As a golfer, you know what your magic golf club can do for you when you want to nail shots down the fairway. However, sometimes the environment is not favorable, weather conditions unforgiving. In these times, the best driving irons come to the rescue.
We reviewed five driving irons and found Srixon Z Utility U65 Iron to be best for advanced golfers. It’s the most reliable on our list for scratch golfers looking for excellent spin control, fantastic design and workability.
There are driving irons that offer incredible speeds for beginners and seasoned golfers alike, give more length options and give the feel of iron without reducing your distance. Also there are utility irons, best for purists and traditionalists who like the look of old clubs. Others are best for being multi-taskers.
Here’s a quick list of all our picks,
- TaylorMade GAPR MID Golf Club– Best Overall
- TaylorMade P790 UDI Driving Iron– Best for Purists
- Srixon Z Utility U65 Iron– Great for Advanced Players
- Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli Hi Iron– Best for Long Iron Lovers
- Cobra Golf King Utility Iron– Best All-In-One
Read on to find out more.
What is a driving Iron?
Have you ever played with standard golf clubs and become so frustrated at the average speed and distance you are getting? The driving iron is here to rectify that and give you better pars and fairways hit. But first, what is a driving iron?
A driving iron is a golf club with a cavity-back iron that produces a trajectory allowing golfers to reach long distances off the tee. The driving iron’s trajectory is lower than that of a hybrid or fairway wood but higher than typical; 1, 2 and 3 irons. This feature gives a golfer the ability to hit a ball farther and higher than standard 2 and 3 irons while using a driving iron.
The modernization of driving irons dates back a few years ago. Before that, driving irons were blades that were extremely challenging to hit. But with the development of the current driving irons, both seasoned and beginner golfers have a chance to perfect using them.
Compared to lofted hybrids clubs and fairways, driving irons allows you to maintain a lower trajectory when hitting the ball. You are thus able to achieve a lower launch, low landing angles, and better ball roll. These features make driving more forgiving and useful than their counterparts, blades used in the past.
Driving irons are a great alternative to other standard clubs, but they are not for everyone. When they first hit the market, hybrids were already a staple for many golfers looking to bridge the gap between wood and iron. Utility irons provide an alternative to hybrids, long irons, and wood.
We will see the best picks of driving irons in our list today, but first, you should understand the benefits of using a driving iron and why they have such a force to their name. Read on to see the benefits.
Benefits of a Driving Iron
- Versatile in any weather conditions
Have you ever played golf on a windy day and watch your ball fly off course? Think of the distance you can lose off the tee. With a driving iron, you can hit a long, low stinger type of shot that keeps the ball at ground level, preventing it from going into the air and ballooning further.
- Weightier Swing
The back of a driving iron club is bulkier compared to other standard clubs. The mass this provides behind the ball allows more power in your shot.
- You can play in the face of trees
Most golf courses have trees, which can be frustrating when you aim for long distances but must avoid them. A driving iron lets you keep the ball underneath the branches without cutting your distance aim.
- Better Distance
One reason why this is a staple is the better distance it offers. You can launch our ball higher with a driving iron and achieve extra yards than traditional long iron.
- More forgiveness
A driving iron profile makes it easier to hit a ball than a regular iron, especially when the golf court’s conditions are not so ideal. It provides you with maximum support to hit the ball.
- Looks and feel matter
Most golfers want to score the ideal stinger with a glorious looking club in their hands. Driving irons look better. They help boost confidence for a player hitting off the tee, and you can get much more in feel and playability.
Top 5 Best Driving Iron Reviews
TaylorMade GAPR MID Golf Club: Best Overall
This driving iron is our best overall choice because it presents itself halfway to a hybrid. TaylorMade GAPR MID Golf Club is a classic, iron outfitted golfers’ gem that is born from the theory that the distance between a 3-wood and a 4-iron is too big; therefore, a TaylorMade GAPR bridges that gap. This driving iron acts as both a driving iron and a club that draws its excellence from SpeedFoam technology to promote ball speed.
