Updated on February 15th, 2023 at 03:30 pm
Double the amount of fairways hit per round
and Lower your handicap by adding a driving iron to your bag
If you are currently hitting 10 or more fairways per round, DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE and jump to our reviews here.
BUT, if you’re currently struggling to hit at least 50% of the fairways off the tee……
Or You’ve Already Been Hitting it OK, But Can’t Seem To Get Your Handicap Into Single Digits….
Listen Very Closely.
For the last 15 years I have struggled to keep the driver in play off the tee. Regardless of how well I am playing, or how low I go on a particular day, I still struggle to hit the fairway on at least 50% of my tee shots.
(Hitting my second shot from the beach at Kiawah Golf Resort (see below) makes it really hard to score well.)
Maybe it would help to give a little bit of background right away so you understand where I am coming from.
I have played golf for the last 15 years, and it has been my true passion. When I am not working or spending time with the family, I am on the golf course or at the range working on my game. My handicap at the time of this article is 7.3.
The lowest index I have had in the past has been 6.3, so have pretty much stayed consistent throughout this summer, even with a shortened golf season with some Covid restrictions.
At the beginning to the year, my index was a 11.4 and I was struggling. I would have days when I would chip and putt like a champ, only to shoot 91 because I was punching my second shot out from under a tree or retrieving my ball from the dreaded out of bounds marker.
My long irons and wedges were good, I was hitting greens from 150 yards and in consistently, but it didn’t matter because often times I was hitting my 4th or 5th shot into the green. Early in the year I continued to shoot in the high 80’s to low 90’s and was so discouraged because I really wasn’t hitting the ball that badly.
It wasn’t until I made a bet with Rich, a short-hitting, Fairway pounding guy that opened my eyes.
The Bet I Made With Rich Was Simple – Longest Drive in the Fairway – $1 per hole. We carry over any hole where neither of us hit the fairway.
When Rich and I made the bet, I was laughing with what easy money this would be. All I would have to do is hit the ball in the fairway, and I would win that hole. On Rich’s best day, he can’t drive the ball within 20 yards of me..
So I started counting my money! When I hit 14 fairways, I will make a quick 14 bucks (along with all the other side bets we had).
There was only one problem with this little bet……..
I was standing on the 18th hole of the day, down 13 dollars, and was still waiting to hit my FIRST FAIRWAY OF THE DAY.
It really was quite remarkable that for as good as my swing was, I wasn’t able to hit a driver in the fairway. I don’t carry a 3 wood because I have never hit them very well, so there really was no other option other than trying to guide my driver into the middle of the fairway.
I did come really close on three holes, but was still in the rough. One hole did have me in the first cut, but that still “technically” was not the fairway.
Simply stated – I DID NOT HIT ONE FAIRWAY THE ENTIRE DAY!
I lost $14 to Rich that day, and realized that the problem in my golf game was not my putter, my wedges, or my long irons. My problem not hitting the fairway off the tee.
It would have been easy to hit 7 iron off of the tee and hit it out there 160 yards, but then on the long par 4’s I would be hitting a low iron into the green.
I was just too stubborn for that.
So that day, while sitting around with friends laughing about my inability to hit fairways, when another friend suggested hitting a driving iron off the tee.. At this point, I was ready to try anything.
I spent the next few weeks hitting a variety of driving irons at the range, and really fell in love with the GAPR from Taylor Made. The driving iron is basically a Fat 2 iron that I hit long and straight. Most importantly….
I HIT FAIRWAYS with My Driving Iron. Not a few per round……Nearly all of them!!!
Since adding the driving iron to my bag, my handicap has been dropping with each round, and I am consistently in the fairway. The driving iron may not be as long as the Driver, but I hit it about 225 off the tee.
Considering I hit my driver anywhere from 200 to 280, and miss nearly every fairway, this is a considerable difference my game.
The best part………
A couple weeks ago Rich and I were paired up again and we made the same bet. Wondering how I made out?
I won 10 dollars! I hit 12 Fairways and was longer on each one. He hit the two I missed.
The handicap has dropped throughout the summer, and it should be much lower, but I still am stubborn and pull the driver out quite often. Someday I will learn that the driving iron is perfect for me off the tee. I enjoyed playing golf so much more when my approach shots were from the short grass. And…
I did shoot my personal career low this summer…….73!
Even though the TaylorMade GAPR was the perfect club for me, we’ve compiled a list of the best driving irons to help you improve your game and help you find one that will help you stripe it down the middle.
Best driving irons
TaylorMade GAPR Low Golf Club
Anything from TaylorMade should have some interesting features. This GAPR Low Golf Club boasts an expanded sole for turf interaction problems.
