Cougar Target Cat irons

We test the latest introduction from Cougar - graphite-shafted irons for less than

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Wed, 18 Aug 2004
Cougar Target Cat irons

Cougar Target Cat iron

Price: £295 (4-SW graphite shaft) £215 (steel).

At less than £300 for eight clubs with attractive stainless steel heads and striking, black graphite shafts, first impressions of these Cougar clubs are that they could elbow their way into front line of the UK market’s low to mid-point price bracket.

In addition, the Cougars’ Power Bridge, a steel strap across the back of the peripheral-weighted clubhead - similar to Nike’s Slingback technology in its highly rated Slingshot irons – looks like it can provide a solid platform to get the ball airborne.

Descriptions like ‘large sweet spot’ and ‘target power’ are etched into the heads, too – powerful messages for those picking up the clubs head first from their display. Two cat’s eyes forming the G and C in ‘Target Cat’ complete the positive picture.

But picking the right golf clubs is about price for performance and overall I couldn’t quite come to terms with the inconsistency of strike from these clubs, over three rounds and a period on the range.

These Cougar’s had style but for me, they lacked substance. The thick top line and heavy heads of the shorter irons would complement any bag for a single handicap golfer.

I could drop the pitching wedge or sand iron in behind the ball and watch the ball pop out with a metallic ‘tink’ and float towards the target from the fringes of the green.

With the 9-iron I was able to execute a couple of impressive bunker shots from 70 yards, which spun the ball to a stop feet from the flagstick.

But from 4-iron to 8-iron, I could count on one hand, my solid, forgiving strikes. The weight of the head had a tendency to close the clubface and drag the ball to the left.

I altered my stance, grip, alignment, posture – everything I could think of to accommodate the medium and long irons and give them the benefit of my 30 years golf experience. But apart from a few solid strikes from flying lies in semi-rough they constantly had the better of me. This Cat kept missing the Target – and not just by a whisker!

Several playing companions tried their luck and commented on the encouraging launch angle but agreed it was tough to keep the club face square at impact and prevent it closing and promoting a pull to the left.

I wanted desperately to like these clubs. The makers had worked hard to move the centre of gravity back and low in the clubhead to assist new and higher handicap golfers to get the ball airborne more easily. They had also ‘raised the ‘bridge and suspended it in the air to increase the sweet spot’ and make the club more forgiving.

But a golf club has to have playability – and compared with others in its price range, including the Benross VX2i, MD Golf Superstrong Forged GM and Progen MM3, I found the Cougar lacking in this score.


I could learn to love the gentle ‘tink’ of the Target Cat wedges around the green but the medium and longer irons were not for me.

Golfmnagic rating: 7.5/10

Cougar Target Cat irons
Cougar Target Cat 7-wood

Cougar Target Cat 7-wood

As part of the set, I also tested one of the latest Target Cat 7-woods (21 degree of loft) and this compared favourably with my Callaway Steelhead, which I consider the benchmark in ‘gentlemen’s persuaders.’

It produced a forgiving feel and a gentle, arcing trajectory – ideal for those par-5 or long par-4 approaches, or 200-yard par-3s.

The high velocity ‘launcer’ shaft (should that be launcher, I wonder!) suited my swing speed and also delivered from a wide range of lies – from two-inch rough to chips from greenside fringe.

For your nearest Cougar stockist call Team Frith on 01507 354767