Most major golf brands have five, six, or even seven sets of irons in their 2022 line-ups. Some are new models, others carried over from previous ranges, but they are all aimed at very specific golfers.
There’s been a huge influx of new forged models over recent years, but choices still range from sublime musclebacks to hollow heads, cavity backs and super forgiving hybrid-style irons. While some are forged from soft carbon steel, others have springy fast faces, just like a driver.
With so many options out there, it’s easy for golfers to get confused over which will best suit their game. And even those who have a good idea of which iron will suit them often don’t realise what’s put on the line in terms of ball speed, carry distance and forgiveness by choosing a set above their ball striking capability.
With every major 2022 iron model now available in the shops, the time felt right to show how each brand’s iron range compares.
If you want to see how all of the year’s irons performed then check out our full irons test or, if there are other brands on your shopping list, take a look at which TaylorMade, Callaway, Ping, Mizuno, Srixon and PXG irons are right for you.
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RRP £999 | VIEW OFFER Availability: 4-PW | 7-iron Loft: 27º | Left-Handed Option? Yes, through custom fitting | Stock Shafts (Steel): KBS $-Taper Lite shaft regular (R110) and stiff (S115), 102g. Graphite: Custom fitting only, (KBS TGI 85 stiff/x-stiff and 75 reg) | Stock Grip: Lamkin Crossline Black/Silver
The Forged Tec and Tec One Length irons (see below) fall into the players’ distance category and are designed for better players in the low to mid handicap range.
The newest Tec irons utilise premium materials, a more precise forging process, and refined shaping to deliver a compact, soft iron for great ball strikers and those looking for added distance and forgiveness.
The Tec irons feature a new five-step forging process used in Tour-calibre forgings to create an exceptionally soft feel and precise shaping. They have a thinner topline and reduced offset to create a preferred players’ iron look at address.
The compact shaping of the new KING Forged TEC irons belies the. A hollow body design is filled with a lighter and softer foam to promote more distance while maintaining great sound, feel and feedback.
Each iron in the set features a forged PWRSHELL Face to create maximum speed and high launch.
A 20g tungsten toe weight positions the centre of gravity perfectly behind the sweet spot for pure feeling ball strikes with added stability on off-centre hits.
In testing (see above) the Forged Tec was slightly below average in terms of ball speed and carry while using a 7 iron.
RRP £999 | VIEW OFFER Availability: 5-PW | 7-iron loft: 29.5º | Left-Handed Option? Yes, through custom fitting | Stock Shafts (Steel): Progressive weighted KBS $-Taper Lite shafts (115 – stiff, 110 – reg, 120 – wedge). Graphite: Custom fit only | Stock Grip: Lamkin Crossline with blue and red paint fill
The Forged Tec One Length irons have all the same tech as the variable model, but are configured with a constant, 7-iron length set-up.
Having every iron the same length promotes one repeatable setup, posture, and swing for more consistency. This set-up reduces variables in posture and ball position to promote more centered contact and more accuracy as a result.
Cobra engineers have manipulated the design of each iron to match the weight and length of a 7-iron, allowing for optimal distances and gapping between irons. This is primarily achieved through matching 7-iron head and swing weights in every iron in the set to create a consistent feel.
Availability: 4-PW & 5-GW | 7-iron Loft: 27º | Left-Handed Option? Yes, through custom fitting | Stock Shafts (Steel): KBS Tour Lite (steel; 102g in Stiff/Reg). Graphite: KBS TGI 85 (stiff) and 75 (reg) | Stock Grip: Lamkin Crossline STD
The Forged TEC X is the Forged Tec’s more forgiving counterpart that is designed for mid to higher handicaps.
It features a lower CG design, lower profile, a slightly thicker topline, and stronger lofts than the Forged Tec irons.
The Tec X also features a hollow body and foam insert but utilizes a massive 65g tungsten weight (45g more than Tec) to lower CG and maximise stability for higher launch despite the stronger lofts.
It has been designed to deliver the ultimate combination of a clean players’ shape, soft, forged-like feel, and extreme forgiveness, allowing mid to high handicaps to look and feel like a better player while benefitting from the game-improving tech.
RRP £999 | VIEW OFFER Availability: 3-GW | 7-iron Loft: 33º | Left-Handed Option? Yes| Stock Shafts: Stiff or regular flex steel KBS $-Taper 120 | Stock Grip: Black Cobra Lamkin Crossline Connect grip
The Cobra King Tour Irons use the Metal Injected Molding (MIM) technology found in the brand’s wedges to create a soft-feeling, precisely-shaped players’ irons that deliver unmatched consistency through the set.
Last year Cobra said they created an iron that is “softer than any of the forged offerings on the market” by using their MIM technology in the new King Tour irons.
The results were there for all to see when we tested them against other models designed for golfers with plenty of game. The King Tour was bang on the average in terms of carry distance (7 iron) and slightly below average for ball speed (see below).
After two years of using the tech to create softer, more precise heads in their King MIM wedges, Cobra Golf launched the King Tour irons with MIM Technology, a process that they claim creates unmatched consistency throughout the set.
A tungsten weight in the toe helps to position the centre of gravity behind the hitting zone to aid forgiveness and stability at impact to help keep the ball on target.
There’s also a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) insert behind the hitting zone to help dampen vibrations and create that soft, buttery feel you expect from a players’ iron at impact.
Each iron also benefits from Cobra Connect technology. Powered by Arccos, smart grips on each iron can be synced with the Arccos Caddie app, allowing you to track your shot data and rapidly improve your game. Each set of irons includes a 90-day free trial of the Arccos Caddie app.
