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Today I’ll be reviewing the Cobra AIR-X irons.
The AIR-X irons are lightweight and designed for easy, high launch for maximum stopping power into greens. They are supposedly the ideal solution for seniors and other slow swingers who need some help getting the ball airborne.
How does the AIR-X actually perform on the course? How does it compare with other Cobra offerings like the LTDx? Is it worth putting a set in the bag?
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating this club. In most cases, the golf clubs reviewed on Golfstead are acquired temporarily for testing purposes and are not purchased. The review that follows is based on the personal experience and research of the author. Because everyone’s swing and body are different, results with a particular club may differ from person to person.
What are the reviews like?
The AIR-X iron earned a gold medal on the Golf Digest 2022 Hot List. However, for some reason, they are not widely discussed and there are few critic reviews out there, but the ones that exist are positive.
Customer ratings that have come out so far are excellent — the irons have average scores of 4.5/5 on Rock Bottom Golf and 5/5 on the Cobra store, although the sample size isn’t very large.
What People Like
- lightweight and easy to swing
- high launch with a plenty of carry
- solid, satisfying feel
- very forgiving across the face
- draw bias is great for higher handicaps
What People Don’t Like
- thick profile might put off some people
Perhaps the most consequential feature of the AIR-X irons is the lightweight design. The head is lighter than most other irons, and the shaft (48g) and grip (41g) are also lighter.
The end result is an iron that feels much lighter and is easier to swing for players with slower swing speeds. The AIR-X is eight grams lighter than the previous F-MAX Airspeed.
You also have:
- Variable Thickness Face: a “fast face” that is thinner in the heel and toe for enhanced ball speed preservation on mis-hits.
- Low-Profile Design: an easy launch is enabled by a cavity-back design with weaker lofts.
- Offset Hosel: helps reduce or eliminate misses to the right.
In addition, the lie angles in the longer irons are more upright which helps promote the squaring of the club at impact.
The AIR-X irons are available from the 4-iron all the way to the sand wedge. The stock set is 5-GW. Custom sets and individual selections are possible.
The stock steel shaft is the Cobra FST Ultralite (97g), and the stock graphite shaft is the Cobra Ultralite (45, 50). The stock grip is the Lamkin R.E.L. Standard 58R.
There are a ton of different shafts to choose from and many custom grips. You can also customize your lie angles and lofts.
Also available are the:
- AIR-X Combo Set: consists of five irons and two AIR-X hybrids
- Women’s AIR-X irons: club lengths, shafts and grips are tailored to women to maximize their performance
If you’re interested, more information on shafts, grips and other customizations can be found here.
Below are the specs of the AIR-X irons. Click or zoom to enlarge.
Objectively speaking, the AIR-X irons are slightly above average in terms of ball speed — not quite as powerful as something like the LTDx.
However, what makes the irons very long for many people, particularly those with low-medium swing speeds, is twofold: one, the light weight enables the generation of more club head speed in the swing, and two, the high launch naturally results in more distance compared to a trajectory that would otherwise be too low.
In short, added club head speed and higher launch will be a distance game-changer for many.
On the other hand, you may lose distance with the AIR-X irons if you have a strong swing and don’t need lighter irons or weaker lofts to get the ball airborne.
Similar to distance, the overall forgiveness of the AIR-X is above average, even for a game-improvement iron.
What makes the irons particularly forgiving are the increased spin rate, draw bias and offset. The progressive offset is greatest in the long irons, and also, weight is positioned low, wide and in the heel for added mis-hit stability.
When it comes down to it, the AIR-X irons provide very good ball speed preservation and tight dispersions of only a few yards in either direction.
Trajectories with the AIR-X irons tend to be high with a moderate draw bias. Launch is relatively high.
I really do prefer this kind of iron because in most cases, stopping power and spin is more important than pure distance. In the case of the AIR-X, Cobra has done a great job minimizing the tradeoff; there is still plenty of distance there for reaching par-5s in two.
In addition, the AIR-X irons are easy to hit out of a variety of lies. The thicker head powers through the rough nicely, and the wider, flatter sole helps prevent digging into the turf.
When it comes to workability, this is not a shotmaker’s iron. Capable golfers can work the ball to a limited extent, but it certainly doesn’t afford the precise control that is demanded by many professionals.
I think the badge design of the AIR-X iron is fantastic — tasteful lines with some sharp red accents and not too much going on. It gives the irons some pretty sweet bag appeal.
The “Cobra” logo stands out and contrasts much better with its surroundings compared to the LTDx iron.
The AIR-X iron has a typical game-improvement shape, with a thick top line and good amount of offset. The nickel, two-tone chrome plating finish helps enhance the aesthetic and increase durability.
Golfers who prefer a chunky, confidence-inspiring iron will be extremely pleased with the AIR-X, but I can understand if some people are looking for something a little sleeker.
The Sound & Feel
What stood out to me the most when playing the AIR-X irons was the light weight, which is a departure from the norm. It really does make them easy to swing and feel like you’re putting speed into the shot.
Feel at impact is a solid “crack”, and the sound can be characterized as medium-pitched. The sound and feel are very well-balanced overall — as you move towards the heel and toe, the sound holds up nicely but the feel loses a little bit of the solidness.
In my experience, there is enough feedback in the hands to discern the general area of the strike, but at the same time, mis-hits are as non-punishing as you would expect for a game-improvement iron. I have a hard time thinking of anything to complain about in this regard.
Where To Buy These Irons Online
The AIR-X irons don’t seem to be as widely available as other iron models. In any case, the best place to order a new set with custom shafts, grips, lengths, lofts, etc., is the official Cobra store.
You can look at the AIR-X irons that are available at Rock Bottom Golf and Global Golf. These shops offer performance guarantees, financing and trade-in programs to help make the process as smooth as possible. Also check out Amazon.
New iron models don’t stay new for long, and eventually the option for custom orders will disappear. At that point, you’ll have to look at off-the-rack AIR-X irons or even used sets.
Another excellent destination for both new and used irons is eBay. You can usually get irons there for prices that can’t be beat anywhere else.
The Cobra AIR-X irons deliver terrific value for money, and I would urge most mid to high handicappers (journeyman golfers and even beginners) to consider them. Why? Because:
- they’re so lightweight and easy to swing that it creates an ideal opportunity to gently build up your endurance and the strength of your golf muscles
- they’re very affordable compared to most other modern irons
- they pack plenty of distance and forgiveness
- they help you get the ball airborne
I would really like to see more of these types of irons get built instead of the usual “maximum distance and forgiveness” sticks that come out these days.
With that said, the AIR-X irons aren’t for everybody. For those with fast swing speeds and those who normally struggle with excessively high spin rates, the LTDx irons would likely be a better fit.
Are you interested in the AIR-X irons? Have you tried them yet? What’s your experience? Let us know by leaving a comment below.