Tee Box Savior - The Best Driving Irons

Mike Regan May 05 2022

Driving irons are an alternative to long irons, hybrids, woods, and drivers. What are the best driving irons? They don’t have a clear one-for-one replacement for each golfer, but serve a variety of purposes. Added control, better ball flight, easier to hit. All of these qualities describe the best driving iron.


How is a driving iron different from a regular iron?

To put it simply, a driving iron is easier to hit than a low iron. A long iron is a continuation of a normal set of irons. A driving iron is something entirely of its own, with a design making it easier to hit than other irons of the same loft.

Driving irons have hollow heads and altered centers of gravity. These two main characteristics makes them easier to hit and helps produce distance. A well struck 3-iron will not go as far as a well struck driving iron with equal loft.

The same way in golf game people refer to hybrids as rescue clubs, a driving iron is called a utility iron as well.

Where can I use driving irons when playing golf?

The best place to use a driving iron is off the tee. It is a club that provides distance and is easier to control than a driver. 

It is also a good to use from the fairway or rough, though it becomes more difficult to hit, like any other club, when you add turf and dirt to the equation. Because of loft and typical launch angle, the golf ball shoots off the club low, making it perfect for hitting shots below wind. 

Additionally, this golf ball flight lends itself to rolling out. If you have to carry a distant hazard, pick a club that flies higher. If you can run it through a fairway or up to a green, choose a driving iron. 

When there’s a recovery shot to be made, a driving iron is the best play. Due to its naturally low flight and powerful launch, you only need to get the golf ball moving in the right direction to gain considerable distance.


Do the pros use driving irons in golf?

In general, no. But that’s not to say there isn’t exceptions. The reason behind this is that pros do not struggle to hit long driving irons like average golfers. Even though driving irons are more shapable than any club an average golfer can hit, long irons are even more shapable. 

Pro golfers can control and use them, making 2 and 3-irons a better choice for them.

When did driving irons first become popular in golf game?

Driving irons are not new, but advances in golf club technology have helped them become more popular in the last 15 years. For most golfers, long irons are no longer a thing. Average golfers are looking for alternatives that go far and the driving iron and hybrid debate has never been hotter.

With the rise of the hybrid since 2000, more developed driving irons became the answer for major golf manufacturers. Each serve as a long iron alternative, but they play much differently.


Hybrids vs. Driving Irons in Golf Game

More golfers carry hybrids than driving irons, but the principle behind carrying either is the same. Hybrids produce high, arcing shots. The best driving iron utilizes a low, penetrating golf ball flight.

Hybrids require less swing speed than driving irons. This reason, and a few others, are why you see hybrid mid-iron replacements. Driving irons strictly replace low irons and are designed for distance. Hybrids really focus on making contact easier.

Because of the iron head, it is easier to move the golf ball left to right and right to left. Hybrids have a design suited for advancing the ball forward in a pretty straight fashion. Driving irons let you do what you want with the golf ball - assuming you can control it.

What are The Best Driving Irons?

Srixon Golf ZX Utility Iron

Srixon Golf ZX Utility Iron

Sometimes basic is best. The Srixon ZX driving iron is exactly that. A multi-piece head and forged face do their best to make something out of nothing. Each facet of this club is tailored towards forgiveness.

You’ll also be hard pressed to find a club that feels as good as this one on good or bad contact. When you stripe the golf ball, it produces a clean sound and minimal vibration. When you hit it bad, it absorbs vibrations. By cutting out reverberation up the club, it's easy to feel when you hit it well, but does not punish when you leaving distance on the table.

Cleveland Golf Launcher UHX Utility Club

Cleveland Golf Launcher UHX Utility Club

We like to think of the Cleveland Launcher UHX driving iron as the game improvement utility club. Because of its v-shaped sole and pronounced hollow back, you have more support than on a thinner club.

The club shape also makes it easy to hit from the fairways and rough. After all, what’s the point of having a club if you can only use it from one location (no offense to drivers)? A strong steel face also distributes the sweet spot around the club, making your misses pop off the club and mishits not as big of a deal.

TaylorMade SIM Max DHY Utility Iron

TaylorMade SIM Max DHY Utility Iron

TaylorMade may have introduced the SIM line a couple years ago, but there’s a reason it’s still dominant. Compared to other driving irons, the SIM Max DHY has a beefier head, towing the line between hybrid and iron a little more closely than others.

A low center of gravity does its best to help lift the golf ball off the face and produce a higher flight than you might be used to. A variety of shaft stiffness, lofts, and weighting make it a very customizable option.

Cobra King Utility Iron

Cobra King Utility Iron

We recognize that average golfers go through swing changes, willingly or unwillingly, and there are times clubs fit better than others. When this happens, you can adjust your driver, woods, and hybrids. But why not your driving iron?

Cobra must have thought the same thing as the Cobra King Utility Iron has an adjustable hosel. This way, you can change the club as your swing does—no need to buy a replacement and you can roll with the punches.

MAZEL Driving Iron

MAZEL Driving Irons Set

This is the best affordable driving iron and a great introductory club. If you are unsure about whether a utility club is a good fit for your game, we recommend the MAZEL Driving Iron. 

If you do not like the shape of hybrids, this is a great solution. With 2, 3, and 4 driving irons, you can replace each long iron in your bag without having to jump into the world of hybrids.

One of the only downsides of this club is that it comes with a regular flex shaft making it tough to use for golfers with fast swing speeds. On the other hand, this shaft makes it a great option for female golfers and seniors. Since most companies tend to forget about ladies and seniors, MAZEL may have unknowingly created a great option for underappreciated factions of golfers.


What are the benefits of using a driving iron?

A driving iron can be incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of situations. For example, if you find yourself in trouble off the tee and need to hit a low shot under tree branches, a driving iron can come in handy. They can also be used for hitting precise approach shots into greens.

Do I need a driving iron?

Again, this depends on your individual golf game and what you are looking for in a club. If you feel like you are struggling with your current irons or are finding yourself in difficult situations on the course, then a driving iron may be a good option for you. However, if you are happy with your current clubs and don't feel like you need to make any changes, then you may not need a driving iron.

What is the difference between a driving iron and a fairway wood?

The main difference between a driving iron and a fairway wood is that driving irons have shorter shafts and are designed to be more accurate, while fairway woods have longer shafts and are typically used for longer shots. Additionally, driving irons typically have less loft than fairway woods, meaning that they will not hit the ball as high in the air.

I've noticed some rust on my driving iron. What should I do?

If you notice rust on your driving iron, you should remove it as soon as possible. Rust can cause damage to the metal and may affect the performance of the club. To remove rust, you can use a soft brush and mild soap. If the rust is stubborn, you can try using a rust removal product.

My driving iron isn't performing as well as it used to. What could be the problem?

There are a few possible reasons why your driving iron might not be performing as well as it used to. It could be that the club needs to be cleaned or re-gripped. Additionally, the loft on the club may have changed over time, affecting its performance. Finally, it is also possible that you simply need more practice with the club. If you are unsure of the cause, it is always best to consult with a professional.

Mike Regan

Mike is a weekend golfer from Connecticut and a devoted fan of the game who turned his passion into the writing experience. Any day he keeps it under 80 is a cool day. When he's not writing about golf his is playing it.