In my opinion Cobra Golf has been one of the bigger “mover and shakers” in the golf equipment game the last several years. Most notably their metalwoods. The concept of one length or single length irons is not a new concept. There has been much talk about whether legendary Canadian golfer Moe Norman used them. While some can back up this urban legend others cannot. Only Moe himself knows the truth. Single length irons had never really entered my thoughts except on two occasions. The first was when I incorrectly measured and cut a re-shafted 7-iron to 5-iron length (I liked the result). The second time was when Bryson DeChambeau burst onto the scene (the latter being signed by Cobra Golf).
Like most of my opportunities to test equipment my opportunity to have a look at the Cobra Golf KING F7 ONE Length and KING Forged ONE Length irons came this past January at the PGA Show. Out of all the irons that were going to be released in 2017 I was extremely intrigued by Cobra Golf’s foray into ONE Length irons. Much of my curiosity had to do with the youngster DeChambeau but more of my curiosity had to do with my mistake years ago. As mentioned above the concept isn’t new as there have been other company’s that have tried to see single length irons enter into the forefront of the golfing public’s collective minds. But why?
The theory behind the concept of single length irons is that it allows golfers to have one swing and to have said swing stay on one plane. Moreover, single length irons can allow golfers to have a little less to think about when golfing. In my opinion, one of the leading causes for many faults in the golf swing is what seems to be one fundamental. The ever-changing ball position from club to club as the set gets either shorter or longer. With single length irons (like Cobra Golf’s KING F7 ONE Length and Forged ONE irons) this issue can easily be averted… or at least in theory it can be. After all it’s one set-up position and one ball position. The other end result(s) (in theory) for proponents of ONE Length irons is that clubs of one length improves ball-striking, accuracy and to a lesser extent… distance. Basically, ONE Length irons in theory could be the ultimate way to improve and lower golfers scores.
So, for the few month’s leading up to the PGA Show the teasers got me all riled up and excited. Anything to help golfers improve right? Myself included. Are ONE length irons about having all of your shafts either extended or shortened to be the same length? Not exactly. One thing to bear in mind is that the heads all need to be the same weight. For instance, if you were to take a set of the striking Cobra Golf KING Pro Forged MB irons and make them all of the same length it wouldn’t work (optimally). For the sake of argument the head of a 4 iron weighs 250 grams. As you progress through the set you might find the 9 iron to weigh 285 grams. To make the concept work you would have to find a “happy medium” between the two. As far as I can recollect Cobra engineers decided on a weight in the area of 270 (ish) grams. With a head weight decided on the next issue is what length to make them. Again, Cobra Golf R&D decided on the length of a typical 7 iron. For most golfers a 7 iron is a golf club in their bag that they feel confident swinging.
To make the concept of ONE Length irons appeal to a wider variety of golfers looking to try something new Cobra decided that two models of ONE Length irons made the most sense. The two models are the “true” game-improvement KING F7 ONE Length and then for golfers looking for a little more feel and a neater profile in a forged design Cobra introduced the FORGED ONE Length irons. Below is a little bit of a summary on the two models.
KING F7 ONE Length Irons – The KING F7 ONE Length irons are geared more towards the mid to high handicap golfer. The lofts of these irons starts at 20* in the 4 iron and go all of the way thru to the SW which is 55*. I should note that the 4-iron and Sand Wedge for this set is a custom option. For a reference point I always like to look at the loft of the PW. In this particular case the PW has a loft of 45* which has almost become the norm in game-improvement irons sets. The length of these irons is a uniform 37.25″ with stock steel and stock graphite shaft options. The graphite is the Fujikura Pro 63i (Stiff Flex is 66 grams) while the stock steel offering is the 109 gram “Made For” True Temper KING F7 shaft. Both options feature mid torque and mid kickpoint. The faces of these irons are precision-milled and feature Cobra’s “PWRSHELL” face as seen in the more conventional F7. The PWRSHELL face is “A thinner, stronger face and sole structure re-engineered for speed. Using a high strength 17-4 stainless steel L-Cup face design. We’ve produced a larger Sweet Zone delivering distance, more forgiveness and ultra precise irons.”