This product has an iron face profile covering the looks, playability, and versatility that a golf player wants. It is meant to inspire confidence and enhance ease of play. The Speed technology that has been injected into the GAPR allows for thinner and faster faces while maintaining an excellent sound and feel; you can still hear the satisfying ‘click’ sound with every impact. Another excellent feature that this product has is its Ultra-low CG that will allow you to achieve that extreme distance with a mid-high trajectory.
• The GAPR MID bridges the gap between your longest accurate iron and the shortest fairway wood. Some product users have reported that they developed optimal stance and swing with less than a bucket of balls while using the TaylorMade GAPR MID.
• The driving iron hits straight and far. Some users have described the ease it gives in hitting off the tee with a complete extensive distance as a result.
• TaylorMade is a bit pricey for a single club. However, other users expressed the price is worth it for the experience they get out of it.
• You must have some practice to get around using the driving iron comfortably. It does not give a buy-and-hit-it-off kind of relationship.
• The straight and far feature of this driving iron is essential to note. Still, this rigidness may not suffice for some players who appreciate a draw and fade. Some users have expressed that being 6HDC at 126 slope, the club that only goes straight does not allow them to get a fade or draw.
TaylorMade P790 UDI Driving Iron: Best for Purists
We picked this true driving iron as a great choice for purists because it has a look that takes you back to the traditional golf clubs. It is made of tungsten and incorporated with speed foam technology, which allows you to indulge in groundbreaking speed from good swings. No matter your golfing experience as a golfer, this TaylorMade p790 UDI driving iron’s low density gives your hands all the forgiving experience you demand from a club.
As much as the forgiveness is considerably great, it is not much if you miss the sweet spot. Thin and toe hits lose distance; that is why this driving iron works well in purists’ hands with swings of 100+ mph. Another feature that makes this utility iron a great choice for purists is the responsive feedback you get with every hit; the impact covers a golfer’s need for playability.
• Low tungsten weighting gives great playability.
• It offers a great feel for every player’s preference. Some users have shared their experience of hitting high, low, or in-between with this driving iron.
• It has less spin to it compared to a hybrid.
• It is not ultra-forgiving as others on the list, therefore not for squeamish players because any slight mistake will cause one a significant loss in the distance.
• It doesn’t launch very high; the driving iron requires extra swing speed to make up for this design.
Srixon Z Utility U65 Iron: Great for Advanced Players
Srixon Z Utility U65 is a driving iron for veteran players who played in the 80s and 90s. In short, this is our top pick iron for elite players. One of the features that stands out most is how it looks; it is a pleasure to behold considering the bright shaft and the sleek iron clubface.
The driving irons hollow construction offers great forgiveness, more control from the hollow club head, and a high launch trajectory for higher handicaps. Some users describe the control the driving iron offers in minimizing side movements even when you have a slight mis-hit.
• It offers phenomenal distances. You can achieve 25 yards longer than your standard 4-iron.
• Users experience all the feels while hitting the ball and more spin control.
• It is consistent in performance.
• The club comes with a headcover.
• Srixon Z is not for beginner golfers. Players who are regularly shooting par will find this helpful.
Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli Hi Iron: Best for Long Iron Lovers
If you are looking to replace your long irons with a driving iron, Mizuno 2018 MP-18 is a good choice. The company makes some of the best irons in the game, and this guy is no different.
One of the best features about this driving iron is the wide range of options it gives users from a list of 2-6 iron. The sleek physical profile comes from the steel clubface, tungsten toe weighting, and an internal pocket. This construction features blends to provide phenomenal launch, speed, and power. If you do not like long irons but want to try Mizuno, these driving irons’ options will give you the perfect combo set.
• Low and Deep CG provides easy and high launch.
• The internal pocket enhances ball speeds.
• You can get breaks from misbehaving drivers with this in hand. Some users say that if you perfect your swings with the Mizuno driving iron, you can place a timeout on your other misbehaving drivers.
• It is just 16.5 degrees and requires a little effort on swing speeds to get it airborne.
Cobra Golf King Utility Iron: Best All-In-One
With a graceful black shade, Cobra Golf King Utility Iron features a high-density tungsten weighting that will give you distance and precision indoor hits. Another feature that will improve your game is the PowerShell Face technology, with a massive sweet spot that delivers distance and ball speeds of your preference even when you mis-hit.
