FIRST LOOK: Cobra’s King Tour irons get the metal injection molding treatment
Nearly two years ago at the PGA Merchandise Show, Cobra shook up the wedge manufacturing process when it pulled the curtain back on a design that was unlike anything the industry had seen. Using a mixture of 304 stainless steel metal powder, Cobra designers were able to create an entire wedge product using a metal injection molding process typically reserved for finely-shaped weights that needed to fit inside confined spaces. (Think tungsten weights crammed inside a hollow-cavity iron product.)
What Cobra learned during the creation process of King MIM was that other products could benefit from the same manufacturing process as well, including the new King Tour irons (4-PW; $1,300).
Cobra’s first set of metal injection molded irons are created using a mixture of 304 stainless steel metal powder, which is heated and injected into a mold. During the “sintering process” — whereby a powdered metal turns into a solid — the metal is heated to as high as 1,340 degrees Celsius, more than 140 degrees higher than a standard iron forging (1,200 degrees). The higher temperature results in tighter grain structures and a higher level of precision.
Cobra claims the stainless steel metal powder produces a softer feel at impact that’s comparable to carbon steel forgings. From there, each head is head-polished to elicit a satin finish and ensure a consistent shape from set to set.
“We’ve used our MIM process over the past two years to deliver softer and more precisely-shaped designs in our wedges,” said Tom Olsavsky, Cobra’s VP of R&D. “These irons are softer than any forged offerings on the market, and like their wedge counterparts, offer better consistency in shaping for more precision shot-making on the course. While soft feel and consistency are important in the short-game, optimizing these attributes throughout an entire iron set will give golfers better performance across a wider range of shot selections.”
A tungsten toe weight was added to the toe that repositions the center of gravity directly behind the sweet spot to deliver a tighter dispersion with added stability. The overall feel of the iron was also bumped up with the help of a thermoplastic polyurethane insert situated in the cavity that’s designed to mitigate unwanted vibrations at impact.
Cobra’s Lamkin Crossline Connect smart grips can be found on each set. The technology syncs with Arccos’ Caddie app to track shot data (distance, location) throughout the round.
The King Tour with MIM technology will be available Oct. 30 and comes standard with KBS’s $-Taper 120 steel shafts. A 3-iron and gap wedge is offered via custom order.