Cobra have been at the forefront of innovative golf club design for over a decade and whilst they don't always make quite as much noise as some of their rivals when it comes to marketing and messaging, you'll be hard pressed to find a golfer who isn't impressed when they actually get the clubs into their hands and start hitting balls.
This year they are pushing the boat out even further with their new Radspeed range which features some interesting new ideas of weight placement throughout the club head, as well as the introduction of 3D printing into golf clubs for the first ever time.
What's It All About?
3D Printing was first seen in Cobra product earlier this year with the King Supersport-35 Putter as part of a new partnership with HP & Parmatech. Cobra are saying that the benefits of 3D printing include making it easier to design and test multiple different versions of a product, whilst also speeding up the manufacturing process.
The new Radspeed irons feature a 3D printed 'nylon medallion' on the back cavity of the club head which uses an intricate lattice structure in order to save weight and lower the CG for easier launch, whilst improving feel by damping vibrations felt at impact.
The Radspeed gets its name from the new Radial Weighting technology which will be seen across the range. This aims to maximise performance by focusing on the weight placement in relation to the Centre of Gravity in order to provide the perfect balance of speed and forgiveness.
By adding more mass to the bottom of the heel and toe, Cobra are able to put weight as far from the CG as possible at the bottom of the head, which lowers the overall centre and improves the stability of the clubhead.
This mass comes in the form of a 10g screw-in weight in the toe and 3g in the heel, which is said to provide the low CG and high MOI required for fast ball speed and a high launch. This toe weight can be adjusted by up to 6g during the custom fitting process in order to best suit a golfer's swing and shot tendencies.
Like last year's Speedzone Irons, the Radspeed features a carbon fibre strip on the topline which saves weight to further lower the CG and improve launch and spin numbers. This year it comes in a new black finish to create the appearance of a thinner topline, for a sleeker look at address.
The forged Pwrshell insert is made from a high-strength stainless steel and provides a thinner, more flexible face design to encourage better ball speeds around the sweet spot.
There are also progressive head shapes, groove shapes and hosel lengths in the Variable Length irons in order to optimise the performance of each iron right from the long irons to the wedges.
As with most Cobra irons you get the option of traditional variable length irons and One Length, which offers the same technology as the standard model but promotes the same setup and swing for every iron to provide more consistency.
You also get the Cobra Connect technology, powered by Arccos, which uses sensors to record the performance of every single shot out on the course to help you track and improve your game.
Cobra Radspeed Irons Review
Looks and Feel
The Radspeed gives you the same friendly head as you got in the Speedzone irons with a touch of offset and thick topline. This is the kind of club which leaves you in no doubt as to what it is trying to achieve - forgiveness, easy launch and plenty of distance.
In the short irons this looks a tiny bit too chunky for my liking although I am used to using compact-headed irons. But overall I think this is a pretty good looking club if you're into modern styling.
The long irons scream forgiveness. I have spoken before in my equipment reviews about 'visible tech' providing reassurance that the manufacturer is trying to help you out, and you certainly can't help but see the carbon fibre on the top of the clubhead.
For some this may be offputting but I didn't mind it, and it served as a nice reminder of all the technology that is packed into this head.
The sound was quite loud and high pitched, which may actually get you thinking you've struck the ball even better than you have! Having said that I was surprised that there was a decent level of feel from the irons, perhaps thanks to that 3D Printed medallion doing the trick. I'd definitely say that the feel was better than last year's Speedzone even if the sound was pretty similar (loud).
You get a nice thick Lamkin grip which I think actually suits this type of distance club, and in a way I feel as if that maybe helps dampen some of the vibrations too which may contribute to the feel.
Having played cricket for most of my life I am used to the feel of a slightly thicker grip so this was no issue to me, and of course you get the usual Cobra Connect shot tracking capability built into the top of the grip too.
As usual with Golfalot equipment reviews, we're looking to see whether the club is able to deliver on what they promise. Performance-wise, the Radspeed irons definitely do that.
As soon as you start hitting these irons, you can feel the power that they possess. Yes, the lofts are strong so I was expecting to get more distance than with my usual compact irons.
The radspeed certainly deliver that, as you'll see with the numbers below, but I was also really impressed with the consistency of the performance when you don't strike it out of the middle of the face.
Considering these irons are designed for higher handicap golfers who are likely to mishit the ball during the course of their round, it felt like they were doing a good job of helping you out. There may still be some distance drop-off compared to if you strike it well, but they should still get you up and around the green so you've got a better chance of making your par.
As I moved up towards the long irons I could feel that the face was trying to turn over a bit more due to that slight offset at address, which helped to promote more of a right-to-left shape for me.
One of the most noticeable aspects of the flight was the height for me, as the ball just seemed to hang in the air for a little longer than usual with my irons. You can see here that compared to my own 7 iron, the flight was consistently 2-3 yards higher with the Radspeed.
Having said, the spin rates were noticeably lower with each iron due to the stronger lofts and CG configuration which meant that, if I was to use these irons, I'd want to do some testing in firmer conditions to see how the ball reacted on the greens. When it's soft and wet in the winter in England, the ball stops fine, but in the summer it can be a different story.
My overall judgement on the performance with these irons was that they are enjoyable for two reasons.
Firstly, they go a long way, and even though I know it's because of that 'strong loft, low CG' setup and that it produces low spin, it is still fun to see yourself hit a 7 iron 10-15 yards than usual so if you're seeking more distance these could be right up your street.
The other reason is that I just felt as if they were less stressful than a lot of irons. Knowing that they are forgiving and there's extra help on off-centre hits allows you to just relax and enjoying hitting them rather than worrying too much about your strike.
Cobra Radspeed Irons Verdict
All in all this is another good showing from Cobra, it's produced an iron which is high launching, forgiving and long for those golfers seeking a bit more oomph from their equipment to help with overall consistency.
We've been saying for a few years that Cobra are one of the most underrated brands in golf and the Radspeed irons further enhance that reputation, and I think that the £749 RRP is really quite reasonable too for this day and age.
It's also nice to see a brand continue to push new innovation in their products which have a clear story such as the 3D Printing and Radial Weighting, which should give golfers the feeling that they are getting the brand's newest and best technologies rather than just rebadging last year's.
Of course, there are the usual irks of these game-improvement irons in that the spin rates are low, they look chunky and the lofts are cranked scarily low if you're a bit of a traditionalist. But if you're a mid to high handicapper looking for more consistency in your iron game, the Radspeed irons should definitely be on your testing list for 2021.
- Very forgiving across the face
- Modern look and styling
- Reasonable price point.
- Cobra continue to introduce innovative technology
- Strong lofts and low spin will not suit everyone
- Short irons are a little chunky
- Acoustics will be loud for some
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Cobra King Speedzone Irons Review
Cobra RADSPEED Drivers Review