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Best Driving Irons 2023

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Best Driving Irons 2023

Whether you call them driving irons or utility irons, they are some of the most niche golf clubs on the market. Which, if any, is right for you?

Driving irons are marketed towards better players who possess moderate to high swing speeds. For some, they are a direct replacement for a fairway wood. Others simply use them for tee shots on tight driving holes. Regardless of their specific use, they aren’t for all golfers. 

Today, we take a look at the best driving irons 2023. Let’s get to it. 

  • PING iCrossOver

    #1

    PING iCrossOver

  • Sub 70 699 Pro V2 Utility

    #2

    Sub 70 699 Pro V2 Utility

  • Caley Golf 01X Utility

    #3

    Caley Golf 01X Utility

  • Srixon ZX Mk II Utility

    #4

    Srixon ZX Mk II Utility

  • TaylorMade P790 UDI

    #5

    TaylorMade P790 UDI

Best Driving Irons Overall Rankings

ProductOverall Score
PING iCrossOver Utility Irons ReviewPING iCrossOver Utility
Check Price
97.5
Sub 70 699 Pro V2 Utility Irons ReviewSub. 70 699 Pro V2 Utility

Check Price
88.40
Caley Golf 01X Utility Iron s ReviewCaley Golf 01X Utility

Check Price
88.30
Srixon ZX Mk II Utility Irons ReviewSrixon ZX Mk II Utility

Check Price
88.29
TaylorMade P790 UDI Utility Irons ReviewTaylorMade P790 UDI Utility

Check Price
87.6
Sub 70 699 V2 Utility Irons ReviewSub 70 699 V2 Utility

Check Price
86.6
Vega Golf Mizar Max Utility Irons ReviewVega Golf Mizar Max Utility

Check Price
84.5
COBRA KING Tec Utility Irons ReviewCOBRA KING Tec Utility

Check Price
84.10
TaylorMade Stealth UDI Utility Irons ReviewTaylorMade Stealth UDI Utility

Check Price
83.6
TaylorMade Stealth DHY Utility Irons ReviewTaylorMade Stealth DHY Utility

Check Price
81.4
COBRA KING Tec One Length Utility Irons ReviewCOBRA KING Tec One Length Utility

Check Price
64.8

Best Driving Irons 2023 Scoring

Our overall rankings are a compilation of accuracy, distance and forgiveness. Each scoring category is weighted to achieve the overall score. Driving irons offer a unique situation and we test it in an “off the tee box” scenario. Accuracy is weighted the most, followed by distance. Accuracy should be your top priority with a driving iron. 

Accuracy

Accuracy plays a vital role in overall performance. Our Accuracy score is strictly based on one metric:

  • Strokes Gained

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a measure of consistency. As such, our Forgiveness metrics seek to identify the clubs that provide the most consistent result. Please note: “Consistent” doesn’t always mean “consistently good.” Our Forgiveness metrics include:

  • Ball speed consistency
  • Spin consistency
  • Carry consistency
  • Dispersion area

Distance

Our Distance metrics are simple:

  • Carry distance
  • Total distance
PING iCrossOver Utility Review

Best Driving Irons 2023 Buying Considerations

Performance should be your primary concern when buying a driving iron but there are some additional things you may want to think about before you make your decision.

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Shaft Selections

Shaft selection is a key ingredient to any golf club purchase. Due to the target market for driving irons, most include a heavier graphite shaft option. This can assist with a lower, more penetrating ball flight, which is ideal for tee shots with a driving iron. Ultimately, if you put a driving iron in your bag, be sure to select the appropriate shaft to optimize your needs in terms of launch, spin and direction.

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Accuracy, Distance or Forgiveness?

Driving irons are primarily made for tee shots. So you have the choice as to what you prioritize: accuracy, distance or forgiveness. In our opinion, accuracy should be your No. 1 priority. Distance should be second. If you get a driving iron that is both accurate and long, it can be a game changer.

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Cost

If you are considering a driving iron, you will be relieved to know you won’t have to break the bank. For example, the Sub 70 699 V2 Pro utility iron is just $130. That is a phenomenal value for a high-performing driving iron.

The best driving iron for 2023, the PING iCrossOver, is $249.99 and offers an adjustable hosel. Most of the other driving irons fall between these two price points.

