WHAT IT DOES: Cobra’s E9 face is one of the company’s most venerable technologies, and it’s featured here—with a twist. The ST118 stainless steel goes through a multi-step forging and machining process. The result is a super-thin face (as slim as 1.6 millimeters in the upper area) that promotes rebound at impact. The slimming down also resulted in a weight savings of three grams that were moved low to boost launch angle. The irons have a new shape aimed to appeal to a higher-handicap player compared to the Forged Tec model. These have a thicker topline, a shallower blade height, increased offset, wider sole widths and stronger lofts.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The slightly beefier clubhead gives off the vibe that a powerful strike is achievable. In some ways it’s like a good IPA—not for everyone, but thoroughly enjoyable by those who appreciate it. The hollow-body 4- through 7-irons have a lot of tungsten welded into the sole (65 grams, which is 45 grams more than the Forged Tec) that helps with launching the ball high without having to rely on a super-wide sole to do so. The irons also use the same soft-foam core as the Tec model to enhance sound and feel.
* Percentage of total score
"This is one of the first game-improvement clubs where you could be a plus-2 and still take all the benefit. They made the face to where it looks like an infinity iron. It's just seamless from topline to leading edge. Just a triumph for this category."
“Looks like a players iron with the forgiveness of a game-improvement club. Face is very lively on solid strikes. A high launch leads to a soft landing.”
"A very pure feeling on the strike. Had a really good ability to get through gnarly lies, too. Really excelled on feel. Had the ability to work the ball as needed."
7-iron: 27 degrees; PW: 42 degrees
From the Manufacturer
The Forged TEC X irons are a game improvement player’s iron that provides enhanced forgiveness for the mid to higher handicap in a sleek better player looking shape. Compared to the Forged TEC irons, the design features a slightly lower profile with 65g of tungsten positioned in the toe for a lower CG that creates high launch despite the slightly stronger lofts. A fully hollow construction through the set features a soft and lightweight foam to deliver soft, forged-like feel. Each iron features a forged PWRSHELL face insert to promote more consistent and reliable distance on off-center hits.
Surviving the Hot List Presented by Rapsodo
For the first time in the 19-year history of the Hot List, we invited a documentary-film crew to the 2022 testing summit to document the process, the people and the drama behind the most coveted assignment in golf.