Cobra KING Forged Tec Irons Review

50 Words or Less

The Cobra KING Forged Tec irons are outstanding.  Great look and even better feel.  Loads of distance and forgiveness in a players-sized iron.

Introduction

Late fall is typically a slow part of the year for golf equipment.  Golfers in much of the country are hanging up their clubs, and everyone is turning their attention toward the PGA Show in January.  Cobra has taken advantage of this lull by grabbing up all the attention for their latest premium iron, the KING Forged Tec.  I tested it to find out how it fares in the competitive hollow body iron segment.

Check out the new Cobra KING Forged Tec Black irons HERE

Looks

The reaction – both online and in person – to the KING Forged Tec irons has essentially been a string of fire emojis.  Cobra absolutely nailed the look.  The back of the iron has a subtle mix of finishes and a small triangular depression.  Being the boldest of the major OEMs, Cobra also went big on the “KING” branding, though they stuck to a black and silver color palette.

At address, the KING Forged Tec deftly balances the needs and wants of the good or improving player.  The top line is a little thinner than average but not scary.  There’s a noticeable amount of offset, but it’s well shaped.  Finally, the size of the blade hits that sweet spot between too big and “Will the ball even fit on there?”

Sound & Feel

My first swing with the Cobra KING Forged Tec irons elicited an audible, “Wow.”  I think that Cobra has created the best feeling hollow body iron in golf.  Impact creates a robust, deep-pitched “thwack” that feels anything but hollow.

It’s also noteworthy that this set feels the same from the pitching wedge to the long irons.  Every iron is hollow, so there’s no awkward transition from the scoring irons to the long irons.

Performance

The main draw of a hollow body iron is distance, so I’ll start there.  Cobra’s KING Forged Tec irons are second to none when it comes to ball speed.  Throughout the set, I was seeing higher ball speed and more distance than my gamers.

In looking closely at Cobra’s description of these irons, I noticed something important: “Controlled distance for maximum playability.”  This is a subtle dig at the OEMs who are chasing distance through incredibly low spin irons.  With the KING Forged Tec irons, I was getting as much as twelve yards more per club but the launch and spin were in my normal ranges.  That means those long shots will actually hold the green which is important if you care about your score.

Another impressive element of the Forged Tec irons is the forgiveness.  Every iron in this set has Cobra’s PWRShell design, and the long irons also have tungsten in the sole.  This combination creates a very fast, stable face that retains ball speed on mishits.  With the long irons, I made several ugly swings that still landed the ball within five yards of my best shots.

Finally, as has become standard for Cobra, the KING Forged Tec irons come with Cobra Connect/Arccos technology built into the grips.  For those unfamiliar with Arccos, you can find a full review HERE.  In short, this technology allows you to see exactly how far every iron shot actually went.  This information is invaluable in choosing the right club for each shot and improving your game.  To get this for free with your irons is a huge value add.

Conclusion

Despite being one of the later entrants into the hollow body iron segment, Cobra is now among the leaders.  The KING Forged Tec irons have a stunning look, high performance technology, and a price that’s meaningfully lower than many of its competitors.

Cobra KING Forged Tec Irons Price & Specs

Matt Saternus

83 Comments

  1. How did you find these compared to the MP-20 HMB’s? Thinking launch, sound / feel, bag appeal, etc. I think you said the Mizuno’s were a little “half pregnant” between being a true hollow body vs a traditional iron, reading the above sounds like these are all in on the hollow side of things and the club has a clear purpose. Thanks.

    • Matt Saternus

      Tomas,

      You’re correct, I was not impressed with the HMB. If you want a forgiving club with distance, I would go with the Cobra all day. Also, I found the spin in the Cobra more playable.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Any idea how they compare to the Forged Tec Black irons from 2017? Those were marketed to 5-15 handicappers (Doesn’t mean much to me) as my issue is off the tee and around the green, not the irons. I found the FTB to be long and very forgiving off the toe. I’ll hit shots and wonder how I landed on the green.

