- The COBRA KING Forged TEC iron family now includes two models.
- The standard Forged TEC slants towards the better player.
- Forged TEC X is suitable for 10 to 20 handicaps.
- Retail price is $1,199. Available for Pre-Order Now.
The new KING Forged TEC and Forged TEC X are the best COBRA irons ever.
I originally had an expletive in that sentence but I took it out because not everyone appreciates my potty mouth. Point is, they’re really f$*king good. Full transparency: That’s my opinion. I don’t have any data—at least none beyond what COBRA provided—to back that up but, after a plus or minus decade-long streak of being pretty meh on COBRA irons, I’m anything but. And that’s exciting.
Seriously. I’m juiced.
If you’re unfamiliar with KING Forged TEC, it’s COBRA’s every two-years-or-so entry in the player’s distance category. With the previous generation, COBRA made the jump to hollow-body construction to compete more directly with P790s of the world. The plan was fundamentally good but the feel was just OK and, cosmetically, as Tiger Woods said in a recent post-round interview, “Well …”.
Well nothing. This time around, COBRA got it right.
Sure, the 2022 COBRA Forged TEC and Forged TEC X aren’t entirely dissimilar from the previous version but enough has changed that you’re going to want to take another look. Frankly, I can’t stop looking.
Two Models (plus ONE Length)
With the latest iteration of the COBRA KING Forged TEC irons, the company has taken what I call a “bump and stretch” approach to design. By adding the Forged TEC X, COBRA stretched the Forged TEC family to cover handicaps as high as 20.
The addition of Forged TEC X also allowed the company to bump the design of the standard Forged TEC (including the ONE Length version) to better address the needs of golfers in the 0 to 10 range. You can probably infer what that means but I’ll cover it in more detail in a bit.
On the construction side, the Forged TEC and Forged TEC X have a few key things in common.
While there are some material differences (more below), both models feature hollow-body construction with tungsten and foam filling the cavity.
Foam filling puts COBRA under the same philosophical umbrella as PXG and TaylorMade but, to its credit, while it makes a passing mention of speed, it concedes the primary purpose of its non-branded foam is to enhance feel.
That said, the new foam is lighter and softer and, with that, you get some weight savings and a bit more face flex. While that last bit can get your more speed (or more accurately, cost you less speed), the bulk of COBRA’s speed story stems from its PWRSHELL face design.
PWRSHELL isn’t new for COBRA. The technology evolves with every new release but, other than single-piece forgings, it’s been a part of every COBRA iron release in recent memory.
Relative to the version of PWRSHELL found in the 2020 Forged TEC , COBRA’s updated effort is lighter and thinner and, because it flexes more, faster.
That’s a long way of getting to a predictable ending. The new Forged TEC irons are longer than the previous ones.
With the common features and benefits out of the way, let’s look more closely at the individual models.
COBRA Forged TEC
The better player-centric iron in the KING Forged TEC family doesn’t get a suffix. COBRA made a conscious decision to avoid burdening the standard Forged TEC with a “Pro” or “Tour” moniker. With a target handicap range of roughly 0 to 10, it has some range and COBRA didn’t want to scare golfers away.
Regardless of what the name conveys, the standard Forged TEC is a textbook player’s distance iron, albeit one that leans a bit towards the better player end of the category. It’s small-ish but not excessively intimidating.
On a relative basis, it’s more compact than the Forged TEC X. That means a shorter blade length, a thinner topline and reduced offset. Incidentally, while not by the same margin, those things are also true relative to the 2020 Forged TEC. If you found that one too big, the new Forged TEC might be just right.
As far as construction goes, the COBRA KING Forged TEC features a body that’s 5x forged from 1025 steel. On the one hand, that’s among the softest forging materials used in golf clubs. On the other, ideally, you’re not hitting the ball with the body so that softness is a bit less important to the feel story.
The face is forged from maraging steel and a 20-gram piece of tungsten serves to center the center of gravity (how’s that for redundant?) and push mass low for higher launch.
The remaining cavity is filled with foam to improve feel. Again, just an opinion here, but short of its underappreciated forged cavity-back designs, the KING Forged TEC is the best-feeling iron COBRA has ever made. It also doesn’t hurt that they finally got the cosmetics right. This is as close to a made-for-TV (or at least YouTube and Twitter) Straight in the Bag! moment I’ve ever had with a COBRA iron.
