- 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
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.
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