How We Test – Best Driving Irons 2023

sleeves of the 2023 Titleist Pro V1

To determine this year’s best driving iron, 20 testers hit a total of 3,960 shots. Each tester hit 18 shots with each participating driving iron model.

We limit variables by collecting data using Titleist ProV1 as our official testing golf ball and Foresight GCQuad as our official ball launch monitor. 

Best Driving Irons 2023 – FAQ

Best Utility Irons 2023 review

Buying a New Driving Iron

Q: When should I buy a new driving iron?

A: In most categories, it typically takes three to five years for manufacturers to make any significant performance gains. This is especially true in the driving iron category where performance breakthroughs are rare. A good bit of what changes comes down to shaping and cosmetics and, while that can alter performance from one iteration to the next, little in the way of revolutionary technology finds its way into the category. Our recommendation is to buy a new driving iron only when it appreciably outperforms what is already in your bag. Of course, if you want a new driving iron because you want a new driving iron, that’s fine, too.

Q: How do I know which driving iron is right for my game?

A: A proper club fitting with a professional will help determine what driving iron will suit your unique game. However, you can assess your own needs by determining what kind of shots you need to hit with your driving iron. Do you use the utility iron primarily off the tee or mostly off the turf? If you mainly use the driving iron off the tee, a lower-launching, lower-spinning model might help you get the ball running down the fairway. Conversely, higher-lofted, wide-soled, back-weighted driving irons can help you get the ball launching high and landing softly. Make sure to fully evaluate your game in advance of a professional fitting to help the fitter understand what you’re looking for in a utility iron.

Q: Does the shaft matter?

A: Absolutely. While changes to spin and launch are rarely massive, shaft changes frequently lead to improved accuracy, tighter dispersion and greater overall consistency. We always recommend working with a qualified fitter. If that’s not possible, take the time to understand the different shaft profiles offered and how the performance of each might benefit or adversely affect your game.

Q: What should I look for when testing driving irons?

A: While golfers have been conditioned to consider distance to the exclusion of nearly everything else, we recommended looking at the little numbers and looking for small circles. When comparing metrics like distance and ball speed, be sure to look at your standard deviations (the small numbers usually found under the big ones on the data screen). Smaller numbers mean better consistency, which will usually benefit your score more than an extra yard or two. Similarly, look for tighter dispersion ellipses (small circles). We can’t overstate the importance of consistency with utility irons.

MOST WANTED

Q: How is the Most Wanted Driving Iron determined?

A: To determine the Most Wanted Driving Iron, we collect performance metrics with Foresight GCQuad Launch Monitors. To determine our overall rankings, we don’t just focus on averages. Instead, through proprietary methodologies, we determine the winner based on three key metrics: accuracy, distance and forgiveness.

Q: How is the “Longest” Driving Iron determined?

A: To determine the longest driving Iron, we again look past the raw averages to consider the average total yards across the test pool along with the statistical reliability of that data.

Q: How is the “Most Forgiving” Driving Iron determined?

A: To determine the most forgiving driving iron, we focus on a narrower set of metrics that includes:

  • Ball speed consistency
  • Spin consistency
  • Carry consistency
  • Dispersion area

Q: How are the Driving Irons in the test fitted to each golfer?

A: We use a fitting process that we call fit from stock. Irons are fitted to each tester using the stock, no up-charge options from each manufacturer. We test utility irons ranging from 17 to 19.5 degrees of loft. While less so in this category, adjustability is growing in popularity. When movable weights or adjustable hosels are available, we make every effort to optimize each club for each tester. Occasionally, manufacturers will send multiple sets with different stock shafts that we can utilize to improve launch conditions.

Q: How much does subjective feedback like looks, sound, and feel factor into your rankings?

A: ZERO. Our rankings are based purely on launch monitor data and quantifiable performance metrics.

1
2023

PING iCrossOver

98 overall

The Bottom Line

PING iCrossOver finishes 1st in our best driving irons 2023. The iCrossOver is a definitive winner in this category. It nearly sweeps all three scoring categories - accuracy, forgiveness, and distance. It ends up being the best driving iron for accuracy and distance. The iCrossOver places 2nd overall for forgiveness. For a driving iron to perform this well is an exceptional outcome.