Forged TEC Performance
First, the requisite fine print. The numbers cited are provided by COBRA and the competitive comparison may be with products that, like the 2020 Forged TEC, have since been replaced in the market.
With that said …
In testing, COBRA found Forged TEC was two to seven yards longer than competitive offerings from Callaway, TaylorMade and Titleist. For better or worse, Forged TEC was also the lowest-spinning, though peak height and descent angles were within one yard and one degree, respectively.
Also notable, the testers preferred Forged TEC over those competitive offerings by a significant margin. I’m unsure to what degree they were unwilling to tell COBRA they liked a competitor’s iron more plays in this but if it holds true at retail, it could be the most important detail of all.
Regardless, the sentiment stuff is almost entirely subjective but it suggests you shouldn’t overlook Forged TEC when you find yourself shopping for irons.
COBRA Forged TEC Specs
Consider this your daily reminder that, as with drivers, there’s no right or wrong iron loft specification nor is there a single specification that’s going to work for every golfer. “Stock” is your baseline. It’s what’s appropriate for the category though, on a personal note, with a 29.5-degree 7-iron and a 44-degree pitching wedge, the lofts are right where I want them to be.
But, hey, if they don’t work for you, feel free to bend your way to better.
COBRA Forged TEC ONE Length Irons
The standard Forged TEC is also available in a Bryson DeChambeau-inspired ONE Length version.
We don’t need to rehash all things ONE Length now but, as a refresher, all clubs in a ONE Length set are built to 7-iron length.
While not for everybody, single-length clubs allow for the same setup and posture throughout the bag. For some, that can mean a more repeatable swing, more consistently centered contact and, theoretically, better results.
For golfers who struggle with back issues, ONE Length can mean easier-to-hit short irons and less pain from bending over.
Forged TEC ONE Length Specs
RANKED: Best Irons In Golf 🏆
Looking for which irons performed best?
COBRA Forged TEC X Irons
If you wanted to think of the Forged TEC X as the MAX version of the Forged TEC Franchise, I don’t think anyone at COBRA would have a problem with that.
As you’ve likely surmised, that primary difference from the standard Forged TEC can be found in its footprint. The COBRA Forged TEC X is larger overall with a thicker topline and more offset. The blade height is lower, most appreciably in the long irons where it helps drive the center of gravity lower to produce a higher ball flight.
The construction is a bit different as well in that the body is cast from 431 steel and the PWRSHELL face is forged from ST-118. Consider that an FYI but it’s likely nothing with which you’ll want to concern yourself. It certainly won’t be on the test.
Of greater importance is the increased tungsten (60 grams compared to 20 in the standard Forged TEC). Sixty grams nearly qualifies as MASSIVE tungsten which, again, probably isn’t super-important to you but it does help create higher shots and the additional benefit of giving COBRA something else to write on the clubhead.
Forged TEC X – A Different Player’s Distance Design
In recent years, companies have sought to emphasize the player in the player’s distance category. I suppose the standard Forged TEC is a reasonable example of that but, with Forged TEC X, Cobra has moved in the opposite direction.
Within the game-improvement category, there’s a disturbance in the force—a fracture of sorts separating traditional designs that emphasize forgiveness (albeit with added distance) and a new breed of game-improvement irons that are unapologetically distance-focused. I’ve taken to describing the category as Hacker’s Distance.
Settle down, everybody. I mean no offense.
It’s a label I assign with love for the average golfer but also with a realization that it’s not lost on manufacturers that larger hollow-bodied designs that seek to mimic the appearance of blades (even if we’re talking about big blades) while simultaneously offering massive distance have undeniable appeal with mid- to high-handicap golfers.
And so, with COBRA KING Forged TEC X, here we are. It’s a good place to be.
COBRA Forged TEC X Specs
Yeah, man. Those lofts are strong—jacked AF. As is my way, I’d like to call your attention to the 27-degree 7-iron and 42-degree PW. No argument here. The lofts are aggressive but this is a distance category and this is what the category demands. More to the point, not only is strong-lofted performance what golfers shopping for this category expect. It’s what they want.
As we continue to say, lofts on paper are just that and, while strong lofts can be scary, static loft and dynamic loft aren’t the same things.
To that end, in COBRA’s testing, the Forged TEC X produced the same launch angle while spinning just a bit less than the standard Forged TEC. Despite the lower spin, the Forged TEC X flies a touch higher overall and lands with the same descent angle. That’s the tungsten doing its job.
