- Three new models: KING Tour, KING CB and KING MB
- Five-step forging process, not industry-standard four
- Intricate shape and design consistency clubhead to clubhead
- KING Tec Utility features COBRA metalwood face technologies
The late Tom Crow, COBRA Golf’s founder, believed that innovation, when it’s done right, can make a difficult game easier for anyone. The Australian lived it, too.
Products like the sole-railed Baffler, golf’s first larger iron, KING Cobra Oversize, the 46-inch Long Tom driver and Trusty Rusty wedges (designed by PGA TOUR player Phil Rodgers) provide evidence of Crow’s innovative deviation from golf’s traditional path with gear.
They also epitomize COBRA’s current “Doing Things Differently” slogan. That said, Crow surely would appreciate how COBRA “forged” (literally) a path to its latest KING Tour, KING CB, KING MB irons and the new KING Tec Utility.
Usually, forging irons is a four-step process. You know the drill. Carbon steel billets are heated to a temperature of 1,200-degrees Celsius before undergoing rough forging, where metal is bent and rough-shaped to look like an iron head—not once but three times.
Step Four is 1,200 tons of pressure applied to the rough clubhead at 800 degrees Celsius. That turns it into a more refined and detailed shape. When cooled down completely, the forged clubheads get ground down, buffed, polished and paint-filled to a finished consumer product.
“Usually” just didn’t cut it for COBRA.
Pleading the Fifth
All three of the new KING player irons undergo a fifth forging step. Each iron is subjected to 2,000 tons of pressure at 700 degrees Celsius. The extra step imparts a uniform and isotropic internal grain structure to the individual head for soft feel and performance consistency.
When fully cooled, KING Tour and KING MB and CB are polished to remove any small forging lines and are ready for faces and grooves to be CNC-precision milled.
As important as that isotropic grain structure is to the feel and sound of the finished irons, that fifth step provides other returns on investment.
All three of the new KING irons have more precise thicknesses and shapes, tighter weight tolerances, better loft and lie consistency, improved quality surface conditions (cast products have a tendency to be porous) and thin/fine logo-ing capability (finer detailing than cast).
COBRA’s R&D team took a three-pronged approach with KING Tour. Blending soft feel, playability and enhanced distance and forgiveness produced a set of irons that would fit a wider demographic of player types from scratch up to about a 10 handicap.
Any comparables to KING CB and MB end here.
KING Tour has undergone an extensive makeover compared to the previous model KING Tour MIM. Blade length is shorter, it has a thinner topline and the offset of the iron has been reduced in the playing position to improve workability and control.
KING Tour irons use the five-step forging process but the iron is multi-material constructed and in no way resembles traditional one-piece forgings like KING CB or KING MB. That starts with CNC undercuts.
These slices in the back cavity remove weight from the high center of the clubhead and reposition it lower in the heel and toe regions. That helps improve launch with a bonus of more forgiveness on off-center strikes.
Progressing from deeper in the long irons (for stability) to shallower in the short irons (for control) the small CNC undercuts get filled with a TPU material and are then capped with an aluminium co-molded medallion. Like any iron medallion, it’s there to up the ante on feel and dampen impact vibration.
One final performance note: KING Tour irons have two-degree stronger lofts than KING CB or MB models. A Lamkin Crossline grip and KBS $-Taper 120 steel shaft in stiff flex come standard.
The irons come in 3-GW in RH/LH with the stock set offered in 4-PW with steel (stiff) in RH/LH.
Price: $1,299.99 for a seven-piece set
KING CB/MB Irons
If you mistake these irons for jeweler’s instruments, you won’t be the only one. KING CB and MB are stunners. As in Stone Cold Steve Austin stunners. With the whims and wants of better player types at the top of the agenda, the cavity-back and muscle-back designs check a bunch of boxes for elite ball strikers.
Both irons are compact in shape, feature a very thin topline, have minimal offset for control, thin soles for precision turf interaction and shorter blade lengths to enhance shot shaping for elite ball strikers. Since five-step forging is that much more precise a process, KING CB and MB irons have “perfectly” centered CG locations. No tungsten required (the heavy material is routinely used by manufacturers to manipulate CG in cast irons).
KING Tour CB irons come 3-GW in RH and LH while the MB model is available in RH but only 7-PW in LH. For players wanting a hint of added forgiveness from their long irons, COBRA is offering its new player irons in a flow combo set: 4- 6-irons in the CB model and 7-PW in MB.
Stock shaft is the KBS $ – Taper 120 steel shaft with a Lamkin Crossline grip
Price: $1,199 for seven-piece set.
KING TEC Utility
The KING Tec Utility iron is constructed with metalwood-like construction. Squeezing as much distance and speed as possible into the hollow-bodied design, COBRA’s engineering team packed the new TEC with a lot of tech. It uses a forged ST-118 PWRShell face insert, an internal speed channel and H.O.T. Face technology.
H.O.T. stands for “Highly Optimized Topology.” Developed using artificial intelligence, it features multiple zones of varying thickness for increased ball speed and efficient spin function across a larger area of the utility’s face.
To improve feel and acoustics while dampening vibration, the hollow head is injected with Expancel Microsphere Foam, a material used most recently at COBRA in the KING Forged Tec and Tec X irons.
To lower CG, COBRA took advantage of high-density MIM tungsten weighting to improve the KING TEC’s launch and spin rates from the tee, fairway and rough. The 2-utilty uses 56 grams of tungsten while the 3-5 have 61. A whopping total of 83 grams is used for the ONE Length TEC u tility model.
Available in a shorter 37.25-inch build, it becomes Cobra’s newest option for ONE Length iron advocates.
KING TEC Utility irons are available in:
- 2 (17 degrees, RH only)
- 3 (19 degrees)
- 4 (22 degrees)
- 5 (25 degrees)
All three ONE Length KING TEC Utilities—3 (19 degrees), 4 (22) and 5 (25)—come in right-hand only via COBRA custom.
Stock shaft options are the KBS $-Taper Lite steel and MCA MMT 80 (S,R) graphite.
Price: $229 steel, $249 graphite.