A Review of the Cobra MAX Irons

by | April 8, 2016

Cobra MAX Iron Reviews

Cobra MAX Iron Reviews (2016)

Here I’ll be fully reviewing the Cobra MAX super game-improvement iron, which recently earned a gold medal on the 2016 Golf Digest Hot List. The MAX iron features technology that optimizes performance all throughout the set; it’s currently one of Cobra’s best, most forgiving offerings for the high-handicap golfer.

How does the MAX iron actually perform? Is it worth the buy? What are its pros and cons? Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.

In a hurry?  Here’s the quick overview and verdict for you…

Rating: 4.4/5 (Great)

Pros: Excellent value for money; long irons are easy to hit and launch; good accuracy and reliability; quality forgiveness; nice look and solid feel with enough feedback

Cons: Not very playable out of some trouble lies; some might not like the slightly heavy feel

Classification: Max Game-Improvement

Best suited for: Mid-to-high handicappers looking for generous forgiveness and dependability.

Best places to buy online: Please consult the relevant table near the end of the review!

Want a high-resolution look at the MAX irons?  Click on the composite image at the top of the page and navigate the photos on the left-hand side of the screen.


What are the reviews like?

The Cobra MAX irons have been received very positively overall. Customers and reviewers generally love them for their easy launch (particularly with the long irons), dependable distance, relatively straight ball flight and excellent forgiveness across the face. There doesn’t seem to be anything that really stands out in terms of negatives, but a couple of the most common complaints are unsatisfactory playability out of trouble lies like the rough and a feel that is a bit too heavy for comfort. The MAX irons are generally accepted as good all-around performers.

What are the features?

The features of the MAX irons are very similar — nearly identical, in fact — to those of the Fly-Z XL irons, which I previously reviewed here. For a more detailed rundown, consult the features section of that review. For the sake of providing helpful information on this page, here is a compact summary of the features:

  • Speed Channel Face consisting of an engineered trench behind the face area — this substantially reduces face thickness and works in tandem with a deep Perimeter Undercut in the short irons (9-SW) behind a large, unsupported face to increase face flexion at impact for faster ball speeds all across the face (and hence more ball speed forgiveness on mishits).
  • a hollow dual cavity design in the long and mid irons (4-8) with a hollow lower half section that moves the center of gravity (CG) lower and deeper — this is supposed to result in consistently higher launch and improved forgiveness.

The “stock set” consists of eight irons (4-PW and GW). The stock shafts available are the Matrix OZIK X4 White Tie (graphite) and the FST Steel (steel). The stock grip is the Lamkin REL. Full details on shafts/grips and their specs can be viewed on the Cobra website. Specs for the MAX irons are presented in the table below:

NameLoftLieLength (steel)Length (graphite)Offset (mm)
422°61°39.25"39.50"6.3
525°61.5°38.5"38.75"5.9
628°62°37.75"38.00"5.4
731.5°62.5°37.25"37.50"4.7
835.5°63°36.75"37.00"3.9
940°63.5°36.25"36.50"3.4
PW45°64°36"36.25"2.8
GW50°64°35.75"36.00"1.0
SW55°64°35.5"35.75"0.8

You can see that the lofts are identical to those of the Fly-Z XL irons, but the lies, lengths and offsets do differ; the offsets, in particular, are greater to help accommodate higher handicaps.

How do these irons perform?

Distance: I found distance results to be very solid during my test — plenty of carry with impressively consistent yardages even from not-so-pure strikes. Relatively speaking there are many irons out there right that tend to be longer, but I don’t think that the distance capabilities of the MAX irons should be a problem for most golfers, especially those who are more concerned about accuracy and reliability into the greens.