KING FORGED ONE Length – The Forged ONE Length iron is the set that was inspired by Bryson DeChambeau. Like the non-forged version the set starts with a 4-iron and the loft is the same at 20*. Ironically enough the PW is also the same at 45*. The shafts are also 37.25″ and there is less offset than the F7 ONE Length. Of interest, the swingweight of the Forged ONE Length is a little heavier than the F7 version by 1.5 points which doesn’t sound like a lot but it does make a difference as it can translate into better feel through impact. The stock shaft for the FORGED ONE Length is the KBS Tour FLT where the weight for a stiff flex is 120 grams. Unfortunately for the left-handed golfers out there Cobra does not offer a left-handed set at this time.
While attending the Demo Day at the PGA Show I managed to stop very briefly by the Cobra Golf tent. It was no surprise that their booth was rocking and due to time constraints (other appointments) I didn’t have a great chance to swing their products. This might have been a good thing because by the time that I got there the tee deck was chewed up… badly. I managed to put on a couple of quick swings with the FORGED ONE Length 6 iron. My results were fine but when I switched to a PW I was surprised that I kept hitting it fat. Perhaps, I wasn’t used to the PW being so long? I still don’t recollect whether I made one pass that would be considered okay with the PW.
However, I was finishing up a range session at nearby Legends on the Niagara and I noticed that there would be a Cobra Golf Demo Day. I thought that I would use the opportunity to have a second and more in-depth look at the Cobra Golf range of products for 2017. My chief reason for going ultimately was to swing the ONE Length irons. After getting warmed up with one of Cobra’s beautiful PUR wedges I started to make swings with the KING FORGED ONE Length irons. I opted to swing the PW first because I struggle so much in Orlando with the same club. This time was different and I was immediately impressed with the feel of the PW. Strikes were clean and the divots tidy. The loft as mentioned was 45* and I noticed that the flight of the ball was flatter. A testament to the KBS shafts and the weighting in the head. Feeling pretty satisfied I moved up to the 6-iron and I loved everything about what I experienced. The ballflight was strong, flighting the ball was easy and so was shaping shots. My typical shot pattern is a slight draw and these clubs were no different. I never really touched on the aesthetics yet but I will say that they are very pleasing on the eye. As nice as say the KING Pro MB? No but looking at them was no problem. Cobra Golf made a very nice looking iron and the offset was minimal. I progressed to the 4 iron and this is where I found an issue. I really struggled and I mean struggled with the iron. I have never had an issue with swinging a 4 iron like I did with this particular one. There wasn’t one pass that was satisfactory. It might have been some sort of weird anomaly but the 4 iron definitely felt lighter (especially at impact). I went back to the 6-iron and PW… no issue back to the 4-iron and everything was thin. I kept losing it through impact and I was only able to produce weak flails out to the right. All things considered the FORGED ONE Length were a very nice iron to swing.
Where the FORGED ONE had that one anomaly I cannot say the same for the KING F7 ONE Length irons. Yes looking down at address there is a little bit more beef. Yes there is definitely more offset noticeable as well. Is there a little more “bling” going on? The answer to that question is also yes. I wasn’t overly thrilled with the graphics on the badge (cavity) but for everything that I had to say that was seemingly negative… that’s where the negativity ends. I opted to start with a 5-iron and all that I could do was hit the ball straight to baby draw and elevating the ball was super easy. The flight wasn’t as aggressive (penetrating) as the forged offering but the ball just seemed to carry forever. Like its variable length brother the KING F7 ONE was long and might be the longest iron that I’ve had the pleasure of swinging in 2017. Even though the F7 ONE didn’t go through the 5-Step Forging Process that Cobra used in its brother I really liked the feel. I would say “jumpy” is a good adjective and I thought that the feel was very satisfactory. I moved down to the 7-iron from the 5-iron and the results were the same. Long, high baby draw on command. I was able to hit a few cuts but the F7 ONE Length loves to send the ball straight. I just found that I had to take the club back a little more outside than usual to hit the fade. I have to add that controlling the flight was easily achieved as well. I progressed from the 7-iron to the PW and the results were identical. I had no issue going down through the set and then right back up to a lower lofted iron.
The jury is still out on whether ONE Length irons are going to take-off or simmer slowly. There are a few closing observations that I feel that I need to make. I noticed that the transition from club to club was easy. My striking seemed to be really consistent and any concerns of the same length shafts contributing to repeatable yardages was “debunked” which was a mild concern of mine. I would have no issue putting either set into play but based on the cosmetics and feel I would lean towards the FORGED ONE Length. There is no denying that the F7 ONE Length flat-out performs. If you’re in the market and want to look into something that you haven’t explored yet to improve your game… look into ONE Length from Cobra Golf. #ONElove
Until The Next Tee!