Pros

PING iCrossOver is the best driving iron of 2023. It places 1st for accuracy and distance and 2nd overall for forgiveness. With a top 2 finish in all three scoring categories, it is hard to not consider this driving iron if you are in the market for one. It also ranks highly for sound, feel, and looks according to our testing pool.

Cons

With a stellar performance and positive remarks across all subjective feedback categories, it is difficult to find a con to the PING iCrossOver. For some, the biggest con might be its dark finish. Dark finishes on golf clubs tend to be hit or miss.

The Ping iCrossover is a tour-inspired golf club that is fully adjustable with loft and lie-angle adjustments and designed to enhance long-iron performance. It features a maraging steel face, MicroMax grooves, and shorter club lengths for better control. With its adjustable hosel, golfers can add or subtract up to 1.5 degrees of loft and alter the lie angle, allowing for customization to fit individual preferences.

OVERVIEW PERFORMANCE RANKING

Accuracy Icon
Accuracy

Accuracy evaluates if a player’s shots with each club are above or below what’s expected based on that player’s skill level.

  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
1st

Distance Icon
Distance

Our distance scoring is a metric ultimately telling you the total yards achieved by the club

  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
1st

Forgiveness Icon
Forgiveness

Forgiveness measures how well a club corrects for hits that are center or off center off the face of the club.

  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
2nd

Ball Speed Icon
Ball Speed

Ball speed measures how fast the ball is traveling off the face of the club.

  • Slow
  • Moderate
  • Fast
1st
Read Review
2
2023

Sub 70 699 Pro V2 Utility

88 overall

The Bottom Line

Sub 70 699 Pro V2 Utility Iron places 2nd overall in our best driving irons 2023 test. 699 Pro V2 Utility Iron displays reliability and consistency across our three primary scoring metrics. It isn't the best at one specific area, however, it performs above average for accuracy and distance, which are the two scoring metrics weighted the most.

Pros

Sub 70 699 Pro V2 Utility Iron finishes in the top 6 across all three scoring metrics. Its best finish is in the distance category where it places 4th overall. With its overall performance, 688 Pro V2 Utility Iron claims the best value award for our best driving irons 2023 test.

Cons

Our testing pool did not rank Sub 70 699 Pro V2 Utility Iron highly for subjective feedback categories. These catagories are looks, sound, feel, and likelihood of purchase. It places below average for each of these four categories.

The Sub 70 699 Pro V2 Utility is a versatile club designed for golfers who need a reliable option for long-range shots. The club features a hollow body design that maximizes the energy transfer from the 455 Carpenter Steel face to the ball, providing exceptional ball speed and distance. The ultra-thin face, measuring just 1.7mm, also enhances the feel and feedback of the shot. The club has a high MOI and perimeter weighting that increases stability and forgiveness, even on off-center hits.

OVERVIEW PERFORMANCE RANKING

Accuracy Icon
Accuracy

Accuracy evaluates if a player’s shots with each club are above or below what’s expected based on that player’s skill level.

  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
5th

Distance Icon
Distance

Our distance scoring is a metric ultimately telling you the total yards achieved by the club

  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
4th

Forgiveness Icon
Forgiveness

Forgiveness measures how well a club corrects for hits that are center or off center off the face of the club.

  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
6th

Ball Speed Icon
Ball Speed

Ball speed measures how fast the ball is traveling off the face of the club.

  • Slow
  • Moderate
  • Fast
7th
Read Review
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3
2023

Caley Golf 01X Utility

88 overall

The Bottom Line

Caley Golf is new to the scene and makes an impressive debut much like other direct to consumer golf manufacturers. There 01X Utility Iron ranks 3rd overall in our best driving irons 2023. It is the driving iron that is the best for forgiveness. This helps propel it to its top 3 finish overall.

Pros

Caley Golf 01X Utility Iron ranks as the best for forgiveness and also ranks 3rd for accuracy. This performance combination solidifies its top 3 placement overall in the best driving irons 2023 test. It also ranks slightly above average for feel, looks, and likelihood of purchase according to our testers.