The Cobra King comes in a 2/3 and 3/4 iron, so you have options for your club preference. Another good feature is the tungsten’s position to lower the club’s CG behind the clubface: the result is a higher trajectory and more precision.
• The driving iron allows users to adjust the club’s loft by 3 degrees; you can also make it draw friendly.
• It offers more help than just a driving iron.
• It lacks the sleekness in looks that other driving irons on this list have.
• Its multi-usability, unfortunately, reduces its performance off the tee.
Features to Look For When Buying A Driving Iron
If you want to get your hands on the best driving irons that will make every visit to the golfing course worth it, it is important to understand what to look for in an ideal club.
The review we have done above goes without saying that forgiveness is such an important factor in a driving iron’s playability. For a golfer who often visits off-center territories, a golf club with a larger sweet spot gives you more forgiveness to get in much better positioning and achieve those superhits.
You can determine how forgiving a utility iron is by checking how heavy it is and the center of gravity. Generally, heavier driving irons with lower COG tend to be more forgiving, and you will notice this forgiveness on mis-hits.
Distance and Loft
Good driving iron is supposed to create a lower launch but send a ball off the tee. For this to happen, the club should have a lower loft angle. Most utility irons have an angle between 16-19 degrees, which is ideal for achieving perfect stingers and preferred trajectories.
However, not all driving irons in the market can offer penetrating trajectory. It is not a good driving iron if the ball it launches fails to fly far or stay low. The perfect driving iron would go further than your 3-iron but shorter than your 3-wood.
Driving irons are lower launching and will give you more control with every shot as they spin easily. A good, softer shaft allows you to swing easily and yet still have control in your hands.
Longer driving irons are more intimidating than mid irons; thus, more players will avoid using them. The driving irons may look like long irons, but they are chunkier than the typical former. The idea of design is to have a driving iron that gives you confidence over the ball when you have it in your hands. It should look hittable and can ignite conversations when it peeps in the golfing bag.
For feels, ask yourself if you prefer a softer feel to the driving iron. If so, then one with a forged club head will be a great choice. How you know this, is how comfortable you are with the club in your hands.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should use a Driving Iron?
Driving irons are well suited for mid and low handicappers. They require a good amount of speed to get a proper launch angle and the ball in the air. Amateurs with slower swing speeds should steer clear of the driving irons and probably stick with traditional hybrids. We wouldn’t recommend it to high handicappers because they are more difficult and require a faster swing speed.
Is a Driving Iron easier to hit than a driver?
It depends on how you interact with the driving iron in all conditions. If you find it easier to hit a driving iron off the tee, but struggle with your driver, then you will find driving irons easier to hit. Also, suppose you find it hard to deploy your driver in rough conditions than hit a driving iron. It is easier to operate a driving iron as it cuts well, even in rough weather.
How do driving irons stack up against hybrids?
A driving iron is a bridge for the gap between a hybrid and your driver. Hybrids have, however, gained popularity over the years. It is easier to use a driving iron when you need a good middle shot to run down the fairway. A hybrid will also be great when you want to get a higher launch, like clearing a large pond.
How to hit a driving iron?
- Aim: The golf club and golf ball should be closer to the front foot to have a clear aim.
- Stability: Your feet should grip the turf well for the proper stance. Longer shafts demand more stability.
- How to hit: An aggressive swing with good control and allowing most power to generate from the utility iron is important. You can achieve this by rotating completely until your chest points to the target, which means you do not need to force your swing. Hit long and straight while placing authority behind the driving iron.
If you have decided you want a driving iron in your bag, you know that you need a reliable shot that does not limit you. Our favorite in this review is TaylorMade GAPR MID Golf Club. This driving iron offers versatility in whichever condition with good speed compared to other driving irons.
Our second choice on this list is Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli Hi Iron that has all the benefits of a long iron and combines the uniqueness of a hybrid. Besides, the multiple options it has makes up for users who do not prefer long irons but love Mizuno.
Generally, a driving iron should give you phenomenal distance, perfect playability, a feel of confidence in your hands, and the design should allow you to control while exerting power. You will also know a good utility iron by how forgiving it is even when you have some mis-hits. A good driving iron is a confidence you will carry in your golf bag.