Best Driving Irons 2019

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A wide range of golfers can benefit from a powerful and versatile driving iron. They have proved popular on tour for good reason but there is no reason the average gofer cannot reap the benefits of the best driving iron options available. We will take you through some of the most popular options and give you some idea of what to look for when selecting one of these handy clubs.

When you want the power of a 1-iron but don’t want the risk and pressure, a utility iron could well be the answer.

Best Driving Irons

Short on Time? Here's A Quick Product Synopsis

PRODUCT

Srixon Z U85 Utility Club

DETAILS

  • Superb distance
  • Easy to hit
  • Range of lofts
  • Soft feel

OUR RATING

Editors Choice

5/5

5 out of 5

Pick #2

Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli Hi Iron

  • Value for money
  • Optimized weighting
  • Great speed and distance

Best Budget Choice

4.7/5

4.7 out of 5

Pick #3

TaylorMade GAPR MID Golf Club

  • Low CG
  • Thin fast face with speed pocket
  • Speed foam

Best Driving Iron For High Handicappers

4.7/5

4.7 out of 5

Pick #4

TaylorMade P790 Iron

  • Designed for better players
  • Ultra-thin face
  • Outstanding distance
  • Good workability

Best For Low To Mid Handicappers

4.5/5

4.5 out of 5

Pick #5

Ping G Series Crossover Hybrid

  • Highly versatile
  • Impressive distance
  • Good workability

Best Used Driving Iron

4.6/5

4.6 out of 5

More about Driving Irons

While driving irons are not entirely new, they are still a bit of a mystery to many golfers. These points will give you a greater understanding of what they are and how they can help your game.

What are golf driving irons and why use them?

While most of us are not top golfers, we still often look to the tour players for direction. Amateurs, as well as many tour players, have realized and benefited from the utility and power driving irons offer.

Most modern drivers are forgiving and offer outstanding distance and hybrid irons are extremely popular. That being said, one always has more confidence with their favorite iron. A driving iron provides the best of both worlds. Certain conditions, such as wind, make driving irons even more beneficial.

They are low lofted clubs with a bit more bulk than a traditional iron. They still have the feel and familiarity of your favorite iron and are generally easier to play than most other clubs.

While driving irons are not an entirely new concept, modern technology and design have made them more effective and useful. The longer lower irons are not the easiest to hit. Driving irons offer an equivalent power and distance while making them easier to get up and hit far with accuracy. The trajectory is relatively low but they are long and have a good roll. This also makes them great in windy conditions.

Although they are generally better suited to low handicap golfers, there are many designs that are ideal for the average golfer.

 Driving iron vs driver

Many players have a love-hate relationship with their drivers. While they often have a large head and promise distance and forgiveness, many are intimidated and lack full confidence when using a driver. Driving irons might well be the solution. They lack the volume of drivers but are more familiar and easier to hit.

Each player is unique and there is no ideal for solution for all golfers. Much will come down to personal preference and what suits your swing and style.

Driving iron vs hybrid clubs

Hybrids have become extremely popular and for good reason. There are many times a hybrid is a great option. The driving iron fills a gap between your driver and hybrid that works well for many players. The recent advancement in driving iron design makes them ideal for players at all levels.

They are long and accurate. They are also exceptionally useful in the wind, a common issue during a round of golf.

While we do not recommend ditching your favorite hybrid, give modern driving irons a look. They might well be the perfect club to fill a few gaps in your game.

Features to Consider when selecting a Driving Iron

There are a number of important features and aspects to consider when selecting a driving iron. These are some of the most relevant:

  • Shaft

There is generally a range of shaft lengths and flex options available. The weight and material are also important. What is necessary is that you find the right combination to work with your swing speed and abilities.

While a shorter length offers a bit more control a longer shaft has the potential for more speed and distance. In term of flex, the faster your swing the less flex you will want. Slower swingers should select a shaft with greater flex.

  • Loft

One of the main purposes of a driving iron is to give you good distance. For this reason, they have a fairly low loft. The weighting, shaft, sole, face and other aspects are all designed to still give you good trajectory even off a low loft. This aspect also makes them a pleasure to use on a windy day. 

