It seems like every week on the PGA Tour, more and more players are using driving irons. Sure, there are still plenty of hybrids to be found in various bags, but driving irons are becoming more and more popular.
While hybrids offer inherent advantages for most players in terms of playability and performance, golfers with faster swing speeds that play at a more advanced level often find them limiting.
For seasoned golfers, being able to shape shots and control trajectory are a top priority. Driving irons offer this kind of versatility.
Does a driving iron sound like it might benefit your game? You’re in luck, we’ve reviewed the 10 best options on the market for 2022.
Top 10 Driving Irons
TaylorMade GAPR Mid Golf Club
I know we said that driving irons are less forgiving than hybrids. While that’s certainly the case, the TaylorMade GAPR is arguably the most forgiving driving iron on the market.
Hence its name, the GAPR is designed to fill in the gap most players have between their three-wood and four-iron.
Like most clubs TaylorMade makes, this driving iron’s face is downright hot. When hit solid, the ball jumps off like a rocket allowing golfers to maximize both ball speed and distance. It also has one of the best sounds off the face too.
More than other driving irons on this list, this club has some hybrid-like characteristics. While the top line is thin and looks like that of an iron, there’s a substantial amount of metal in the back of the club. Even though this look might be a little different, it’s proven to reduce side spin for straighter shots.
If there’s a driving iron that will benefit golfers with slower swing speeds, or that aren’t as skilled, the TaylorMade GAPR is it.
TaylorMade P790 UDI Driving Iron
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that TaylorMade occupies the next spot on our list. For as long as anyone can remember, they’ve designed some of the best long clubs in the game.
The 790 UDI Driving Iron is arguably the most popular driving iron for 2022. Not only is this the preferred choice for the best players in the world, it’s just as highly-regarded by weekend warriors.
If you’re a purist that prefers the look of a traditional iron, this just might be the driving iron for you.
Not only is this club workable, it offers explosive distance too. That’s due in large part to the speed foam feature that sits right behind the face and increases COR.
The P790 UDI is a great choice for high ball hitters too. It comes in 17 degrees of loft which produces a low, boring ball flight that’s meant to pierce the wind and roll like crazy when it hits the ground.
Even though the P790 UDI isn’t the most forgiving club on the market, its performance is unmatched.
Titleist U500 Hybrid
Even though this club has the word “hybrid” in its name, it’s anything but.
As you might expect from Titleist, this is a player’s club. The profile is small and clean. As a result, this club’s accuracy is above par. Coupled with boosted MOI, the club is also forgiving. You get the best of both worlds.
For players that like to hit a variety of shots and control trajectory, the U500 is as good as it gets.
Tungsten weighting in the sole of this club helps good players hit high shots that hold the green on long par fives and par threes.
A number of stock shafts are available in the Titleist U500, so customization is easy.
Cobra King Utility Iron
Cobra King was at the forefront when hybrids became all the rage in the early 2000’s. Remember the baffler?
The company has more than kept up in terms of driving irons too. Their latest iteration is Cobra King Utility Iron.
Golfers say this is one of the best feeling driving irons thanks to it’s forged face that provides ultimate responsiveness.
The body of this club is hollow. This design feature is becoming more and more popular with the major manufacturers. That’s because it increases forgiveness on mishits. While this characteristic might cause ball flight to be a little high for some players, it is indeed forgiving.
The Cobra King Utility Club is adjustable too. Not many other driving irons can say that. Just like their fairway woods, MyFly technology allows you to adjust loft while keeping the face square to the target.
One of the most versatile driving irons on the market, players are sure to notice the advantages of the Cobra King Utility Club.
Titleist U510 Hybrid
As we all know, Titleist has the reputation of being a “good player’s” brand. However, that doesn’t mean higher handicappers can’t benefit from their equipment.
The U510 is case in point.
Even though this club is considered a driving iron, it incorporates a number of hybrid features that make it easy to hit.
To start, the sweet spot is bigger than that of other driving irons on the market. Additionally, the CG is low and deep in the head. This increases forgiveness and promotes high launch conditions.
In the face itself, there’s a thin steel insert called the SUP-10. Not only does this insert increase ball speed, it provides excellent feedback and responsiveness.
The Titleist U510 is a great choice for golfers that want the performance of a driving iron with the forgiveness of a hybrid all in one club.
Srixon ZX Utility Iron
While we’re on the topic of forgiveness, we need to mention the Srixon ZX Utility Iron.
Just like Cobra King, Srixon has designed this driving iron with a hollow head. This helps increase swing speed. At the same time, tungsten weighting in the perimeter of the club increases both ball speed and length. This club was engineered with distance in mind.
Unlike other driving irons, the ZX is made from carbon steel. Players report incredible feel with this material, and even though it’s light, it lacks nothing in stability.
The sole is iron-milled too. This aids in turf interaction and makes the ZX playable from almost any lie.
The Srixon ZX features the latest and greatest when it comes to technology and design. That’s why it’s considered one of the most forgiving driving irons for 2022.
