5 Best Driving Irons (Utility Irons) on the Market in 2021

If you hit the ball wayward with the driver like many of us do, driving irons (also called utility irons) can help you out. They’re a great option for those tight tee shots or a windy day where you need to keep ball flight down. Maybe there’s danger on either side of the fairway, and only a straight shot will do.

In those situations, stepping up with a driving iron can give you the confidence to blast one down the middle and keep high scores off your card.

These are the five best driving iron’s on the market today.

Best Driving Irons: Our Top Picks

We’ve listed our top picks for you to see right away. Read on to check out our complete list and more details on performance, looks, and feel.

Best Driving Irons and Utility Irons in 2021

1. Wilson Staff Model Driving Iron

Best Overall
Wilson Staff Model Driving Iron
$229.99

Wilson Golf created the Staff Model Utility Iron as a prototype for professional golfers on the PGA Tour. A hollow-body construction helps with forgiveness and launch, while the high-strength C300 face delivers greater ball speeds for improved distance. Seven grams of weight in the sole make it easier to launch the golf ball.

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This driving iron offers excellent performance on strikes across the clubface. And when you hit the sweet spot, you’ll get that springy feeling on the feedback. Hitting this club pure is an absolute pleasure. And the hollow-body construction offers great forgiveness on any off-center strikes.

Also, the 7 grams of weight in the sole add to this forgiveness. It lowers the center of gravity, pulling it away from the clubface. This gives you more forgiveness when you’re not striking it the best.

That low center of gravity helps with the launch as well. Pulling the weight down makes it easier to get the ball up in the air. If you struggle with launching your low irons, this driving iron will undoubtedly help you get the ball airborne. That means farther carries and ultimately more distance when compared to low irons.

The Wilson Staff Model Driving Iron sits beautifully behind the ball. A streamlined shape makes it less bulky than some of the other driving irons on the list. That slimmer look might give some players less confidence when addressing the ball. But more capable players will tend to like the compact look.

Also, this is a workable club. It’s easy to play this club back in the stance to lower the ball flight. That makes it superb for those windy days.

However, this club is only available for right-handers, which is a significant downside. Hopefully, that’s something Wilson will address in the future.

Also, the hosel offset might distract some players. It sits slightly forward from the head. But that’ll help higher handicappers square the clubface. So, it’s not a negative for everyone.

Overall, this driving iron offers excellent performance, a classy look, and feels terrific off the clubface.

Wilson Staff Model Utility Iron Specs

Loft18 Degrees21 Degrees24 Degrees
Iron Equivalent2 Iron3 Iron4 Iron
Lie59 Degrees59.5 Degrees60 Degrees
Length40 Inches39.5 Inches39 Inches
Hosel Offset0.16 Inches0.15 Inches0.14 Inches

2. Srixon ZX Driving Iron

Best Value
Srixon ZX Driving Iron
$219.99

The new Srixon ZX is smaller, more compact, and more blade-like at address. A milled pattern behind the face maximizes COR for more ball speed and more distance. With a hollow design, the Srixon ZX offers more forgiveness and control, while tungsten in the sole lowers the center of gravity for a higher launch.

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This driving iron is compact and looks like a muscle back iron. It might look like it won’t be forgiving, but looks can be deceiving. The Srixon ZX offers excellent forgiveness on off-center strikes.

The hollow design promotes forgiveness and adds an element of control. So, you won’t go too far astray even on mishits. That’s fantastic news for those tight tee shots.

And on solid strikes, the performance is incredible. It feels quick off the face and offers a mid-range flight. That makes it better suited for players who don’t struggle with getting the ball up and flying.

With a lower flight than some other driving irons, it means you’ll get more roll when playing on solid fairways. If you play in a dry environment, it’s something to consider. That’s especially true if you only hit your driving irons off the tee and want maximum roll.

The compact design of the Srixon ZX might intimidate higher handicappers. That can get in your head and give you doubts at address, affecting your confidence. Doubts are never good when stepping onto the tee, especially if there’s water to the left and trees to the right.

But if you can overcome that, this is a stunning driving iron to hit. It’s super playable for different types of shots, and the ball flies off the clubface without impacting control. That translates to long and straight tee shots while coming in at the lowest price on our list.