  • Workability

Another benefit of utility irons is that they are designed to give players with the ability more workability. If you have the knowledge and skills you should be able to achieve a decent fade or draw with a good driving iron.

  • Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a welcome additional benefit found in most good driving irons. It will allow you to strike with added confidence knowing that slightly off-center hits will still carry well and relatively on track.

Srixon Z U85 Utility Club

Editor’s Choice

  • Quality
5/5
  • Price
4.6/5
  • Our Rating
5/5

The Z U85 by Srixon has a hollow construction that delivers a high and easy launch with good forgiveness. Srixon employed a forged construction on this driving iron. The face is ultra-strong SUP10 which works well with the super-soft 1020 carbon steel. The feel is soft and distance is impressive thanks to this combination of materials and design.

At address, it will inspire confidence to help you achieve a decent shot off the fairway or tee. You can expect better distance and more forgiveness than your traditional irons. Control is good and most golfers enjoy the soft feel and decent landing they get with the Z U85.

These utility irons are versatile for long second shots and many tee shots. They are a great benefit in windy conditions. The Z U85 has a low bounce sole and Srixon has not used the Tour V.T. Sole on this iron. The result is greater forgiveness which is one of the features these irons are all about. The offset also helps in this regard.

The iron has a deep head which should make launching the ball easier. The range of lofts available means that there is an ideal option for players of all swing speeds and skills. The laser milling affords the player a consistent spin from even a poor lie. This improves control, especially around the green.

The Z U85 has a UST Recoil graphite shaft. The weight is ideal for stability and a fast swing speed.

The combination of design, materials, and features make this our editor’s choice for the leading driving iron.

PROS

  • Quality materials
  • Decent shaft
  • Easy launch
  • Confidence-inspiring appearance at address
  • Wide range of shafts available

CONS

  • While a forgiving club some players would prefer more forgiveness
  • Best for more experienced players

Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli Hi Iron

Best Budget Choice

  • Quality
4.7/5
  • Price
4.9/5
  • Our Rating
4.7/5

This value for money driving iron also has a hollow body design and is a great long iron replacement. It is powerful off the tee or fairway. The MP-18 MMC has a deep and low COG for a launch that is high and easy. Golfers that struggle with a decent launch will appreciate this feature.

There are multiple technologies and design features that combine to make this an efficient and effective driving iron. Laser welding the miraging HT 770 face to the softer X-30 stainless steel body provides a thin and fast head. There is plenty of face flex for higher ball speeds and greater distance. This weight saving allows Mizuno to optimize the weight positioning for good performance.

A 20-gram tungsten weight is situated at the core in an internal pocket. This is low and forward for stability and optimal COG. Ball speeds are high with good distance and applaudable forgives.

The head is comparatively compact and classical looking at address although still manages to give the golfer confidence. Many players prefer this to the larger heads featured on many similar driving irons. It has a narrow sole but is well designed with a decent camber for good turf interaction.

The MP-18 MMC Fli Hi Irons have a finish in Satin Nickel Chrome which most golfers find to be sleek and elegant. They are durable and have minimal glare. Unlike some other irons in this category, they look like true player irons. The quality Kbs C-Taper light stiff shaft just adds to an otherwise pleasing driving iron.

PROS

  • Optimized weighting with a deep low COG for a quality launch
  • Thin and fast face
  • Tungsten Toe Weighting aids launch and forgiveness
  • Great value for money

CONS

  • Some golfers in this market might prefer a larger head
  • The launch may be a bit too high for some golfers

TaylorMade GAPR MID Golf Club

Best Driving Iron For High Handicappers

  • Quality
4.7/5
  • Price
4.4/5
  • Our Rating
4.7/5

TaylorMade knows a lot about golf equipment and invests a large amount of time, effort and money into their product research and development. This shows with the GAPR MID Golf Club. The CG is extremely low for a good trajectory and an impressive distance.

TaylorMade were pioneers in the hybrid club market so it is no surprise that they are effective with quality driving or utility irons. SpeedFoam is used to fill the 455 Stainless steel head and this allows it to be thin and fast. It delivers good distance and has a pleasing sound and most players enjoy the feel. The face is C300 maraging steel which adds to the speed and energy transfer. Of course, it has the trademark speed pocket which makes the club even faster and longer.

