Looking for a new driving iron, but not sure which is right for you?
In this guide we’ve picked out the 5 best driving irons for the 2021 season, with options for all budgets and skill levels.
Let’s get started.
A driving iron is a good addition to most bags, but is particularly useful for those who lack confidence with their driver. The low flights (although not as low as traditional long irons), and flat landing angles provide plenty of roll on firm fairways, giving ample distance off the tee.
Many modern driving irons are semi-hybrids, combining the look of an iron, with the extra mass of a hybrid, with hollow constructions providing forgiveness and easy launch.
There are some great driving irons around right now, but overall we picked out the Srixon Z U85 as our top driving iron this year.
For high handicappers, the Ping G410 Crossover is our #1 pick.
These are the best driving irons right now
- Srixon Z U85 – best overall
- Ping G410 Crossover – best for high handicappers
- TaylorMade SIM UDI – best for mid handicappers
- Callaway X Forged UT – best for low handicappers
- Ram Golf FX Hybrid Driving Iron – best budget driving iron under $100
How we picked
We considered driving irons from each of the major golf manufacturers. Where possible we tested the clubs ourselves. But when we couldn’t get our hands on them physically, we looked at features and real reviews from both golf pros and buyers. We also asked several golf pros for their recommendations.
In the end we whittled down our choice to just 5 driving irons, with a best overall, one for each level of handicap (high, mid, low) and a budget option for those who want to test the water.
There was no bias, and while we may make a small commission if you click a link and order one of the driving irons on our list, we didn’t allow this to influence our decision.
We’re confident in saying that the driving irons we picked are the best in each category.
Now let’s look at each of the individual irons in detail.
Reviews: This year’s best driving irons
1. Srixon Z U85 – the best overall driving iron
We first came across the Srixon Z 85 driving iron in a video from Golf Sidekick. So let’s start with this video, where Matt from Golf Sidekick explains why he carries a Srixon Z U85 in his bag.
The Z U85 is one of the most popular utility irons on tour, and it’s easy to see why. While it looks like an iron at address, there’s a ton of helpful tech under the hood (including a hollow body), which makes it much easier to hit than a traditional long iron.
The blade length is shorter than some driving irons, but the thicker topline does help to inspire confidence at address. Though with that being said, higher handicappers may be better suited to a larger bladed driving iron such as the Ping G410 crossover.
The Srixon Z U85 is constructed from forged steel, and combined with the hollow body, provides both a satisfying sound at impact, and decent feel for the better player. It’s not quite the most forgiving driving iron on the market, but it’s also not the most punishing. You’ll still get a good amount of help to get the ball up in the air.
The Srixon Z U85 is available in lofts of 18, 20, 23, 26, and 29 degrees, and all in all is our pick for the best driving iron for the 2021 season.
2. Ping G410 Crossover – best driving iron for high handicappers
Ping introduced Crossover irons when they launched their G400 range.
I’ve had one in my bag (a 22 degree) since I went to buy a G400 driver on the day of release, and was so impressed with the Crossover that I ended up leaving the shop with both a new driver and a driving iron.
Although, on that note, there’s an argument about whether the Ping G410 is a “true” driving iron. Some would argue it’s more like a hybrid than an iron. But in our view, you’re most likely going to use the G410 crossover on the tee box (although it’s great on the fairway), so we think it’s fair to label it as a driving iron.
Ping have reduced the blade size on the G410 crossover, and also narrowed the sole, so it looks more iron like at address when compared with the earlier G400 model. And the center of gravity is slightly forward, which helps to minimize side spin. Although with that being said, I’ve found that I can get a little hooky with this club, particularly when hitting off the fairway. But if a slice is your miss, then the forward CG is certainly going to help.
The blade is hollow, but Ping have added internal ribs, which help to improve feel and sound at impact. It’s never going to sound as crisp as a flush 3 iron, but it’s not going to sound like you’re hitting a radiator with a hammer either.
The internal ribs appear to give a boost to ball speed too, and the Ping G410 crossover will definitely play longer than a hybrid with the same loft. Which is another tick in the driving iron box.
All-in-all, we think the Ping G410 crossover is a great choice for higher handicappers, and will be a go-to club when you need to get the ball in the fairway.
3. TaylorMade SIM UDI – best driving iron for mid handicappers
No arguments about whether the TaylorMade SIM UDI is a driving iron: UDI stands for “Ultimate Driving Iron”. Which is a bold claim, but one that has some merit.
