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Cobra launches F-Max line, introduces One Length to SGI category

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With its new F-Max golf clubs, Cobra continues its commitment to slower-speed golfers who need golf clubs that make the game easier. According to the company, the best way to accomplish this is to make the golf clubs weigh less, and to pack them with technologies that help launch the ball higher, straighter and with more speed.

In attempts to further simplify the game for beginning and senior golfers, Cobra is bringing the company’s popular one-length-iron concept — all of the irons in the set measure the same length and have the same lie angle as a 7 iron — to the super game-improvement category with its F-Max One Length irons.

Throughout the F-Max line, Cobra has also made material changes and technological improvements to make the clubs more forgiving and longer than Cobra’s previous Max line. The F-Max line, which includes drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, irons and wedges, will hit stores on August 18th.

Read on for pricing and specs. We break down everything you need to know about the individual offerings below.

F-Max Driver

In order to create a lighter driver — “lighter means easier to hit,” according to Tom Olsavsky, VP of R&D for Cobra — the F-Max drivers are built with Cobra Superlite 50-gram shafts and have reduced swing weights compared to their Max predecessors.

The F-Max drivers also have a forged Ti-6-4 titanium face insert that’s said to create more distance on mishits. For more forgiveness and a higher launch, center of gravity has been shifted more toward the rear and heel of the club, which should help slicers turn the ball over a bit easier. Other changes include a new alignment feature on the crown, a new black PVD finish, and two different hosel options for golfers; an “offset” neck for those who need additional draw bias, and a straight neck for a relatively straighter flight.

“When it comes to the super game-improvement category, it can’t be overstated how important lightweight construction is to this category of player,” Olsavsky said in a press release. “With the creation of F-Max, we have focused on the concept that lighter means easier to hit and we have gone to great lengths to ensure that even our components deliver superiority when it comes to reduced weight.”

The F-Max Drivers are available in 9.5, 10.5 and 11.5degree lofts and will sell for $299. They come stock with Lamkin Rel 360 midsize grips, which Cobra says will improve comfort and consistency (due to the larger grip size).

F-Max Fairway Woods

Cobra continues its focus on a lightweight construction with the F-Max fairway woods to help golfers hit the ball higher and straighter. With many of the same technologies as the driver — most namely back/heel CG weighting, the crown alignment feature and an offset hosel — the biggest differences include a forged 455 stainless face insert versus a titanium insert in the driver, and a Cobra Superlite 60 shaft, which is 10 grams heavier than the driver shaft.

The F-Max fairway woods will be available in 16-, 20- and 23-degree lofts and will sell for $199. Like the drivers, the woods will also come stock with Lamkin Rel 360 midsize grips.

F-Max Hybrids

Cobra’s F-Max hybrids, which also come with its Superlite 60-gram shaft, are designed to blend with the F-Max drivers and fairway woods due to the similarity in construction, according to Cobra. They will be available in 19-, 22-, 25- and 28-degree lofts and will sell for $179 each.

F-Max Irons

Lighter heads, lighter shafts, lighter swing weights. With its F-Max irons — which Cobra calls the lightest irons in company history — Cobra is sticking with the notion that lighter means easier to hit for golfers with slower swing speeds.

In addition to lighter constructions, the F-Max irons also have deeper undercut designs behind the faces for more flex at impact and greater ball speeds across the face, as well as lower-profile heads to help raise launch. The sets also have a progressive design, meaning the long irons (4-7 iron) are made with 17-4 stainless steel for more distance. The shorter irons (8-PW, GW, SW) are made with 431 stainless steel for more feel.

Like the drivers and woods, the irons also have back/heel weighting to encourage a higher launch and more forgiveness, and they’re built with hosel offset to help golfers reduce a slice.

The F-Max irons, which have nickel chrome plating, will be available for $599 (5-PW, GW) with a True Temper Superlite shaft, and $699 (4H, 5H and 6-PW) with a Cobra Superlite 60 graphite shaft.

F-Max One-Length Irons

Cobra first brought one-length irons to retail after signing Bryson DeChambeau, the face of the one-length movement, to its staff. Cobra currently offers one-length irons in a Tour version that DeChambeau uses, a cavity-back version, a junior version, and now, a super game-improvement version with the new F-Max set. Cobra’s argument is that learning just one swing throughout your iron/wedge set can help simplify the game for golfers.

