The 5 Best Driving Irons – Generate The Longest Distance

Hitting a driver off the tee is one of the most satisfying, yet most difficult shots, in the game of golf.

Sometimes the driver is just not the best tool for the trade. The wind howling into your face will result in the ball ballooning miles into the air and blowing back toward you thus losing distance.

So, what are your alternatives? A fairway wood? A hybrid? A long iron? Or is there something else?

To the rescue comes the driving iron.

This article will look at the 5 best driving irons to get you off the tee at the best trajectory generating the longest distance.

What is a Driving Iron?

Driving irons can best be described as a fusion between a hybrid and a long iron. They came before the hybrid but did not keep pace with the technology built into hybrids.

The technology used in hybrids offered golfers the convenience they wanted, becoming the favored option.

Driving irons are a compromise between long irons, fairway woods, and hybrids. They optimize the advantages while minimizing the cons.

With a standard iron body and a lower face angle, driving irons allow golfers to hit more accurate tee shots with just a smidge less distance.

Hybrid technology offers more distance than a driving iron at the expense of control.

An enlarged sole combined with the iron-like face on the driving iron golf club can tempt some to replace a hybrid.

Hybrids and driving irons may play a similar role, but they are two vastly different clubs. Let us look at the differences.

Hybrids vs Driving Irons

  • Different looks

Driving irons have a traditional iron shape with a larger clubface, while a hybrid has a more rounded body and smaller overall clubface.

  • Control

Driving irons tend to be much more controllable than a hybrid.

  • Distance

A hybrid offers more distance and better turf interaction.

Who Should be Playing a Driving Iron?

Driving irons are not suitable for all golfers. They are seen to be geared toward the lower handicap golfers. Although they are closer in design to a hybrid than a typical long iron, they require a high swing speed to optimize the ball trajectory and distance.

You have to earn the right to use a driving iron. Many hours will be required on the driving range to increase swing speed and get used to the intricacies of hitting a driving iron.

If generating clubhead speed and distance is a problem, you may want to stay clear of these clubs.

Due to the lack of mass behind the ball compared to a hybrid, driving irons are less forgiving and generate less distance. However, they have more mass behind the ball than a traditional long iron, making them more forgiving at the expense of control.

Many professionals believe that swing speeds less than 100 miles per hour would be better off using a fairway wood or a hybrid.

If you frequently play in windy conditions, investing time on the driving range and learning to hit a driving iron would be wise.

When to Use a Driving Iron?

Selecting the right situation to put your driving iron into play and leave your driver in the bag can be rather challenging. Even the best drivers in the world sometimes have to sacrifice distance for accuracy.

Using a driving iron is most apt when accuracy matters more than distance. This does not apply off the tee, but a driving iron could be better than putting a fairway wood in play on long approach shots where accuracy is required.

The Best Way to Use a Driving Iron

To get the most out of your driving iron requires an aggressive yet controlled swing. Do not overswing or force the swing. Allow the power to come mostly from the driving iron itself.

What To Consider When Picking the Best Driving Iron for You

Before we go into the list of the best driving irons, let us first talk about what makes a driving iron good.

Advantages of Driving Irons

  • Larger sweet spot

Driving irons generally have a larger sweet spot than fairway woods for extra forgiveness.

  • Lower ball flight

Driving irons generate lower ball flight making it ideal for use in windy conditions or to keep your golf ball below overhanging branches.

  • Iron Feel

The traditional iron look, prominent profile, and feel will make the golf ball easier to hit and boost your confidence

  • Weightier swing

Additional mass behind the ball creates a bulkier look and feel. This extra mass behind the ball can help get a little more power in your shot.


  • Skill Level

To hit a driving iron, you will require a good skillset. The smaller clubface makes them far more challenging to use and you will need to be able to hit the sweet spot consistently with a fast swing speed.

Our Research Parameters 

Golfspan is independent and not pressured by manufacturers to recommend products. We were not paid for the reviews in this article. These driving irons were selected by our team, who have over 100 years of experience playing golf and thousands of hours reviewing products. We may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase something through our retail links.

10 Products were considered from 7 brands on:

  • Construction
  • Spin 
  • Distance 
  • Forgiveness
  • Price

Best Driving Iron In 2022

Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for The Best Driving Irons

OUR RATING: 5.0/5gstblcr-table__image Cleveland Launcher UHX utility iron
  • V-shaped sole
  • Variable strength milled steel face
  • Hollow construction
OUR RATING: 4.4/5macgregor mactecx driving iron MacGregor Golf MacTec X Driving Iron
  • Easy launching
  • Forgiving
  • Delivers consistent carry distance
OUR RATING: 4.4/5gstblcr-table__image Lazrus Premium Driving Irons
  • Affordable
  • High launching
  • Produces optimal spin
OUR RATING:4.2/5 gstblcr-table__image Callaway X-Forged utility iron
  • Outstanding distance
  • Great Control
  • Longer and straighter than hybrids
OUR RATING:4/5 gstblcr-table__image Cobra King Utility Iron
  • Superb distance
  • Produces rapid ball speed
  • Expanded sweet spot

1. Cleveland Launcher UHX Utility Iron – Best Overall Driving Iron


  • Variable strength milled steel face
  • V-Shaped Sole
  • Hollow construction
  • Great Forgiveness
  • Created for a large audience and not just the elite golfer.