We picked this out for mid handicappers, but we’d say that you should be a reasonably proficient ball striker, with decent swing speed to get the most out of it. If it’s your short game that gets you in the mid-handicap bracket, we’d probably go for the Ping.
Because the SIM UDI is not a club that’s designed to do the work of getting the ball up in the air for you. It’s low launching, and low spinning, which is going to provide a piercing flight with plenty of runout on well struck shots. Exactly what you want from a driving iron. In fact, on links courses, you could probably get away with leaving your driver in the clubhouse, particularly if you go for the 18 degree 2 iron.
Which means that as well as being a good choice for solid ball strikers in the mid handicap bracket, it’s also going to be a good pick for low handicappers.
Offset is minimal, but it’s there, so you’ll get a touch of help ensuring you’re hitting down (which you still want to do with long irons). But we should also point out that unlike with the Ping crossover, which is designed to minimize sidespin (and make your misses smaller), a slice swing is going to produce a sliced ball with the UDI. It’s a “true” club, which will produce the ballflight that your swing should. On the positive side, that means that it’s also pretty workable, so if you’re comfortable moving the ball both ways you’ll be able to play round both right and left doglegs.
On another positive note, while swing path (and face direction) is going to produce the ball flight that it should (good or bad depending on your point of view/skill level), the UDI is reasonably forgiving on off-center hits. So even if you’re not someone who wears out the middle of the face, then you’ll be able to hit plenty of great shots with the TaylorMade UDI.
And finally, we’ll say that those great shots truly are beautiful. It’s a much stronger, piercing ball flight than the Ping G410, and as we already mentioned, one that might make you want to skip the driver altogether.
Bottom line: UDI stands for ultimate driving iron, and we kind of agree with TaylorMade’s assessment. It’s very close between the Srixon Z U85 and the TaylorMade UDI, and all things considered, they’re kind of on a par (pun intended).
4. Callaway X Forged UT – best for low handicappers
Callaway call their driving irons utility irons. Seems the major manufacturers can’t really agree on semantics.
But make no mistake, the Callaway X Forged UT is very much a driving iron. A driving iron that’s designed for better players, who need a reliable fairway finder on tight holes, with consistent spin and ball flight.
Perhaps surprisingly for a player’s iron, the X Forged UT is hollow bodied. And there’s a reasonable amount of tech included to increase forgiveness, and boost speed. But let’s be honest, unless you are a purist who dreams of having a go with Ben Hogan’s old 1 iron, we could all use a little help on the course.
The boost in ball speed is provided by Callaway’s A.I. designed Flash Face technology. If you’re interested in how this works check out our Callaway irons guide, but really all you need to know is that the tech produces a hotter face and a little more zip on your strikes.
Launch is aided by carefully placed Tungsten weighting, and the X Forged UT also has a longer blade and wider sole for increased forgiveness.
In terms of ball flight, you’ll get a mid-low trajectory on well struck shots (somewhere between the Ping G410 and the TaylorMade), and off-center strikes aren’t going to punish you too much. But again, to reiterate this is a player’s club, and while forgiveness is there to an extent, you’ll need to put a good swing on it (at reasonable speed) to get the results you’re looking for.
It’s great off the tee, and plays well from the fairway for those who prefer a long iron for their approach shots on par 5s.
And while looks aren’t everything, the forged mild carbon steel finish is quite simply stunning.
If you’re a low handicapper, who’s looking for consistent spin and trajectory, and a solid (but soft feeling) impact with plenty of feedback, the Callaway X Forged UT is a great choice for your next driving iron.
5. Ram Golf FX Hybrid Driving Iron – best budget driving iron under $100
Finally, we’ve picked out a driving iron for those who don’t have a huge budget, but want to add a driving iron to their bag.
There were a few choices here. But the Ram Golf FX shaded it for us.
It’s got a very low center of gravity, which will help get the ball up in the air. And a high MOI means that off center hits aren’t going to be punished too hard. And we also like the matt black finish.
Not too much to report in terms of tech, but at the price point it’s a decent club, that will give you another option off the tee.
We picked the Srixon Z U85 as the best overall driving iron for 2021, but the TaylorMade UDI runs it incredibly close (it’s our top pick for mid handicappers).
For higher handicappers, we recommend the Ping G410 crossover, which has exceptional forgiveness and is easy to hit.
And better players will enjoy the consistent spin and flight of the Callaway X Forged UT.
All four of these driving irons are solid, premium choices that we’d highly recommend. They’re the best driving irons on the market. But for those with a lower budget that want to add a driving iron to their bag, the Ram Golf FX is a decent choice, with an unbeatable price point.
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