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Today I’ll be reviewing the Cobra Baffler XL game-improvement iron set, said to deliver “easy distance and consistently higher ball flight” for those seeking maximum forgiveness.
The Baffler XL irons supposedly offer tremendous value for the price. How much truth is there to this statement?
Are they worth the buy? What are their weaknesses? Read on to get all the answers to your questions.
Rating: 4.8/5 (Excellent)
- relatively inexpensive
- easy to get up in the air whether from the rough or a tight lie (great for those who tend to hit it low)
- superb look and feel
- very solid and consistent distance
- very good forgiveness
- not the longest iron out there
- trajectory may be too high for some
- some may find the weight of the iron to be a bit uncomfortable
Best suited for: Golfers on a tighter budget, or high handicaps looking for a higher ball flight and solid forgiveness. The Baffler XL irons can certainly be enjoyed by lower handicaps as well.
Best Places To Buy Online
The Baffler is quite an old model, which makes it more difficult to find online. However, the upside to this is that you can get them for dirt cheap.
You can currently find Baffler XL irons on this eBay page and on this Global Golf page at very low prices. I would definitely recommend eBay in this case.
Want a high-resolution look at the Baffler XL 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 Baffler XL irons have had a superb reception — for example, they have a 4.9/5 on Global Golf and a 4.9/5 (100% recommended) on the Dick’s Sporting Goods website.
They have been praised for their easy-to-hit cool-looking profile, very generous mis-hit forgiveness, reliable distance, and also being easy to get up in the air from a variety of lies. Buyers are amazed at the performance given the relatively low price (sub $300.00 for a 4-GW steel set).
In terms of negatives, some golfers find the weight of the iron to be uncomfortable, and others find the trajectory to be too high for their tastes.
What are the features?
Cobra’s Baffler XL irons are said to provide “easy distance and consistent higher ball flight for the aspiring golfer”. They are intended for golfers who are looking for maximum forgiveness.
Features of the irons include:
- an oversized face design with a progressive offset that produces a higher and more forgiving trajectory. Note that the offset tends to promote a draw, and since the longer irons have more offset they will be more draw-biased (and thus less workable) than the shorter irons.
- a wide sole with oversized rails, engineered to deliver smooth turf interaction for more consistent distance from shot to shot.
- a deep undercut cavity behind an unsupported face which moves weight back (away from the face) — this increases moment of inertia (MOI) and hence increases ball speeds and accuracy across the face.
- a low center of gravity (CG) that helps get the ball up in the air from any lie.
Similar to the Fly-Z XL irons, the lofts of the Baffler irons are higher than what you might typically find on other irons.
Specifications for the iron and the stock shafts are presented in the tables below.
|Name||Loft||Lie||Length||Swing Weight (Steel/Graphite)|
|Baffler XL True Temper Steel||S, R||110g (S)|
|Baffler XL Graphite||S, R, Lite||65g (S)|
How do these irons perform?
The Baffler XL iron definitely does not disappoint in the forgiveness department. It competes with many of the more expensive irons in its class.
Distance, direction and trajectory are both impressively consistent even on mis-hits. The Baffler XL tends to resist sidespin and thus helps to alleviate hooks and slices.
When it comes to the shorter irons, you should have little to no problem getting less-than-perfect shots to fly high and land soft into the green.
Golfers who have slower swing speeds and hit it low with a low spin rate will generally have the best distance results with the Baffler XL irons. In these cases, players can potentially realize distance gains of upwards of 10 yards over their previous irons.
Distances are consistent and reliable, thanks in part to the rails on the sole.
The higher MOI translates to very good ball speed retention on off-center hits.
As mentioned previously, the Baffler XL irons tend to produce high shots (due to the weaker lofts and low CG) with a slight draw — this may not be suitable for everyone, particularly strong swingers with a high spin rate.
You are able to get the ball up in the air quite easily from almost any lie, whether it be in the fairway, rough or bunker.
Workability is limited, as is expected with game-improvement irons.
What about look, sound and feel?
The Baffler XL irons have a typical game-improvement profile: a moderately wide sole and moderately thick top line, with a cool Cobra-themed rear cavity design. Nothing outlandish or outrageous.
It’s a confidence-inspiring look that I personally love, as do many others I’m certain. Of course, it does come down to your personal tastes.
The Sound & Feel
Overall, the Baffler XL irons have a very solid, stable and balanced feel at address and throughout the swing.
The sole rails of the Baffler XL irons reduce twisting through turf and contribute to a much smoother feel through impact.
Impact feels and sounds are rather soft and muted, more so than many other similar game-improvement irons.
Where should I buy these irons online?
The best place to find new and used Baffler XL iron sets in all sorts of configurations at the lowest prices is eBay.
They can also be purchased on Global Golf, and in the past, 4-GW sets were being sold on the Dick’s Sporting Goods website at a discounted price.
Note that new Baffler XL irons are often sold in a combo set with hybrids.
The Cobra Baffler XL irons are terrific irons that really don’t have any major weaknesses. They are most ideal for higher handicappers looking for more forgiveness and a higher ball flight.
Although they probably don’t perform quite as well as some of the high-end models, you would be hard pressed to find other irons that deliver so brilliantly for such a low price.
Anyone who is looking for a good solid set of irons and doesn’t want to pay for top-of-the-line models should seriously consider these.