It also packs their innovative SpeedFoam, which fills up the area behind the clubface for maximum ball speed on impact.
Like all the best driving irons, it has a Loft Sleeve to help you adjust the loft up or down a few degrees from the 18-degree default loft. Overall, this club is a great driving iron and when it is hit on the center of the club face it goes for miles.
Be sure to choose a shaft consistent with your driver as you will be swinging this at roughly the same speed.
The GAPR is a combination long iron, utility iron, and driving iron. It is a great club for windy conditions when you need to keep the ball low and hit a shot that will bite through the wind.
- Consistent straight trajectories.
- Iron feel with good forgiveness.
- Speed foam for long drives.
- Ability to adjust the loft.
- More expensive than average driving irons.
- Needs practice for best results.
The Callaway Rogue has a hollow head design similar to its comrades. However, its forged construction utilizes tungsten, which weighs around twice as much as steel. This makes weighting optimization much easier for the club.
A low center of gravity with weighting at the bottom of the clubface means an easier and longer launch compared to traditional clubs. You can get it as a full set of all irons, or purchase the iron you need separately.
One of its key features is the new 360 Face Cup technology, which gives you more distance and reduces sidespin on miss-hit shots.
- Tungsten manufacturing for higher stability.
- Optimized weighting for easier and longer shots.
- 360 Face Cup technology for more distance and less sidespin.
- Highly competitive prices
- A bit long.
- Offset is a little too much.
Mizuno MP-18 Iron MMC Fli Hi
While there are common advantages to a hollow body designed for forgiveness and speed, there’s more where that came from.
The Mizuno MP-18 is designed for optimized weighting, giving it a lower center of gravity. The sole of the club is wider for more forgiveness, but also for added weight near the toe section so you can draw the ball more easily.
Materials used include chrome and satin, which gives it a stunning non-glare finish that will make you feel like a million bucks.
- Lower center of gravity for better balance.
- Stunning non-glare finish.
- Wider sole for more forgiveness and better ball drawing.
- Lowest club is equivalent to a 4-iron.
Srixon Z U85 Utility Club 3i
Srixon offers utility irons that give you the power you need with relatively high launch trajectories and are ideal for mid-handicap players. You have freedom in configuration choice to fill the gap you have in your clubs.
Get the regular or stiff flex in three configurations: 3 iron (20 degrees), 4 iron (23 degrees), and 5 iron (26 degrees).
The hollow-headed design and the deeper placement of the head club gives you more forgiveness on the swing. More features include a fully forged construction design for a confidence-instilling iron look and feel, plus a larger sole for turf interaction.
- High launch trajectories.
- Fully forged construction for iron feel.
- Designed to offer more forgiveness.
- Needs higher swing speeds for best results.
- Slightly weaker performance than other options.
Lazrus Premium Golf
Lazrus Premium Golf Irons are somewhat of an underdog on this list. While their brand name may not be as strong as the top dogs, they offer similar quality at very competitive prices.
For this club, they’ve gone for a simple design with minimal features. This quality club features a Cavity back iron for more forgiveness and less chance of miss-hits. They also offer the club only in regular flex to accommodate mid-speed swingers, but this could be off-putting for more experienced golfers.
Lazrus understands that their golf club is a risky purchase for many golfers. This is why they offer a 100 percent risk-free purchase guarantee. Try it out, and if things don’t work between you, simply send it back.
- Excellent forgiveness.
- Great value for money.
- Ideal for amateur golfers.
- 100 percent risk-free purchase guarantee.
- Regular flex only doesn’t work for high swing golfers.
Tour Edge Men’s HL3 Iron
This design has a number of features to help make swings more accurate. The TourEdge HL3 has a hollow body for more forgiveness on miss-hits, while the back of the club is a bit larger.
Next up, they use a forged steel insert, which is relatively thin. This design choice was made to promote what’s called a trampoline effect, adding more speed to the golf ball’s trajectory.
Finally, they’ve added more weight to the sole in order to lower the center of gravity. This makes trajectories consistently higher. The roundness of the sole also improves turf interaction.
- Hollow body for more forgiveness.
- Thin forged steel increases golf ball speed
- Weighted sole keeps trajectory high.
- Rounded sole for better turf interaction
- Sub-par stock grip
TaylorMade P790 UDI Utility Club
TaylorMade is known for its distinctive design features, and the P790 driving iron is no exception. It has a fully forged hollow design that allows for forgiveness and higher ball speed than non-hollow models.
The P790 also has the signature TaylorMade feature, SpeedFoam, which maximizes ball speed on impact. Moreover, they pack a small tungsten bar on the back of the forged iron for optimal weighting, boosting forgiveness and ball traveling distance.