Forgiveness: Forgiveness is very good overall, and this is more or less what I expected given the “super” game-improvement classification and the quality of the Cobra brand. In particular, the design of the iron head (with the Speed Channel Face and Perimeter Undercut) really appears to speak well to distance preservation; mild to moderate mishits usually retain a very good ball speed and often times go nearly as far as pure strikes. The MAX irons help to straighten out slices and hooks somewhat, but that doesn’t mean you should expect them to save your sloppy shots from missing the green — club technology is never a substitute for a good swing and solid contact. Still, they do a better job in this regard than many other game-improvement irons on the market.

Playability/Trajectory: Typical ball flights seem to be straight and fairly high (but not stratosphere-high). Workability is predictably limited, although skilled golfers can shape shots to a small degree. While the iron is perfectly playable in a wide variety of situations, it can sometimes have difficulties out of thicker/hairier lies or when some finesse is required for making contact.

What about look, sound and feel?

Look: The look of the MAX iron is fairly traditional for a max game-improvement iron. The top line is sufficiently thick (but not excessively so), offsets are quite substantial and sole width is very reasonable — it inspires plenty of confidence at address without appearing too chunky. As I touched upon above, the cavity back design differs between the longer irons (a dual hollow cavity), the shorter irons (deep cavity) and the high-loft wedges (solid). In terms of the aesthetic design, I do like it generally but feel that there’s a little bit too much going on in terms of lines and colours for my personal taste.

Sound and Feel: The MAX irons do a respectable job overall in the sound/feel department. True to some remarks made about them by other users, they did feel a touch on the heavy side with the stock steel shaft. However, in my case, it didn’t present any major problems in terms of actual functionality and performance, and in fact actually made for some added stability through the ball. Solid strikes with the iron produce a satisfying “pop” at impact, mis-hits feel comparatively mild and feedback is adequate for determining where the ball makes contact with the face.

Where should I buy these irons online?

Best Online LocationsPrices (subject to change)Shipping DetailsReturns/ExchangesAdditional Notes
Global GolfClick here to display current prices.- multitude of options available including Economy (often free) and Next Day
- international shipping available
- shipping discount codes can be used at checkout
- exchanges can be initiated by contacting Global Golf directly
- unused equipment can be returned for a full refund within 30 days, subject to certain conditions, through the online returns center
- many golf products qualify for a 30-Day Playability Guarantee, which allows customers to return used clubs within 30 days for a full refund in the form of store credit
- offers coupon/discount/promotional codes on an ongoing basis to be used at checkout
eBayClick here to display current listings.- shipping speeds and costs depend on location, individual seller and available services (free options sometimes available)- exact policies depend on the individual seller
- in the event returns are allowed, they can be initiated easily through the eBay website
- great for used and new clubs
- some $80+ and $120+ discounts for new and used MAX irons respectively
- overstock is often sold here at a substantial discount
- generally offers the best prices for used clubs
AmazonClick here to display current prices.- fast and reliable
- free shipping available
- eligible free two-day shipping and free same-day shipping for Amazon Prime members (free trial available)
- returns can generally be made within 30 days of receipt of shipment (past 30 days up to 80% of the price can be refunded)
- exchanges can be made through the Online Returns Center if the option is available
- standalone MAX iron set is available with steel (R/S) shaft
- MAX iron combo set, which includes graphite hybrids in addition to the irons, is also available with a graphite option
- trusted with excellent customer service
- A-to-z Guarantee ensures you receive your item from third-party sellers as advertised and in a timely manner

Conclusion

The Cobra MAX iron is a rock-solid afforable game-improvement stick that delivers dependable distance control and accuracy, easy launch, top forgiveness, stability and a sharp look and feel to boot. While it’s mainly geared towards the high-handicap player, it’s a great option for just about any golfer who prioritizes all-around performance and forgiveness over maximum workability. Is it worth it for those who want what it has to offer? The answer is yes!

Want to give the MAX irons a try? You’ll probably want to check this out here!

Have any thoughts or opinions about the Cobra MAX irons? Be sure to drop a comment below!