  • This club is more about distance than feel.
  • Could be straighter
  • Expensive

Cleveland Launcher driving iron generates a high launch that is almost as easy to hit as a hybrid.

The clubhead is not fully forged, but Cleveland used a two-steel process that adds a high-strength steel insert for the face. This steel insert is milled, adding a slight texture for enhanced control and backspin.

Like many competing driver and utility irons, Cleveland’s Launcher driving iron has a hollow construction to boost forgiveness on off-center hits.

Cleveland implemented its well-known V-style sole for better turf interaction, unlike most golf driving irons with flat soles. The drawback of the V-sole is that it is slightly more difficult to use on steep lies.

The Cleveland Launcher driving iron is competent from both the tee and fairway, making it worthy of a slot in your bag.

2. MacGregor Golf MacTec X – The Most Forgiving Driving Iron


  • Easy launching
  • Forgiving
  • Delivers consistent carry distance
  • Produces rapid ball speed for optimal distance
  • Encourages straighter ball flight
  • Glare resistant


  • The low CG may cause faster-swinging golfers to balloon their shots
  • You get what you pay for in terms of durability. Don’t expect it to last.

If distance is not an issue, but your accuracy is, you need one of the forgiving driving irons. In 2022, the MacGregor Golf MacTec X is your best option. The best utility iron in 2022 delivers supreme forgiveness, a high launch, and explosive ball speed for added distance.

The MacTec X contains a stainless steel head with an ultra-thin face that encourages rapid speed for increased yards. Plus, its black gunmetal provides glare resistance to enable you to focus at address.

In addition, its lightweight graphite shaft construction is easy to swing and launch the ball high off the tee. 

The engineers at MacGregor enhanced the perimeter weighting of the clubface, leading to an optimal moment of inertia (MOI). That means that the clubface resists twisting to stay square at impact for a straighter shot. Keeping your clubface square at impact limits sidespin, which can induce a slice or hook.

By expanding the perimeter weighting, MacGregor lowered the CG to promote a consistently high launch. Therefore the best golf driving iron for bargain hunters produces optimal carry distance.

Lastly, this driving iron is offered in a regular or stiff flex graphite shaft. As a result, it best caters to moderate and fast swinging golfers.

Overall, the MacGregor Golf MacTec X is an affordable, forgiving, high launching driving iron suited to the fast and moderate swinging golfer. However, the low CG can cause some golfers to generate excess spin and balloon their shots.

Read more if you are looking for a complete set of the most forgiving irons on the market.

3. Lazrus Premium Driving Irons – The Best Budget Driving Iron


  • Affordable
  • High launching
  • Produces optimal spin
  • Forgiving
  • Supreme turf interaction


  • The increased spin of these driving irons could cause some players to sky their shots and lose distance
  • The high launching nature of the driving iron leads to a loss of distance in windy conditions
  • Durability

This category is dedicated to bargain hunters searching for a budget golf driving iron. The Lazarus Premium is your best budget driving irons for 2022, thanks to the easy launching nature, forgiveness, and an unbeatable price tag.

The Lazrus Premium Driving Irons are constructed for the average weekend warrior not looking to spend a fortune on premium branded golf equipment. The deep grooves on their driving irons prompt superior spin to help you achieve a high launching shot. 

Moreover, the cavity back construction on these irons provides perimeter weighting to enhance the MOI. As a result, you reduce the risk of slicing or hooking your shot and instead produce straighter ball flight for increased accuracy.

In addition, the Lazrus driving irons possess sublime turf interaction abilities to enable the clubhead to glide across the turf and make clean contact with the ball. Whether your ball is on the fairway or in the rough, you stand a higher chance of striking the ball adequately for a high, long shot.

Ultimately, the Lazrus Premium Driving iron offers a budget, high launching, and forgiving driving iron that suits the average golfer. While the oversized profile will not impress superior golfers, it is perfect for high-handicappers and beginners.

4. Callaway X-Forged Utility Iron – Best Feeling Driving Iron


  • Forged construction
  • 360 face cup
  • Tungsten infused insert
  • Outstanding distance
  • Great Control
  • Exceptional value
  • Low center of gravity in the center of the club
  • A well-struck ball with this club will perform consistently and well every time
  • Longer and straighter than hybrids


  • Best for elite players with fast swings
  • It is one of the more expensive driving irons

The Callaway X-Forged utility iron targets golfers with a high skill level.

The compact forged clubhead is hollow with a tungsten insert that offers a small sweet spot. Golf balls struck in the middle of the sweet spot produce phenomenal ball speed, a low flight, and tremendous accuracy.

Skillful golfers will get the same, if not better, performance than they would get from a hybrid.

The hollow forged construction results in a better overall feel and sounds at impact as well as more control.

