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Cobra KING Utility Black One Length Iron Review A few months ago I purchased a slightly shop-worn Single Length Cobra King Utility Black 4-iron with the hope that I'd be getting a do-it-all club. As a 22 handicapper, I tend to end up in a wide variety of lie/angle situations. After a few rounds under my belt I feel confident in saying that this is indeed a game-changer for anyone looking for more consistency. Here's my review: The Decision I have a pretty decent swing for my level of handicap. At 6'1â€ 190lbs, I can hit the ball decently straight and far. My problem is consistency. For every 165 yard 7-iron baby draw I hit, I tend to mix-in a few 3-inches-behind-the-ball chunkers that leave my left wrist throbbing for the rest of the afternoon. This is why I have been obsessing over the One Length concept for the past year, especially for longer irons. For those who haven't been keeping-up, the big knock on the original F7 one length irons was that the gapping was a bit too tight in the longer clubs. So, when Cobra brought out the single length utility irons this yearâ€¦ I knew I had to try them. I decided to go with the 4-iron, which has an adjustable loft of 21-24 degrees. My expectations: I wanted a consistent 200-yard club that I could hit from a variety of lies I wanted it to be iron-like, as I have trouble hitting fairway woods and hybrids I wanted a reason to try the single length concept The club (You gotta admit, she's a handsome lady) Look & feel The black looks really nice, especially outdoors. I really dig the stock blue grips, too. At address, it looks a bit chunky, which is unsurprising, but the black color tends to mask the size. The head feels heavy for an iron. Coupled with a light (86g) UST Mamiya recoil shaft and the result is feeling like you're swinging a hammer. This is an obviously intentional strategy to address the gap issues for these longer (haha, get it?) clubs. I feel confident during the downswing and it's one of the few clubs in my bag that I don't mind â€œstepping onâ€ when I need a little more distance. The face is hot, but not driver hot. It's hollow and forged, so you barely feel the ball on the face no matter where you hit it. The sound is a sort of a muted click, not like anything I've ever heard before. It's not unpleasant, just different. Performance If given the choice between consistency and length, any prudent golfer should choose the former. This is exactly what you get with this club. A couple of things jump out when you hit it. First, it is very easy to hit. I suspect part of this is the length but a lot of it is also the large, hollow head. You don't get a ton of feedback, but that's okay because honestly, the large head really mitigates any problems created by less-than-perfect strikes. My typical mistake is a heavy/fat shot. The turf interaction for this club head is good for me as it does not dig as much as my other irons. The ball flight is pretty low and penetrating. At 21 degrees of loft it carries around 190 yards. The surprising part is that it doesn't roll-out that much. Based on the ball flight I would expect it to roll a bit but it tends to stop on the fairway after 5-10 yards, depending on the conditions. I don't have access to a launch monitor, but I'm willing to bet the spin numbers are between 3500 and 4500. Durability This is how she looks after 3 full rounds + about 5 range sessions. The black color is holding-up pretty well, in my opinion. Notice the slight scratching on the face from where I hit it off the toe. Mhy impression is that as long as you keep it on the face, the scratching is minimal. For comparison's sake, my JPX EZ forged irons started showing similar wear after 1 (sandy) range session. Grade Based on my expectations, I would give this club an A-. Pros: Very easy to hit Tight dispersion for an inconsistent striker Consistent distance Surprisingly good spin Cons: The sound is a little clicky due to the hollow head Surprisingly good spinâ€¦ with a 190 carry you'd think I could hit this club over 200, but it's very rare that I do that. For now, it would appear that the 3 wood will stay in the bag. Summary I love this damn club. As someone who plays once or twice a month, it does everything I need it for. I use it off the tee, for long approach shots, and especially to get out of jail. Hell, it even works as a chipper from the fringe. Using this club definitely reinforces my belief in the One Length concept for inconsistent ball strikers. I would gladly give away 10 yards on any club just the keep it in the fairway. As for the viability of Single Length irons, I think it could be great as a combo option for people looking for confidence in their 6-3 irons.
This came across the InBox this morning from Srixon/Cleveland - it's an interesting take on Utility Irons. We tend to think of them as driving irons, but Srixon appears to be taking a different approach - one similar to PING with its Crossover clubs and Hogan with its Ft. Worth 15 hi irons.... SRIXON UTILITY IRONS ARE DOMINATING ON THE PGA TOUR Srixon was the most used brand of utility iron at the Safeway Open, with 10 in play. At the CIMB Classic, both Anirban Lahiri (T3) and Keegan Bradley (6) had a Srixon Z U45 utility iron in the bag (specs below). Our staffers and those outside our staff praise the Z U45 and Z U65 for their incredible feel coupled with phenomenal trajectory and distance control . TECHNICAL NOTE: Our tour reps have found the most success with these clubs when building them as an extension of the iron set. Essentially, they are built to match the specs of the irons â€“ same weight, same shaft, and in line with iron set length. They have seen this recipe work over and over. In building them to iron specs, you essentially create a club that gives you the benefits of a hybrid (easier to hit, easier to get up and land soft), but you have the consistency and predictability of an iron. The last thing a tour player wants with a club he uses to approach greens is a club that produces an unpredictable distance or trajectory. When built to iron specs you get a club that players can flight up or down when needed, that goes the correct distance every time and is overall easier to hit than a long iron. All the while, because it is forged and cosmetically looks great address, it stays right in line with their iron sets from a look and feel standpoint. These utility irons aren't your seasonal driving irons, either â€“ once they go in play, they tend to stay there. Long hitters may manipulate the top of their bag depending on a course, but mostly they stay. It is very rare to find a hybrid or driving iron type club that is easy to hit on multiple trajectories, hit a consistent number, and not have a left bias (for right-handers). This club is all of these! Cool Fact: When Will McGirt and Jon Curran were in The Memorial playoff earlier this year, there were 4 Srixon Z U45 utilities in play! Anirban Lahiri: Srixon Z U45 3 utility iron, 20Â° (bent to 21Â°), with Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 X flex shaft Keegan Bradley: Srixon Z U45 2 utility iron, 18Â° (bent to 19Â°), with Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 125 X flex shaft Srixon Z U45 3 utility iron, 20Â° (bent to 22Â°), with Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 125 X flex shaft These will definitely be on the table when we visit Srixon in November!! Thoughts on the use of Utility irons? Strictly a driving iron in your view or can these be a versatile alternative to hybrids, especially for those of us who can hook them off them planet? For me, Utility Irons are always an acid test for how well I'm swinging at any given point in time. When I'm hitting them flush from the fairway or rough, I know my game's in good shape. When I'm not, well....