Srixon ZX Specs

Loft18 Degrees20 Degrees23 Degrees
Iron Equivalent2 Iron3 Iron4 Iron
Lie60 Degrees60 Degrees60.5 Degrees
Length40 Inches39.5 Inches39 Inches
Hosel Offset0.14 Inches0.14 Inches0.14 Inches

3. TaylorMade SIM DHY Driving Iron

Best Forgiveness
TaylorMade SIM DHY Driving Iron
$249.99

Designed for power and forgiveness. Engineered with SpeedFoam™ and a forged C300 steel face, SIM DHY delivers fast ball speeds while maintaining a premium feel. Inverted Cone Technology enhances the sweet spot and promotes a straighter ball flight, while the Speed Pocket™ design maximizes ball speeds and forgiveness.

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When you look at this driving iron, it screams forgiveness. This is down to the bulky head and a longer face. You just know it’s going to help with those mishits. And it does.

Inverted Cone Technology enhances the sweet spot and promotes a straighter ball flight. So, even when you don’t strike it perfectly, you’re not going to go too far off track. Knowing that and seeing the bulk really does help with your confidence at address.

And then there’s the power. Again, the bulk already advertises this at first glance because it just looks like a powerful golf club. The C300 steel face ensures high ball speeds, while the SpeedFoam™ behind it gives extra feel. There’s great feedback from this driving iron.

Also, you may have noticed from the specs that these clubs have a lower loft and a longer shaft than the previous picks. That works to increase ball speed and maximize power. So, there’s an outstanding balance between power and forgiveness.

A wide, weighted sole lowers the center of gravity and makes it super easy to get the ball in the air. It makes this driving iron easy to hit off the fairway, too.

On the downside, TaylorMade doesn’t offer the number 2 or 5 for left-handers. And the Diamana 75 stock shaft might be a little on the light side for some.

Also, the club’s bulkiness won’t be to everyone’s taste. You really notice it sticking out behind the clubface at address, which may distract some golfers.

But if that doesn’t bother you and you’re after forgiveness combined with power, you can’t go far wrong with the TaylorMade SIM DHY.

TaylorMade SIM DHY Specs

Loft17 Degrees19 Degrees22 Degrees25 Degrees
Iron Equivalent2 Iron3 Iron4 Iron5 Iron
Lie59.5 Degrees60 Degrees60.5 Degrees61 Degrees
Length40.25 Inches39.75 Inches39.25 Inches38.75 Inches
Hosel Offset0.12 Inches0.12 Inches0.12 Inches0.12 Inches

4. Titleist U-505 Driving Iron

Also Great
Titleist U-505 Driving Iron
$249.99

Draws on input from Tour Pros to give a high, explosive launch with the look, feel, and sound of an iron. With a forged L-Face and Max Impact technology, the U505 is Titleist's fastest driving iron. A shorter blade, shallow face, and a wide sole maintain versatility while keeping the muscle back look.

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This driving iron is a versatile golf club. Depending on the loft option, it can be hit for accuracy off the tee and used for longer approach shots. That’s because the ball travels high when well-struck, giving a softer landing to settle on the green.

There’s power in this club, too. A forged L-Face and Max Impact technology promotes speed. Also, the Engineered Muscle Plate at the back gives the club stability. It shifts the center of gravity for solid strikes. Also, its composition and structure help deliver a satisfying sound and feel.

Denser tungsten weights positioned lower and towards the heel provide the U505 with optimal launch. You’ll really see that when you strike this perfectly. It’ll give the ball a true, high flight.

However, it’s not as forgiving as some of the other options on our list. Although it suits a broader range of players than the Titleist T200, the U505 still performs better for lower handicappers. At address, the muscle plate at the back will give higher handicappers confidence, but the forgiveness just isn’t there compared to other offerings.

Also, sunlight can catch the muscle plate at the back and produce glare. This could be off-putting for some, especially if the sun’s beating down.

Titleist U505 Specs

Loft16 Degrees18 Degrees20 Degrees22 Degrees
Iron Equivalent1 Iron2 Iron3 Iron4 Iron
Lie60 Degrees60.5 Degrees61 Degrees61.5 Degrees
Length40.25 Inches39.75 Inches39.25 Inches38.75 Inches
Hosel OffsetN/AN/AN/AN/A

5. Ping G425 Crossover Driving Iron

Also Great
Ping G425 Crossover Driving Iron
$259.99

The Ping G425 Crossover has a thinner, maraging steel face and internal geometry to deliver high-flying shots that land softly. Greater forgiveness and accuracy come from tungsten toe and hosel weights. A resilient stealth hydropearl finish helps repel moisture and improve performance in all conditions.

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If looks could get the ball splitting the fairway, the Ping G425 Crossover would be in the bag straight away. It’s a stunning golf club with a dark finish and a sleek, classy look.