The sole has a medium width which most golfers find to be handy and the face profile, while not large, still inspires confidence at address. This design also adds to the playability of the GAPR MID Golf Club.

The GAPR MID has a sole weight screw and deep head which allows for a good-sized speed pocket. This combines well with the other features for more speed and distance.

The graphite KBS Hybrid shaft is light and effective for good control and accuracy. The loft sleeve allows golfers to create the perfect gap and trajectory to suit their game. The majority of players agree that the club looks stylish in a matt black and there is a discreet yet effective alignment aid.

PROS

  • Low CG
  • SpeedFoam
  • Thin fast face
  • Speed Pocket
  • Effective sole width
  • Quality shaft
  • Impressive looks

CONS

  • Somewhat pricey
  • Some players took a while to adjust to the club

TaylorMade P790 UDI Individual Iron

Best For Low to Mid Handicappers

  • Quality
4.7/5
  • Price
4.3/5
  • Our Rating
4.5/5

Yet another driving iron from TaylorMade, the P790 UDI is designed for better gofers with a mid to low handicap. While many might think that driving irons are more suited to higher handicap golfers they have proved extremely popular with the pros.

The UDI in the names stands for ultimate distance iron and this is the main goal of the P970. It has many of the familiar TaylorMade design features and technology. First of these is the speed foam that optimizes the COR and gives powerful distance with a pleasing feel. The super-thin face is a mere 1.75mm and has a compact inverted cone. These give great distance while also helping with accuracy. Despite the focus on distance the P970 still offers a great deal of forgiveness.

For those familiar with the P970 Irons, they will find the UDI very similar. It uses the same body of cast 8620 carbon steel with a strong forged wrap around 4140 carbon steel face cup.

The look is subtle yet elegant. There is a slight offset and the topline is thin but this will not bother players in this category. Most agree that the sound and feedback is good. 

If you are looking for a players iron that will let you shape your shots while still giving great distance and a fair amount of forgiveness, the P790 USI is one to consider.  

PROS

  • Exceptional distance
  • Good playability and control
  • Forgiving and accurate
  • Decent sound and feel
  • Good looks
  • Handy in windy conditions

CONS

  • Not suitable for higher handicap golfers
  • Relatively expensive

Ping G Series Crossover Right-Handed Hybrid Graphite Regular

Best used driving iron

  • Quality
4.7/5
  • Price
4.6/5
  • Our Rating
4.6/5

This is a relatively expensive driving iron but you can find some great deals on used equipment. They are tough and durable so there is nothing wrong with buying a used model. It will allow you to get a top club at a decent price. This is particularly good if you want to experiment with these irons but would rather avoid the budget options.

 This is a versatile crossover or driving iron that works well for a wide range of players. The cascading internal sole gives you speed and accuracy off the entire face. It ties in the sole, top rail and face for forgiveness and distance.

The benefit of the crossover design is the workability and control you expect from an iron with the distance and forgiveness of a hybrid. This is a beneficial combination that, once you get used to, will add an extra dimension to your game.

The G Series Crossover is more forgiving than you would expect from a driving iron. It has a forward CG position for a high and effective launch, accuracy and good distance. Many find it to be a useful and versatile addition to their arsenal. Turf friction is reduced by the “hydropearl” chrome sole.

There is a range of lofts and shafts available to suit your swing style and speed.

PROS

  • Highly forgiving
  • Good workability
  • Decent distance
  • Extremely versatile

CONS

  • Expensive when purchased new
  • Takes a while to get used to

Conclusion

Many players will find a huge advantage to adding a driving iron to their bag. They are powerful and give you accuracy and distance when you need it most. While these are all good options the Srixon Z U85 clearly stands out as our top pick and therefore is our editor’s choice.

It is easy to use, delivers an impressive distance with great forgiveness. They look good, have a pleasant feel and are available in a range of lofts.

If you have not done so already, consider adding one of the best driving irons to your collection.

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About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff at Golfible is a team of golfing geeks and enthusiasts led by founder Alec Rose. All have the same obsession with golf tech, equipment updates and avoiding rain on the course.

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