The result is that the COBRA Forged TEC X is a couple of yards longer than the standard Forged TEC with greater forgiveness (and the requisite lower workability).
Forged TEC X Versus the Competition
Versus the competitive set (distance-centric game-improvement designs) and with the same disclaimer as above, the Forge TEC X was the fastest, the lowest-spinning and the longest. Peak height is slightly lower. The same is true for descent angle as well.
That suggests some of you might have to tune lofts for ideal flight but, again, the Forged TEC X was preferred by a significant margin over its competitors.
To reiterate: this is all data provided by the home team and while I have no reason not to trust it, when it comes to the internal test data shared over the years, the home team wins at a clip that rivals the Harlem Globetrotters.
Versus the LTDx Iron
The final comparison is with COBRA’s other distance-focused game-improvement iron, the LTDx. In this case, the largest differentiators are the construction and $200.
COBRA’s player testing found generally similar performance with the LTDx being a bit faster and a couple of yards longer while the Forged TEC X spun more, flew higher and landed a bit softer.
My advice when choosing between the two? Check your bank account, get fitted and choose accordingly.
Pricing and Availability
The COBRA Forged TEC family of irons retails for $1,199 for a seven-piece set (4-PW) in steel and $1,299 in graphite.
Stock shafts for the standard Forged TEC include KBS $-Taper Lite (steel) in regular (110g) and stiff (115g). KBS TGI (graphite) in regular (75g) and stiff (85g). The ONE Length version adds a 120g – wedge flex option.
Stock shafts for the Forged TEC X are the KBS Tour Lite (102g) in both stiff and regular. The graphite option is the KBS TGI in stiff (85g) and regular (75g) flex.
The stock grip for all models is the Lamkin Crossline. It’s black/silver for variable-length offerings and blue/red in ONE Length. All three models are available for right-handed golfers and lefties via custom order.
Retail availability begins April 29. Available for pre-order now.
For more information, visit Cobragolf.com.
*We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.
Ryan Jurgens6 months ago
Any input on these new forged tec irons on how they stack up against the mim tour irons? Head size, distance etc?
Chisag9 months ago
“Again, just an opinion here, but short of its underappreciated forged cavity-back designs, the KING Forged TEC is the best-feeling iron COBRA has ever made”
I am guessing you have not played the Cobra MIM irons that are not only the best feeling irons Cobra has made, I find them the best feeling irons I have ever played including some legendary irons. like MP33, Z101, MR23 US Spec and SS Forged. After spending a few weeks with the Forged Tec’s that opinion has not changed. The FT’s feel very nice and I have no complaints at all, but they just fall a little short of feel of the MIM’s
Bill Bowen11 months ago
I have been playing E721’s right along. I was at my fitters for a fitting on a 3 wood and he had last years Cobras. Man, it is like hitting the ball with a 2×4 compared to my E721s. Will keep playing them.
Paul11 months ago
He tried them, he liked them and let us know. If he didn’t like them he would have let us know also. Thats the definition of unbiased and he was. A little lesson for those who don’t understand.
Let’s face it. Cobra used to be a company selling drivers that were like tin cans, and irons that were ugly, clunky, and made better farming implements. Many demo day sales reps saw us all walking by the tent and moving on to the name brand clubs like Titleist or Ping. Those days are over and they are finally making themselves legit with these new offerings that you can actually play golf with. I’ll give these a try. I have some Cobra king one length forged and they play great and feel as good as any Mizuno can. Cobra’s second-rate days are over and all their stuff is decent, with some of them gems.
Waffle House Tour11 months ago
If they just came in black…. now that would really be sharp looking.
I still play the Forged Tec Black one length, and still love that look.
JK11 months ago
While I enjoyed the Cobra Forged Tec from the previous generation I felt they were just a little bit big & if I could change just one thing I would have made them smaller. Looks like I got exactly what I wanted. I’m most like likely getting these. Cobra is just been killing it last few years. Still have the F9 driver too. Thank goodness I can get them in Left hand. Whew!
Harry P11 months ago
Not sure if most in the X target market would find a 19* or 21* iron very playable.
Doug LePoidevin11 months ago
I have to agree with you. I’m in the X market and my 5-Iron in a 21.5 degree loft. I almost always choose a hybrid over my 5-Iron.
ClutchNJ11 months ago
Spend a few more $$$ and get the Mizuno 225…
Mike11 months ago
No, go to a fitting session & try them both (& others).
