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Mark Crossfield reviews Cobra’s King Forged One-Length Irons

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In this video, I review Cobra’s new King Forged One-Length irons on the course. The irons are the same model used by the PGA Tour player Bryson DeChambeau, who worked with Cobra to develop the single-length clubs.

Watch this video to see how the single-length irons — each of which is the length of a 7 iron — perform in my gap testing, and what I think of Cobra’s latest forged irons.

Related: Learn more about Cobra’s King Forged One-Length irons

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Mark Crossfield has been coaching golf for more than 20 years, and has enjoyed shaping the digital golf world with fresh, original and educated videos. Basically, I am that guy from YouTube. You can connect with Mark on Periscope (4golfonline) and Snapchat (AskGolfGuru), as well through the social media accounts linked below.

40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. Bo Bigelow

    Jan 19, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Great concept that helps simplify the game. I think single length irons will certainly help most amateur golfers strike the ball more solidly and much more consistently which will lead to better scores and therefore more fun and possibly a little faster play on the course. All of these things can benefit golf and could possibly bring more interest and more people to golf. Also, I have a bad back from years of athletics and I am going to try a set to see if they help me by not having to bend as much at address with short irons such as 9 – pw and gw.

    Thank you for a great review of single length irons, Bo

  2. John Z

    Nov 5, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Actually can’t wait to give them a try

  3. GolfMyWay

    Nov 4, 2016 at 2:13 am

    So, I hit the One Lengths today.
    Hit the 4, 7 & PW.
    They’re all the same length, same weight. That KBS FLT shaft.
    I found something very interesting, and I think you will too.
    What if you’re not a very good ball striker? I’m ok, a decent player, but I definitely blade-hit a few with each one, not so flush, you know what I mean? Just bladed them a bit to not catch enough grooves, may be just the bottom two. Guess what happened? I hit the 4 and the 7 almost the same distance, only about 7 yards apart. And the PW was only 10 yards behind. The 7 iron went about 185 yards, on the bladed hit. Know what I’m getting at?
    What I’m getting at is, for people who are not very good ball strikers, now their distance control will be all over the place. At least with standard lengths, if you mishit a little, that bladed hit, because the shaft lengths differ, the short clubs only went as far as the shaft length will allow it, and the long irons the same, so you could expect to have that difference. Now that the shafts are all the same lengths and the headweights are the same, by blading you basically almost have the same shot with every club. That will be a huge problem.
    Even on flushed shots, the 4 iron for me only went to 192 total, when I normally hit my own normal forged 4 iron to about 210. The one-length 7 went to 180, when I hit my own to about 175. Same with the PW, I hit it to about 150, but my own only goes 135. The discrepancy here with the one-length is due to its softer shaft for my feel, versus my own X-stiff shaft. I think I was spinning the 4 iron too much in the one-length and smashing the 7 iron too fast with the flexible FLT shaft.
    It felt strange to hit a 4 iron so short. And the PW so long with the long shaft.
    It’s not for me. The mishits would be too scary, I would fly them way too far with the shorter clubs. And the tighter distance gaps and the long irons being too short are a real problem.
    I don’t think putting in my own shaft will solve that problem. I’d end up wanting to weigh the 4 iron head heavier and the PW lighter so I can have less momentum into the ball to control the flight. At that point I might as well just use the standard, traditional, variable length set.

    • Mat

      Nov 24, 2016 at 3:05 am

      I’ve hit an 8-iron 236 before. Bladed shots are irrelevant. It’s like saying a hammer is crappy as a knife.

  4. Rimjob

    Nov 3, 2016 at 3:08 am

    Yeah,, like Smizzle did. So he can devote his time to typing drivel on WRX

  5. Kevin

    Nov 2, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Nice! I like the idea of a shorter-shafted 4-iron. I could see those going into my bag!

  6. Steve S

    Nov 2, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    I’ve played with single length irons(Pinhawks) and found them to be ok. I’m not sure that they helped me much but I was fighting other swing issues and a back problem when I played them. It was nice to be able to set up the same for all irons. I think I’d like to try the 4 thru 7 single length again. Then use 8 thru wedges with the “standard” lengths. Might be fun now that my swing is better.