Cons

Caley Golf 01X Utility Iron has two weaknesses - distance and brand exposure/access. It ranks towards the bottom for distance, so if that plays a big role in your purchasing habits, it may not be the driving iron for you. Secondly, some of you may not know of Caley Golf, which is based in the UK. You might find it difficult to get your hands on it. Caley Golf does offer a 60 day trial on certain golf clubs.

The Caley Golf 01X driving iron features a slim profile and a deep cavity back design that promotes a low center of gravity and easy launch. The club head is forged from high-strength stainless steel, which provides exceptional durability and allows for a thinner face for an increased ball speed. The club also features a tungsten weight in the sole for added forgiveness and stability,

OVERVIEW PERFORMANCE RANKING

Accuracy Icon
Accuracy

Accuracy evaluates if a player’s shots with each club are above or below what’s expected based on that player’s skill level.

  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
3rd

Distance Icon
Distance

Our distance scoring is a metric ultimately telling you the total yards achieved by the club

  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
9th

Forgiveness Icon
Forgiveness

Forgiveness measures how well a club corrects for hits that are center or off center off the face of the club.

  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
1st

Ball Speed Icon
Ball Speed

Ball speed measures how fast the ball is traveling off the face of the club.

  • Slow
  • Moderate
  • Fast
6th
Read Review
4
2023

Srixon ZX Mk II Utility

88 overall

The Bottom Line

Srixon ZX Mk II Utility places 4th overall in the best driving irons 2023. Traditionally, Srixon's utility or driving irons perform exceptionally and this model is no different. There is little seperation between 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place in this year's test. Accuracy and distance are the two areas of strength for the ZX Mk II Utility iron. Our testing pool rates it as the best for feel out of all the driving irons for the 2023 test.

Pros

Srixon ZX Mk II Utility finishes in 2nd for accuracy and 5th for distance. Each of these placements help propel it to its 4th place finish overall. In addition to ranking the best for feel, it also rates highly for sound, looks, and likelihood of purchase.

Cons

Srixon ZX Mk II Utility posts a below average finish for forgiveness relative to the field. This ulitmately leads to it finishing 4th versus 3rd or 2nd overall.

The Srixon ZX Mk II Utility is a versatile club designed to offer golfers maximum forgiveness and distance. The club features a hollow construction with a forged SUP10 face, which helps to increase ball speed and provide a soft feel on impact. The ZX Mk II Utility also has a new Rebound Frame that helps to increase ball speed on off-center hits. The club’s compact shape and narrow sole allow for enhanced versatility and playability from a variety of lies. The ZX Mk II Utility is available in a range of lofts.

OVERVIEW PERFORMANCE RANKING

Accuracy Icon
Accuracy

Accuracy evaluates if a player’s shots with each club are above or below what’s expected based on that player’s skill level.

  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
2nd

Distance Icon
Distance

Our distance scoring is a metric ultimately telling you the total yards achieved by the club

  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
5th

Forgiveness Icon
Forgiveness

Forgiveness measures how well a club corrects for hits that are center or off center off the face of the club.

  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
7th

Ball Speed Icon
Ball Speed

Ball speed measures how fast the ball is traveling off the face of the club.

  • Slow
  • Moderate
  • Fast
4th
Read Review
5
2023

TaylorMade P790 UDI

88 overall

The Bottom Line

TaylorMade P790 UDI ranks 5th overall in the best driving irons 2023. In 2022, P790 UDI claimed the title of best driving iron 2022. This year, it is beat out by some heavy hitting contenders. However, it still holds its own as it ranks 2nd for distance. Our testing pool also rates it as the best for looks and likelihood of purchase. Additionally, testers rank it highly for sound and feel.

Pros

TaylorMade P790 UDI benefits from its stellar distance ranking, which is 2nd overall. Furthermore, it is a tester favorite for looks and likelihood of purchase. For those who emphasize feel and sound, it also rates towards the top for those two subjective categories.

Cons

P790 UDI has below average forgiveness relative to the field. This ultimately hurts its overall performance. Additionally, it is merely average in terms of accuracy relative to the field.