Callaway’s innovative technology used in the X-Forged utility iron includes the 360 Face Cup technology. This reduces spin on mishits for increased distance.

Callaway X-Forged Utility Club comes with a specially infused tungsten weight near the sole/toe of the club, promoting a squarer or even slightly closed clubface at impact.

5. Cobra King Utility Iron Hybrid – Longest Driving Iron


  • Superb distance
  • Produces rapid ball speed
  • Expanded sweet spot
  • Restricts side spin
  • Adjustable hosel


  • Slower swingers may struggle to launch this iron.

The final option on our list for best driving irons in 2022 is the Cobra King Utility Iron Hybrid. This remarkable performer takes the title for the longest golf driving iron. 

The combination of accelerated ball speed off the face, tungsten weight, and a MyFly8 adjustable hosel produces a high, powerful launch for maximum carry and total distance. 

In addition, a Pwrshell face is included to expand the sweet spot. This leaves you with a wider zone, prompting rapid ball speed and restricting sidespin to deliver high, straight, long shots for superior distance.

Aiding the ball speed off the clubface is the hollow back construction, which optimizes flexibility through the impact. The increased clubface flex helps you produce consistent ball speed, even on strikes low in the face. Therefore, you enjoy ample distance, even on mishits.

The engineers positioned the CG directly behind the sweet zone to initiate faster ball speed for additional yards.

Furthermore, this driving iron is fitted with a MyFly8 adjustable hosel, enabling you to position the clubhead for a draw, neutral, or fade bias. Plus, you can alter the lie of the clubface.

Golfers who struggle with slices should look to reposition the clubface to a draw bias profile, as this limits left to right sidespin and delivers straighter shots. Conversely, if you consistently hook your ball, you may find that a fade or neutral bias setup delivers a straighter shot.

In conclusion, the Cobra King Utility Iron Hybrid provides optimal ball speed, forgiveness, and distance. It offers the most value to mid-handicappers looking for an alternative long game club.

Those looking for a complete set to increase your yards should read our review on the best players distance irons.

Top Driving Irons FAQs

Which Is The Best Driving Iron?

Our driving iron reviews have displayed that the Cleveland Launcher UHX utility iron is the best. It provides increased forgiveness, superior turf interaction, and explosive ball speed for an affordable price.

As a result of its features, the Cleveland Launcher UHX is suitable for mid and high handicap golfers seeking an affordable and easy to launch driving iron,

Are Driving Irons Good?

Yes, I have found my 2-driving iron invaluable to my game. The low ball flight it produces, coupled with limited sidespin, offers enhanced accuracy. However, technology has evolved rapidly since I purchased a 2-driving iron. Now you can find higher launching irons to optimize your carry distance.

What Are The Most Forgiving Driving Irons?

The most forgiving driving irons on the market come from the MacGregor MacTec X. They are affordable, glare resistant, and easy to launch. Plus, they work to limit sidespin and promote straight shots.

Is A Driving Iron The Same As A 1-Iron?

Although a standard 1-iron and driving iron may have the same loft, the difference lies in the profile of the head. 

Driving irons often possess a wider sole construction to offer an expanded sweet spot for supreme forgiveness. The shorter blade length and thinner sole of a standard 1-iron are what the average golfer fears.

How High Do You Tee A Driving Iron?

Retired professional and coach Matt Fryer explains that you shouldn’t tee your ball more than 0.2 to 0.3-inches above the clubface. It is the same principle for iron shots on a par 3.

Can A Driving Iron Replace A Driver?

You can use a driving iron as a replacement for your driver if you are looking to increase your accuracy. However, if you play with a 22-degree loft driving iron, you cannot possibly hit it as far out the screws as you would a 10.5-degree driver.

Yes, you can use a driving iron instead of a driver. However, you will lose significant distance compared to your big stick. Overall, that doesn’t matter if your driver sends you into the woods on every hole while a driving iron keeps you straight.

Final Thoughts

Driving irons have improved tremendously over the last couple of years and inherited some of the technology that has made hybrid clubs so popular.

Do not expect to go out there and put a driving iron in your bag and hit it low and straight every time.

Hitting a driving iron requires skill and a high swing speed. Not just one of the two, it requires both. And you have to earn the right to hit it straight by working it out on the driving range.

Once you have mastered the driving iron, you can tackle the wind head-on and walk away as the winner.

I looked at a sample of the wide range of driving irons, and there are more to be assessed.

If you are an above-average player with a relatively low handicap, a forged-style driving iron will be the best choice. Alternatively, if you are a higher handicap player that insists on using a driving iron, a cavity back would be better suited for your game.

With that out the way, let us once again praise the winner of the best driving irons in the 2022 competition, the Cleveland Golf Launcher UHX utility club. Its affordable price, explosive ball speed, forgiveness, and maximum distance set it apart from its competitors.

Those searching for an affordable, forgiving, and long-driving iron can look at the Launcher UHX below. 

Read more: If you need more than just a driving iron, read our review on the best golf irons in 2022.

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Matt is a seasoned golf equipment writer and sports fanatic. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for over 28 years.

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