“We are excited to be the first to bring one-length iron technology to the super game-improvement segment of the market,” Olsavsky says. “Allowing senior and women players the simplicity of having one swing and one set-up for their irons helps make golf a little easier and more fun. And for those players who aren’t quite ready to take the one-length iron plunge, we are confident our new F-Max variable length irons will provide an unmatched level of consistency and accuracy.”

Cobra’s F-Max One-Length irons have the same head constructions and pricing as the F-Max variable-length set, which sell for $599 in steel and $699 in graphite.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. acemandrake

    Aug 2, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    This actually makes sense:

    “• Most rec golfers should only carry a 15-16º loft “thriver” and then something like a 7-wood, a hybrid and then start their iron single length set at the 6-7 iron into the wedges. For the mass of golfers who cannot break 90 a partial set is adequate to play and manage their inconsistent recreational game.”

  2. Rich Douglas

    Aug 1, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    From the article: “Cobra’s F-Max One-Length irons have the same head constructions and pricing as the F-Max variable-length set….”

    How can this be? How could they have the same head constructions in both the VL and SL sets? In order to have a single-length set that works, each head has to weigh the same, have the same lie angle, have the same off-set, have the same MOI, etc. In VL sets, it’s just the opposite, with clubheads changing weight to adjust to each shaft length (in order to maintain swingweight consistency throughout the set).

    Either Cobra’s gone back to the Tommy Armour EQL–not likely–or the article is wrong. “Shank” you very much.

    • Mike

      Aug 17, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      No, I think you just misinterpreted what they meany by “same head constructions”. It just means the same material composition and weight distribution. They can have different total weights and lofts/lies.

  3. Doh doh doh

    Aug 1, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    I’ve been waiting for these! Mega off-set drivers and irons to really gouge it from the back foot! yeah!

  4. Anthony

    Aug 1, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Must not have noticed the “One Length” part? Shank???

  5. BusterG

    Aug 1, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Those pretty looking Cobra F-Max irons and driver will find their way into my bag. they are outright wicked and will scare the bejesus outta my playing buddies — lololol

  6. SilkyMitts

    Aug 1, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Those irons with chrome plating and metalwoods with black PVD are straight fire.

  7. acemandrake

    Aug 1, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Could be possible that single length clubs are ideal for casual/recreational golfers?

    Cobra should offer a higher lofted driver than their 11.5.

    • Rich Douglas

      Aug 1, 2017 at 11:54 pm

      “Could be possible that single length clubs are ideal for casual/recreational golfers?”

      No, not really. Swingspeed–which correlates strongly to performance–is the key here.

      In variable length sets, slower swingers have trouble maintaining distances in the long irons. This is a key reason we saw a transition from 1-3 irons towards hybrids. Hybrids are easier for slower swingers to get aloft and see decent distances. They have longer shafts, are lighter, and have bigger sweet spots. But….

      This problem oozes over to the single-length arena, only more so. Because each iron is built around a 7- or 8-iron length, the player cannot rely on a longer shaft to produce sufficient swing speed. These irons do account for this by (a) having a higher COR than traditional irons and (b) counting on the player hitting closer to the sweet spot more often (because of the shorter shaft and developed consistency because of the single-length approach).

      So here’s the dilemma: slower swingers can’t (much) benefit from SL irons. And better (faster) players tend not to want to switch from what works for them. I happen to be someone who falls between these concepts.

      I’m a fast swinger (driver at approximately 110mph), but I needed more consistency from my irons. Once I became a better sand player and putter, it remained the thing blocking my improvement. SL irons have done that for me. I’ve been playing them for 7 months (Wishon Sterling) and will never go back. I have a nice set of barely use 2016 Pings in the garage that I haven’t touched since I got the Sterlings back in January.

      I hope OEMs can find a good niche; I’d like to think SL irons have a future. But at age 58, I’m willing to ride these Sterlings out–possibly re-shafting them with graphite when it becomes time. Instead, I hope manufacturers find a way to make this work and continue to improve on the designs (likely in SL clubs with varying shafts). Until then, I’ll enjoy the sheer consistency the Sterlings have brought to my iron game. Awesome.