RRP £799 (Men’s); £769 (Women) | VIEW OFFER (Men) | VIEW OFFER (Women) Availability 4–PW, GW, SW (Men’s); 6-PW, SW (Women’s) | Stock Set 5–GW or 4–PW (Men’s); 6-PW (Women’s) | 7-Iron Loft 26.5° | Lengths Standard; One Length | Stock Shaft KBS Tour 90 (S); KBS PGI (G) | Stock Grip Lamkin Crossline 58R+ (Men’s); Lamkin Crossline Undersize (60R)
The new King LTDx iron has mass removed from inefficient areas, which improves MOI forgiveness and allows Cobra to create a new steel core bar that floats (in polymer) low and deep in the head.
As there’s no attachment to the face, sole, or body this new steel core structure lowers the centre of gravity and places it inline with the centre of the face, which improves accuracy and feel. Thanks to having more mass behind the impact zone golfers can also expect more clubhead flex (Cobra say you get 5% more flex than the previous RadSpeed) which translates to additional ball speed too.
And when we tested it alongside other models aimed at mid-handicappers, the King LTDx came top of the charts in terms of ball speed and carry distance, and, using a 7-iron was nearly 4mph faster in terms of ball speed and just over seven yards better than the average in terms of carry distance.
By encasing the new steel core bar within a soft polymer, Cobra R&D chief Tom Olsavsky and his team have naturally dampened impact vibration and improved sound and feel in the process.
Cobra aren’t going quite so far as saying golfers can expect the sound or feel of a forged iron, but golfers can certainly expect enhanced feedback over what they’d typically expect from a mid-handicap iron model.
In more good news for mid-handicappers, LTDx’s long irons are impressivly forgiving. Cobra have worked out a way to make the hot area of the thin fast faces in the 4–7 irons 23% larger. It means shots launch a little higher but the loss of ball speed and carry distance on off-centre hits is minimal.
If you’re a Cobra iron fan but have found the carbon fibre insert on the topline of the previous RadSpeed and Speedzone irons distracting, you’ll be pleased to hear the LTDx has not only got a sleeker top edge it’s also a completely carbon fibre free zone too.
The presence of Arccos shot-tracking sensors in Cobra clubs has been a big attraction for many since their introduction in the F8 range but, thanks to Covid creating a global shortage of electronic chips, they won’t come as standard in any of the Cobra LTDx equipment for 2022. However, they can be requested as a custom upgrade on any fitted sets and we’d always recommend you get fitted when buying new clubs.
RRP: £599 (steel); £699 (graphite) | VIEW OFFER Availability: 5-PW, SW | Stock shafts: FST ULTRALITE (steel); ULTRALITE (graphite)|Stock Grips: Lamkin REL Standard (58R) – Black (41g)
The Cobra Air-X irons take lightweight technology and super game improvement performance to a new level.
A lighter clubhead design yields two grams in weight-savings, while a 6-gram lighter 41g standard size grip with a lighter and softer rubber compound improves feel, making these irons easier and more enjoyable to hit than ever before.
Players will enjoy maximum forgiveness and effortless launch through a combination of a deep undercut cavity, low profile shape and greater lofts throughout the set.
The new AIR-X irons are packed with game improving technologies, including:
– Strategic Weighting: Weight low and wide increases stability and forgiveness on off-center hits, while heel-biased weighting provides draw trajectory for increased accuracy and directional control.
– Progressive Offset Design: The long irons feature more offset to increase accuracy and forgiveness, while the short irons and wedges feature progressively less offset for maximum control and precision around the green.
– Low Profile with Deep Undercut Design: A low profile shape with a deep undercut cavity results in higher launch, increased ball speeds and maximum carry distance.
– Traditional Lofts: Maximize flight trajectory for moderate swing speeds, resulting in increased carry distances, and steeper decent angles for improved stopping power into greens
While the model below is no longer being marketed by Cobra among their current models, it is still widely available. You’ll also find plenty of Cobra models on used golf club sites like Golfbidder, so they’re still well worth your consideration in 2022.
RRP £749 (s); £849 (g) | VIEW OFFER Availability: 4-SW | 7-iron Loft: 27.5º | Left-Handed Option? Yes | Stock Shafts – Steel: KBS Tour. Graphite: UST Recoil | Stock Grip: Lamkin Crossline (58+) Connect Black Grip
Cobra Golf’s King RADSPEED irons have radical perimeter weighting and a 3D-printed cavity badge. Cobra say they’re a great-looking, super-forgiving iron option for mid-handicappers.
When Cobra’s top engineers put everything into creating a brilliant new radial weighting story for RADSPEED drivers then it doesn’t take a marketing genius to spot how the storyline plays out perfectly for the irons, too.
In case you missed it, radial weighting is all about the strategic placement of weight relative to the centre of gravity to optimise speed and forgiveness. The further mass is positioned from the centre of gravity, the better performance you get.
But while the challenge with woods is how to free up mass to let you position it more efficiently, the challenge with irons is much more about creating a head shape that a majority of golfers want to use, and then working out how to improve its looks while also improving forgiveness.
Bearing in mind both Bryson DeChambeau and Rickie Fowler played Cobra’s game-improving King SZ long irons in 2020, the brand knew they’d been doing something right when it comes to the look of game-improver irons.
And the results of our testing 2021 (see below) backs up Cobra’s assertions. When compared to other models designed for mid-handicappers, they were right near the top in terms of ball speed and carry distance.
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