Equipment Report
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    Rickie Fowler debuts never-before-seen irons at season opener

  • News

    Rickie Fowler reveals new unreleased irons in his golf bag

Editor’s note: This story was originally published Sep. 14, during the season-opening Fortinet Championship. Fowler is using the irons in this week’s ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, where he holds the 54-hole lead.

A new season represents a fresh start for Rickie Fowler.

After sneaking into the FedExCup Playoffs by earning the 125th and final spot in the postseason, Fowler starts the 2023 season with a new caddie, Ricky Romano, and a return to a previous swing coach, Butch Harmon. You can read about those changes here.

From an equipment standpoint, Fowler also has made a significant change for this week’s Fortinet Championship. He is using a new set of irons at the Silverado Resort in Napa, California. Fowler switched irons and putters fairly often last season as he tried to snap a winless streak that’s extended past three years. The Equipment Report has been following those changes closely and we were obviously interested when we saw a new set of irons in Fowler’s bag Tuesday.

The clubs are a never-before-seen set of Cobra King Tour Forged prototypes. The cavity-back irons represent a change for Fowler, who has mostly opted for thin, muscle-back blades in recent years.

(Courtesy GolfWRX)

Thanks to the slightly larger size and overall design, Fowler told GolfWRX on Tuesday that he’s finding more stability on off-center hits, especially low on the face.

“Ben (Schomin) and the guys built me up a few new sets; some of our new MBs, a CB, and then a King Tour,” Fowler explained. “These ones are definitely bigger than what I’m used to, but I was also excited to hit them. … Mishits a little off center, or a little low on the face, or heel-toe bias, were really stable. Especially the ones a groove or two low, the misses weren’t as short. I’d see some, if I hit the MB or the CB a little thin, distances could drop anywhere from 7, 8, 9 yards. I was seeing these more in the 4, 5, 6 (range). A few yards here and there can make a big difference. Overall, I just saw more forgiveness, but at the same time, keeping the characteristics that I want with flight and spin. We’re going to give them a go (this week).”

A common complaint that better players make about larger, cavity-back irons is that they have too much offset (the measurement of space between the leading edge of the iron and the hosel). In the past, Fowler has tended to play with irons that have very little offset, or none at all. His new King Tour Forged irons appear to have little offset, especially for a cavity-back.

(Courtesy GolfWRX)

Fowler seems to approve of the appearance.

“Cavity-backs have been in and around (my bag) every once in a while, but I’ve been primarily blades or (muscle-backs),” Fowler told GolfWRX.com “Always have loved the look and the feel, but if I’m able to basically get still a great look, really good feel with these. It feels like there’s a lot of mass behind it, but at the same time get a little more forgiveness, why make it harder on yourself?”

For now, Cobra Golf has yet to announce a release date, or any technical information on the new King Tour irons, so Fowler’s testimonies remain all we know about the unreleased designs.

After finishing a career-worst 161st in Strokes Gained: Putting last season, we also spotted Fowler experimenting with putters on the practice green at Silverado. He was trying out two different Scotty Cameron Timeless+ Tourtype SSS putters, pictured below.

(Courtesy GolfWRX)

As competition begins on Thursday in Napa, we’ll keep an eye on which putter Fowler ends up rolling with to match his new iron set.