    • Steve S

      Aug 2, 2017 at 8:52 am

      As one of the “older” golfers I have seen the same thing from my friends. I play an adj. Rocketbalz set at 8.5 and hit the ball higher then all of them. I made the adjustment of teeing the ball VERY high(4 inch tees) and playing it off my front toe. This allows me to hit with an “upward” impact with launches the ball high with just enough spin to maximize carry. I’m slowly convincing my friends to do the same. They all tend to hit down or level and it kills their distance with a driver. In some ways my set up looks “goofy” (according to one friend) but I hit my drives 20-40 yards long than any of my buddies….and I’m older than most of them.

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Equipment

2020 Honma TR21: Irons, hybrids, and fairway woods

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Honma designs and builds clubs to be high-performance tools in the hands of discerning golfers, and with the release of the new Honma TR21 fairway woods, Honma TR21 hybrids, and Honma TR21X irons for 2020, the company is pushing technology and forgiveness like they never have before in a players performance line.

Honma’s TR backstory

The TR21 line builds on the successful TR20 line, which was released earlier this year. The TR line is geared towards the better and aspiring players looking for performance, while Honma’s XP line is catered to players looking to maximize forgiveness.

As a refresher, the entire TR line includes

  • a multi-piece forged iron in the TR20 P
  • a single piece forged cavity back in the TR20 V
  • a blade TR20 B which was released just a few weeks ago

It also features the TR20 driver, which comes in both a 460cc and 440cc version to provide golfers a lower-spinning more traditionally shaped option.

As great as the TR line is up until this point, it was not all-encompassing and left room for traditional lower handicap players that were looking for Honma fairway woods and hybrids to fill out the rest of their bags. It’s not that Honma doesn’t offer clubs in those categories, but the nonadjustable XP-1 fairway woods and hybrids and their draw-biased higher-launching and higher-spinning designs are not where the “TR” player fits in.

This brings us to the TR21 series, which rounds out the line and creates a full bag of options for golfers across the board.

2020 Honma TR21 fairway woods

The TR21 fairway woods come in two options with one being exclusively available in a 3-wood for those golfers looking for a larger fairway wood off the tee or to maximize forgiveness from the fairway and rough.

Honma TR21 F fairway woods

The TR21 F is a precision fairway wood designed for workability and control. At the heart of the control are two adjustable sole weights—one at the rear and one near the front towards the face—as well as the Honma patented “no turn” adjustable hosel. The weights come stock in a 12g/3g configuration to help increase or lower spin, and along with the adjustable weights, there is forward and toe-positioned mass to help centralize the center of gravity and maximize forgiveness.

The 455 carpenter steel crown and face offer proven performance and are both built with variable thicknesses to reduce mass around the head and boost ball speeds off the face. Optimizing mass around lower stress areas of the head might seem commonplace now, but these types of details allow the engineers at Honma to continually fine-tune the end performance of the club and the acoustics to appeal to the end-user.

The final component here is workability, and as mentioned, the adjustable weights and hosel allow Honma fitters and golfers alike to dial in ball flight and distance. The one detail, which Honma designers meticulously honed but may go unnoticed by many golfers, is the leading edge and sole shape. Fairway woods have to be versatile and be hit from all kinds of lies. By removing a small amount of depth from the heel, it becomes a lot easier when a player has to “squeeze down” on one or hit from a tough lie.

Specs, availability, and price

The TR21 F is available in 3-wood, 4-wood, 5-wood, and 7-wood models and comes with one-degree of loft adjustability. The big standout is the 4-wood since most OEMs have dropped that option with the introduction of adjustable hosels. Honma knows loft gapping is crucial in the long game and having the extra wood available prevents golfers from having to close the face to add loft with the standard 3-wood.

They come stock with the in-house designed and manufactured in Japan high-performance Honma VIZARD shaft with 50, 60, and 70-gram options in regular, stiff-regular, stiff, and extra stiff.

The TR20 F fairway woods are priced at $299.00 and will be available at retail starting November 1 (right-hand only).

Honma TR21 F Ti fairway “Big LB”

This is “The Big One.” The TR21 Big-LB packs all of the available technology into a package designed to launch the ball high while drawing inspiration for its name from a club that was first introduced when woods were still, you know, made out of wood.

The key technologies built into the new TR21 BIG-LB are all designed to do one thing—launch it high and launch it far. The thin one-piece titanium body and face are brazed to the heavy steel soleplate.

