The 8 Best Driving Irons For Every Budget [Updated 2023]
Do you hate hitting long irons? Do they make your hands sweat as you pull them out of the bag, worried about what will happen?
Here’s the thing, even the best players in the world struggle with hitting long irons. It’s the reason you see more and more PGA Tour pros playing with hybrids, 7 woods, and driving irons instead of traditional 3 or 4 irons.
Needless to say, if the best golfers in the world struggle with them, don’t beat yourself up too much. Hitting long irons requires the right swing, setup, lie, and overall, confidence. But if you feel like they are hurting your game more than helping, it might be time to try driving irons.
While driving irons have been around for a while, more and more companies have them for more than just a 1, 2, or 3 iron. Now, you can play driving irons from 1-5 iron to get the most out of your game.
- A thinner face and internal construction deliver high-flying shots
- Toe and hosel weights expand perimeter weighting, increasing MOI and forgiveness
- Added forgiveness from fully hollow construction
- Great distance, control, and a high launch off the tee or from the fairway
- Hollow-body construction, these utility irons deliver more distance
- Variable high strength steel face
- V-shaped sole - featured in both the cavity back and hollow designs
Best Driving Irons For Every Budget
Here are the best driving irons to help you build confidence in your long game.
1. Titleist U505 and T200
I would argue the best driving irons are these models from Titleist. Before replacing my 4 iron with this, I would say, hands down, it was my least favorite club to hit. I never felt comfortable over a 4 iron and didn’t play par 5’s to my potential.
But when I switched to the older Titleist U510, my 4 iron quickly went from my least favorite club to the superstar of the bag. Seriously, these clubs are that good, and it’s why some of the best players on the PGA Tour use them as well.
There are two new models for 2021; U500 and T200 irons. According to Titleist, “Drawing on input from Tour Pros, it provides the high, explosive launch of a utility but with a refined design that offers a more iron-like look, feel and sound.”
These U500 are high launch irons with tons of versatility. You can buy them in a 16, 18, 20, or 22 degree lofts and are geared for mid-handicap golfers.
While the T200 is more of a utility iron that is geared toward better players with more consistent swings. These are available in 2, 3, and 4 irons (17, 20, and 22 degrees of loft).
Both options are available in steel or graphite
Also, the older models (the U500 and U510) are also great clubs as well. You’ll save some money and still benefit big time.
2. Callaway X Forged Utility Irons
Callaway X-Forged Utility Iron
- Extremely precise triple net forging for exceptional feel and high performance
- The tour configured soles are designed for excellent turf interaction from a variety of lies
- The 20v grooves are built in to promote a high level of control
- Clean and classic, with a smooth, appealing look at address
Callaway has quite a lineup of irons for every type of golfer. Now, they also have a utility iron to keep up with the growing demand of golfers who want help with their long game.
The X Forged utility irons were designed by AI and built for better golfers who need some extra confidence. They have a longer blade length and wider sole compared to a normal long iron that makes it much easier to hit and control. Plus, it has an extremely soft feel thanks to its hollow body construction.
These new utility irons from Callaway are available in 18, 21, and 24 degrees of loft. What makes them even better is that you can choose from a premium Project X steel shaft or a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black graphite shaft.
3.TaylorMade P790 UDI
TaylorMade doesn’t have a huge selection of long irons or hybrids but the P790 UDI is a solid choice for a consistent ball striker. If you’re more of a mid to high handicap golfer, I would skip this iron and opt for ones that are slightly more forgiving. But if you have the swing speed, these clubs are a nice addition to your golf bag.
The head has a toe screw (similar to Ping) and helps increase forgiveness and speed to deliver a piercing ball flight. This club is great off the tee and from the fairway, but I would skip it from the rough.
The biggest upgrade with these irons vs. past models is the new sweet spot which uses Speed Foam Technology. According to TaylorMade, “SpeedFoam Air is 69% lighter than its predecessor, unlocking our thinnest P•790 face ever with an intelligent sweet spot that’s been repositioned to capture more shots, pinpointing performance where golfers need it the most.”
There is one huge downside to the TaylorMade P790 – it’s only available in a 2 iron loft and RH model. It comes with a stock graphite shaft but you can upgrade to a steel shaft for an additional cost.
4. Ping G425 Crossover
Ping made a winner as the G425 Crossover is one of the best looking driving irons in the game. The gunmetal design will make it stand out in your bag and should deliver tons of confidence on looks alone.
But the technology is there to back you up thanks to Tungsten weighting which increases the MOI of the club. The steel face is thin and delivers exceptional ball speed so it will still land soft on approach shots.
One of the biggest perks with this driving iron is the choice of stock shafts. You can choose from the Aldila Rogue Black 95 which is a hybrid shaft, not an iron shaft. It has low-mid spin and is ideal for a consistent ball striker.
If you aren’t as consistent as an iron player, opt for the Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 graphite shaft. This shaft has counterbalance and is higher launching, higher spinning shaft which is better for moderate swing speeds. The 425 irons are available in 2, 3, or 4 iron and a great compliment if you play the G425 irons too.
5. Cobra King Utility Iron
Cobra continues to roll out an array of new clubs, including the latest King Utility Iron. What makes this one so great is that you can customize the hosel, just like you do with fairway woods and drivers. As Cobra said on their website, “Personalized performance from fairway or off the tee.”
This isn’t available with any other utility irons that I found, and allows you to tweak as needed. It also has a 66 gram weight directly behind the hitting zone for maximum speed and distance.