Images courtesy of:  Amazon

7 thoughts on “A Review of the Cobra MAX Irons

  1. Mark Grundy

    Golfing is a bit of a passion of mine! Been golfing 8 years now so really appreciate the solid golfing introduction and tips!

    I have never used the Cobra MAX before, but I was thinking of checking out some of their sister products. I might have to check out the link!

    Many thanks,

    Mark

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Thanks for the comment Mark. Cobra does have a pretty extensive selection when it comes to irons, which means you can generally find a model that fits your game and your play style quite well.

      Reply
  2. Farhan

    Hello,

    Great review. You seem like you know your stuff, as it is evident from the elaborate and detailed content that is presented here. In addition to myself, I do know people who would be interested in the info here and I will be sure to let them know about it.

    I am guessing that the quality of a golf stick depends on the design of its irons? In this case, do you think that the Cobra MAX irons would be suitable for beginners?

    Thanks, and great site!

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      You do that, thanks! As for your question: materials used, construction, design, technology and effectiveness are some of the main criteria for determining club “quality” — this is generally reflected in the price, but there are also other factors at play. The MAX irons would certainly be an excellent choice for beginners given their forgiveness (a lot of offset in the longer irons) and reasonable price. Feel free to shoot if you have any more questions.

      Reply
  3. Mike

    Great review! I’ve been playing for about 20 months and I shoot in the mid-low 90’s. I been really trying to improve but I know clubs are only a tool and need to practice! I get out the range at least 1-2x week and play at least once a week. I’m playing a set of TM speed bladez HL. I reached the point where I understand how clubs work, I’m willing to swallow my pride and get a set of SGI irons/hybrid set. This should really help with my slight fade and on those rough days my slice! I’m leaning towards cobra because someone had given me a cobra baffler h rail 6H from the 1st swing I loved it! The ease of getting the ball in the air with a high tragatory and soft landing. I finally was able to hit a club from 165yd and stick the green. I ended getting the matching 5H & 4H. Well my question is would you happen to know if there is much of a difference in performance from Cobra baffler LX, Cobra fly z xl or newest cobra MAX. I know they have all had high marks but if I can save some money by getting the baffler xl then i’ll stay away from newer models? I was also considering ping g-max or Callaway xr OS

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Sorry for the late response. Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s true that those Cobra irons you mention are all game-improvement and are very similar to each other. I’ve tried them all, and what I found personally was that the MAX irons launched a little higher on average; the long irons were maybe just a little easier to get up in the air as well. Compared with the Fly-Z XL irons, the lofts of the MAX irons are the same but the offsets are a bit greater to accommodate higher handicaps. I don’t believe the Baffler XL irons have the Speed Channel and hollow cavity design found in the MAX and Fly-Z XL models. While the best thing to do would be to try them all and see what works best, I understand that’s usually not feasible for many. In addition to this MAX review, I have also reviewed the Baffler XL, Fly-Z XL, PING GMax and XR OS irons you mention — I would recommend checking those out if you still haven’t decided. Since you seem to place a lot of importance on budget, I would suggest you avoid the expensive ($600+) models for now, but that is up to you of course. One option would be to get a fitting at a local golf store and possibly buy your fit online if you can find a good price. I place special links in all my reviews to places online where you can find some of the best deals; be sure to check those out. Good luck and let us know if you need any more help.

      Reply
  4. Mike

    Thanks for reply!! I ended up going with the Cobra fly-z XL. I took your recommendation and after going down to my local golf shop for a few days in a row i kept gravitating to the cobra Fly z XL and the Cobra Max. I ended up finding a killer deal online so that really helped me make my final decision. My new clubs just got delivered on Monday so only had a chance to go range. The lights at our local ranges are horrible so i couldn’t really see where my shots were landing. I can’t wait to hit the course this weekend, i don’t expect miracles but if these bad boys can shave 1-2 strokes off my game then ill be more than happy with my purchase!

    Reply

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