Bryson DeChambeau has collected three wins in 2018 utilising irons and wedges all made to the same length. See what happened when we put the KING F8 One Length irons from the American's equipment sponsor Cobra to the test.
TESTED BY: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Australia Writer (GA Handicap 9.4)
COST: $169 per iron (steel); $189 per iron (graphite).
MODEL PLAYED: Cobra King F8 One Length (5-iron to sand wedge), fitted with True Temper XP 90 One Flighted Regular steel shafts.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Having tested previous one length models from Cobra, I wasn’t nearly as taken aback by the concept of an extremely long wedge and short 5-iron this time around. Although it did take a little bit of time to once again familiarise myself with the idea of standing closer with the long irons and vice versa with the short ones.
From a looks standpoint, the F8 definitely improves on the F7 irons, with the long and mid irons big enough to provide a little confidence, while in contrast the short irons and wedges hide their forgiveness well at address.
A refined shape and tidy lines give the shorter clubs an extremely playable look and the offset, although significant, is not too awkward to look at.
Once I made my first swings with the F8s I noticed the feel off the face, from the previous model, had improved. A slight click in the hollow body long irons was noticeable, but a more solid sound and feel throughout the rest of the set should make the F8 palatable to a wider variety of players looking to explore the one length concept that Bryson DeChambeau has employed so successfully.
HOW IT PERFORMED: Few would argue that the one length concept makes sense from a simplicity standpoint. Removing one of many variables to help golfers of all levels improve their consistency.
This has certainly been my experience across testing multiple single length sets, with the F8 the standout model I have tried for its ability to blend forgiveness and control as well as improve on the small issues I had with the F7 irons.
The progressive set design, with different head construction, grooves and flighted shafts that all work to produce optimal ball flight and performance in each individual iron, makes a significant difference. The long irons launch high and are extremely easy to hit. When combined with a 7-iron shaft length, my quality of strike improved significantly. While similar in distance to my own long irons, my mis-hits were far less dramatic in loss of distance.
In contrast, the short irons deliver a more penetrating flight than the F7s, which I found tended to launch the ball way up in the air and took a significant amount of swing manipulation to manoeuvre the ball.
The ball flight of these irons was easy to control and the change to slightly varied lie angles in the set, as opposed to the same throughout, really helped when gripping down and hitting less than full shots with the shorter clubs (another area I struggled with the F7s). This lie angle change, as well as an improved sole design, seemed to shallow out my divots that were still larger than with my own clubs, but weren’t nearly as large as those from the previous one length models.
In terms of distance, the King F8s were a little longer than my own clubs throughout the set, with the most noticeable difference coming in the short irons. Although there was a slight increase in carry distance, the gain was a club at most on a really good strike, suggesting that a well fitted set of F8 One Length irons wouldn’t pose any distance gapping issues.
Surprisingly, having struggled most with the shorter clubs when testing single length irons previously, the wedges and short irons were the most impressive part of the F8 set, improving in every way on the previous model. There wasn’t a shot around the greens I couldn’t hit with the wedges.
The F8 One Length irons have once again reinforced my interest and belief in single length irons as a good concept. The simplicity of employing one setup position and swing with every iron in the bag is great for players who struggle for consistency, but is also a terrific option for people who don’t get time to practice regularly.
In addition to improving on aspects that were the weaker parts of the F7, the new model flat out performs as a distance and forgiveness iron, with feel that is better than average in this category.
The inclusion of Cobra Connect Powered by Arccos sensors on every club is also a nice touch. The system delivers average distances with each club in the bag to take out any guesswork and produces statistics that, if paid attention to, can definitely improve your game.
SUITABILITY: Any player from a low to high handicap looking for a forgiving iron offering increased distance and enhanced feel, as well as a simplified approach to iron play.
MODELS: The King F8 irons are also available in a traditional variable length model, while Cobra also offer one length hybrids and utility irons.
SHAFTS: Aldila Rogue Pro One Length graphite and True Temper XP 90 One Flighted steel shafts are available in Regular and Stiff, with Lite flex also available in graphite.
LEFT HANDED: Both the One Length and Variable length King F8 irons are available in right and left handed.
COBRA SAYS: The King F8 irons push the boundaries of innovation through the use of electronically enabled grips in each club, allowing golfers to track their performance like never before with the ‘Cobra Connect Powered by Arccos’ technology.
Thanks to ‘Techflo’ construction technologies, Cobra’s first connected set of irons equip golfers with a perfect blend of distance, speed, and best-in-class feel.
The King F8 and King F8 One Length irons feature an all-new ‘Pwrshell’ face technology that boasts a 20 percent thinner forged face for more ball speed and higher launch. An E9 elliptical ‘Sweet Zone’ construction promotes faster ball speeds across a wider area on the face, delivering unparalleled distance and forgiveness.
Both models feature carbon feel technology inserts that are strategically-positioned to deliver soft yet solid feel throughout the set.
Cobra’s patented Techflo construction technology delivers tailored performance through varying cavity constructions to optimise the trajectory of each iron in the set. Additionally, progressive spin technology improves groove structures through CNC milling to deliver optimum spin and trajectory performance from the long irons to wedges.
Milled V grooves in the 4- to 7-iron reduce spin for maximum distance, U grooves in the 8-iron to pitching wedge optimise spin for improved control and accuracy, while tighter-spaced wedge grooves increase spin for more precision.
For more information, visit www.cobragolf.com.au