  7. Jeff

    Nov 2, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Nice review, I am intrigued by these. I thought at first the concept makes sense in the longer clubs but I was cynical about the shorter irons and wedges. It appears they just might work! Thanks

  8. Dave r

    Nov 2, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Think this would be good for young golfers just starting out , they are not all up on sponsorship what pro are hitting . And with minds like sponges it will probably work very well. Has any club producer tried this on for size ,work with a couple for a year and find out the results . Use the not the real pill for the problem and you might be surprised by all the negativity.

  9. RthrGlf

    Nov 2, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    According to comments, there are still numerous variables like swing weight that prevent these clubs from being viable single-length alternative. The only single-length iron system that has been perfected over the years is 1irongolf.com. David Lake seems to cover all the bases when it comes to single length irons, such as same weight, offset, as well as simple fitting system. However, whenever there’s a new single length offering, 1irongolf’s success is never mentioned, just the failures from the distant past.

    • 300 Yard Pro

      Nov 6, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      Davis Lake clubs are total garbage. They feel like kid’s K-Mart clubs. That’s why they are never mentioned.
      The Sterlings and the Cobras are your only options.

  10. Tom Newcomb

    Nov 2, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Would give them a try.

  11. jerry uritescu

    Nov 2, 2016 at 5:37 am

    I do like the idea of one length. It makes perfect sense to me.

  12. Mark

    Nov 2, 2016 at 1:13 am

    I’ve been intrigued by these irons for a while. The gapping between irons would be my only issue. I would love to see what I could do with a set. My current irons are, Wilson FG4 with +1/2 x100 shafts. Jumbomax large grips.

  13. Lloyd Walker

    Nov 2, 2016 at 12:48 am

    as im slowlng getting a bit long in the tooth if this can make it easier on me and i can be still competitive i will purchase a set , than you , lloyd

  14. KP3

    Nov 2, 2016 at 12:46 am

    Also, that is kind of what Sergio does with his driver, shorter and heavier, like a 3 wood.

  15. KP3

    Nov 2, 2016 at 12:44 am

    I would be interested in mixing this idea just in the long irons. Regular set up to 5 iron, then 3 and 4 iron at 5 iron length and weight. Maybe even a 2 iron.

  16. Jo Mil

    Nov 1, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    I will be steering clear of any single length iron set until someone has a fitting system that will tell me what MY optimal single length is, shaft weight and flex, head weight and correspoding swing weight, lie angle, lofts, and bounce. I am not average and don’t care to be, so a one sized fits all approach does not interest me. I will wait for the company that built the irons to help Bryson win the NCAA and US Am to release their system. If it is anything like their other systems and clubs, they are focused on fitting and catering to the individual, not the masses.

  17. Jo Mil

    Nov 1, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    in the absence of any type of fitting system that will tell me what MY optimal single length for all clubs is, shaft weight and flex, head weight and corresponding swing weight, lie angle, bounce, and lofts, I will be steering clear of this all together. Another attempt at catering to the “average person” and quite frankly, I am not average and care to be. I’ll wait for the company that built single length irons for Bryson when he won the NCAA’s and US Am to release their system. If it is like anything else they do, they will have thought about fitting to the individual rather than the masses.

    • 300 Yard Pro

      Nov 6, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      Tom Wishon Sterlings. Never heard of them? Do you even golf bro?

  18. Snowman

    Nov 1, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    I suggest folks stop worrying about integrating “woods” and wedges that are longer/shorter in length.. You will still get the benefit (if you decide there is a benefit for you) of 1 length on all your full iron shots, e.g. 4 thru GW, and that could be huge in terms of improving your ball striking and GIR which is a key for reducing your Score. I remember the old Tommy Armour EQL irons and have wondered for a while why no OEM had come out with a modern single length iron, since the tech. now makes it more practical to get the distance gapping right….which Cobra and Wishon claim they have done. The Only reason this doesn’t make sense for almost everyone is if the distance gaps are not right, that is the key thing to examine; otherwise I think these would make the game easier for most golfers.

    • 300 Yard Pro

      Nov 6, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Exactly. The benefit of the one length system comes from a full set. Not from just using 4-6.

  19. Jt

    Nov 1, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Great way review! You have me seriously considering these irons!

  20. leo vincent

    Nov 1, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    The head weight numbers were confusing.I think he was trying to say how much the weight differed from a standard head weight of the same number.

  21. nelson Radcliffe

    Nov 1, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Love the idea of one length irons. I have struggled lately with irons, particularly long irons.

