As popular as a hybrid is in the world of golf, it is not an excellent fit for everyone. If you are an iron player, but you need to fill that gap between your long irons and your driver, the driving iron is a great choice. Driving irons are also known as Utility irons; the terms can be used interchangeably.
Since a driving iron is not quite as popular as some of the other clubs on the market, finding a great one can be a little confusing. Luckily we have put together some options that will help you narrow down the best driving iron on the market.
Our Best Driving Iron in 2021
- Taylormade P790 UDI (Best Overall)
"The TaylorMade P790 UDI takes all of the best things from the P790 iron and implements them into a P790 UDI; if you are new to the driving iron concept or want to step up your long game, this golf club is a great choice."
- Cleveland UHX (Best on a Budget)
"Cleveland is known for making high-quality clubs at fair prices; the UHX driving irons are no exception. If you are not a fan of hybrids and you want a reliable alternative off the tee, the UHX is an excellent choice."
- King Utility (Upgrade Pick)
"The King Utility has a very classic look that will appeal to better players. The forged face on the King Utility Iron helps to give it very fast ball speed. All of the Cobra irons are now equipped with the Cobra Connect technology so you can track your performance."
- TaylorMade GAPR (Best for High Handicapper)
- Srixon U85 (Best For Mid Handicapper)
- Our Best Driving Iron in 2021
- Best Driving Iron
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Testing Criteria used for Evaluation
Best Driving Iron
TaylorMade P790 UDI
TheTaylorMade P790 iron has been around for a few years, and it has revolutionized the iron choices for the mid handicappers. In the past, golfers would have to choose between distance or feel. With the P790, you can get both.
This same technology and performance apply to the UDI. The clubhead is a hollow design injected with the TaylorMade Speed Foam technology. This allows for maximum distance while still giving a golfer a great feel.
One of the best things about the P790 UDI is the low center of gravity. Even when you are working with the lower launches coming from a driving iron, you can still get this club up in the air. Between speed pocket technology, forgiveness, and impeccable feel, this is a club that will earn a spot in your bag for years to come.
Best on a Budget
The Cleveland UHX driving irons will match the UHX irons. If you already play the UHX set, this is a great addition. The UHX set of irons are hollow back and very similar in concept to the P790 set. The long irons are referred to as Utility Irons or driving irons because they get a bit thicker in the club’s sole.
The UHX has the V Steel Sole that makes them have tremendous turf interaction. Although driving irons are not typically used for bunker shots or shots out of the rough, the UHX is a great choice to consider.
Although this may not be the longest driving iron on the market, we think it may be the most versatile. It will fit in well with the rest of your clubs, and it is available in a 3 iron, 4 iron and a 5 iron loft.
Cobra’s latest driving iron is called the King Utility. This is a brand new release, and therefore, the price is a bit higher than some of the other options on our list. That is the bad news; the good news is that this is a really impressive driving iron.
The King Utility has a very classic look that will appeal to better players. It looks more like a traditional muscle-back shape than many of the other driving irons on the market. The club head is hollow, and there is a low center of gravity as well. If you want to be able to work the ball and get plenty of distance, the King Utility is a great choice.
The forged face on the King Utility Iron helps to give it very fast ball speed. All of the Cobra irons are now equipped with the Cobra Connect technology so you can track your performance. Being able to see how far you are truly hitting this iron is very helpful when it comes to scoring and consistency in your game.
Best for High Handicapper
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If you are a high handicapper who has struggled with the long game, the best driving iron will be the TaylorMade GAPR. The GAPR is available in a low, medium, and high version, and it is used to replace long irons and hybrids.
The difference between the clubs is the size of the club head. If you want something more like a hybrid, then go with the high GAPR; if you want something more like a true driving iron, than the low is the way to go.
These clubs utilize the TaylorMade Speed Foam technology and have a hollow body (injected with foam) and a very thin clubface. The fast face gives you lots of distance and a much better feel than a traditional long iron.