MGoBlue10011 months ago
Interesting article, Tony. I realize you don’t have any data, but on things like this I take your word. Not sure I’m in love with the lofts or the shaft options, but I definitely want to hit these. Might be the Summer for a new set of irons.
Brent11 months ago
Like the looks. Looks like a hollow body King Forged Tour from a few years back which isn’t a bad thing at all. Those were good looking irons and these adding the tech benefits of a hollow body too should be a good players distance iron.
Jay11 months ago
You guys say you’re unbiased but you just submitted you were biased because cobra is meh. Day what you want but cobra has some of the best irons on the market from ltdx to king tech forge to the rocky Fowler irons the mim wedges are phenomenal
Nigel11 months ago
I don’t know – not being super inspired by a company’s line doesn’t make them biased. I’ve had a number of Cobra clubs over the years, and I usually try to have a mixed bag, but I’ll concede that a lot of Cobra’s stuff often lacks the sex appeal of some of the other companies’ offerings. I mean the King Ltd from a few years back was a very bizarre gimmick with the window, but my god did it perform.
Mike11 months ago
“Sex appeal”, unless you’re talking about a hot cart girl, means NOTHING to me in terms of describing anything golf-related.
MikeB11 months ago
Is this where COBRA Golf is currently? Take a look at the newest EXOTICS line of irons, E721,, flip the muscle back topline crease upside-down, and call it their new irons. Maybe they secretly bought Tour Edge, but doubtful due to they are paying someone who can’t make a cut, Fowler, and Bryson who can’t due to injury, and also can’t find planet earth with a driver, way too much! Their best paid player is Lexi. COBRA is lost, see an occasional driver in bags from time to time, but only one set of irons, weekend warriors that is, since I moved to Florida 8+ years ago. How are they making money???? Or am I missing something.
Peter11 months ago
Why no forged text X one length option?
Robert11 months ago
Purely my guess? Is if they offered both Tec and Tec X in One Lengfth, it would hurt the sales of each. With the majority probably going with the X One Length, thus leaving sales for Forged Tec hurting.
This way you have two distinct offering of a similar iorn. OL advocates will go with the Forged Tec and the Game Improvement crowed will go with X.
Again just MHO, based on reasonging I’ve heard from other OEM.
bob11 months ago
I think we on the MGS message boards and the golf industry overall should agree to call a forged club with foam and a bolt inside of a hollow body a ”Phorged Iron’. That way we all understand the forging feel and quality is there but it ain’t really a forged iron in the true sense. (two cents).
Tony Covey11 months ago
I think I’m going to start using Phorged. Thanks, Bob.
Llewelyn James11 months ago
Hey Tony, have you seen this? https://thesportsupdater.com/cobra-forged-tec-and-forged-tec-x-irons/
MarkM11 months ago
I have been impressed with Cobra’s progressive improvement in their irons (and everything else for that matter) over the past decade, and it’s good to be excited about their offerings but I have to say I’m over the whole hollow body distance iron thing.
David Westenkirchner11 months ago
“For golfers who struggle with back issues, ONE Length can mean easier-to-hit short irons and less pain from bending over.”
Upon what is this statement based? Anecdotes? Testimonials? Several individuals or just a few? I’m just asking for a friend… Seriously, having had 4 lumbar surgeries through the years, and having daily low back stiffness/achiness, I wonder if one length might truly be helpful.
Christopher11 months ago
It would be a case of, “Does bending over more hurt your back more than standing up straighter?” There’s certainly tour players that have used longer putters to alleviate back issues, but some of that is due to long practice putting sessions. You’re only bending over for a short amount of time during a round (as swing time is just a few seconds), so the benefit might be limited if there is indeed one.
rob11 months ago
I can only assume it’s based on feedback Cobra has received from real ife customers that have been in to test and fittigs.
I can also tell you first hand it’s true. I’m 6’4″ with deteriorating disc in L4 and L5. The one summer I played RadSpeed OL, I was able to hit more balls at a range session, and my PW stance was much more comfortable than it was with standard liength.
If the X model came in OL, I’d be going back to them for sure.
Matt Gallo11 months ago
These look sweet! Maybe the best looking Cobra iron I have ever seen (minus the Rickie blades but I can’t hit those haha).
MGoBlue10011 months ago
Unfortunately it’s beginning to look like Ricky can’t hit them either.