What we say...
Cobra’s new King F9 Speedback irons are said to be their most powerful and stable irons yet
Cobra’s F9 Speedback irons combine a low centre-of-gravity (CG) and a high moment of inertia (MOI) to deliver the blend of ball speed and forgiveness, for the first time, in one iron.
RELATED: Cobra’s RADSPEED 2021 range unveiled
Traditionally, in game improvement irons, golfers had to choose between distance or forgiveness. In the new F9 Speedback irons, engineers were able to deliver both through “Speedback” Technology, a concept that utilises innovative shaping elements different from a traditional game-improvement iron.
Through Speedback shaping, engineers were able to optimise low CG and high MOI to create the company’s longest, fastest, and most forgiving iron.
“It cannot be overstated just how technologically-advanced the F9 SpeedBack irons are,” said Tom Olsavsky, Vice President of R&D for Cobra Golf.
“Golfers have been forced to choose between distance or forgiveness in their game improvement irons. If you wanted more distance, than you sacrificed forgiveness, and vice versa. With the new SpeedBack irons golfers can have their cake and eat it too. Never has a game improvement iron set had the perfect blend of distance and forgiveness, until now.”
Cobra’s Marketing Chief Jose Miraflor told TG: “When I talked about the King F9 Speedback driver, I said you coulnd’t get two things – aerodynamics with a low CG – at the same time.
“We see a similar thing in irons, in a different format. You can design a longer iron, or a more forgiving iron. A longer iron has a taller blade so you have more face flex, a lower CG in line with impact location, and stronger lofts. But you need to be careful, because if you do this too much the ball doesn’t really get up in the air, or go high enough to stop quickly. So typically, longer irons will be far less forgiving.
“When you create a forgiving iron you’ll start with an oversize shape, with a higher MOI, more resistance to twisting. It’s going to feature weaker lofts, too, which help golfers get the ball in the air. And typically that means less distance. So we challenged our engineers to come up with something that’s longer, flies higher, has lower spin and is very forgiving. They made something to test, but when I saw it, I said ‘what the **** is that!?’
“They’d taken weights off the F6 driver, 10g each, and put them on the heel and toe or an iron. It was long and super forgiving, but it looked terrible and nobody would buy it! So we reshaped it until it became the F9 Speeback. It has a little bit more heel, a little bit more toe weight and there’s more “back” to it, and we’re calling it Speedback shaping.
“The three keys for this iron are the Speedback shaping, internal tungsten weighting and a very robust Powershell face that’s going to give you even more speed. To continue the car theme from the driver, if you were going to turn a road car into a race car, you’d make it wider and you’d make it lower, and add speed in the engine. This is the F8 iron from last year, with a wide body kit added.
Cobra F9 Speedback Irons: TG Verdict
All of Cobra’s King F9 clubs this year have been really powerful and forgiving, and the irons are no di erent. The long, low- pro le head, which gives extra stability, won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But for those after a brilliant mix of ball speed, carry distance and forgiveness, the F9 delivers in spades.
Our data has the F9 down as one of the longest irons of 2019 (and it doesn’t have the strongest loft), which along with its reasonable price point should make it attractive to lots of club golfers
WATCH: Cobra F9 Speedback Irons – what you need to know
“It’s lower and wider, giving extra stability,” says Miraflor. “The structure around the perimeter makes is super stable – yes, it’s wider than a traditional Cobra iron – not as wide as a Ping G400 – but that lets us put the CG further back. When you look at it at address, the good news is you can’t see this shaping in the PW-7-iron.
“We enhance this shaping with tungsten. It’s super-low in the toe area and at the bottom part of the hosel. The 7-iron has 33g of tungsten spread out low and wide, giving you a lot of forgiveness and lowering the CG.
“Speed in the iron comes from the lower CG and a Powershell face, which is thinner than ever. It crumples and returns, which gives you launch and speed. It’s also forged, it’s super-thin and it’s doing a good job. Polyurethane tape dampens vibrations and helps it sound less “clacky”. The 8, 9 and PW are cavity backs with no tungsten.
“Each face and groove is CNC milled, and we’re chroming the faces – we think your irons should still look good after more than a few rounds.”
