Expert Review: Cobra One-Length Irons (Part 2)Published on 03/14/2023 · 6 min readGolf expert Michael C. continues his journey with the Cobra One-Length Irons. Find out how he felt about them after 25 rounds!
In Part 1 of my One Length Iron review, I could barely contain my excitement for how the Cobra One Length irons played. My initial impressions were extremely positive—all I could see was how great they played. However, as the honeymoon period with the clubs ended, I started to discover some challenges in the set.
The One Length irons were playing great for the first few rounds. Those rounds were played on a small par 3 course, so I was able to play the irons from tee to green. As I started to play more courses and find myself in a wider variety of situations, I started to have some struggles with the irons.
At the time of writing this, I’ve played 25 rounds with the One Length irons.
Club Choice Challenge
The first issue I encountered was club choice. As I started playing longer courses, I found myself with longer approach shots. At the time of writing, I am hitting the One Length 4 iron about 220 yards, which is much longer than I achieved with my previous set. However, on some longer par 5s, I was finding myself about 260-280 yards out. I typically play a driving iron for shots over 230 yards, but I lost confidence in my driving iron because it feels so long compared to the One Length 4 iron. My driving iron is 39.25” which is 1.75” longer than the One Length irons. The difference in length causes the driving iron to feel out of place.
An example is the hole below.
I have the driving iron labeled as a 1 iron in Arccos. The distances after my driver are 275 yards to the hole. I knew my 4 iron wouldn’t carry it, so I pulled out the driving iron, from which I can get 245 off a good lie. I had the wind at my back and in the fairway. I felt like I could maybe get a good roll on it, maybe get the front edge of the green. Instead, I focused so much on not slicing it into the trees on my right that I pulled into the water. (The green section by the GW shot is water.)
Since switching to the One Length irons, my driving iron has not been as effective from the fairway. I’ve barely gotten it close to 200 yards from the fairway, but off the tee box, it is still flying around 240 yards. While I still play the driving iron, I’ve started to question if there was a better option.
I’ve also noticed a club length issue with the wedges included in this set. I was jumping down from a 37.5” GW to a 35.75in 52 wedge and a 35.5in 56 wedge. It is just a big jump and makes the club feel very short. The wedges obviously don’t have the same challenge of hitting it short, but it does cause me to blade or top the shot more often.
While the club choice is very simple within the iron set, it becomes very difficult when I’m having to go either to a longer iron/hybrid/fairway wood or down to my traditional length wedges. Cobra does make One Length utility irons, hybrids, and wedges to help with this issue, which might be the solution. I am going to play some more rounds before I make that decision though.
The other key difference with these irons is the much higher ball flight. While all the clubs generate a higher flight for the ball, the height is most noticeable in the PW and GW. The ball almost always looks like a flop shot off my PW and GW.
An upside of the higher ball flight is that I’ve started to use that to escape some trouble. The best example is the 2nd hole where I hooked my driver right into the bunker. I used the higher flight of the pitching wedge to escape the bunker and still move the ball down the fairway to leave me with a short shot into the green. I’ve been able to be more aggressive from undesired lies. While a traditional 60* wedge could have cleared the same situations, it would not have the carry the One Length GW has, leaving my shot short.
The downside of the higher ball flight is that on a short 130 yard par 3, I hit my PW and watch wind have a greater impact on the shot. Recently, I squeezed in a round before a tropical storm reached my area. The wind was pretty strong that day, but I really noticed it on one of the par 3 holes. I hit my normal PW shot which would reach and watched the ball shift in direction twice during the flight. At first the ball was drifting right, but then it came back left all the way off the green. I couldn’t believe it so I hit another ball and saw almost the same results. This time it started drifting left, and then near the apex of the flight, started going right and fell just off the right side of the green.
The higher flight has given me more chances to lower my scores by escaping trouble like bunkers or trees than it has caused me to miss greens. This gives me more confidence when playing out of a bunker or when I need to carry over water. When I’m in a bunker, I can play a club with more distance out of a bunker, meaning I’m closer to the pin after escaping. When it comes to carrying water, my distances are less determined by roll than overall carry. This means that if I need to carry 170 yards to clear the water and hit the green, I can hit a shot for 175 yards rather than 185 yards, resulting in my approach being closer to the hole and shorter putts.
Through 25 Rounds
My goal in switching to One Length irons was initially to help me play well without having the time to dedicate to practice or range sessions. Through the first 25 rounds, this is exactly what I’m seeing. My scores have actually improved as my iron play has become more consistent. Every single iron performs the same each time I use it. This allows me to feel confident hitting any of the irons in the set.
The biggest score-saving element is the tighter dispersion of my shots. Because the shots are in a smaller area, I’m able to truly take aim at the green or flag and get my desired result. Prior to switching, I was playing my best golf in the past couple of years thanks to having a little more time on my hands. I was averaging about +8 per round. Even with my life moving closer to normal and not having time for practice or playing, the One Length irons have had me averaging around +6 for each round.
If you are looking to improve your consistency, lower your scores, and not spend hours practicing at the driving range or playing every day, the Cobra One Length Irons will help you do just that. If you’re worried about length and lie adjustments for the set, talk with a Curated Expert to get fit online. In Part 3 of this series, I present a full wrap after playing close to 50 rounds with the irons and what solutions I found to the driving iron and wedges.