PLAY­ING WITH … COBRA ONE LENGTH IRONS

Cost: KING F7, $149 (steel); $169 (graphite) KING Forged, $199 (steel). Tested by: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Aus­tralia Writer (GA Hand­i­cap 9.4)

Golf Australia - - CONTENTS -

Golf Aus­tralia writer Jimmy Emanuel gets his hands on Cobra’s new one length irons. How did they per­form?

MOD­ELS PLAYED: KING Forged ONE Length (4-GW), with KBS Tour FLT Stiff shafts. KING F7 ONE Length (4-GW), with True Tem­per KING F7 Stiff shafts. FIRST IM­PRES­SIONS: Aside from the ob­vi­ous fact that all the shafts were the same length, the head sizes and shapes stood out on first look. Both mod­els are ap­peal­ing shapes and are also of­fered by Cobra in vari­able length for good rea­son.

The Forged are a clean, good look­ing shape, with a no­tice­ably low amount of off­set. The F7 are larger in size and in­spire con­fi­dence with­out look­ing overly bulky be­hind the ball.

At ad­dress I can gen­er­ally tell what iron I am hold­ing with­out look­ing at the num­ber stamped on the bot­tom, with the Cobra One length irons this proved al­most im­pos­si­ble.

Tak­ing the 9-iron from the bag to be con­fronted by a 7-iron length club with lots of loft takes time to get used. The same is true of the long irons in re­verse, where the lack of loft and shorter shaft took the most ad­just­ment from a visual and setup stand­point.

The first shots with the clubs was where my in­ter­est was well and truly peaked. Long iron strikes that trav­elled as far if not fur­ther on oc­ca­sion than my vari­able length long irons, com­bined with eas­ily con­trolled mid and short irons with con­sis­tent carry dis­tances. HOW THEY PER­FORMED: Cobra has taken away one of the many vari­ables in golf, sim­pli­fy­ing setup and ball po­si­tion, with all the clubs in the sets at 7-iron length and lie an­gles.

Dis­tance be­tween each club was my pri­mary con­cern, as I was con­fi­dent I could get used to putting a 7-iron swing on each club. Once I worked out the in­tri­ca­cies of the one length mod­els, I found my­self en­joy­ing the sim­plic­ity of mak­ing 7-iron swings through­out the bag.

De­spite sim­i­lar lofts on my equiv­a­lent irons to the Cobra mod­els, I feared the gaps be­tween my long irons and woods would be ex­ag­ger­ated be­cause of the shorter shaft length of the Cobra irons, caus­ing set make up is­sues, but this fear was mis­guided.

The Cobra short irons were con­sis­tently as much as a club longer and the mid irons were slightly longer than my own. Sur­pris­ingly, the long irons with the ease of pro­duc­ing a qual­ity strike, due to the shorter length shaft, re­sulted in very con­sis­tent dis­tances, which on oc­ca­sion were longer than my equiv­a­lent iron and more than kept up, par­tic­u­larly the F7 long irons.

If there was a gap­ping is­sue it was at the lower end of the set, where the dis­tance gap be­tween the gap wedge of the set and my tra­di­tional length sand wedge was sig­nif­i­cant. Cobra of course has a so­lu­tion, of­fer­ing spe­cial­ity wedges in the same lengths as the irons. Some­thing I would def­i­nitely in­ves­ti­gate if go­ing down the one length path.

Early on I strug­gled with the shorter clubs around the greens. At­tempt­ing to hit pitches and chips with the wedges re­sulted in sev­eral heavy strikes. Af­ter watch­ing Bryson DeCham­beau use his one length irons on the PGA Tour, I no­ticed him grip­ping down al­most to the steel when chip­ping and hit­ting less than full shots.

Copying his ap­proach, my chip­ping and bunker play im­proved dra­mat­i­cally and I was able to hit all the shots I typ­i­cally would with my vari­able length set.

Sim­i­larly, side hill lies re­quired an ad­just­ment. With the longer shafted Cobra short irons. Heavy shots were com­mon early when the ball was above my feet, grip­ping down again helped re­solve the prob­lem.

One length or not, both mod­els im­pressed with their per­for­mance. The F7 irons were hot off the face, par­tic­u­larly in the long irons, with a high tra­jec­tory and were very easy to hit. The feel of the Forged was pure from a good strike, and were easy to con­trol and flight down.

The fi­nal test was to see if hard data from a launch mon­i­tor backed up my thoughts and

feel­ings from the course re­gard­ing dis­tance and gap­ping.

As was the case on the course, the Cobra short irons had a slightly higher peak height and con­sis­tently car­ried as much as a club fur­ther than my own. The one length mid-irons were sim­i­lar in flight and slightly longer. While longer with my own long irons than the KING Forged, the con­sis­tency and qual­ity of strike from the shorter length of the one length mod­els re­sulted in im­pres­sively con­sis­tent dis­tances and ac­cu­racy, and the F7 long irons man­aged to outdo my irons for dis­tance

The end re­sult of my ex­tended time with one length irons is a def­i­nite in­ter­est in the con­cept and the bust­ing of my pre­con­ceived con­cerns re­lat­ing to the con­cept re­lat­ing to dis­tance and playa­bil­ity.

In my opin­ion the key for any­one go­ing one length is fit­ting. Both find­ing your per­fect length, lie an­gle and grip size to base the set off and the set make-up are cru­cial.

When play­ing with the sets on course I per­son­ally found my best re­sults with a com­bi­na­tion set of the more for­giv­ing F7 4- and 5- irons and 6-iron down in the Forged model.

The con­cept of one length irons makes a lot of sense, par­tic­u­larly for golfers who strug­gle with set-up and ball po­si­tion or who don’t have much time to prac­tice and play spo­rad­i­cally and will en­joy the sim­plic­ity one length irons of­fer when they get back on the course af­ter a length hia­tus.

Tested on course and at Power Golf, Alexan­dria, us­ing a Fore­sight Sports GC2 Launch Mon­i­tor

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