When I first took up the game of golf (I was about four years-old) my father gave me a simple piece of advice which has stuck with me (on and off) throughout the years:
“Let the club do the work,” he said.
In practice, letting the club do the work is sometimes far easier said than done. Especially if, for example, you have a set of clubs that are ill-suited to your specific swing (or, if you’re like me, and your swing is consistently inconsistent.)
That may all be set to change, though, as a new set of “hybrid-irons” from Cobra, the T-Rail, are designed specifically to make it easier to get the ball up the air, and travel a long way down the fairway.
Essentially, they do the work for you.
(Well, a lot of the work, anyway.)
We took a set of these out on the course recently (prior to the lockdowns), and put them to the test.
As they say, first impressions are everything. So, when you take a look at the T-Rail, your first impression may be along the lines of “This is a big, meaty club”. And you wouldn’t be wrong. These are far from the thin, shiny muscle-back irons that you see many of the pros using on tour. (But let’s face the facts – most of us are nowhere near the level of player that gains the true benefit of a muscle-back Tour blade anyway, so trying to hit these “butter-knives” is doubtless hampering our scoring chances. But I digress…)
The T-Rail Hybrid-irons are, as the name suggests, a fusion of the two categories. Not quite hybrids, not quite irons, they take the best of both worlds and combine them into a high-performing club set.
The overall look of the T-Rail is closer to a hybrid than an iron. With a deep head/sole, thick topline and bold shape, every aspect of the club is hybrid-like, and designed to make hitting the golf ball as easy as possible.
The “thick” look of the T-Rail is due to the hollow design through the set, which makes every club look and perform like an easy-to-hit hybrid—giving your shots extra high launch and distance. The wide sole moves the Centre of Gravity low and deep in every club, leading to even more height and distance.
During our tests, the launch angles were eye-poppingly high, which made our playing partners stop and take notice on more than a few occasions – especially when a few of our long-iron approaches to the green “stopped on a dime”. Throughout our round, in fact, we were blown away by the performance of these hybrids and irons. They offered maximum forgiveness on even the most off-centre of shots (believe me, we made a few shocking swings that somehow still went relatively straight). They also offered some serious distance through the set, which was due in part to the face’s high-strength steel, with Cobra’s “variable thickness E9 Technology”.
The “Rail” in the name is due to the placement of Baffler Rails on the sole. These act like train tracks when the club makes contact with the ground, helping the club to glide straight through any turf condition. We had a few shots in thick rough, and were pleasantly surprised at how well the club performed.
And, boy oh boy, were these clubs super-easy to hit! Unlike many other sets, where it sometimes feels like the club is fighting you at every turn (which is most days, for many of us), hitting the Cobra T-Rails was nearly effortless, and a real joy throughout our testing.
In truth, it was almost as if (GASP!) the club was doing the work!
The “irons” in the set we tested (the standard men’s set) ranged from Pitching Wedge to 5-iron, with a 4-Hybrid replacing a 4-iron. One reason for eliminating a 4-iron from the set is due to the fact that a 4-Hybrid generally launches higher and is more forgiving than the standard 4-iron, making longer approach shots not just easier, but much more consistent. (And, to be honest, my current 4-iron and I are rarely on speaking terms these days anyway, so the 4-Hybrid was a very welcome addition.)
So if you’re looking for a set of clubs to help make the game a heck of a lot easier, I highly recommend you give the Cobra T-Rail Hybrid-Irons a look-in/demo at the nearest proshop or retail outlet.
It could be the “easiest” decision you make all year.
Standard set make-up:
Men: 4H and 5-PW (4-iron, 5H and 6H are available in a custom set).
Women: 4H, 5H, 6-PW, SW (6H, GW are available in custom sets).
Cobra T-Rail Iron lofts: 4: 21°, 5: 24°, 6: 27°, 7: 30°, 8: 34°, 9: 39°, PW: 44°, GW: 50°, SW: 56°
Cobra T-Rail Hybrid lofts: 4H: 21°, 5H: 24°, 6H: 27°
Irons: $179 (Steel) / $199 (Graphite)