Cobra AMP irons are new for 2012 and they’re being marketed around
Rickie Fowler, just like the Cobra AMP driver we review on a different
page of this site. What’s Fowler – one of golf’s “young guns” and the
king of Sunday orange - got to do with these clubs?
Rickie Fowler is Cobra’s new high-profile Tour Staff member, and his favorite color is orange. In fact, he always wears orange on tournament Sundays. His shirt is orange, and so is his hat. But that’s not all. His pants are orange, and so are his shoes. For all I know (and I don’t know), his underwear is orange.
Fowler and his favorite color have inspired the color scheme used on the new Cobra AMP irons. The company is hoping the orange will increase sales by attracting golfers’ attention and paying honor to Rickie Fowler and his prodigious, still-developing talent.
The Cobra AMP driver delivers flashy looks and steady performance, much like Rickie Fowler himself. What about the Cobra AMP irons? Do they give you the same combination of performance and attitude as the driver? Or would you just get style points for having the clubs that stand out most on the course?
Let’s find out.
These irons have a pretty “clean” design for cavity-back irons. They also have a fairly thin top line for cavity- backs, and on an overall basis they’re attractive – if you like orange.
You won’t see it as you’re standing over the ball, but each of the irons has a vibrant (okay, loud) orange cavity insert. You will, however, notice the flashy orange Lamkin N-DUR 3Gen grip and the orange-on-black graphics on the stock graphite shaft, a Cobra AMP by Aldila (available in Stiff, Regular, Lite or Ladies flex). A True Temper AMP Dynalite 90 steel shaft is also available, but it doesn’t give you the same visual effect. The final “Fowler influence” is the orange paint used to highlight each iron’s number on the sole.
The clubs aren’t just a pretty face, though. These are technologically-advanced sticks that feature multi-material construction and other design features intended to promote distance, accuracy and forgiveness. For example, the 3- through 7-irons have a 2-piece head consisting of a thin 17-4 hyper stainless steel face that’s plasma-welded to a 431 stainless steel body. The short irons (8-iron and up) have a 1-piece 431 stainless steel head.
The “AMP” in the name of Cobra AMP irons stands for “Advanced Material Placement™.” Basically, this sophisticated technique strategically positions weight to promote distance in the long irons and consistency in the shorter, scoring clubs. The bright orange cavity insert definitely gives the clubs some color, but it’s also intended to dampen harsh vibrations and deliver exceptional feel.
Cobra’s progressive E9 Face Technology™ makes a return appearance in the Cobra AMP irons (it’s also used in the 2011 Cobra S3 irons we review on another page). It optimizes each individual club by creating a large, elliptical sweet spot which the company says corresponds to the areas on the clubface where most golfers strike the ball. Naturally, a larger sweet spot tends to lead to longer, more accurate shots. And, a new “V-Skid” sole design is intended to deliver versatility by enabling the clubs to be hit effectively from a variety of lies. Although it’s mostly a mid-width sole, it narrows at the heel and toe to improve turf interaction.
The standard configuration for sets with regular or stiff flex shafts consists of the 4- through 9-iron, a pitching wedge and a gap wedge. The senior shaft standard set deletes the 4-iron and adds a sand wedge. Cobra AMP irons are also available in an iron-hybrid combo set consisting of a 3- and 4-hybrid along with a 5-iron through 9-iron and pitching wedge.
I tested the standard set of Cobra AMP irons with the regular flex Cobra AMP by Aldila graphite shaft. I quickly discovered that the long irons are hot and long and the short irons are accurate and precise. The center of gravity of Cobra AMP irons seems like it’s placed slightly lower and further back than what I remember for the Cobra S3 irons, and I think they’re slightly easier to hit. In fact, it didn’t seem to matter whether I was hitting a 4-iron or a pitching wedge – I hit the ball crisply and cleanly from all sorts of lies. The sound and feel were also about as good as it gets for cavity-back irons.
The Bottom Line: If you’re a high single-digit to medium-handicap player and you’re looking for a high quality iron set that could give you more distance and precision, you owe it to yourself to give the Cobra AMP irons a try. I give them an overall grade of B+.