You don’t even really need to worry about testing the irons first because they’re so cheap now. Just follow the links in this article.
Ever tried the Baffler XL irons? Have any thoughts or opinions about them? Let me know in the comments below!
Hello Paul. Good review. Are you saying that the Baffler XL irons here are the best for someone who wants to improve their game?
On the drawback, why a short length a con? I mean, whatâ€™s significant about the length of the iron?
Nonetheless, I do understand why it improves someoneâ€™s game and your review backs this fact, notably making the ball easy to get up in the air.
Thanks for the comment and questions.
No. It’s impossible to narrow down a universal “best” of anything when it comes to golf equipment — every golfer will have their own unique “best” that might even change down the road as their budget, swing and/or body changes. With that said, it is possible to recommend certain irons (like the Baffler XL) for certain types of golfers who are most likely to be successful with them, and that is what I strive to do in my reviews.
By “length” I’m actually talking in terms of yardages and not the length of the shaft. The Baffler XL shouldn’t be considered a pure distance iron in the sense that there are other more expensive irons that tend to produce faster ball speeds. At the same time, I wouldn’t say the Baffler XL has any problems with distance.
You should be taking into account the low price when you consider the Baffler XL irons; you’re really getting a ton of value for the money.
Great objective review man. I hate researching clubs. Never feels like I get the straight story. This really clarifies. Appreciate it. The insight about my budget really helps as well as that fits me to a tee at the moment. Will check back for more reviews. Appreciate you posting the eBay link as well. Going to look through there now to see what kind of prices are floating around.
No problem James, glad you found it helpful. Do let me know if you have any questions about the irons.
Well said….. I agree with everything! I hit these irons high and straight consistently. Great game improvement irons !!
Paul, I’m 70 yrs old and have moved up to the senior tees. I just traded in my Cobra S-3 stiff shafts for the baffler xl’s regular and boy am I happy I did so…I can’t handle stiff anymore at my age..usually score somewhere between 78 and 84 depending on the course length but the bafflers are much easier to hit and I even see a little distance increase in each iron with much less effort to get a solid hit. They are great in my opinion..Don’t understand why Cobra discontinued this line of club as the Fly-z’s in my opinion are not as easy to hit with the same consistency .
Thanks for sharing. I have very little experience with the S3 irons, so I’d rather not comment on them, but I’m glad you hit a home run with the Baffler XLs. They’re truly one of the best budget irons out there. You’re right in that the Baffler XL irons do seem to be one of the less prominent models for whatever reason. In relation to the Fly-Z XLs (review here), which I also think are very good game-improvement irons, I too had a bit of an easier time with the Baffler XLs during my testing, but different people will have different results and preferences of course.
Just getting back into golf after 10+ years. Want to Dicks sporting goods and hit 7 different brands/models over 3 days. I hit the Bafflers, and the Taylor m2’s the best. But the Bafflers were the longest and most accurate. 65-70mph swing speed translated into 170-180 yard 8 iron every time!!! Unreal distance and control. Every ball (aside from the occasional duff) had a slight draw and was within 20 yds. Of target sight line. These clubs are awesome! The price is 500 less than the Taylormades. My decision has been made.
Great results Joe. It just goes to show you that more expensive models don’t necessarily give better results. Thanks for sharing.
I bought a set of baffler irons this spring. I am hitting them ok bit not getting the distance i was hoping for. i did not realize that I bought stiff flex steel shafts at the time of purchase. i wonder if that is the problem??? My average swing speed is 78-80 mph. wondering if I should start shopping again or stick with them. i have been told it would NOT be worth replacing this set with regular flex shafts for the money. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your comment. The Baffler irons can see distance gains for some players, particularly those with slow swing speeds to begin with. If your average swing speed with a 6-iron is 78-80 mph, then you’re a bit above average and approaching the point where you would transition to a stiff shaft. The stiff shaft could be hurting you a little bit, but it’s hard to know for sure. Have you talked with people at your local golf store or pro shop? They should be able to advise you well once they know the details about your situation. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.
Hi great comments I’ve just brought a set of baffled xl irons regular and boy talk about straight smooth and longer than my previous sets finally a club that works for me.
Watch my handicap 14 go to 10 in month lol.
Excellent, glad to hear it. It goes to show you that you don’t necessarily need a $1000 iron set to do well.
I’m turning 71 in a month and have been playing Kirsten Ping irons with a senior graphite shaft for the past four years. I’ve lost some distance over the years but, even worse is the fact that I’ve been losing control of my shots. I had my son’s old set of Cobra Baffler XL ‘s (R steel shafts) in the basement and decided to try them one round. At first, they felt a little heavy but I persisted and have played them for about nine rounds so far. I can’t explain it but my shot dispersement has gotten much better with virtually no loss in distance. If this trend continues, I think I might relegate my Pings to the garage for a while.
That’s interesting Tony. I assume you mean the PING Karsten irons. These and the Baffler XLs are both super GI irons. I know that with the Karstens, it can be hard to tell the difference between a solid strike and a mis-hit by feel. It’s hard to know why you’re hitting them better; it could be because you’re making better contact closer to the sweet spot, or because the increased MOI of the Baffler XLs is allowing your off-center strikes to go straighter. In any case, if you have consistently better results with them, and they’re comfortable, you should definitely stick with them. It’s one of those things where you never know until you try it.