  22. Jo Mil

    Nov 1, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Gaps between clubs were 24 yds, 6 yds, 14 yds, 14 yds, 7 yds, 10 yds, 5 yds. Correct me if I am wrong, but that doesn’t sound good at all. Also, if each head weight is different and the shafts are all the same weight, wouldn’t you have 8 different swing weights and wouldn’t the different weights create different bend profiles and load on the shafts, therefore resulting in very inconsistent results. Unless of course, the mention of different head weights was an indication of what they had to do to get each of the standard heads to be all the same. Changing head weights to create different ball flights seems like a really bad idea to me.

  23. Peter

    Nov 1, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Anyone who is just starting to play golf would find great benefits with these irons as without doubt the majority of new golfers struggle with shafts. longer than 7/8 irons.

  24. Thus

    Nov 1, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Great review mark, I have put my name down for a set when the do get released here in New Zealand.
    The idea of one length makes a lot of sense and like you said about “committing” to the shot I feel once you have crossed that bridge you will play great golf with them.

  25. Shaun

    Nov 1, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Wasn’t considering them, but the review definitely made me curious. Interesting to see Mark’s surprise at the feel and results.

  26. Tom A

    Nov 1, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Good review and thanks for taking the time to share with us.
    I’m sure after a little getting use to these they would work fine for many people but I prefer to stay with standard lengths.

  27. MP-4

    Nov 1, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I wonder if Fowler will eventually move to a blade version of these considering he prefers irons that are 0.5″ short of standard?

  28. RthrGlf

    Nov 1, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Looks like Cobra has a great offering for one-length irons. The fitting should be easy. Just use the appropriate 7-iron length for all the clubs, assuming each club has same lie angle. What is the lie angle, anyway? Would love to win a set of these. Thanks for the review.

  29. Martyn Edwards

    Nov 1, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Interesting logic….I am going to have to give these a serious look at

  30. Tom

    Nov 1, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    already half way through and mark posses some interesting question…… I’m startin to get nervous.

  31. Branson Reynolds

    Nov 1, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Was the Cobra set better than the Wishon?

  32. Tom

    Nov 1, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Great review. I particularly enjoyed how surprised Mark was when he liked these clubs.

  33. Paul Evans

    Nov 1, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Have a look at Tom Wishon’s site on Google.

  34. Mike Zilis

    Nov 1, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    As a hack, I like the idea of shorter long irons and longer short irons. It’s nice to see them perform in the hands of a good player but I’d also like to see them tested by a high handicap player where the potential improvement might be more realized.

  35. Paul

    Nov 1, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    just curious but does anyone know where i can find the lofts on these irons? i doesn’t look like its up on Cobras website yet.

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On Spec

On Spec Special Edition: Houston Open winner Lanto Griffin talks equipment

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In this special edition of On Spec, Ryan has the chance to interview recent PGA Tour winner Lanto Griffin. Lanto talks about what it’s like to stand over an event winning putt, finding the right wedges, and how testing gear sometimes happens right out of another player’s bag.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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Opinion & Analysis

The “70% Rule” is still the winning formula on the PGA Tour

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In June of 2010, a year before the Tour launched Strokes Gained Putting analysis, I published an article on my blog (www.NiblicksOfTruth.blogspot.com): “PGA Tour Winner’s – 70% Rule.”

I had been studying the winners of each tour event for years and realized that they all had specific success in three simple stats–and that the three stats must add up to 70 percent

  1. Greens in Regulation – 70%
  2. Scrambling – 70%
  3. 1-Putts from 5 to 10 feet – 70%

Not every one of the three had to equal 70 percent, but the simple addition of the three needed to equal or exceed 70 percent.  For example, if GIR’s were 68 percent, then scrambling or putting needed to be 72 percent or higher to offset the GIR deficiency—simple and it worked!

I added an important caveat. The player could have no more than three ERRORS in a four-round event. These errors being

  1. Long game: A drive hit out of play requiring an advancement to return to normal play, or a drive or approach penalty.
  2. Short game: A short game shot that a.) missed the putting surface, and b.) took 4 or more total strokes to hole out.
  3. Putting: A 3-putt or worse from 40 feet or closer.

