Cobra Golf is pushing the boundaries of technology and speed with the SpeedZone line for 2020, including the new Speed Zone irons and hybrids.

To find improvements over previous models, the engineers at Cobra focused on four major zones for performance refinement

  • Power
  • Weight
  • Stability
  • Feel

Each one of these zones allowed the engineers to place very specific target goals for performance on aspects of each iron in the set, because when looking at the target golfer for the SpeedZone irons (including one length users), the end goal is broad yet simple at the same time: “Building the best SET of irons, with faster, easier-to-hit long irons, while still maintaining precision and control in the mid and short irons.”

The idea of focusing on individual zones of the club to find room for improvement is similar to the marginal gains theory pioneered by British cycling coach Dave Brailsford, this methodology is applicable to many areas of design and technology across industries. Instead of just looking at the end goal of creating a better iron (or a faster cyclist) the process for improvement starts in often overlooked areas to find percentage gains that truly equal up at the end. That’s exactly what the engineers at Cobra have done with the SpeedZone irons.

Let’s Talk about Zones

POWER: Power and ballspeed come from the face. That’s the part that hits the ball. You won’t hear anyone at Cobra say “the shaft is the engine of the club” around here because that statement is grossly inaccurate.

The SpeedZone iron features what Cobra engineers call PWRShell Technology which utilizes a new forged face insert that seamlessly wraps under the leading edge of the iron head. Previous models have something similar, but the new face insert has an eight-percent deeper flange for more flex and more rebound. Not only is the sole insert wider, it also has what Cobra is calling an internal speed channel—a ridge where the sole is further thinned out to create greater flex, leading to faster ball speeds and a bigger area for maximum return.

NOTE: The term “area of maximum energy return” is a much better way to define the face area where a player is going to see great results versus the traditional sweet spot, because even as irons and clubs in general get more forgiving, from a definitive physics standpoint, there is still only a tiny single defined sweet spot.

WEIGHT/MASS SHIFTING: This is where things get interesting.

Usually, when discussing cavity back irons, someone will inevitably say, “I don’t care what they do to the back of the head, as long as it works. I don’t have to look at it from address.” Now, what if there was a technology tweak that created an improvement but could be seen at address? Would you still be as interested? Cobra is betting on it.

From the 7-iron to the 4-iron, Cobra has removed mass from the top line of the SpeedZone head and replaced it with small sheets of carbon fiber on both the top and bottom. This saves three grams per head to be redistributed for higher MOI. In the design game, every percentage point counts. The three grams, paired with other improvements, go a long way.

Now you might think to yourself “why even bother with the carbon fiber if the remaining topline is strong enough to withstand being clamped or bent?” There is actually more than one reason for using the carbon fiber vs just leaving the top extremely thin.

  • Rigidity: The carbon fiber helps improve the stiffness of the topline, which means it does a better job of NOT vibrating and losing impact energy.
  • Sound: The thinner something is (especially thin stiff metal), the louder and more high pitched the vibrations created by an impact will be. Without the carbon fiber on the top and bottom to add thickness and rigidity to the topline, the more it’s going to sound “tinny” and unpleasant. I can attest to the fact that these feel and sound great!

If Cobra’s idea of utilizing a multi-material topline sounds familiar to you, it’s because it is…remember the S9?

The Cobra S9 line was introduced more than a decade ago, and one of the key design elements was a multi-material (polymer) topline that boosted MOI and lowered the center of gravity. But the S9 had a big problem: you couldn’t adjust them using conventional methods and had to send them back to Cobra to have and lie and loft adjustments done. Not so with the SpeedZone.

  • Cobra SpeedZone irons (in-hand pictures)
  • Cobra SpeedZone fairway woods (in-hand pics)

STABILITY: Stability = forgiveness and the SpeedZone irons offer a lot of it! The key to the stability of the iron is Cobra engineer’s willingness to push the concept of what a “traditional” iron should look like with SpeedBack shaping.

The iron maintains the tradition sole width of a standard cavity, but with more weight extended to the perimeters to once again get every last bit of MOI out of the head shape.

FEEL: Although more of a qualitative assessment, this is a key element to the purchasing decision, and Cobra has done everything it can to make a thin-faced, multi-material iron feel just as solid as anything on the market.

