Should I put a driving iron in the bag?

Let's admit it, one of the sexiest clubs that you can add to your golf setup is the highly coveted driving iron. Here is the issue, it is also one of the most intimidating clubs to try and hit, but if you stripe it you get rewarded with one of the most satisfying shots in golf. This is why almost every golfer would be lying if they say that they haven’t, at some stage, considered putting one in the bag. I will try to give my personal insight on whether or not you should game a driving iron. 

Before we deep dive into the pros and cons of having a driving iron, let us first go back to how club manufacturers came up with the idea. If you look at the golf bag set-ups back in the late 1800s to early 1900s, the standard iron set started from a 3 iron and went down to a sand wedge. If you were a bit of a ball striker you would probably even have a 1 or 2 iron in there. Now to make things even more interesting this was a time when golf clubs were blades or “butter knives”. I guess it is safe to say that forgiveness was a term seldom used in golf back then.  

Fast forward to now, where technology has played a huge role in the game thus making it easier and more enjoyable. It started with the development of the cavity back irons which are the forgiving version of a blade, then we have the game improvement irons that offer an even bigger sweet spot and a wider sole, and finally, we have the new kids on the block, the player distance irons which offer a smaller profile than your game improvement irons, but still provide you with more than enough forgiveness. So the development of the modern driving iron is a combination of your traditional longer irons which have been beefed up with the perks of extra forgiveness and distance with the technology of modern irons. This is why golfers of every skill level always ask themselves the question: “Should I put a driving iron in the bag?” 

Here is the reality, as much as I would like to say that everyone can game a driving iron because of all the modern tech benefits it already has, not everyone should have it in their bag. To help with that strenuous decision, below is a chart of the pros and cons of having a driving iron compared to a hybrid. I use this as a comparison because hybrids are the closest alternative to driving irons



Driving Iron


Penetrating ball flight

High-launching ball flight

Generates lower spin 

Generates more spin

Easy-to-shape shots

Stability even with off-centre strikes

Good option off the tee

Versatility in rough and tough lies


Driving Iron


Distance loss with off-center strikes

Harder to launch lower

Not ideal in rough and tough lies

Minimal playability

At the end of the day, you won’t know until you try them both side by side. Compare them yourself and have a look at the ball flight, numbers and professional advice in order to make an educated decision. Hopefully, this blog has given you some helpful tips and knowledge as to the difference between both, let me know what you play!

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