In his recent win in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Kevin Na broke the rule… by a bit.  He was all good on the 70 percent part of the rule

  1. GIR’s: 75 percent
  2. Scrambling: 72 percent
  3. 1-Putts 5-10 ft.: 73 percent

But not so good on the three-error limit

  1. Long game: Two driving errors and one approach penalty (three errors).
  2. Short game: A chip/pitch shot that missed the green and took FIVE strokes to hole out (one error).

No wonder it took a playoff to secure his win! But there was another stat that made the difference…

The stat that piqued my interest in Kevin’s win was connected to my 70 percent Rule.  It was his strokes gained: putting stat: +3.54, or ranked first.  He gained 3.5 strokes on the field in each of his four rounds or 14 strokes. I have never seen that, and it caused me to look closer. For perspective, I ran the putting performance of all of the event winners in the 2019 Tour season. Their average putting strokes gained was +1.17.

Below, I charted the one-putt percentages by distance range separately for Kevin Na, the 2019 winners, and the tour 2019 average. I have long believed that the 6–10 foot range separates the good putters on Tour from the rest as it is the most frequently faced of the “short putt” ranges and the Tour averages 50 percent makes. At the same time, the 11-20 foot ranges separate the winners each week as these tend to represent birdie putts on Tour. Look at what Kevin did there.

All I can say again, I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS. Well done Kevin!

For the rest of us, in the chart below I have plotted Kevin’s performance against the “average” golfer (15-19 handicap). To see exactly how your game stacks up, visit my website.

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Instruction

The Wedge Guy: The importance of a pre-shot routine

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I believe one of the big differences between better recreational golfers and those not so good—and also between the tour professionals and those that can’t quite “get there”—is the consistency of their pre-shot routines. It is really easy to dismiss something that happens before the ball is even struck as irrelevant, but I strongly urge you to reconsider if you think this way.

To have a set routine to follow religiously before every shot gives you the best chance to execute the shot the way you intend. To do otherwise just leaves too much to chance. Indulge me here and I’ll offer you some proof.

It’s been a while back now, but I still remember an interesting account on this subject that used the final round of the 1996 Masters—when Nick Faldo passed a collapsing Norman—as his statistical proof. This particular analyst reviewed the entire telecast of that final round and timed the routine of both players for every shot. What he discovered was that Norman got quicker and less consistent in his pre-shot routine throughout his round, while Faldo maintained his same, methodical approach to every shot, not varying by more than a second or so. I think that is pretty insightful stuff.

A lot of time has passed since then, but all competitive tour professionals pay very close attention to their pre-shot routines these days. I urge you to watch them as they go through the motions before each shot. And notice that most of them “start over” if they get distracted during that process.

While I do not think it is practical for recreational golfers to go into such laborious detail for every shot, let me offer some suggestions as to how a repeatable pre-shot routine should work.

The first thing is to get a good feel for the shot, and by that, I mean a very clear picture in your mind of how it will fly, land and roll; I also think it’s realistic to have a different routine for full shots, chips and pitches and putts. They are all very different challenges, of course, and as you get closer to the hole, your focus needs to be more on the feel of the shot than the mechanics of the swing, in my opinion.

To begin, I think the best starting point is from behind the ball, setting up in your “mind’s eye” the film-clip of the shot you are about to hit. See the flight and path it will take. As you do this, you might waggle the club back and forth to get a feel of the club in your hands and “feel” the swing that will produce that shot path for you. Your exact routine can start when you see that shot clearly, and begin your approach the ball to execute the shot. From that “trigger point”, you should do the exact same things, at the exact same pace, each and every time.

For me (if I’m “on”), I’ll step from that behind-the-shot position, and set the club behind the ball to get my alignment. Then I step into my stance and ball position, not looking at the target, but being precise not to change the alignment of the clubhead–I’m setting my body up to that established reference. Once set, I take a look at the target to ensure that I feel aligned properly, and take my grip on the club. Then I do a mental check of grip pressure, hover the club off the ground a bit to ensure it stays light, and then start my backswing, with my only swing thought being to feel the end of the backswing.

That’s when I’m “on,” of course. But as a recreational player, I know that the vast majority of my worst shots and rounds happen when I depart from that routine.

This is something that you can and should work on at the range. Don’t just practice your swing, but how you approach each shot. Heck, you can even do that at home in your backyard. So, guys and ladies, there’s my $0.02 on the pre-shot routine. What do you have to add?

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