Best For Mid Handicapper
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Srixon is a brand that does not get enough attention. All of their golf clubs are high performing and feel great; they just don’t spend as much on marketing as some other companies. The Srixon U85 is a utility iron or driving iron that offers players lots of distance and some fantastic feel.
One of the things you have to look for in a driver iron is that you can get enough launch. With these clubs being lower in the loft, you will need a bit of extra help getting them in the air. With the Srixon U85, you get everything you need to hit controllable long-distance shots.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Now that you have some great choices for the best driving irons on the market, it is time to help you try and narrow down which one is the best for your golf game.
How Is A Utility Iron Different Than A Driving Iron?
A utility iron and a driving iron are essentially the same things. Some companies like to call them utility irons, and others like to call them driving irons. In the past, people would consider a driving iron to be something that you could use instead of a driver off a tee. In recent years they have been known to replace long irons, fairways, and even hybrids.
Can Driving Irons Replace A Hybrid?
Yes, in fact, a driving iron is a perfect replacement for a hybrid. The hybrid golf club has helped make the game easier and more accessible for a large majority of players; however, it is not the right fit for all golfers.
If you have never felt like the hybrid golf club suits your game, then the driving iron is most likely a much better fit. You will get a cleaner look and a more natural transition from your standard irons into the driving irons.
The only area where the driving iron will not perform as well as the hybrid is out of the rough. They just don’t offer quite as much forgiveness as the hybrid does.
Are Driving Irons Or Hybrids Better For Windy Conditions?
The driving irons are better anytime that you need to control trajectory. With hybrids having such a low center of gravity, they tend to launch very high, and therefore it can be hard to control the ball flight. If you like hitting low stingers on the golf course, the driving irons are a better fit for you.
What Lofts Are Driving Irons Available In?
The lofts on a driving iron will vary from one manufacturer to the next. Some will offer 2 iron options, and others will start at the three or four. For the most part, you will be looking at something between 17 and 24 degrees of loft.
Can Driving Irons Replace Fairway Woods?
Yes, a 19-degree driving iron is going to be a good replacement from a five wood. It is good to know that most players report losing some distance when hitting an iron as opposed to the fairway wood. Fairway woods are built for maximum distance but not necessarily maximum control; the driver irons are easier to control.
Testing Criteria used for Evaluation
Here are the most important things to look out for when choosing your best driving iron.
Since this is a low lofted club that you will want to hit far, you should seriously consider going with a graphite shaft in your driving iron. You will get some extra distance, extra forgiveness, and extra loft.
If you happen to have a very fast swing speed, then you can consider steel. Even if you play with steel-shafted irons, it is ok to switch to graphite with these long iron clubs. The difference is going to help increase performance quite a bit.
Most of the clubs that we reviewed are going to be great when it comes to distance. After all, this club needs to be a perfect combination of both distance and control. A few of the things to look for when you want added distance are a thin club face, hollow cavity design, and high moment of inertia. If you find a club offering these three things, it will certainly be a distance option.
By nature, the lower lofted long iron clubs are going to be less forgiving. It takes higher swing speeds to hit a lower lofted long iron well. If you are worried about forgiveness, start with something in the 4 iron loft and increase from there. Choosing an adjustable golf club head that gives you loft options could be a good choice.
Another factor to consider when it comes to forgiveness is the center of gravity. The low center of gravity gives a bit better miss when the ball is hit slightly off-center, and it provides higher launch as well. If you are a mid to high handicapper, choose a club with a lower center of gravity.
Many great golfers will admit that the long game, the area between your longest iron and your driver, is the hardest part of golf. These golf clubs usually have the lowest levels of forgiveness, and they require the most clubhead speed.
The utility iron has made this area of the game that much easier. There is no question the P790 UDI is the best driving iron on the market. You will be pleasantly surprised by its ability to manage windy conditions, shots from the fairway, and an alternative to a driver off the tee box.
Add one of these clubs to your bag at a time, start with something in the 4 or 3 iron range and then decide from there if a driving or utility iron is the best choice for your game. Being able to hit low and penetrating golf shots that roll up next to the pin is a pretty great feeling.