Cobra S3 Irons Review
Jul 16, 2011 (Updated Jul 17, 2011)
Review by Bill Brott
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Long, straight, easy to hit, good looking, well-balanced, great feel, great build quality.
Cons:Slightly shorter than The Adams Red Lines, but what's a couple of yards between friends.
The Bottom Line: RIght up there with The Diablo Forged for feel, and just as long and relevant as any iron currntly on the market. Easily a 4 1/2- 5 Star club.
Cobra S3 Iron Review History
Recommend this product?
With the new swing slowly but surely becoming at least semi-repeatable, my swing coach continues to encourage me to experiment with more irons, as he is certain my handicap should drop roughly 7-10 strokes by the end of next season. Admittedly, it's been hard to swing clubs and think that far ahead, as my current set of Wilson Staff Di 9's is so reliable and safe. He says they are sweet too, and you should see him grab my 6 iron when I get discouraged.
He quickly gives the ball a clean crisp swat, and we watch it sail on out there for 235 yards. He then tells me the old saw abut how it's definitely not the arrow, but the Indian when it come to miss hits, but at some point, "You are going to need a bit more feel than these can provide you with. They may be long, easy to hit, and definitely very forgiving, but eventually I want you to be seeking feel and workability, while distance and forgiveness become the least of your worries."-Hey-he can dream can't he? Anyways, I've tried several really nice Game Improvement Irons over the past six months, and several surprises have popped up off the radar screen.
Most of us know that Callaway builds a forgiving club with good feel. Amazingly, they now build one with distance too. I think the Diablo Forged Irons are very good feeling, and extremely long as compared to their predecessors. Mizuno, also more of a feel club, really joined the distance race with this JPX line. So what does al this have to do with Cobra Irons? (much less the price of tea in China). Well it's no secret that Cobra is known as a builder of distance clubs that are loaded with forgiveness. "Feel be damned, I wanna knock this outta the park." (That's the usual mantra of your typical Cobra Player. All of that changed with the advent of the S2 Series. But what the S2 lacked in aesthetics, and precision has long since been made up for with The S3 Irons. These things are distance monsters with feel and balance. This year, the only irons I've hit that have been longer have to be the Adams Red Line. But the Red Lines simply don't have the feel and balance that these sport. So you have to ask yourself if 2-4 yards is really worth giving up this much feel.
Under normal circumstances, this club would get 5 stars for distance from your average reviewer. I have been asked to be extra critical of everything by both my swing coach (who wants me to seriously consider every club as if it were vying for a position in my bag.) and my regular readers ( Who are tired of reading fluff reviews almost everywhere else). I can hit the 7 iron in this set almost as far as the 6 Iron in my Di 9's. That's a long way for a Game Improvement club vs. a Super Game Improvement club. These and The Adams Red Line Series are the first clubs to give my Di 9's a real run for the money in the distance department. The Adams 7 Iron actually goes as far as my Di 9 6 iron.
No it's not a forged iron, but it has hidden urethane dampeners that work well with the 17-4 Steel alloy. They are much more effective, and much more aesthetically pleasing to the eye (due to their visual absence) than the old urethane top line of Cobras first forays into the multi-material iron market. The extra enlarged safe hitting zone (the company still insists on calling it a larger sweet spot) is elliptical in the longer irons, but shrinks to a standard sized circular sweet spot by the time you reach the Pitching Wedge. Fortunately there is enough feel to tell you when you've actually pured it, and when you haven't. They may not be forged, but they are buttery feeling. Better yet, unlike most irons sporting low duromether poly urethane dampeners, you can tell not only when you've mss hit the club, but where on the face you've miss hit it. And all without aving to suffer the slings and arrows of "The Dreaded Hogan Sting."
Balance- 4 1/2 Stars
These clubs are better balanced than my shovel like Di 9's and the Thuddier Adams Red Lines. The Adams Steel shaft is an ultra light 85 Grams which allows for some serious gains in club head speed, but the Nippon Shaft on these is much more pleasing at impact and during the back swing. There are no moments of vagueness throughout the swing as there are with the Adams. (I assure you that the vagueness with the Adams was never pronounced, nor did it make it's presence felt at critical moments. It was just a split second of dead space after the wrist hinge, and before the top of the backswing.) Conversely, they are not overly chunky like my slightly shovel-like Wilson Staff Di 9's. The Nippon 1030 shaft is supremely well mated to this head, for constant club head awareness, without any clunkiness.
Despite the corporate hype, there are no real technological breakthroughs to be spoken of when it comes to this club. Like a lot of wonderful clubs, it's not extraordinary technology. It is ordinary technology executed in an extraordinary fashion which makes these tick.
The metallurgy is definitely nothing new. You have a thin hot face on the 3-7 irons, with a polymer dampener and a standard 17-4 cradle From the 8 iron on up its straight ahead 17-4 stainless Likewise, the shaft is a tried and true model-the Nippn 1030. It's light at 103 grams, but by no means feathery like the 85-90 gram models currenty floating about on so many other makers' irons. The Graphite shaft is also -"Good" if not exceptional. Again-it's pretty standard. A mid-kick point with 3.5*of overall torque. Not bad-but nothing special.
A hidden polymer insert is also nothing new. I currently bag several Nickent Arc Wedges that sport a polymer filling. They sure keep the club feeling sweet, without playing funky tricks on your eyes. That is very important-but again-nothing new. It is the confluence of all these tried and true technologies, and the execution thereof which wins these a very solid 4-stars in this department
Specs-4 ½ Stars
The club really is long, but the lofts on these clubs are by no means overly-juiced in order to gain said distance. My Di 9's are stronger lofted by roughly 2* per club in the upper regions of the set, but these still run well with them.
OVERALL - 4 ½ STARS
These are truly excellent clubs. They are long, easy to hit, and slightly workable. They feel exceptional at impact, have a large safe-hittng zone, and to top it all off, their dark pearloid finish is rather handsome looking in my opinion. If I were a rich man, it's very possible I'd be bagging these right now, and not waiting for the end of next season. If you are looking for a fine set of Game Improvement Irons-these are near the top of my list.
I'd like to thank my CL Abraham for providing me with the link that made this review possible.
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