°||39"||D2, D2, D2||S, R, Lite||RH/LH|
|6H||28°||38.5"||D2, D2, D2||S, R, Lite||RH/LH|
|7H||31°||38"||D2, D2, D2||S, R, Lite||RH/LH|
How does the hybrid perform?
Distance: I found distance results to be very good overall. Some might not be as satisfied as others when it comes to distance because the Fly-Z XL hybrid tends to produce higher ball flights that what you would otherwise hit; this means that strong swingers with already high trajectories may hit it too high with the Fly-Z XL and end up losing distance. Conversely, natural low-fighters will likely get the height boost they need to significantly increase their distance. It might not have the absolute hottest club face on the market, but it certainly doesn’t lack in the distance department either.
Forgiveness: The Fly-Z XL has excellent forgiveness both in terms of ball speed and direction. The Crown Zone Weighting and Speed Channel result in minimal distance loss on mishits, and the offset helps with hitting solid. During my tests I found it easy to produce very repeatable shots; even my mishit flights were impressively similar to each other (and not disastrous either). Overall I would say this is definitely one of the most forgiving hybrids out there right now.
Ball Flight/Playability: The Fly-Z XL is a really consistent fighter — high and straight is the typical trajectory produced, which means that if you struggle with getting height on your shots and/or tend to curve the ball, you’re very likely to get a lot out of this hybrid. Of course, the natural consequence of this forgiveness is reduced workability, which is something you should keep in mind if you’re looking to shape shots. Because it’s easy to get the ball up in the air, the Fly-Z XL hybrid is very playable out of most lies including rough, fairway bunkers and short grass.
What about look, sound and feel?
Look: The Fly-Z XL hybrid has a moderate footprint that is just right — not too small but not too large either. It’s fairly pear-shaped with some roundness and symmetry. The face is medium-deep and the offset is decent. The shiny black crown features a Cobra logo that serves as a simple alignment aid. The sole features a solid design with some straightforward labeling. It’s a good look, and I personally think the club looks terrific over the ball at address.
Sound and Feel: The Fly-Z XL produces somewhat of a “neutral” sound at impact — a tight metallic sound that isn’t terribly explosive, quiet or solid. Feel, on the other hand, does tend to be a little explosive; other words to describe it are jumpy, solid and responsive. This feeling diminishes as you move away from the sweet spot but is still present to a degree. What I particularly like is how the (quite satisfying) sound and feel of solid strikes really builds confidence and helps encourage players to make consistently solid contact.
Where should I buy this hybrid online?
At the time of writing this review, this Amazon page has the best online prices for new Fly-Z XL hybrids that I could find. You can also follow this eBay link to see very cheap (well under $100) prices for brand new Fly-Z XL hybrids of all different lofts and shaft flexes, as well as some really sweet used deals. Aside from eBay and Amazon, I would highly recommend checking out the current prices for new and used Fly-Z XL hybrids on this Global Golf page and on Golfsmith. A ladies version of the hybrid is available as well.
Pros: Easy to launch up in the air; solid sound and feel; helps straighten out slices; forgives off-center hits; very affordable
Cons: Natural high-hitters may lose distance with the Fly-Z XL; somewhat of a one-trick pony that is difficult to shape shots with
Best suited for: Beginners and higher handicaps who are looking for a reliable, forgiving hybrid and could stand to improve their distance through a higher trajectory.
Rating: 4.6/5 (Excellent)
The Fly-Z XL hybrid is a quality offering from Cobra for the high handicapper looking for forgiveness, consistency, a higher ball flight and all-around solidness at a very affordable price point. If any of this applies to you, you should really think about picking one of these up!
Have any thoughts or questions about the Cobra Fly-Z XL hybrid? Be sure to leave them in the comments below!