By E. Michael Johnson
Cobra Golf, like most companies that produce irons, deal with golfers who want their irons to do, well, pretty much everything. Golfers want more distance, more height, a great feel and all with a look that appears great at address and in the bag.
That’s a tough mission statement. Cobra, however, set about designing its new King Speedzone irons by taking cues from fast automobiles and focused on five distinct properties: Weight, stability, power, feel and spin.
To reduce weight, Cobra has taken the unusual step of removing 3 grams of weight from the topline in the 4- through 7-iron, leaving a channel where two strips of carbon fiber have been placed to keep the structural integrity intact while allowing the weight to be repositioned low to help ball speed and launch angle.
To enhance stability, the King Speedzone irons borrow the shaping of its King Speedback predecessor which stretches the low heel and toe regions, providing a low and wide look. Unlike the King Speedback, which had 33 grams of tungsten in those areas to help the CG, the King Speedzone irons utilize extreme heel-toe weighting but without the use of tungsten. “There’s a modest penalty in terms of moment of inertia, but it was worth it to achieve a center of gravity location that provides better distance,” said Tom Olsavsky, Cobra Golf’s VP of research and development.
With everyone wanting to hit the ball longer, even with irons, Cobra updated its face on the King Speedzone irons with a new PWRSHELL design. A forged, 17-4 stainless steel variable thickness face with a deep undercut speed channel, the flange depth was increased by 8 percent to make the face more flexible up front and the area of the upper face region as thin as 1.9 millimeters was increased by 35 percent. The result is more rebound and height on iron shots.
To keep the appropriate feel, a co-molded medallion helps damp vibration while a TPU insert and elastomer foam help provide further cushion in the thin-faced 4- through 7-irons.
Spin can be overlooked in irons, but Cobra not only uses milled grooves throughout the set but utilizes two different groove designs, including more V-shaped irons to reduce spin on the 4-6 irons and more aggressive U-shaped milled grooves on the 7-iron through pitching wedge to improve distance controlling spin in the shorter, scoring irons.
The Speedzone irons also include the company’s next single-length model. The Speedzone One Length irons are not only built to 7-iron length (37.5 inches), but feature progressive head shapes, grooves and hosel lengths as well as a shaft weight system in which the shaft weights are lighter in the longer irons to promote launch and heavier in the short irons to keep the trajectory down.
“We continue to learn and make improvements to our One Length irons,” said Olsavsky. “It’s one of the reasons right now our sales are about 50-50 in terms of One Length versus standard length. The One Length clubs do very well in a fitting environment and can help a lot of golfers.”
Completing the package is the Cobra Connect system of stat-tracking sensors in the grips. Powered by the Arccos Caddie GPS app, the sensors allow golfers to access Arccos’ round management system, including shot-by-shot strategy information, as well as track club distances and statistics for each part of the game from driving to putting.
The standard King Speedzone set is 5-iron through gap wedge or 4-iron through pitching wedge in steel or a 5-hybrid and 6-iron through gap wedge in graphite. The One Length version is available in is 5-iron through gap wedge or 5-hybrid and 6-iron through gap wedge in graphite. Both will be available at retail in January, 2020.