Expert Review: Cobra One-Length Irons (Part 1)
Golf expert Michael C. shares the beginning of his journey with Cobra One Length irons, from why he switched to his first impressions.
What are One Length Irons?
Several years ago, Cobra Golf began making Cobra One Length Irons at the request of Bryson DeChambeau. The iron set has all of the clubs at the same length to provide the same swing plane for each club. The stock length is the 7-iron length which is most often the most comfortable club for golfers. While traditional length irons or variable-length, as Cobra calls them, are as long and forgiving as irons have ever been, the swing for each club is slightly different. The difference between each club creates less consistent shots for the majority of golfers. Cobra believes that One Length irons can solve the inconsistent swings and make the clubs more forgiving by getting golfers to strike the ball more consistently.
One Length irons aren’t just the same length configuration. The ONE in the name means that you get one length, one set up, and one swing. Basically, if you want to practice at a driving range, you don’t have to switch from club to club as each club can be played the same. To help ensure that the longer irons hit the ball the same as traditional length, Cobra added some weight and a "wide body kit" to create a high MOI and generate better ball speed. In other words, they made the club head a little bigger and wider to generate the distance that will be missing from a shorter club length.
The Reason I Switched
I’ve been golfing since I was in middle school (imagining that I could best Tiger). I spent most of my time golfing struggling with a high high handicap but as I got older and understood course management and equipment more, my scores dropped. I improved to a 5 handicap and really got into the statistics of my game with Arccos, Garmin Golf, and TaylorMade’s MyRoundPro apps. These helped me identify which clubs were helpful and which were not. It also showed me that I used my 7 iron heavily. The ease of which I could crush a 7 iron and keep it straight made the idea of One Length Irons very interesting.
I debated the switch to One Length irons for a few years. I loved the idea of striking every club as well as my 7 iron, but like many of you, I was unsure about the effects on my long irons and wedges. I played around with the irons at shops and demo days but just couldn’t bring myself to commit to them because the short irons and wedges felt strange. Finally, this year, I hit a breaking point of not hitting my irons well and losing some distance. Time for new clubs - a phrase my wife hates.
I realized that my iron striking was less consistent than it had been a couple of years ago. As I started to review my rounds in Arccos, I realized that my iron game had been on a steady decline. The decline mirrored some changes in my life, such as a new job that required more of me and my daughter being born. So with the job and family taking away time that was once reserved for practice, I decided it was time to simplify my clubs.
I debated between the One Length version of the Cobra Speedzone irons and the Forged Tec irons. The Forged Tec really appealed to me and felt great, but I went with the Speedzone because I was looking to make golf simple and easy - if that’s possible. The game improvement irons were the better option for me as it will provide the largest volume of forgiveness and distance.
My first impression was that the irons are clean and look fantastic. When they arrived, I tried to see if there was any way that I could clear my work calendar and go play. Unfortunately, I had to wait a few days for the weekend. The set was the 4 iron - Pitching Wedge and Gap Wedge. The Gap Wedge was most interesting to me as it was the most traditional looking at the head but also felt very long compared to my previous Gap Wedge.
First 36 Holes
The front nine of that first round were what I expected and not at the same time. I struggled with contact on the 4 and 5 irons, but the lower irons were perfect and the Gap Wedge might have become my new favorite club.
The upside of it all was that every shot was straight and as close to target as I had been in my approach ever. As I shifted to the back nine, I found that the reason my 4 and 5 iron striking wasn’t as solid was due to me still setting up as if it was a 4 and 5 iron rather than a 7 iron setup. Once I moved the ball back in my stance, they were both rocketing down the fairway. The 4 iron started going around 220 yards and the 5 iron was around 205 yards. Those numbers are not something I’ve had in my iron game since I was in my twenties. I finished the round at 4 under par. Considering this course is one that I had been averaging around 4 over par for the past couple of years, I was really on board with the one length iron concept. However, I did have to admit that was also one of my best driving days I’d had on that course. When your driver is keeping you in the fairway and short approach shots, you can drop your scores fast.
The second round allowed me to pick up where I left off with the first round. Because I had a better idea of what to expect from the irons, I decided to play a shorter course and only use the irons and wedges. I needed to see how versatile the set was compared to me hitting my driver well. The 4 Iron was fantastic off the tee averaging around 215 to 230 yards. The other irons throughout the set kept playing straight and my misses were mostly due to me aiming a little off. As I progressed to the back nine, I did start to struggle a little with making contact as well. I think that had more to do with my own fatigue relating to the heat that day than anything else. I finished the round at even par, but by taking out the length off the tee I would have normally had, this was a great score.
Overall First Impressions
If you’re looking to make more consistent contact with the ball with every club, the One Length Irons are the way to do it. Will they feel a little odd at first? Yes. But that feeling goes away pretty quickly as you see shot after shot going straight. You realize how improved modern irons are vs irons even three years ago; I added tons of distance to my shots just by hitting the center of the club face more often. One Length irons are not a trend or gimmick - they are a modern design that can help golfers who want to play well but don’t have time to spend hours practicing. I played both of my first rounds with no warm up and still played very well. It was the exact thing my golf game was looking for.
Want to learn more about these irons? Keep an eye out for the second part of my review - and chat with a Curated expert at any time!