Cobra Darkspeed Iron Review

Joe Ferguson takes a closer look at the new distance iron from Cobra called Darkspeed for 2024

Photo of the Cobra Darkspeed iron
(Image credit: Future)
Golf Monthly Verdict

An excellent all-round distance iron. Cobra has produced a high-performing iron, packed with distance and a surprisingly good feel. We really enjoyed the dark finish and the head shape throughout the set was very easy on the eye.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Surprisingly soft feel for a distance iron

  • +

    Plenty of power

  • +

    Well proportioned and shaped club heads

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    The dark finish won’t be to all tastes

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Cobra has produced some exceptional game improvement irons in recent years including the Aerojet and King LTDx models that excelled when it came to distance, so I was looking forward to the brand's new release in this category.

The irons form part of the new Darkspeed range from Cobra that also features drivers, fairways and hybrids.

When I pulled the Darkspeed iron out of the box, I have to say my immediate impressions were good. The charcoal finish looks really sleek and sophisticated to my eye. I have always been a fan of dark and even raw irons so this is a look I enjoy. 

Photo of the Cobra Darkspeed iron

(Image credit: Future)

I also think it's a bit of a masterstroke from Cobra as dark colors tend to slim appearance, so what is a fairly substantial head still looks relatively neat and compact. If you want to look at it from a more glass half empty point of view then you might say that players shopping in this category want to see as much real estate behind the ball as possible, but I think the finish is great.

Down behind the ball the shaping of the head is nice too. Nothing too angular, just some lovely soft curves and not a crazy amount of offset. The dark colorway again minimizes a decently thick top line.

Photo of the Cobra Darkspeed iron

(Image credit: Future)

In terms of the tech, Cobra is telling us that the Darkspeed iron is filled with a lighter foam material than the Aerojet iron, leading to 25 percent more face deflection, improved distance, softer feel and sound and reduced spin due to more time on the face.

More specifically there is now 3g of foam as opposed to 7g of polymer, which allows the spare 4g to be repositioned to lower CG and help improve launch conditions, demonstrated in the image below.

Photo of the internals of the darkspeed iron

(Image credit: Cobra)

Within the heads there are progressive levels of hollow. The 4-7 irons are fully hollow, the 8-PW look around three quarters hollow from the R&D images and the GW and SW half hollow. This is to help Cobra individualize CG locations to optimize launch.

I tested the Darkspeed irons at Saunton Golf Club using Titleist Pro V1x balls both on the course and on the practice ground using a SkyTrak+ launch monitor and results were excellent.

Photo of the Cobra Darkspeed iron

(Image credit: Future)

Firstly, the changes internally within the clubhead have created an exceptionally good feel for irons in this category and are actually more akin to some of the best golf blade irons on the market. There is a lot less of the harsh feel that I often associate with distance-orientated game improvement irons, instead they are relatively soft but also with a notable liveliness that lets you know you are hitting some good ball speeds numbers.

Data from the cobra darkspeed iron

(Image credit: Future)

The flight was strong as I would expect from a pretty strong lofted set up and as a result spin levels were relatively low, although this was counteracted somewhat by a decent level of launch. For context, the 7 iron is set at 27° compared to the 7 iron of my gamer set of Callaway Apex CBs that comes out at 34°. The pitching wedge is again very strong at 42° so some thought will need to be given to wedge lofts in order to preserve reasonable distance gapping.

Cobra Darkspeed Iron

(Image credit: Future)

I didn’t notice any particular shape bias and found them very easy to hit. Any mis-struck shots retained a really good level of ball speed which was a real positive, however they did also provide some better feedback in terms of strike location than some of the other irons I have tested in this category. Some will welcome this feedback while others may prefer to be flattered more.

I certainly haven’t tested any irons in this category that have impressed me more in terms of 2024 releases, so if the charcoal finish is something that appeals to your eye, you most certainly won’t be disappointed with the performance when you come to try them. Excellent speed, high levels of forgiveness and a more sophisticated look than others in the same market, the Darkspeed irons really deliver.

Joe Ferguson
Staff Writer


Joe has worked in the golf industry for nearly 20 years in a variety of roles. After a successful amateur career being involved in England squads at every age group, Joe completed his PGA degree qualification in 2014 as one of the top ten graduates in his training year and subsequently went on to become Head PGA Professional at Ryder Cup venue The Celtic Manor Resort. Equipment has always been a huge passion of Joe’s, and during his time at Celtic Manor, he headed up the National Fitting Centres for both Titleist and Taylormade.  He’s excited to bring his knowledge of hardware to Golf Monthly in the form of equipment reviews and buying advice. 

Joe lives in North Devon and still plays sporadically on the PGA West region circuit. His best round in recent years came earlier in 2023 where he managed a 9 under par 63 at Trevose GC in a Devon & Cornwall PGA Tournament.

Joe's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Srixon ZX5 LS 9.5

Fairway wood: Taylormade M2 Tour 2017, 13.5°  

Irons: Callaway Apex CB 24'  3-11

Wedges: Taylormade MG4 54 and 60 degree

Putter: Odyssey Toe Up #9

Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x