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For all the equipment buzz Bryson DeChambeau generates, it’s curious that his irons mostly take a back seat in the conversation.
While many first heard of DeChambeau because of the single-length irons he has used since 2011 – which predates his SMU career – there’s been little outside of that quirk to discuss for that portion of his bag. Since 2016, DeChambeau has been consistent with the Cobra King Forged One Length set he helped design, all while making countless tweaks to his driver, fairway woods, wedges and putter.
So when DeChambeau recently released a YouTube video titled My New Prototype Cobra Irons, gearheads immediately took note. Adding to the interest was DeChambeau’s description of the unreleased Cobra MIM Tour One Length irons as “3D printed” rather than cast or forged, which traditionally are the two ways those clubs are molded. The 3D printing process isn’t new, as DeChambeau’s 4-iron and 5-iron previously had been crafted with the method. But it’s being used now for his whole set. Printing makes the prototype process faster and makes it easier when changes need to be made.
Cobra reps said at least a dozen sets of irons have been made for DeChambeau in the past five years, but this set seems to be a keeper. In the video he says he will be “putting them right in the bag” after making tweaks to the loft of each club to reduce spin. The clubheads were blurred out in the video, but one description says the heads have a “thin, rounded topline, small-to-medium sole width, and rounded sole camber.”
Some of the numbers described in the video were astounding, even by DeChambeau’s standards. He registered a 138-mph ball speed on a pitching wedge, which would beat the average 4-iron ball speed on the PGA Tour. At another point, he carried a 6-iron 245 yards. His 8-iron was flying around 217 yards – according to TrackMan, the PGA Tour average is 160.
Some of this can be attributed to the extra length DeChambeau’s shorter irons have compared to other players, but the numbers are still scary.
Approach play was a bit of a mixed bag for DeChambeau in 2021. He ranked No. 53 in strokes gained approach, getting there with stellar mid-iron play and horrendous wedge play. He ranked No. 1 in proximity to the hole from outside of 200 yards, but was No. 178 from between 50 and 125 yards to the hole.
We’ll see if these new irons – which DeChambeau described as “baller” – have any impact in 2022.