NOTE: Brazing differs from welding in that the temperature is considerably lower and does not melt the base metals. Rather, the heat source melts a filler metal and draws it into the joint by capillary action. It creates a metallurgical bond between the filler metal and part surfaces. (Source: MachineDesign.com)

The brazing process is commonly used in the production of premium club designs and allows engineers to save weight that would have been added by the welding process. Brazing offers much tighter control of the final center of gravity placement. It is a more costly process for a number of reasons, including the fact the brazing material features a large amount of silver, but when you are trying to squeeze every bit of performance out a design, it’s worth it.

So about that soleplate: It, along with the adjustable tungsten weight, combine to a mass of 102g (with the stock 12g weight). This means that at an estimated total club head weight of 217g, the soleplate and weight make up just over 47 percent of the club’s mass. That’s how you achieve an extremely low and deep CG into a club head.

Other key technology feature

  • Variable thickness face to maximize ball speed off the center and when mishit
  • Sole slot behind the face to increase flex, to boost ball speed on lower face strikes
  • Non-rotating loft and lie adjustability adapter to reduce shaft variation and change lie and loft up +/- 1°

Specs, availability, and price

The BIG-LB is 14 degrees with 1 degree of loft adjustability.

The stock shafts are the in-house designed and manufactured in Japan high-performance Honma VIZARD shaft with 50, 60, and 70g options in regular, stiff-regular, stiff, and extra stiff.

The BIG-LB is priced at $329.00 and will be available at retail starting November 1 (RH only).

Honma TR21 H hybrids

The TR20 H falls in line after the fairway woods in providing a traditionally shaped, compact hybrid with adjustability.

Much like the TS21 fairway woods, they were designed with workability and the better player in mind by providing a visibly higher toe and square topline. Honma understands that better players fear the “hooky” hybrid and engineers have done everything they can to offer maximum workability along with shot-stopping power.

The key features of the new TR20 hybrids are

  • Thin internally ribbed crown for acoustic tuning and a lower center of gravity
  • Variable thickness face for faster ball speeds on mishits
  • Adjustable non-rotating hosel for lie and loft, which according to Honma can also help adjust spin rates up to +/- 700 RPM
  • Adjustable sole weight (same design as the weights used in the rest of the TR20 and TR21 line) to aid in custom fitting and feel.

Specs, availability, and price

The TR21 H hybrids are available in 18, 21, 24-degree lofts and come with 1 degree of loft adjustability.

They will come stock with the in house designed and manufactured in Japan high-performance Honma VIZARD shaft in 65, and 75g options in regular, stiff-regular, stiff, and extra stiff.

The TR21 H hybrids are priced at $249.00 and will be available at retail starting November 1 (RH only).

Honma TR21X irons

The TR21X irons are Honma’s first entry into the hollow player’s distance category and are going to make the biggest impact as far as any iron they have released to date. They are the biggest iron in the TR line but mirror the design philosophy and aesthetics of the rest of the line, which makes them the perfect candidate for building combo sets.

The TR21X and the whole TR iron series follow what has become an industry trend by designing entire families of irons that allow fitters and golfers to perfectly blend together their perfect combo set. The visual cues of the new TR21X mirror those of the smaller TR20B, so you should expect to see a number of players go that route.

Excelling in the players distance category requires technology, and Honma is pulling out all the stops by building multi-material iron that brings together a high strength steel face, thin steel body, concentrated tungsten weight bars, and low-density foam for acoustic tuning.

Let’s break down the details

  • Face – The high strength steel face is “L” shaped, which means the bottom wraps around the leading edge to the sole. This moves the weld away from the face and allows for more flexing which creates the potential for more ball speed, especially on lower face misses. It is constructed of C300 maraging steel and is only 2.2mm thick, which puts it near the top of the category.
  • Thin body construction – In order to maximize the amount of discretionary mass in each head the thin body saves as much mass as possible to be positioned around the head, and in this case, is precisely located using concentrated tungsten.
  • Tungsten weight bars – Based on the iron in the set, the tungsten weight bars vary to accommodate increasing head weights and to finely position the COG. By using tungsten, engineers can achieve placements not possible with either standard construction of my using less dense steel – the end result is each iron being tuned for loft performance since your 3 iron has to launch a lot differently than your 9 iron.
  • Injected foam – The final part of the process is the foam filling to acoustically tune the irons. Performance is important but without making them sound appealing, it’s all for none. In the case of the TR21X we have a set of irons that designers meticulously engineered to deliver on both fronts.