  3. With all the new hollow body irons available to golfers, this is a ringing endorsement!

    • I’m looking at a set second hand. I’m a 20 handicapper but I’m a confident ball sticker. I can hit a traditionally lofted Mizuno mx 23 175 yards pretty consistently. I don’t have time to practice so driver and short game let me down. I’m most interested in the one lenght forged TEC , thinking the long irons would be even more forgiving. I borrowed my friends TaylorMade RAC lt(2005) last summer and they were extremely punishing and want to avoid that experience. Appreciate any advice. Thanks

  4. When I try to get fit for the first time I would like to look at these first.
    Great review Matt .

  5. Hi Matt thanks for the review. Are you able to please provide a comparison to the MP20 HMBs?

    • Matt Saternus

      David,

      I have a strong preference for the Cobra. I think it feels better, has better forgiveness, and has more playable spin.

      Best,

      Matt

  6. Seth Peterson

    Matt,

    Love your stuff and happy to see the forge tec show up here. I’m heading back to club champion Saturday for a full bag fitting (main focus on irons/wedges since we did driver last winter) and the forge tec are on my list to try.

  7. Awesome looking blade. Interesting how the loft gap progresses through the set from 3* gaps in the long irons to a 5* gap in the short.

    • Matt Saternus

      In my testing, I didn’t see any issues. This is pretty typical of modern irons with stronger lofts. As always, the cure to any concerns about gapping is a good fitting with a performance guarantee.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. Matt, the irons look beautiful. What handicap range do you think could handle this iron?

    • Matt Saternus

      Peter,

      I think anyone up to a 15 or so should handle them just fine. There’s a lot of forgiveness here. Higher handicaps could play them too, it just might not be my #1 recommendation for all high handicappers.

      Best,

      Matt

  9. Mark Orchard

    Hi Matt, Yesterday I was fitted by one of my mates whom owns a golf shop, I am 65 years old and I normally play with Titleist 714 mb blades, and I play of 2. I still hit them ok but I know that I am losing distance compared to my friends’. So yesterday I tried the Cobra King Irons and I was impressed how far I was hitting them a 7 iron 185 Yards = 153 Metres. I have been missing out on these sort of distances or lengths for too long so I will be buying a set of Kings’ as soon as possible. Also that is not the only thing they feel great I used the KBS shaft. I find that shaft suits me. Regards’

  10. And best of all, they are available in OneLength! Been playing OL’s since ’17 and will never go back to multi-length irons-the difference in relying on one swing vs. 6, or maybe 9 slightly different swings is huge. Me? Am 72, been playing since I was 7 (parents owned a golf course) and am still a single digit, although now from senior tees, with YEARS in the golf equipment business-and am truly glad I took the OneLength plunge in ’17-so I have a much better than average understanding of OL vs multi length irons.
    Now remember the rules-no negative comments allowed if YOU haven’t actually played OL’s for a month or more to have a valid opinion.

  11. Great review! I have to say these look really nice and so far there is a lot of praise for these irons. The lofts are getting so strong that I really probably can play only 6-PW now.

  12. Mark Orchard

    I normally use 714 Titleist Blades I am now 65 years old I still hit them well . however I am losing distance with them as I have had Spinal surgery and I have lost power , so I tried the Cobra King with the KBS shaft and I was impressed with the length that I got in return without having to bash it. I actually I got another shock when nearly all my distances were nearly all the same. I am very happy. Can’t wait to use them. Regards’

  13. Hi Matt! My current gamers are TM P-790’s. How would these Cobra’s compare? Are the Cobra’s foam filled?

    • Matt Saternus

      Doug,

      Yes, there is a filling in the Cobra irons. Compared to the P-790, the Cobra irons are much more playable in terms of spin and they feel substantially better, in my opinion.

      Best,

      Matt

  14. Can confirm this review. I got fit into a set of these at Club Champion a month ago. The feel compared to P790, HMB, i500 isn’t even close. Forgiveness is great. Ended up going 3-GW as the 3 iron is plenty forgiving as a “driving iron” or long par 3 weapon. Also was seeing much better (higher) spin from Cobra. My set came in a couple weeks ago and I couldn’t be happier. Don’t skip these!

  15. Matt, thanks for the insightful review. Can you compare these to the new Wilson D7 forged? I am considering those and found the Cobra review intriguing. Thanks in advance for your reply!

  16. Hi Matt,

    How much am I giving up in terms of performance going with these over Gen 3 0311Ts? 1.7 handi due for an upgrade and strongly considering these two, specifically. Your reviews are superb and I’m having a hard time finding comparison.

    • Matt Saternus

      Justin,

      Thank you.
      With my standard caveat that it will depend on the player and the fit, I would say that the difference is definitely measurable but unlikely to be noticeable. If money is a factor at all, I think you’ll be very happy with the Cobras. If cost is not part of the equation for you, go for the GEN3.