- Hollow design for improving forgiveness
- Speed foam to boost golf ball speed.
- Tungsten weighting increases travel distance.
- Smaller clubface makes it harder to hit.
And the best driving iron is…
GAPR Low Golf Club
All golf club brands are continually improving their designs and adding new features to enhance performance. But we feel TaylorMade is doing an outstanding job.
The GAPR Low Golf Club model is especially impressive and is our pick for the best driving iron for 2022.
You can adjust the loft with its Loft Sleeve, forget about turf interaction problems with its expanded sole, and enjoy longer drives with the SpeedFoam boost. This club has a distinctive iron feel and delivers consistently straight trajectories.
There is no doubt this club will be an indispensable part of your club arsenal. Spending some time on the range dialing in the settings is well worth it.
Once you start hitting this club consistently, your confidence will soar knowing that if your driver isn’t working for you on a particular day, you can rely on this driving iron to get your through your round.
Additional iron reviews:
- Golf iron for mid handicapper
- Irons for high handicap
- What are the hardest irons to hit
- Utility irons
- Best Taylormade irons
- Best golf iron for women
- Best blade irons
- Most forgiving irons
How to pick the best driving iron for you?
Driving irons are a compromise between long irons, fairway woods, and hybrids. They offer a combination of each one’s advantages while minimizing the cons.
The best driving irons are typically made from forged steel or titanium, which gives them a soft, yet solid feel. Before we go into the list of the best driving irons, let’s first talk about what makes a driving iron good.
Advantages and disadvantages
Driving irons have been gaining a lot of popularity recently because they help golfers keep the ball in the fairway without sacrificing significant distance. They have the feel of a longer iron but you should be able to squeeze a bit more distance out of this club.
The best driving irons typically have a slightly longer shaft than a standard iron, which helps to increase swing speed.
Larger sweet spot than fairway woods
Driving (utility) irons generally have a larger sweet spot than fairway woods. They typically have a large, deep club face that helps to promote a high launch angle and low spin rate. They often have a thick sole that helps to prevent the club from digging into the turf.
This makes them more forgiving and easier to hit which should be the primary reason you want to have one of these in your bag.
Lower ball flight
Driving irons have lower ball flights, meaning that wind conditions will have less effect on ball trajectory. This is also beneficial for areas laden with trees as you’re less likely to hit the branches with a lower trajectory.
This may seem trivial, but the iron feel and look of the driving irons is quite a confidence booster. We believe this alone can improve your drive.
Disadvantage: skill level
When compared to a Hybrid, driving irons have a smaller club face. This makes them more challenging to use.
Add that to the fact that they require faster swings, much similar to those that the 4 iron or 5 iron need, and they’re a nightmare for beginners.
Most popular brands
Ever since driving irons started to gain popularity, many reputable golf club brands began following suit. The most popular brands producing driving irons include the following:
Should you play one
While many elite players and PGA Tour professionals are gravitating more towards utility irons instead of hybrids and fairway woods, you shouldn’t blindly follow suit. Many professionals believe that slow swing speeds (less than 100 miles per hour) would be better off with fairway woods or a hybrid.
However, slow swing speed golfers can still do well with driving irons if they work better with a flat face rather than a bulge-and-roll face. So it also depends on your preference.
Some may prefer to use them as their ball flight is different than that of hybrids or fairway woods; they tend to keep it low. This makes them better for windy situations, which means that they can have their benefits in all cases and may be worth putting one in your Push trolley in future rounds.
Although a driving iron may be a great club for adults, you likely won’t need to purchase one for your young child or Toddler. A Teenager may be a great candidate for this club however.
The best way to use a driving iron
Driving irons takes a lot of practice to master, but these tips should help you get used to them faster.
Try to put more emphasis on the face of the club when taking your shot. Note that it’s better for this club to stand with the golf ball closer to your front foot, especially for an Amateur.
Make sure you’re in the proper stance before taking the shot. It’s very important that you’re able to keep your feet on the ground properly. The longer shaft is going to require more balance and stability compared to your best wedge.
Hitting the ball
Don’t go all-in on the shot. Take an aggressive swing that is in control and allow the power to come mostly from the driving iron itself. You can do this by rotating all the way through until your chest points towards the target. This type of swing allows the driving iron to give all its power without you having to force the swing.
This club is going to be used in place of your Ping g410 driver, or your M5 or M6…..you need to hit it straight and long, so you will have to put some force behind it.
We hope this information helps you find a great driving iron to put in your Golf bag in 2022. We are dedicated to helping you find the best golf equipment, a golf Gift, and gear available. We have recently completed in-depth reviews for the best Bucket hat, the top 7 Wood, Umbrellas, Heater, and more.
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