Here I’ll be reviewing the Cobra KING F6 iron set, a game-improvement iron set intended to deliver forgiveness, feel and control through a progressive design construction and in a classic head profile. The KING F6 earned gold medal honours on the Golf Digest Hot List for 2016.
How does the King F6 really perform when push comes to shove? Is it a viable option for higher handicaps? Is it lacking in any areas? Read on to find out what you need to know before putting these in your bag.
What are the reviews like?
The KING F6 iron has been received awfully well with an average customer rating of 5/5 on RBG, very positive reviews on the official Cobra website and positive verdicts from most of the professional critics. People are really impressed with the superb mis-hit forgiveness (both directional and distance-wise), accuracy, ease of hitting, high launch, solid distance and durability offered. Much of the negative lies with the long irons; some people feel they’re overly thick and others are put off by their impact feel. Aside from this there’s really not much this iron doesn’t do well.
What are the features?
Cobra calls the KING F6 the “king of progressive iron sets”. Under Tecflo construction, where multiple construction technologies are employed, each club in the set is designed to perform differently but optimally so that golfers can hit more greens and improve their proximity. Here’s a run-through of the set:
- 3-5 irons: a full-hollow design with face inserts that result in a low/deep center of gravity (CG), higher launch, responsive face and easy hit. These long irons are made out of 17-4 stainless steel and have an enclosed cavity back.
- 6-7 irons: a half-hollow design with a very thin face and added discretionary weight for optimal CG positioning. These mid irons are designed to be easy to hit and accurate.
- 8-PW: a traditional cavity-back design with a low and deeper CG enabling more spin, accuracy and control into the greens.
- GW-SW: a specialty wedge design for optimal precision and versatility around the greens including in the rough and bunkers. These clubs have a traditional blade-style muscleback head with wider grooves for more spin potential.
Other features and technologies include:
- a Speed Channel, an engineered channel positioned on the sole close to the leading edge and around the perimeter of the upper back cavity, increases face flexion at impact for more ball speed across the face.
- a new nickel chrome plating and a gunmetal PVD coating that enhance durability as well as the aesthetic.
- T.O.P. technology consisting of an engineered aluminum cap (in place of steel on dual-cavity hollow irons) which frees up 5 grams of discretionary weight and allows for the low/deep CG position mentioned above.
- a progressive groove design: V-Grooves on the 4-6 irons for reduced spin, U-Grooves on the 7-PW for more spin, and wedge-spaced grooves on the GW-SW for touch and high spin.
- deep perimeter undercutting that creates an unsupported face and contributes to more face flex and ball speed at impact.
- CNC Milled Grooves for more control, workability and spin.
A hybrid/iron combo set is available for the KING F6. The stock set consists of 8 clubs (4-PW, GW) with FST Steel and Matrix Red Tie 65Q4 graphite stock shafts. Full information on shafts, grips and their specs can be found on the Cobra website. The specs of the KING F6 irons are below for those interested:
|Model||Loft||Lie||Offset (mm)||Length (steel)||Length (graphite)||Swing Weight (steel)||Swing Weight (graphite)||RH/LH|
How do these irons perform?
Distance Control: Raw distance results are about average for a game-improvement iron. What’s more important, however, is the exceptional above-average distance control even away from the center of the face. Dispersion is nice and tight and the high launch allows for excellent control and soft landings into greens. Slow swingers and/or golfers who tend to struggle with a low ball flight will likely gain both distance and accuracy, particularly in the longer irons. Stronger swingers who don’t need help with lift can modify their shaft to keep the flight down.
Forgiveness: A natural consequence of the low, deep positioning of the center of gravity is decreased directional forgiveness and some shot-shaping potential, but this isn’t necessarily bad. The KING F6 isn’t going to keep your worst slices and hooks in the center of the fairway, but it will take some of the edge off, not to mention preserve a really good amount of ball speed and shot height. I found these irons to be one of the best I’ve ever tested in terms of mis-hit distance, and that’s a pretty good distinction.
Ball Flight/Playability: I have no complaints. Typical ball flights with the stock shaft are high and straight over a pretty large area of the face. Competent players can work shots to an extent; this capability increases as you move from the longer to the shorter irons due to the progressive spin design. This iron is generally very stable through the rough, bunker and other trouble lies. Playability and versatility are impressive for a GI iron.
What about look, sound and feel?
Look: The KING F6 iron set, being progressive, has top line thicknesses, offsets and sole widths (and hence forgiveness) that increase as you move from short to long in the set. Relative to other game-improvement irons in its class, I would say that the top lines are a little thicker than what you would typically expect, but the sole widths and offsets are much more modest. The GI Fly-Z XL, for example, has more offset throughout the set. This is one of the reasons I would say that the KING F6 iron is closer than most to the better-player side of the spectrum even though it is classified as game-improvement.
Shifting focus to the back and badge designs, we have a patterned background with some sharp Cobra labeling in a black/white/orange colour scheme — I like the look personally and I think it would appeal to the majority of golfers. See the features section above for more details on the material construction and how the look changes through the set.
Sound and Feel: The full-hollow irons sound less hollow and metallic than you would expect. For the most part the KING F6 irons have a more traditional sound at impact. Solid strikes feel quite solid and mis-hits feel decent but distinctly different so that you get accurate feedback for troubleshooting. Consistent with other aspects of the look and performance, the KING F6 sounds and feels more like a players iron than most other GI irons of its class, which is nice. The irons interact well with the turf.
Where should I buy these irons online?
At the time of writing, Amazon.com seems to be offering new 8-piece 4-GW sets of KING F6 irons for the best price by far — under $600! Prices can change though, and thus I would strongly recommend checking the current prices on this Global Golf page, eBay and this Golfsmith page to compare. You can find deals for used clubs as well at these locations. Get discounts for new and used KING F6 irons on eBay by clicking this special link. Get a free online fitting for KING F6 irons right here.
Rating: 4.7/5 (Awesome)
Pros: High launch can really help out slow swingers and low hitters increase their carry; steel and graphite stock shaft options are superb; forgiving without totally sacrificing workability; outstanding ball speed preservation across the entire face; better sound and feel than other similar GI irons; nickel plating and gunmetal coating looks and feels premium
Cons: Aesthetic isn’t everyone’s cup of tea; some feel the head profile is too thick in the longer irons; not as forgiving as many more extreme GI irons
Best suited for: Golfers who want a high-launching GI iron that’s more on the better-player side than most.
Best places to buy online: Please see the buying section with links directly above.
The Cobra KING F6 is an interesting offering from Cobra; in many ways it doesn’t deliver what you might expect from a game-improvement iron and leans a little bit towards the better-player end of the spectrum. Nevertheless, with great forgiveness, solid distance, true feel, workability potential and a beginner-friendly ball flight, this is a high-quality creation that low and high handicappers alike could find very appealing.
If you have any thoughts or questions about Cobra’s KING F6 irons, drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!