      Best,

      Matt

  17. Steve Seidel

    Great review. How do these compare in size to the Callaway Apex 19s?

    • Matt Saternus

      Steve,

      I don’t have the side by side to compare, but I’m inclined to say that the Cobra is a little slimmer.

      Best,

      Matt

      • May, thanks for these great reviews! I’ve done a couple of fittings on a quest to replace my 25 year old irons. For me the Mavrik Pro, the D7 Forged, and the King Tec Forged all made a good case to be the ones. I read your reviews and the positive things you had to day about each one. Also saw where you prefer the Forged Tec to the D7 Forged. All of that too ask … Which do you prefer between the Forged Tec and the Mavrik Pro?
        BTW, another iron I was extremely impressed by was the XXIO X Black Forged.

  18. Just picked up a set of the KING forged tech 2020 4-PW, waiting to get out and hit them but I wanted to know if you see any difference between these and the AP3s in forgiveness and overall club performance. Sitting around 10 handicap.

  19. Great review. How would you compare these to the Callaway Apex 19.

  20. Jonathan

    Do you prefer these over the PXG 0211? You had a pretty positive review of the PXG. Thanks!

    • Matt Saternus

      If I were buying new irons, I would test them head to head with a fitter and buy the ones that performed better for me.

      Best,

      Matt

  21. CAMPBELL RODDEN

    Do you prefer the cobra king Forged Tec Irons to the wilson D7 Forged Irons ? Thanks

  22. Hi. If I’m unable to get fit during this pandemic, how would these compare to an older JPX 900 Forged?

  23. Matt, Great review on the Cobra’s and the Callaway Apex 19. As a mid handicapper, I still want forgiveness and distance (like most do). Do you find either the Cobra Forged Tec or Callaway Apex 19 more forgiving?

  24. Nick O’Brien

    What range handicap would these ideally suit?

  25. Hi Matt, my 7 iron SS is in the low 80s, would the PX Catalyst graphite 80 gram stiff be a consideration versus the $ Taper lite steel offering? I have read they like a smooth swing, and that is what I am aiming for. Thanks!

    • Matt Saternus

      Brian,

      It’s certainly worth considering, but I wouldn’t recommend making a purchase until you’ve tried them or been fit.

      Best,

      Matt

  26. Matt, with these irons having strong lofts and the PW at 44 degrees, I currently have Vokey sm7’s — 50,54 and 58 degrees. Would these gaps be suitable? Mainly concerned about the 50 degree wedge. I could swap into 48, 52 and 56. Thoughts?

    • Matt Saternus

      Dan,

      I think a move to a 48 degree gap wedge makes a lot of sense with this set.

      Best,

      Matt

  27. Matt,
    I noted that the irons come with parallel tip shafts. All that I have used and most players style irons seem to be taper tip shafts (maybe a bit generalized for other irons). I am not familiar with these and would appreciate thoughts about the difference.

    • Matt Saternus

      Chris,

      It’s not a difference I would worry about. If anything, I would spend my worry budget making sure my clubs are assembled by a quality builder – or checking that they’re consistently in terms of specs – rather than deviating as many mass builds do.

      -Matt

  28. Thank you Matt for the awesome review. This club sounds like a great option. I’m falling victim to the caving club face issue with my M1s, which are due to be replaced.

    Coming from a set of M1s, would you say this club is more forgiving or about the same? I love the look and reviewed qualities of the Forged Tecs, but fear it’s too much of a “players club”. Would love ur opinion!

  29. Matt, how would you compare forgiveness of the Forged Tec against the PXG 0311 Gen1 irons? Thanks.

    • Matt Saternus

      Howie,

      It’s been a long time since I hit the GEN1 irons, so I’d really just be guessing. If you’re currently playing Gen1 and are interested in the Cobras, take your irons to a fitter and hit them head to head.