The only downside is that it’s only available in a 3 or 4 iron without graphite shaft options. Also, this is available in a standard length or “one length” iron as well.
6. Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi Driving Iron
If you want the ball to fly higher from long range, you have to check out the new Fli-Hi irons from Mizuno. This is a true driving iron that has one goal – increase your ball speed without making you change your swing. Compared to the Mizuno Pro 225, this is much more forgiving and great for mid to low handicap golfers.
Like all Mizuno irons, these clubs look phenomenal and definitely are more compact than some other irons on this list. They also have extra Tungsten weighting to produce a reliable ball flight.
Similar to the Ping G425, this club is meant to be played with a hybrid shaft, not a traditional iron shaft. You can select three different lofts; 16.5, 19, or 21.5 (2, 3, 4 iron) to replace irons, hybrids, or fairway woods in your bag. These irons are only available in RH models at this time.
7. Srixon ZX Utility Iron
Srixon Golf ZX Utility Iron
- A milled pattern on the backside of ZX Utility’s face maximizes COR for more ball speed and more distance on every shot
- Added forgiveness from fully hollow construction makes it easier to pure utility irons, adding distance, control, and a high launch off the tee or from the fairway
Srixon is a lesser known brand than Titleist or Callaway but they make some great irons too. The ZX utility iron is more compact than some on this list and geared toward a lower handicap golfer.
These have a much more blade-like look at address, but still have more forgiveness than a traditional long iron. Thanks to their hollow body construction, it’s still easy to launch them from almost any lie. These are available in 18, 20, and 23 degree loft options but only offer graphite shafts.
8. Cleveland Launcher UHX Utility Irons
Cleveland Golf Launcher UHX Utility
- Hollow construction - featuring a hollow-body construction, these utility irons deliver more distance
- Variable high strength steel face - a variable high strength ht1770m steel face insert delivers explosive ball speeds
- V-shaped sole - featured in both the cavity back and hollow designs
Rounding our list of the best driving irons is the Cleveland Launch utility iron.
The UHX offers plenty of distance and forgiveness in a great design. It’s a bit longer than some on this list and geared toward higher handicap players who prefer an iron vs. a hybrid or fairway wood.
Their hollow construction also makes them much more forgiving than traditional irons. Paired with their V-shaped sole, you can’t go wrong with these whether you’re on the tee or off the turf.
Top Questions About Driving Irons
Are you on the fence about switching or adding a driving iron to your bag? You might be thinking, “Are driving irons worth it?”
Keep reading to answer some of the common questions and see if one of these clubs is a needed addition to your bag.
What iron is best to drive with?
The longer the iron, the further the ball will go. But that doesn’t mean buying a 1 or 2 iron is necessarily the right club for your game.
Because longer irons have less loft and usually a smaller sweet spot than most clubs in the bag. Plus, they launch low which isn’t ideal if you don’t create a ton of natural swing speed.
But if your swing is consistent enough to use long irons, the best iron will be a 2 or 3 iron. I think almost every amateur should skip 1 irons as it’s been said that “God himself can’t hit a one iron.”
Driving irons should give you additional control off the tee and find more fairways than a 3 wood or driver. Just make sure you have the swing speed to get the most out of them.
Click here to read our guide to adding speed to your swing
Is a driving iron easier to hit than a driver?
Some golfers seem to have a driver-phobia and a lot of amateurs leave it in the bag and opt for a 3 wood or long iron. If that sounds like you, then a long iron is likely easier to hit than a driver.
But overall, I think with all the changes in the golf club industry, drivers have never been easier to hit. While I won’t say they are “easy”, the technology makes them more forgiving, higher launching, and long off the tee.
Plus, they have a big advantage over long irons – they’re much more forgiving. If you miss a driver, it will still travel 80-90% of its normal distance and won’t affect your approach shot very much. But if you mishit an iron, it can result in a big miss and way less distance which leaves a more challenging approach shot.
Also Read: How To Hit a Stinger Like Tiger Woods
What type of shaft should I play in long irons?
In general, you want lighter shafts than your normal irons.
For example, I play 115 gram iron shafts, but my driving iron is 90 grams and closer to my fairway woods. This allows you to generate more speed and likely better contact. But make sure to keep the same flex as your irons to keep your shot pattern similar with your set.
What club should a driving iron replace?
This depends on the loft of the club. For example, if you buy an 18 or 19 degree driving iron, it will replace your 5-wood or 3H.
But golf club manufacturers understand that players want extra forgiveness in their 3, 4, and 5 iron too. That’s why some of these utility irons are offered in higher launch models to replace your normal irons in your set.
A lot of players play a 5-PW in a normal iron set, then add a utility iron for longer shots. These can be used off the tee or when hitting into the green from the fairway too.
Click here to learn more about driving irons vs. hybrid debate
If you struggle with your long irons, it might be time to make the switch to driving irons. Put your pride aside and play the clubs that are right for your game. Making the switch helped my game so much and I can say hands down it’s one of the best moves I’ve made.
The great thing is that you can play with long irons, driving irons, and a hybrid if you want too. Having a variety in your bag will help you with any shot you face and give you tons of confidence as well.
Grab one of these clubs so you can start taking advantage of par 5’s and make long par 4’s easier.
What’s your favorite driving iron? Do you prefer irons, driving irons, or hybrids for those 200+ yard shots?
Let us know in the comments!