Best Driving Iron – Find The Right Utility Iron For Your Game

best-driving-iron
The utility or driving iron has made a strong resurgence in golf in recent years and advanced technology has made these clubs better performing replacements for traditional long irons while also being a preferred alternative to hybrids and higher lofted fairway woods for many better players.

We have highlighted five of the best performing utility irons currently on the market for you to make a more informed decision on which one would be most ideal for your game.

Here are our picks for the best driving iron:

  1. Best Overall Driving Iron: Callaway Apex UT
  2. Pro’s Choice: Titleist 718 T-MB
  3. Best Driving Iron for Mid Handicappers: Srixon Z U65
  4. Worthy Competitor #1: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli Hi
  5. Worthy Competitor #2: Cobra KING Utility

Best Golf Driving Iron

Best Overall Driving Iron: Callaway Apex UT

callaway-apex-ut-review
The Callaway Apex UT is our editor’s choice for best driving iron.

This forged hollow-construction golf club has a soft, silky look and feel thanks to the forged carbon steel and the satin finish. This look and finish, and the loft options allow you to easily replace your Callaway Apex long irons in your set. The satin finish reduces glare especially on the thick top-line, while the offset promotes a high and straight flight with plenty of forgiveness on mishits.

The 18-degree 2-iron Apex UT is very popular among better players thanks to the feel and ease of use. And the ability to adjust the weight through a port in the sole makes it easier to control the launch and spin produced by this club.

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PROS:
  • Spectacular feel from the forged construction
  • Traditional lofts
  • High forgiveness on mishits
  • Seamless replacements for traditional long irons

CONS:
  • Quite expensive per iron
  • Not very workable

Pro’s Choice: Titleist 718 T-MB

Titleist-718-T-MB-Utility-Iron-Review
Arguably the best performing driving iron for better players and the most popular on professional tours globally. The clubhead is much more compact and looks very similar to the 718 MB blade. The 718 T-MB is even available as a full set of irons.

When it comes to distance the 718 T-MB wins that race. Despite being so compact the ball seems to explode off the face with a much lower launch and spin resulting in more roll and increase workability.

As mentioned before this club is very popular among professionals and better golfers for good reason. Higher handicapped golfers with slower swingspeeds may battle to get the best performance out of this utility iron.

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PROS:
  • Incredible distance when you have a high swingspeed
  • Very workable
  • Low launch and spin
  • Good replacements for traditional long irons for better players

CONS:
  • Very expensive per iron
  • Not as forgiving as many other driving/utility irons

Best Driving Iron for Mid Handicappers: Srixon Z U65

Srixon-Z-U65-Utility-Iron-Review
Another great choice for golfers of all abilities the Z U65 driving iron offers both great distance and forgiveness at the same time. It is a great replacement for traditional long irons in the Srixon Z65 series irons range, looking only slightly chunkier than any of these irons.

The design of the Z U65 driving iron offers a consistently straighter ball-flight with a hint of workability. Better players benefit from the penetrating launch and low spin, while higher handicapped players will enjoy how forgiving this club is and how easy it is to launch the ball high and far through the air.

This is definitely one of the easier driving irons to manipulate the trajectory and the stock graphite shaft is lightweight yet stout enough to offer both distance and control.

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PROS:
  • Great feel from the forged body and high strength steel face
  • High MOI in the design means a very stable clubhead through the hitting zone
  • High forgiveness on mishits
  • Seamless replacements for traditional long irons

CONS:
  • The brightly coloured stock graphite shaft is quite distracting
  • Nothing else springs to mind

Worthy Competitor #1: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli Hi

Mizuno-MP-18-MMC-Fli-Hi-Utility-Irons
You can never go wrong with a Mizuno iron and the MP-18 MMC Fli Hi is no different. Designed to complement the latest MP-18 range of irons the Fli Hi replaces traditional long irons in these sets seamlessly.

Despite the MP series of irons always being known as the better player’s irons, the Fli Hi is easy enough to hit by golfers of all abilities. The cast clubhead is surprisingly soft feeling and the satin finish looks much more luxurious while also reducing glare.

The Fli Hi offers a great all-round performance in feel, forgiveness and distance. It is also easy to control the launch and workability. And the best part is that you can replace as much as a 6-iron in a traditional set with the MP-18 MMC Fli Hi driving/utility irons.

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PROS:
  • Spectacular feel despite being cast
  • Improved distance from the lower lofts
  • High forgiveness on mishits
  • Seamless replacements for traditional long irons
  • Extremely affordable

CONS:
  • Hard to find a fault

Worthy Competitor #2: Cobra KING Utility

cobra-king-utility-iron-review
The only adjustable driving/utility iron on the market. The two options of KING Utility irons allow you to adjust the loft up to three degrees and add a draw too. These are great clubs for those who have either extra wedges or fairway woods in their bag and need to drop a club.

The 2/3-iron can be adjusted between 18 and 21 degrees while the 3/4-iron can be adjusted between 21 and 24 degrees. These are the traditional long iron lofts making the KING Utility the perfect replacement in your set.

Depending on whether you need a lower, running ball or a higher, soft landing flight you can adjust the club to suit the conditions on the day.

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PROS:
  • Spectacular feel from the forged face insert
  • Traditional lofts
  • Adjustability gives you more than two clubs in one
  • Great affordability for a club with so much options

CONS:
  • Not the most workable
  • Quite a chunky clubhead

Best Driving Iron Buyers Guide

Design and Feel

Driving irons will more likely be slightly chunkier in look than traditional long irons. The topline will be thicker and there will be slightly more offset, unless you are using game improvement irons. Better players will prefer the look of a more compact utility iron, of which there are some on the market.

When it comes to feel, if you are using forged irons you will likely prefer a driving iron with a forged construction or at least a forged face insert. This method of club manufacture produces a softer, more buttery feel.

Driving irons that have thicker soles and muscle pads behind the face will more than likely launch the ball higher and be less workable for the better player. While this may be the answer as a replacement for a long iron, it may not necessarily offer as much performance if you are looking for a low hitting tee club in windy conditions.

Ease of use

The degree of how easy a driving iron is to hit depends mostly on the design. Those that are created to be a lower launching and spinning alternative to a hybrid or high lofted fairway wood will generally be more workable and will be preferred by better golfers who possess the high swingspeed and ability to compress the ball more effectively.

The majority of driving irons are designed to be easier to hit than a traditional long iron, and longer in distance too. But as the lofts increase on a driving iron the higher they do tend to launch, especially when compared to a traditional long iron.

Value for money

The affordability of a driving iron is mostly dependent on the materials used in the club’s design and construction. A forged club will almost always be more expensive as the carbon steel costs more. This does affect feel and again you often pay more for a product that feels more luxurious.

Still Confused? Ask Questions In Comments

We hope our best golf driving irons review has helped you make an informed choice on the right utility iron, but if your still have questions just leave a comment below and we will respond within 24 hours!

Been hooked on golf since I was 12 and lived on a golf estate while at school. Began to workm in Golf Industry during university and spent a year on the Sunshine tour as a media operator. Subsequently became deputy editor of Compleat Golfer in South Africa for 5 years, specializing in equipment and travel reviews. After that I became a consultant to a major golf chain, testing and reviewing all equipment. Also a Callaway custom fitter and play off a 2 handicap when actually getting the chance to play!

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