      -Matt

  30. How do these irons stack up to the i500s ?

  31. Hi Matt, I’m new to golf, having played a few years ago for fun on a weekly basis when I was in the service. I am wanting to get into golf a little more and I found your website. I’ve been studying different clubs and brands and I really like Cobra. I have a set of garage sale clubs that I got in 1999 when I was in high school golf class. My current handicap is 20. I don’t want to spend a lot on clubs right now, I don’t have much to spend right now, but I do feel like getting some clubs that are newer than 1999 Dunlop clubs. I found on marketplace someone selling Cobra King Forged Tec One Length Irons. I believe they are these, but one length for $350 which is in my budget. I want to get better before I invest in $1000 iron sets. They are also stiff shafts. Would you keep playing the 1999 clubs until I get better to get some newer clubs or would you buy the $350 clubs since they’re newer? Thank you

    • Matt Saternus

      Vinny,

      My advice would be to wait until you’re ready to get fit and buy what the fitter recommends. I understand the appeal of newer clubs, but ultimately that route takes you $350 farther from a set that’s really made for you.

      Best,

      Matt

  32. Brad Abbott

    With the developments in hollow irons, do you think lower handicap players who have played traditional forged cb/mb irons lose anything by going to hollow clubs such as these or the PXGs. It seems from the reviews like the technology has really closed the gap on feel and spin. Just curious on your stance whether hollow irons should be a serious consideration for players also looking at traditional players irons.

    • Matt Saternus

      Brad,

      I think any player who would rule out irons for being “hollow” is potentially missing out on a lot of performance gains.

      Best,

      Matt

  33. Hey Matt. Great review. I was fitted recently and the Forged Tec set is what we decided on. I loved them compared to all the other irons I tested. Curious what your opinion is on ordering them through Cobra directly vs the brand name fitter (T. Spec,/C.Champion). I’m getting a non-stock shaft that Cobra offers directly on their site and adjusting the lie angle. Do you think the (significantly) extra money to have the clubs built by the brand name fitter is worth it? How far off could Cobra really build the clubs? Thanks for your advice!

    • Matt Saternus

      Jared,

      Great question. Let me first say, as I often do, that I don’t spend other people’s money, so what’s “worth it” to me will be different than for other people.

      Now my answer will just relate to Club Champion because I know the company very well and have spent a lot of time in their build shop. When you pay them to build your clubs, you can be assured that they will be exactly on spec. The shafts will be weight sorted so they match perfectly. If anything is off, or you need adjustments, you have someone you can go back to and have it fixed quickly. When an OEM builds the clubs, they may be perfect but there’s a chance that they won’t be. They can be off a degree or two for loft or lie. The swing weight may not be perfect. The shafts are unlikely to be weight sorted.

      So, all that said, when I get clubs, it’s worth it for me to KNOW that they’re exactly right. I don’t claim that a degree of lie is the difference between scratch and a 15 handicap, but I like knowing that the tools are right and the responsibility is all on me.

      Best,

      Matt

  34. CAMPBELL RODDEN

    Hi Matt
    What’s the main difference between the c taper lite shafts and the s taper lite shafts ? Thanks

  35. archie mead

    I am currently playing these irons but have a chance to get a set of pxg 0311 gen 3 irons. Do you think it would make any improvement in my game? I am a 10 to 12 handicap.

    • Matt Saternus

      Archie,

      I think you may enjoy the PXG’s more, but if you’re asking whether changing irons will drop your scores, my answer is probably not.

      Best,

      Matt

  36. Sohrab Hejazi

    Thanks for a great post. a couple of questions:
    1) I have seen a few posts online about the wear and tear on these and the possibility of these getting scratched relatively quick compared to other clubs. Curious what your thoughts are on this.
    2) Curious if you’ve tried Taylormade P770 and how do you think the Cobra compares?

  37. Hi Matt,

    All things being equal, do you have a preference on the Calloway Apex 21 vs the Cobra Forged Tec (as far as forgiveness and distance)?

    • Matt Saternus

      RJ,

      Obviously I’m going to recommend that everyone get fit for clubs that work for their swing, but if you’re asking my preference, I think I would opt for the Forged Tec by a hair as I recall it being slightly smaller.

      Best,

      Matt

  38. Hi Matt,

    Which iron did you like better? This King Forged Tec or the Callaway Apex 21?

    Thank you for your reviews!

    • Matt Saternus

      Charles,

      I prefer the King Forged Tec, but I say that while acknowledging that both are very good sets.

      Best,

      Matt

  39. CAMPBELL RODDEN

    Hi Matt

    In your opinion how do the cobra forged Tec irons compare to the Srixon ZX5 irons ? Thanks

  40. Henny Van Kooten

    Really liked your thoughts on King Forged Tech irons. I would like to get your feelings on how they would compare to the PXG 0311 XP Gen 3.
    Thanks

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