The Cobra King Forged Tec Black irons may be seen as another in the growing segment of players distance irons featuring multiple pieces, thin, flexible face inserts and feel-enhancing damping cavity materials. But like the company’s recently introduced F8 irons, the King Forged Tec Black represents more than Cobra’s effort to improve golf clubs. Rather, its total package represents Cobra’s unique commitment to improve golfers.
The King Forged Tec Black irons, the follow-up to the King Forged Tec irons, feature plenty of technology upgrades in the design of the heads, but like the F8 irons, it’s the addition of both a single-length option and the Cobra Connect grip sensors that provide player analytics through the Arccos round-tracking system that might be most interesting.
The King Forged Tec Black irons employ a thinner face than King Forged Tour, using a lighter, stronger 4140 high-strength steel insert. The face is two millimetres thick, a five-percent improvement compared to the previous model.
The goal is to bring even more speed in an iron with a more traditional shape and, most importantly, feel, said Tom Olsavsky, Cobra’s vice president of research and development. That’s accomplished with a multi-element carbon fibre and aluminium medallion and cavity insert. The rest of the body of the iron is a 1025 carbon steel forging.
“The idea is to make it a thin, high speed face, so it’s not a cavity back forging,” Olsavsky said. “It’s a high-tech iron with a forged body.
“The key thing with these thin faced clubs is to make them sound and feel good. We want the player that wants this club to be happy that he’s got a forging for solid feel, but it’s also a fast forging.”
The King Forged Tec Black also benefits from tungsten weights milled into the heel and toe on the 3 through 7-irons. Those provide a lower center of gravity and forgiveness on off-centre hits while keeping the centre of mass in line with the centre of the face.
The tungsten also is a key component of the King Forged Tec Black’s single-length option, the King Forged Tec Black One Length. In designing the heavier-than-standard longer iron heads, a larger, heavier tungsten rod (as much as 40 grams) allows all the clubs in the set to be 7-iron length. This is Cobra’s second year offering single-length clubs and the company’s R&D team has adjusted the design to further improve performance, including making the longer irons slightly more upright and the shorter irons slightly flatter to improve accuracy.
“As we continue to learn about one length, it isn’t just about making every club a 7-iron,” Olsavsky said. “They are doing things differently because of loft and because of shot type.
“It is still a philosophy of ‘one swing, one ball position’, but it’s tweaking the head so they actually work better. We’re seeing the benefit in terms of the ball position benefit and the consistency of setup, but also a little bit of the mental side by telling players to just make your 7-iron swing.”
While single-length clubs remain a very small part of the marketplace but a growing curiosity with the success of Cobra staff player Bryson Dechambeau, another element that may be even more important to improving more golfers is the Cobra Connect feature. Like with the F8 irons, the King Forged Tec Black irons not only will feature the sensors in all the grips of the irons purchased but also will include additional Arccos sensors for the remaining woods, irons, wedges and putter in a player’s set.
“We just want to get clubs in peoples’ hands because when we know that the information, the data, the experience, all of that, is so rich and so valuable,” said Mike Yagley, Cobra’s director of innovation, research and testing. “This is smarter golf through data-driven decisions.”
The King Forged Tec Black irons come standard with True Temper’s AMT Tour White steel shaft, which features progressively decreasing weights from the short irons to the long irons to help provide more speed as lofts decrease. The standard graphite option is UST’s Recoil.
The King Forged Tec Black line also will add a utility iron to the mix, as well. Also offered in both traditional and single-length options, the King Forged Tec Black Utility features a high-strength 455 steel face insert and an adjustable hosel in two lofts. The line includes the 3U (adjusts between 18-21 degrees), the 4U (21-24 degrees), as well as a 5U in the single-length configuration (24-27 degrees).