Specs, availability, and price

The TR21X irons are available 3-11 iron (gap wedge)

They will come stock with the in-house designed and manufactured in Japan high-performance Honma VIZARD graphite shaft in 65, and 55g options in regular, stiff-regular, stiff, and extra stiff. They are also available with Nippon’s Steel 950GH Neo along with other custom options available.

The TR21x irons are priced at $212.00 each in graphite and $188.00 in steel. They will be available at retail starting November 1 (RH only)

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Equipment

Cleveland RTX ZipCore wedges: New finishes, custom grind options

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Earlier this summer, Cleveland unveiled the all-new Cleveland ZipCore line of wedges, which feature a low-density hosel core to reposition mass higher in the head to better control launch and spin.

Cleveland is excited to build on the success of ZipCore wedges by adding new finish and custom options to the already very popular line—both on tour and with consumers—with ZipCore Black Satin and Tour Rack Raw.

RTX ZipCore Technology recap

  • The low-density ZipCore in the hosel of the wedge head shifts the center of gravity higher and towards the toe to boost what Cleveland is calling High-Low MOI. What this means is you get less spin rate variance ( aka better spin robustness ) on shots hit both higher and lower on the face. This also creates greater control over launch which leads to better distance control.
  • New UltiZip Grooves are 11% sharper and 7.3% deeper than previous generations, while also being 7.4% closer together for more groove contact area.
  • New face heat treatment boosts durability and helps maintain spin performance over a longer period.

More photos in the forums.

Speaking on the new wedges, Jeff Brunski, Vice President of Research and Development at Cleveland Golf stated

“The new RTX ZipCore is a technological leap forward for Cleveland wedges. We’ve inserted a low-density core inside the clubhead, allowing us to create a wedge with unprecedented consistency and exceptional feel. They also feature our tour-proven grinds and most aggressive groove technology to date–all packaged in a sleek yet traditional design.”

Custom Sole Grind program

The biggest addition to the new RTX ZipCore line, beyond the finish options, is the new Tour Rack custom sole grind program, which allows you to fully customize, trailing edge, heel/toe relief, along with a custom leading edge.

Each wedge starts off as a standard RTX ZipCore Tour Rack—the exact same heads used by Cleveland staff players all over the worldwide tours—and then one of Cleveland’s master craftsmen grind each wedge by hand to create the perfect sole for you. This results in a unique wedge customized to cater to your specific short game.

“Tour Rack gives golfers the full tour-level experience. With the raw finish and custom sole and leading edge grinds, now any golfer can get their set of wedges built just like the guys on tour.”
-Brian Schielke, Marketing Director at Cleveland Golf

Cleveland RTX ZipCore: Specs, Price & Availability

Don’t forget if customization isn’t your thing, the RTX ZipCore comes stock in a huge variety of grind and bounce options to fit any golfer and any swing.

The stock shaft is the all-new True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 wedge “Spinner” and the grip is a Golf Pride tour velvet 360. Before custom options, the Tour Satin and Black Satin wedges will retail for $149.99 each, and the Tour Rack wedges (Right hand only) are priced at $169.99.

Wedges will be available at retail starting October 2.

More photos in the forums.

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Whats in the Bag

Bryson DeChambeau WITB 2020 U.S. Open (plus an exclusive interview with Cobra’s Ben Schomin)

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Driver: Cobra King SpeedZone (7.5 degrees @5.5)
Shaft: LA Golf BAD Prototype 60 TX (45.5″)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – AUGUST 9: Bryson DeChambeau hits his tee shot on the sixth hole during the final round of the 102nd PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park on August 9, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Darren Carroll/PGA of America via Getty Images)

3-wood: Cobra King SZ Tour (14.5 @11.5 degrees)
Shaft: LA Golf BAD Prototype 70 TX (43″)

3-wood: Cobra King SZ Tour (14.5 degrees @13.5)
Shaft: LA Golf BAD Prototype 80 TX (41″)

Irons: Cobra King SZ One Length (4, 5), Cobra King Forged Tour One Length (6-PW)
Shafts: LA Golf Rebar Proto (37.5″)

Wedges: Artisan Prototype (50 @47, 55 @52, 60 @58)
Shafts: LA Golf Rebar Proto shaft

Putter: SIK Prototype

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X

Grips: Jumbo Max Tour

Check out Johnny’s conversation with Cobra’s Tour Manager Ben Schomin below

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