Ping G425 Crossover Utility Iron
The Ping G425 Crossover Utility Iron has one of the thinnest faces of any driving iron around. This feature alone makes it one of the hottest. Improved internal geometry also increases ball speed and promotes high launch conditions.
Strategically placed weights in both the heel and toe increase stability and maximize MOI. This means maximum forgiveness on off-center shots.
The finish on the G425 is a gunmetal black, unlike most other driving irons. This creates a more compact, clean-cut look that some players find appealing.
A driving iron that appeals to a wide range of players, don’t overlook the Ping G425 Crossover Utility Iron.
Callaway X Forged UT Utility Iron
The Callaway X Forged UT Utility Iron is a great option for better players looking for performance and distance.
AI-designed Flash Face Cup Technology is designed to maximize ball speed at all points across the clubface.
The head is made of 1025 mild carbon steel that features urethane microspheres that dampen vibration for clean sound and feel. You’ll know when you hit this club on the sweet spot.
On the club’s exterior, Metal Injection Molded tungsten weights allow the CG to be strategically placed to optimize a player’s trajectory and launch.
One of the most technologically advanced driving irons on the market, the X Forged UT Utility Iron delivers on all fronts.
Honma TW-U Utility Iron
If you aren’t familiar with the brand Honma, you should be. The company is based in Japan and makes some of the highest quality golf clubs of the current era.
While it might be out of some people’s budget to purchase an entire set of irons (the high-end ones have plated gold in the cavity), their latest driving iron is more than worthy of a spot on our list.
I know we’ve talked about how hot the faces are on some of the other driving irons on this list, but the Honma TW-U is the real deal when it comes to distance.
Not only is this driving iron hot, it’s surprisingly forgiving on mishits. The COG is positioned in such a manner that ideal launch conditions are idealized. That means minimal spin and high ball flight.
When it comes to Honma, you get what you pay for. Although this club is pricey, it just might be worth the investment.
Wilson Staff Model Utility Iron
Wilson gets a bad rap as a manufacturer. Back in the day (the way back day) all the greats played their equipment. While there was a long absence from notoriety, the company is revitalized and turning out some really good stuff.
The Wilson Staff Model Utility Iron is just one example.
Moderately priced, this driving iron has all the technological and design features as the other sticks on this list.
Here again, the Staff Model driving iron gives you the best of both worlds in terms of both performance and forgiveness. The ball screams on the face, and mishits won’t cost you much either.
With that being said, this might not be the best option is you’re looking for maximum shot making capability. We’re talking about specialty shots that scratch golfers expect to hit.
Other than that, this is by far the best value for a driving iron you’ll find anywhere. And it won’t disappoint in the performance department when it comes to distance and forgiveness.
When Do You Use a Driving Iron?
Driving irons are great because they’re designed to maximize both distance and accuracy. For those reasons, they’re a great club to use off the tee on tight driving holes. On average, you’re going to be a lot more accurate with a driving iron than you are with a driver.
These clubs are also easy to hit off the deck too. They’re shaped similar to traditional long irons, but have more mass in the head which helps the ball get in the air and carry farther than normal long irons.
You can hit these clubs out of the rough as well. Their soles are thinner than those of hybrids which allows for better turf interaction in longer grass.
What are the Most Important Aspects of Driving Irons?
When trying to find the perfect driving iron for your game, there are a number of different factors you should consider.
The right driving iron for your game needs to inspire confidence first and foremost. Even if all the data says are particular club is the right one for you, it won’t do you any good if you don’t feel good looking down at it.
Next, you should consider what loft is best for you. This determines how far you’re going to hit your driving iron. For most players, the right driving iron won’t fly as far as your three-wood, but will still go farther than your longest iron.
Your next consideration should be about finding the right shaft. Just like drivers, having the right shaft in your driving iron will help optimize launch conditions and provide the necessary feedback for your swing. It’s best to go through a fitting to find the right shaft.
Distance or Forgiveness?
Typically, players considering putting a driving iron in their bag aren’t as worried about forgiveness as much as they are about distance and playability.
If you’re looking for maximum forgiveness, a hybrid is probably the right choice. However, driving irons allow you to hit a greater variety of shots and have more control, even though they aren’t as forgiving on mishits.
How Do You Know When You’ve Found the Perfect Driving Iron?
There’s no question that matching shafts and heads is paramount to finding the right driving iron. With that being said, the right driving iron for your game will be the one you feel the most confident with. It will produce the ball flight you’re looking for on a consistent basis.
Driving irons aren’t going to entirely replace hybrids any time soon. The fact remains that for most golfers, hybrids are a great option that are a lot more forgiving and playable than traditional long irons.
But driving irons give players an option in between. They’re more forgiving than two and three-irons, but still allow you the ability to play different shots and control distance from nearly any lie.
If hybrids haven’t worked out for you, and you’re sick of mishitting those long irons we’ve all played for so long, give a driving iron a try. You might just be surprised about by the results.