How to Choose the Best Driving Iron
What if there’s a way to help you hit more fairways and make more pars?
Well, there is and this is exactly what driving irons are for. Traditionally geared towards better players, driving irons are meant to help decent players find more fairways with the help of high clubhead speed and good contact. These long-irons are designed to offer accurate and better performance, as well as more penetrating ball flight opposed to hybrids and fairway woods.
With this list, we hope to explore the strengths and weaknesses of the best driving irons in the market to help you choose the right club that would help you hit more fairways and shoot lower scores.
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Top 7 Best Driving Irons
The Titleist 718 T-MB is a popular driving iron – a true players club – with a very sleek blade-like design. Though it is also one of the longest driving irons, it is compact, has a low launch and spin, and allows the player better ability to work the golf ball around the golf course. It’s not as forgiving as the other Driving Irons, but if you are a single digit handicap and this club could be a great replacement for either 3 or 4 iron.
One of the most stylish utility clubs, the Taylormade GAPR Mid Iron offers the features of both a hybrid and long iron. It also offers high ball speed, high launch, extreme distance, and a “good miss,” spot making it perfect for windy conditions. It comes in variety (3H, 4H, and 5H) so it can replace long irons as well. Though the GAPR Mid is neither a driving iron nor a hybrid, it offers a good mix of control, versatility, and forgiveness perfect for golfers of different skill levels.
The Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli Hi is as sleek and slender as the standard iron set comes. It is stylish, versatile, and very easy to control. Not only that, it offers options in 2-6 irons – all with the same elite performance, feel, and workability – designed to blend and help players of all abilities who don’t love long irons very much. Needless to say, this is the perfect choice for a combo set for 5-handicappers who love state-of-the-art technology.
The Cobra King Utility driving irons, much like the hybrids, allow drastic adjustment of club lofts by three degrees which is quite an engineering triumph. It is forgiving and adjustable, making it an attractive option for a driving iron. However, the tradeoff is that it is not as sleek as other clubs and not as effective off the tee. Nevertheless, it comes in a 2/3 and a 3/4 iron and makes hitting from the fairway remarkably easy, which more than make up for the reduced performance off the tee.
The Callaway Apex UT features a forged hollow inside and a sleek steel finish, making it one of the hottest driving irons on the market. It has an adjustable weight which can cater to precise swings like a hybrid to help you hit it high enough. It also has a ton of forgiveness. Among the perks of this driving iron include the built-in weighing system similar to Callaway’s MD3 and the forged finish that makes the ball seem to “stay-hit.” The center of gravity of the Apex UT is stepped, giving it the playability that offers extra bit of confidence to players. Coupled with the incredible forgiveness for off-center hits, the Apex UT is a winner for most low handicap bags.
The Taylormade P790 driving iron is perhaps one of the longest utility iron with an extremely low spin rate. Though the club is long, it’s not exactly as forgiving as we want it to be, so it is mostly recommended to mid to low handicap golfer. It also doesn’t launch so high, and requires a bit of an extra swing speed to make up for the design.
The Srixon ZU65 is a sleek driving iron that is designed for players who shoot in the 80s or 90s. It has low launch and low spin, and is typically geared toward higher handicaps as it is quite forgiving. It is a great replacement if you are using Srixon irons as the only real difference is the larger top line. Unfortunately, it features a bright red shaft, so if the loud color doesn’t bother you, then you can take on the Srixon Z U65 as it is one of the most forgiving driving irons out there.
How to choose the best Driving Irons for Beginners
When choosing your driving iron, here are the biggest factors to think about.
In finding the right driving iron, it is good to look for one that goes the right distance. Generally, if you are carrying a driving iron, you will also have in your arsenal a driver, 3-wood, and then 3 or 4 iron. In an ideal world, a driving iron would go further than a 3-iron and shorter than a 3-wood.
Compared with fairway woods and hybrids, driving irons should be relatively affordable. It only gets expensive if you replace 2-4 clubs as long irons as well.
Playability & Workability
If you are lucky enough to find the right utility iron that is playable enough for your games, then it will probably stay in your bag for a long time. Note that in choosing one, you must keep in mind that the more forgiving an iron is, the less you’re able to work the ball (for the most part).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Got more questions about driving irons? Make sure to read all the FAQs below.
Is a 3 Iron a driving iron?
Yes and no. A 3-iron can certainly be used as a driving iron but it’s not specifically designed in the same way.
Three irons are usually 20-23 degrees in loft while driving irons have less loft. Plus, driving irons are also usually more forgiving and meant to be hit off the tee. They typically have a larger design that makes them look very different as you set up to the golf ball.
What is the best 2 iron?
The best 2-iron is the one that works for you! There isn’t one specific brand necessarily but instead, it’s figuring out the best clubs for your game. For 99% of golfers, a 2-irons shouldn’t even be in the golf bag.
If you are set on having a 2-iron and have the game for it, make sure you find the right shaft for your swing. As the club is harder to hit than most clubs, you will likely want to switch to a lighter version of your iron shaft or get a new entirely.
Do pros use driving irons?
Fewer pros are using driving irons than ever before. In fact, more pros are using hybrids and fairway woods than driving irons. But some players who have a ton of swing speed prefer the 2, 3 or driving iron.
Pros tend to use driving irons when they’re playing links golf or if it’s very windy conditions. Or if you’re Tiger Woods, you might still keep the 2-iron stinger in the bag as well.
Pro Tip: Make sure to read our article about how to hit long irons.