SpeedZone Hybrids

Just like with the rest of the SpeedZone line, the hybrid is a culmination of focused improvements in zones around the head, including the two most important parts: the face and the sole.

POWER: Just like with any club, the power comes from the face, and for the SpeedZone hybrid, that means an E9 forged face pushed to the limits by using strong 455 steel, but it doesn’t stop there. Cobra has completely redesigned the way the face wraps under the front of the club to the sole to create more flex and even more consistent ball speeds. By splitting the baffler rails on the sole and also hollowing out the front portions, mass is not only pushed farther back to increase MOI, but now the entire portion of the club flexes more to increase the sweet zone—a 70 percent increase, according to Cobra engineers. That’s a big bump is consistency!

The “more consistent” part is important because, as much as it sounds unusual to say, a hybrid for most players is a scoring club, built for precision. By creating more consistent ball speeds around the face (especially low in the face, where a majority of players miss shots), you can help turn missed greens into greens hit and in turn lower scores.

STABILITY: Baffler rails have been around for a long time, dating back to when the very first Bafflers were made of wood—seriously. The current design team might not have been around in those days, but when you have a great design you don’t mess with it, you just work to improve it.

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The new Baffler split rails have improved shaping along the back of the head to improve turf interaction and speed retention through the impact zone. Yes, in theory, you should be hitting the ball before coming in contact with the ground, but 1. we’re all human and perfect contact doesn’t happen on every shot, and 2. not every lie is perfectly flat and in the fairway. The rail design keeps the leading edge up longer, and with the added flex thanks to the split rails, it’s a win-win combination for hitting better shots.

Lofts available in right and left-handed: 17, 19, 21, 24 degrees

The Single Length Question

It’s crazy to think how far Cobra has come since its initial One Length release.

The SpeedZone along with the full range of other One Length offerings have gone through some major design changes to keep up to the growing demand and player expectations. The lie angles have been adjusted to optimize ball flight in the One Length set configuration, with the long irons have more upright lie angles, while the short irons and wedges have slightly flatter lie angles to delivering more consistent trajectory and ball flights. These few degrees of lie angle variation from top to bottom help with shot direction since as loft is decreased is has less of an effect on initial launch direction. Even with the greater control provided by the single length, Cobra knows (thanks to research and testing) golfers will still inherently swing the club at different speeds to manipulate shot shape and at lower speeds since there is less shaft deflection the flatter lie helps.

It’s not just the heads that have changed with the One Length SpeedZone irons either. Just like with the rest of the One Length options, Cobra has adjusted the shaft through the bag. The long iron shafts are lighter to encourage easy launch, while the wedge shafts are heavier to promote more control into and around the greens.

Single length hybrids come in lofts: 19, 21, 24

Cobra Connect Powered by ARCCOS

The 2020 Cobra King Speedzone Irons, along with the entire King Speedzone line including fairways and hybrids will continue to employ Cobra Connect powered by Arccos. Every club comes with an embedded electronic sensor in the grip to automatically record the distance and accuracy of every shot so golfers can track their improvements round-to-round.

Specs and Pricing

Speedzone Variable Length irons

The stock set up comes in 3 options
– 5H, 6-GW Combo Set in graphite MSRP of $899
– 5-GW irons steel, MSRP of $799
– 4-PW irons steel, MSRP of $799

Each option comes standard with a KBS Tour 90 shaft in stiff or regular flex and a Lamkin Crossline Connect Black grip. The stock graphite offering is a UST Recoil ESX 460 shaft in stiff, regular and senior flex.

Cobra SpeedZone One Length irons

The stock set comes in 2 options
– 5H, 6-GW Combo Set with steel-shafted irons MSRP $899)
– 5-GW steel irons MSRP $799

The One Length offering comes standard with a KBS Tour 80 (4-6i), KBS Tour 90 (7-9i) and KBS Wedge (PW, SW) shaft in stiff or regular flex and a Lamkin Crossline Connect Blue grip. The graphite stock offering is a UST Recoil ESX 460 (4-9i) and a UST Recoil ESX 480 (PW, SW) in stiff, regular and senior flex.

All Cobra SpeedZone products are available at retail and online, starting January 17, 2020, while you can expect fitting tools in hands before then.

  • Cobra SpeedZone irons (in-hand pictures)
  • Cobra SpeedZone fairway woods (in-hand pics)