But there’s still some bulk behind the clubface and in the sole. Toe and hosel weights expand the perimeter weighting to offer forgiveness, which will appeal to a wide range of golfers. It means the Ping G425 Crossover is a good option if accuracy is a problem for you. It’ll work well on tight tee shots.

The face is 7% thinner than Ping’s previous offering, which means increased ball speeds. Combined with the internal geometry, this delivers a high launch. Ping claim this will allow you to hit high-flying shots that land softly.

However, as easy on the eye as it is, some players might not feel comfortable looking down on this club. Ping does a great job of hiding the bulk, but that may not help higher handicappers. The sleek, compact look might not fill them with confidence, so it’s better suited to lower handicappers.

Also, the ball can feel a little hard off the clubface, and the sound won’t be to everyone’s liking.

Ping G425 Crossover Specs

Loft18 Degrees20 Degrees22.5 Degrees
Iron Equivalent2 Iron3 Iron4 Iron
Lie – Black Dot58.1 Degrees59 Degrees59.9 Degrees
Length40.4 Inches39.75 Inches39.12 Inches
Hosel Offset0.22 Inches0.2 Inches0.18 Inches

What is a driving iron?

A driving iron is a specially designed iron for hitting a tee shot in place of a driver. It’s an excellent option for golfers who lack confidence off the tee. If you can’t get any consistency with your driver and hit it all over the place, a driving iron could be a great addition to your golf bag.

They look a lot like regular irons, except the head is much bulkier on driving irons. Driving irons are more forgiving with extra mass behind the clubface, a wide sole, and hollow-body construction. Also, it’s easier to launch the ball with them because they have a low center of gravity compared to a standard low iron.

Although driving irons launch higher than your standard low iron, they don’t launch as high as hybrids or fairway woods. However, they give a penetrating ball flight that leads to heaps of roll when playing on solid fairways. That makes them a fantastic choice off the tee if you’re not so accurate with the driver.

A driving iron won’t go as far as a driver, but they still get up there. Depending on your swing speed, a driving iron will travel about 200-250 yards. And they’re much easier to hit straight than drivers.

So, sacrificing a little bit of distance for accuracy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. That’s especially true on dangerous holes where an accurate tee shot can be the difference between a par and a double bogey–or dare we say worse.

What to consider when choosing a driving iron

When choosing a driving iron, you’ll want to consider performance, looks, and feel.

Different clubs will offer various performances. For instance, we already know that driving irons will launch higher than traditional irons. In addition, forgiveness is another performance indicator for you to consider, which affects the accuracy of those mishits. So, performance should play a big part in your choice.

But let’s face it, golfers are a superficial bunch. Looks are important when choosing any golf club, including a driving iron. At address, you want to look down and feel confident with your driving iron, and the look of a club plays a big part in that confidence.

The feel of a golf club is also important. Some players like to feel a lot of weight in the clubhead, while others prefer a lighter feel. This is a personal choice, but just like looks, the feel can play a big part in your confidence standing over the ball.

Jack Nicklaus knows a thing or two about golf. He famously said:

“The game of golf is 90% mental and 10% physical.”

Jack Nicklaus

So, the confidence that comes from look and feel is super important. Combine those with performance, and you’ll be piercing fairways with your driving iron.

FAQs

Is a driving iron worth it?

Yes, a driving iron is worth it because they offer flexibility to your game. They fly higher than standard low irons but lower than hybrids and fairway woods. That makes them versatile and good options for different conditions.

Is a 2-iron a driving iron?

No, a 2-iron isn’t a driving iron. Although a driving iron can have the same loft as a 2-iron, the designs and technology are entirely different. A driving iron is much easier to hit than a standard 2-iron. Also, the ball will launch higher with a driving iron. Because a 2-iron is hard to hit, a driving iron is a better option for many golfers.

Is it hard to hit a driving iron?

It’s not too hard to hit a driving iron, especially if you’ve got a relatively fast swing. Driving irons are designed to launch the ball high, making them relatively easy to hit. And they’re designed to be forgiving, so even mishits will travel well. Driving irons are easier to hit than low irons but a little harder to hit than hybrids and fairway woods.

Final Thoughts

Driving irons are a great option for golfers who can’t find accuracy with the driver. Easier to hit than low irons and with a lower launch than hybrids and fairway woods, they’re a versatile golf club.

Our 5 picks cover options for lower and higher handicappers, with forgiveness, looks, and feel in mind. So choose what suits you best and start smashing the ball straight down the middle.

Joe Morelli

Joe's been playing golf for 25 years, starting as a junior golfer in his early teens. He loves getting out on the links with his dad and friends -- whether an early weekend foursome or his weekday, afternoon league.

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