The TaylorMade P790 UDI is a highly specialized Tour-style club designed for players with high ball striking skill and speed. As a 17 degree 2-iron, it has a medium-thick top line and moderate offset, providing clear feedback and a firm, clicky feel on off-center shots. The P790 UDI is a blend of new technology, including SpeedFoam Air, Thru-Slot Speed Pocket, and 31 grams of tungsten in the toe to provide stability and forgiveness. The head design maintains low spin with a piercing trajectory, even for those with faster swing speeds, making it ideal for golfers who want control.

OVERVIEW PERFORMANCE RANKING

Accuracy Icon
Accuracy

Accuracy evaluates if a player’s shots with each club are above or below what’s expected based on that player’s skill level.

  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
7th

Distance Icon
Distance

Our distance scoring is a metric ultimately telling you the total yards achieved by the club

  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
2nd

Forgiveness Icon
Forgiveness

Forgiveness measures how well a club corrects for hits that are center or off center off the face of the club.

  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
9th

Ball Speed Icon
Ball Speed

Ball speed measures how fast the ball is traveling off the face of the club.

  • Slow
  • Moderate
  • Fast
2nd
Read Review
Can't Decide? Put Them to the Test!

Choose a club category and pick two options to compare head-to-head. We'll show the stats from our testing side-by-side to see which ranks highest on the aspects that matter to you most. May the best club win!

See Head-to-Head

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a measure of consistency. As such, our Forgiveness metrics seek to identify the clubs that provide the most consistent result. Please note: “Consistent” doesn’t always mean “consistently good.” Our Forgiveness metrics include:

  • Ball Speed Consistency
  • Spin Consistency
  • Carry Consistency
  • Dispersion area

Distance

Our Distance metrics are simple:

  • Carry Distance
  • Total Distance

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MyGolfSpy is here to give you the performance you have always deserved.

Everything we do and say is based on cold, hard data. We challenge any and every claim with scientific measurement and analysis. If a product performs well, you'll hear about it. We'll tell you the truth and list the shortcomings if it doesn't.

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  • 1.2M

    Balls hit

  • 25K

    +hours on
    range

  • 13K

    tests
    completed

  • 131

    companies
    trialed

Everything we do and say is based on cold, hard data. We challenge any and every claim with scientific measurement and analysis. If a product performs well, you'll hear about it. We'll tell you the truth and list the shortcomings if it doesn't.

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More Top-Performing Driving Irons

Looking for more detailed information on the driving irons?

More Top-Performing Driving Irons

Looking for more detailed information on the driving irons?

#1

Best for Forgiveness

Caley Golf 01X Utility

Check Price

#2

Best for Distance

PING iCrossOver

Check Price

#3

Best for Accuracy

PING iCrossOver

Check Price

#4

Best for Sound

TaylorMade Stealth UDI

Check Price

#5

Best for Feel

Srixon ZX Mk II Utility

Check Price

#6

Best for Looks

TaylorMade P790 UDI

Check Price

#7

Best for Likelihood of Purchase

TaylorMade P790 UDI

Check Price

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      dsdkdskad

      4 weeks ago

      The cobra iron is only 7 iron length so ofc its going to be shorter than the others!

      Reply

      Adrian J Cemel

      11 months ago

      The new results layout is quite impressive! Hats-off to incorporating brands other than… in previous WITB testing as well.

      Reply

      Jacob

      11 months ago

      Did you not test the Titleist U505?

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      11 months ago

      The current U505 is nearing end of life. New model coming soon.

      Reply

      MarkM

      11 months ago

      I’ve been playing the Callaway X Utilities since 2012 & the Ping iCrossover beat the snot out of the X Forged UT when I A/B’d them this spring. I LIKE IT!

      Reply

      glen o

      11 months ago

      I thought I recall hearing on other best of list that models used last year are not going to be used the following year. That makes sense but this one has a rehash of several models. Most notably the P790 UDI. How does the P790 UDI finish 7th this year in accuracy when it was best in accuracy last year? Makes either one of those tests somewhat illegitimate having that big of a discerption on the same model club.

      Reply

      Andrew

      9 months ago

      Totally agree. This really means you have to try them yourself. These tests don’t really mean anything anymore.

      Reply

      Jason S

      11 months ago

      I love seeing the DTC brands doing well against the big boys.
      Ping – $249
      Sub70 – $130
      Save the cash, get with the DTC revolution (and a brand where you can actually talk to the owner).

      Reply

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