The Cobra King F9 Speedback iron will also be available in a One Length version, with each club the length of a 7-iron.
Miraflor added: “Some guys are super-happy with One Length, even though they offer us the lowest return of any product in the market; when someone gets fitted, it sticks. We asked one-length fans what we could improve, and this is the result. All 7-iron lengths, all 7-iron weights. We changed the lie angles a fraction, so the wedges are a little bit flatter, and the long irons are a little more upright to help with trajectory.”
“The other thing we’ve done is make the long irons wider to bring the CG back slightly to help launch the ball in the air.”
“We’ve also learned that if you use a slightly lighter shaft in the long irons the ball goes higher; slightly heavier in the wedge the ball goes lower. Bryson is using this system in his set now, so we’re borrowing it from him.
“We’ll be talking about Speedback as two ways to distance, and both will feature Cobra Connect.”
REVIEW: Cobra King F9 Speedback irons key tech
Forged E9 “PWRSHELL” Face
An improved E9 (variable thickness) face on the Cobra King F9 Speedback Irons is 3g lighter and features thin, 1.8 mm pockets in the upper heel and toe that expand the sweetspot.
The forged PWRSHELL insert features a deep undercut sole design and an all new 1.2 mm internal Speed Channel absorbs and returns more energy to the ball for faster ball speeds and increased launch angle.
A three-piece multi-material medallion combines aluminium, a soft Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) and acrylic foam that improves sound and feel by damping vibrations at impact.
CNC milled face and grooves
CNC precision milling delivers more accurate lofts and allows for tighter tolerances on face roughness and groove shaping to optimise spin and trajectory control. Unlike cast grooves, which can vary in shape, CNC milling reduces the variability in the groove shape to ensure performance is consistent in every iron.
Progressive spin technology
Cobra’s King F9 Speedback long irons, mid irons and wedges are each designed with different groove shapes to deliver specific performance characteristics. CNC milled V-grooves in the 4-7 irons improve distance by reducing spin for increased distance and flight time, while U-grooves in the 8-PW optimise spin for improved control and accuracy. Tighter-spaced wedge grooves in the GW and SW maximise spin and improve trajectory control for enhanced greenside precision.
Progressive hosel lengths
Shorter hosel lengths in the long irons position the CG lower to promote higher launch, while progressively taller hosel lengths in the short irons and wedges raise the CG to promote a lower, more controlled ball flight.
Review: Cobra King F9 Speedback iron specs
RRP: £699 steel/£799 graphite
Set-up: The stock steel set make-up is 5-GW with optional 4-iron and SW available through custom.
Shafts: Regular or stiff KBS Tour 90 shafts
Grips: Black Lamkin Crossline COBRA CONNECT grips.
REVIEW: Cobra King F9 Speedback One Length irons key tech
One Length configuration
Engineered using matching 7-iron length and head weights, a One Length set simplifies the game by promoting a single, repeatable set-up and swing motion through the set, leading to more confidence and consistency.
Wider long iron soles
Wider soles in 4-6 irons deliver lower, deeper CG for higher, towering ball flights.
Progressive shaft weighting
Three different KBS shaft weights – a lightweight, Tour 80 in the 4-6 iron promotes high launch, a mid-weight Tour 90 in the 7-9 iron delivers control and accuracy, and a heavy-weight Tour Wedge in the PW-SW improves feel and precision on short shots around the greens.
Updated Lie Angles
More upright long iron lie angles are used to create more towering trajectories while slightly flatter lie angles in the wedges create straighter, more penetrating trajectory.
Review: Cobra King F9 One Length iron specs
RRP: £699 steel/£799 graphite)
Set-up: The stock steel set make-up is 5-PW, GW with optional 4-iron and SW complements available through custom.
Shafts: ONE Length irons are also available in a Graphite Combo Set utilising Fujikura ATMOS ONE Length 60-gram shafts in S, R or LITE flexes. The set makeup includes a 5H and 6-PW, GW. A Steel Combo Set in the same make up is available through custom.
ONE Length irons are available in RH, and LH is available through custom.
Grips: Lamkin Crossline COBRA CONNECT grips.