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Review: Golfing with Cobra’s LIMIT3D, the First Commercially Available 3D Printed Iron

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While we’ve seen the likes of Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau tout 3D printed clubs at such high-profile events as the American Express and Augusta National, it wasn’t until May that Puma golfing brand Cobra released the world’s first commercially available 3D printed iron. This meant that, for a mere $3,000, I too could play with the same equipment as the pros. Released in a set of just 500 clubs, the LIMIT3D series is already sold out, but I had the opportunity to test it out to see how this 7 iron, designed to look like a professional blade but with the forgiveness of a game-improvement club, would swing.

The LIMIT3D’s Design

So, what makes Cobra’s new design so special? 3D printed from 316L stainless steel, the iron features an internal lattice structure that redistributes 33% of the clubhead’s weight. Then, 100g of metal injection molded tungsten weights are inserted into the heel and toe, which are locked onto the heads with 3D printed steel caps. This makes for an ideal center of gravity and an increase in the moment of inertia. This design was made using software from nTop, which allowed the Cobra team to create the best possible lattice design for the best internal mass distribution and acoustics. On top of that, Cobra engineers were able to double the speed of their design iteration process. For anyone attending this month’s RAPID + TCT event in Los Angeles, you can learn more about the creation of the club at the nTop Computational Design Summit on June 24 and from the RAPID + TCT keynote given by Ryan Roach, Director of Innovation at COBRA on June 27.

Testing out the 3D Printed Cobra Club

Let me start by saying I am a 10-12 handicap golfer. I hit bad shots, good shots, and even great shots at times. I love the game and play nine or 18 holes just about every week, hitting the range once a week, as well. Anything I can use to help my game interests me: a million YouTube videos, swing tips from a buddy, official lessons—you name it. To say I am invested in golf is an understatement. So, getting the opportunity to test out a brand new 3D printed club felt a bit intimidating, purely because I am not a great golfer. What could I learn or discern from testing such a club? However, I quickly found that assumption was wrong.

My first experience with the club came quickly during my first round with the LIMIT3D (clever name) 7 iron from Cobra. The club is billed as a next-generation 3D printed club designed to merge the forgiveness of a game improvement iron with the look and feel of a blade, and it certainly delivers. The club is sleek and sits beautifully at address. For someone who has graduated through multiple versions of the muscle-back, bulky look of game improvement irons, this was a very pleasant change of scenery. As we know, golf is more often about confidence and mental performance than the physical act of hitting a ball. It’s why so many of us are scratch on the range and 15 handicaps on the course. Something as simple as the look and feel of this club inspires confidence.

I arrive at the first par 5 on the course, measuring 510 yards. I hit my driver up the right side and get stuck in some trees. I hit a punch 5 iron out of danger, leaving myself about 175 yards. This is a good distance for my 7 iron, as there’s trouble over the back, so if it’s not a great strike, being short is still safe. I pull the LIMIT3D 7 iron, and the club shines immediately. I’m in a bit of rough, 175 yards out, and take a nice, smooth, controlled swing. The clubhead cuts through the rough easily, and I pure the iron shot to about 20 feet left of the pin.


Again, golf is about confidence in your swing, confidence in your practice, but also confidence in your equipment, and that’s what this club brought me. Knowing that every time I took it out of the bag, it was going to perform and perform well. Now, like most 10 handicappers, I missed the birdie putt but tapped in for par—not a bad deal. Over the course of four rounds played with this club, I can attest to its continued performance. With each shot, it proved to be more than capable, providing distance and a better level of forgiveness than my current 7 iron.

Club Pros and Cons

The club itself feels a bit heavy. Both my brother-in-law and several other golfers who tested the club mentioned the same thing. Here are the pros and cons I found:

Pros:

  • Sleek, blade-adjacent look and feel
  • Cuts through rough with ease
  • Provides great stability through the strike
  • Improved dispersion rate and more consistent smash factor compared to my current 7 iron
  • Increased distance and forgiveness versus my Callaway Apex 7 iron

Cons:

  • Cost
  • Weight
  • Customization- being so new there are not a wide variety of models, finishes (e.g., black, matte), etc.

During a range session with the Rapsodo MLM Launch Monitor, I averaged the following with the LIMIT3D 7 iron:

  • 175 yards total
  • 117 mph ball speed
  • 99 mph club head speed

Versus my Callaway Apex 7 iron averages:

  • 170 yards total
  • 115 mph ball speed
  • 98 mph club speed

To summarize, I think the future of golf could be 3D printed. There will be holdouts who prefer forged irons, but when you see Bryson contending at majors with 3D printed irons and consider my experience as an average golfer, you realize something special is brewing. As costs come down and innovation grows, these types of irons could be game-changing. Not to mention, there are plenty of less expensive putters on the market from Cobra already. Like any innovation, it takes time to work out the kinks, but if the first model performs this well right out of the gate, I believe nothing is “LIMIT3D” when it comes to where these 3D printed irons could take the game.

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