COBRA LTDx Irons Custom Fitting Experience
In the market for a new set of irons? The choice is overwhelming and it’s hard to know where to start, but if you follow this advice, there is no reason why you won’t end up with clubs that can help you lower your score, writes Golfshake Travel Editor, Andy Waple.
The Back Story
There are plenty of reasons why you might decide to get a new set of irons - your game might be improving, you want to keep up with new and better technology, or simply you want to treat yourself.
Whatever the reason, everybody shares the same goal - the new clubs will have to be better than the ones you are replacing and you want them to help you lower your score.
My own reason for change came out of the blue.
At the Praia D’El Rey Golf and Beach Resort in Portugal I used a rental set of Cobra LTDx clubs - while visiting the Championship Course and the neighbouring West Cliffs for Golfshake. You can read my impressions of the resort here.
These irons were simply amazing! They not only delivered unbelievable distances and accuracy but were so easy to hit.
Well and truly hooked I returned to the UK on a mission to replace my set with these Cobras.
We all know by now that buying a set off the shelf on such an impulse is not the right way to go.
There are plenty of things to consider, and there is lots of competition from other brands.
The Cobra LTDx are sold as game improvement clubs for high handicappers and beginners, so why would these be right for me, having played off a handicap between nine and 12 for more years than I can remember?
It seemed a sensible plan to head off to see Ryan Rastall, the Golfshake Equipment Expert and PGA Pro based at Howley Hall Golf Club in West Yorkshire.
Ryan has a state-of-the-art TrackMan Performance Studio which he uses for the most accurate of club fittings.
The Fitting Process
Ryan firstly assessed my individual needs and we discussed my observations from experiencing the Cobra LTDx irons in Portugal. He reassured me that these clubs were indeed suitable for my handicap bracket and would not be out of place in my bag.
We then looked at my current clubs and he got me to hit a few shots with my seven iron. My bugbear, an annoying pull, was plain to see from the data, but looking at my swing he quickly suspected that my lie angle - 3 degree upright - caused my club face to aim left of target at impact and my shots started to the left and lacked height.
His assessment was that I really needed a neutral lie angle, allowing proper interaction between ground and sole.
We then tested the Cobra irons set at that neutral lie, but for true comparison, they were pitted against not only my own clubs, but also another from a leading manufacturer and one that I had fancied in the past.
Straight away the pull was virtually eliminated. Not only that, the dispersion improved considerably.
More noticeably was an increase in distance of about 12 yards that put my own set to shame.
We talked about club head speed and my worry that I wouldn’t get sufficient height and spin to enable the ball to hold on the green on par 3s and approaches. After all, the Cobras have jacked up lofts and so it is an easy assumption to make.
Surprisingly, to me at least, spin rates were not all that much lower between the seven irons - and in any case comparing number on the sole was irrelevant because I would be typically using a club shorter for the same yardage.
It was clear at this stage that my own set, about eight year's old, were no match for either of the other two, and then the Cobras were well ahead in nearly all performance indicators.
Ryan considered all the data from the test and concluded that the Cobras would offer significant advantages to me.
But then came his masterstroke - he swapped the KBS steel stock shaft for the graphite KBS PGI 75g regular shaft, an optional custom fit - and we went again.
Wow! 21 yards distance gain over my own seven iron thanks to increased club head and ball speed from the lighter shaft. And they were flying higher too. Suddenly I’m hitting a nine iron as far as my old seven with better accuracy to boot. Thanks Ryan, I’ll take these!
I settled on 6-GW to give me the best gapping between my fairways, hybrid and specialist wedges. The process concluded with a considered choice of grip and the lie angle as previously outlined.
Cobra are renowned for pushing boundaries when it comes to product development and the LTDx range introduced in 2022 is no exception.
Like many others, lofts are strong, so much so that the numbers of the bottom of the club are irrelevant to anybody but the player who owns them.
Yet with the LTDx, Cobra have managed to produce clubs that go a good distance without the expense of feel, accuracy and stopping power. They look the business too.
- Don’t rely on impulse and make sure you get a fitting from an experienced PGA pro before selecting a new set of irons.
- Do not let your ego get in the way. If the pro says game improvement irons are the way to go whatever your handicap, then listen to what you are told and try them for yourself.
- Make sure you test more than one option for your new set and compare the data to that shown from your existing clubs
- Dismiss graphite shafts at your peril. These are no longer for seniors alone and are so much more stable than they were. The added height, club and ball speed from the lighter weight might provide noticeable improvements to your distance and accuracy.
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