Why Use A Driving Iron? (5 Reasons)

Have you ever asked, why would a golfer use a driving iron?

I was in this same situation asking this same question at the beginning of last golf season.  I can remember the scene; I was on the 14th hole as my playing partner and I were playing a par 5. 

I tested out his driving iron and I was convinced that I needed one for my game.

Previously during that round, I had hooked my 3 hybrid out of bounds on a 210 yard par 3 where the wind was in my face.  The extra wind in the face, plus my tendency to over draw a 3 hybrid resulted in a rather poor result.

When I tested out the driving iron, several benefits really stood out to me!

Let’s dive into why someone would use a driving iron.

Why Use A Driving Iron (5 Reasons)

  • You struggle to hit hybrids or fairway woods with precision
  • You need a go to club on long par 3s, or narrow driving holes
  • You prefer to work the ball both directions
  • You prefer to control the height of your shots
  • You need a versatile club and can strike the ball solid
Here is a hole where I hit my 2 driving iron. 350 yard hole with a narrow landing where I would normally hit driver. I now hit a 220 yard driving iron and hit a 130 yard wedge into the green! Takes bogey out of play.

Why Use A Driving Iron: You struggle to hit hybrids or fairway woods with precision

This goes back to the situation I explained earlier, the hybrids or fairway woods can be difficult to hit with precision.  

For the golfer with quality swing speed that prefers to draw the ball, the hybrid can be difficult to hit with a soft draw or a soft fade and the miss often is a hooked shot or a pulled shot.  This can result in round destroying shots due to the severity of the miss.  

The driving iron can actually improve a better golfer’s shot dispersion.  While you may not hit the perfect shot every time where the ball is flying high and majestically, the ability to bring some additional precision and eliminate the big miss is one of the benefits of the driving iron.

Driving Iron vs 3 Iron (Overview)

Why Use A Driving Iron: You need a go to club on long par 3s, or narrow driving holes

Every course seems to have that 200 plus yard par 3 that golfers seem to struggle with unless they have a go-to club to rely on with these shots.  Getting the ball on the green, making your two putt and heading to the next hole is vital to your overall round.

On the course I play most frequently, the 9th hole is a 210 yard uphill par 3.  There is a major bunker to the right and terrain on the left side quickly falls off.  Miss the green anywhere but shot, and you are almost guaranteed a bogey or worse. 

For years, I would try to hit my 3 hybrid and I struggled with the accuracy.  I also hit my 3 iron, but didn’t quite have enough club with the hole playing 10 extra yards uphill and requiring a 220 yard shot on most days.  So what was the solution?

The 2 driving iron.  It provides the distance and the precision needed on those long par 3s where you don’t want to just expect the bogey.  You want to step up and hit a quality shot.  This club has been a game changer on this par 3 and other long par 3s that we face most rounds.

If I am playing a shorter course with shorter par 4s and I simply need to get the ball in the fairway, I find myself pulling the 2 driving iron frequently.  In a recent round, I was struggling with the driver, but the course was short.  I played the 2 driving iron and hitting fairways and next thing I know I am throwing wedges right at the pin.  By the time I finished the back 9, I found myself at 2 under for the 9 holes.  A big improvement from the front 9 where I struggled a bit.

I also find that when I play on my golf simulator, I hit a lot of 2 driving irons to improve my ball striking. If you can hit a quality shot with a driving iron, the rest of your irons will seem easy!

When to use a driving iron (Overview)

Why Use A Driving Iron: You prefer to work the ball both directions

Most hybrids are designed to help the mid to high handicap golfer reduce the amount of slice on their shot, which only makes these clubs easier to hook for the golfer that plays a draw.  The driving iron can help you eliminate one side of the course and play slight draws or fades with it, whatever shot you prefer or is your stock shot.

With the driving iron, the better golfers are able to work the golf ball both directions without fear of a really ugly miss.  Simple adjustments in setup can get you playing the shot you need.  Overall, you simply have more control over the ball flight left to right or right to left.  The prevision, workability and overall confidence over the ball allows you to make a more stress free swing.

Driving Iron vs 3 Wood (Overview)

Why Use A Driving Iron: You prefer to control the height of your shots

Once again, hybrids are designed to hit the ball high with a low center of gravity built into the club.  It is hard to hit a flighted shot with a hybrid, but with a driving iron, it can be a wonderful shot.  

Due to the design, not only can the golfer work the ball both directions, but can also control the ball flight.  This becomes really important in the wind and can help the mid to low handicap player who plays a lot of golf in the wind.

The 2 driving iron reminds me of the shots Tiger used to hit off the tee in Opens in Europe.  He would hit that low, penetrating stinger that was a thing of beauty.  While you may not be able to hit that exact shot, the ability to hit a low penetrating shot is important in many situations for the golfer at a really quality level.

Utility Iron vs Long Iron

Why Use A Driving Iron: You need a versatile club and can strike the ball solid

If you are a low handicap golfer, the overall versatility of the driving iron truly stands out.  While the golfer who struggles to hit the sweet spot or lacks swing speed might struggle with a driving iron, it is a quality club for the others.  

Be honest about your game and your current ability with your hybrids.  Do you need more accuracy, prevision and flight control? Do you hit the ball on the sweet spot often, but still struggle with the hybrids?  Then it might be time to test out a driving iron or two.

Utility Iron vs Hybrid

The Titleist Driving Iron was what I selected after a great deal of research.

2 Driving Iron vs 3 Driving Iron

Most of the driving irons will come in two different lofts.  A 2 driving iron and a 3 driving iron.  In testing them out, here are some things to consider when making your decision:

  • What current yardage gaps might you have in your game?
  • Do you need a little bit further flying or something in a shorter yardage?
  • Do you hit the ball higher or lower.  If you hit it high enough, a 2 iron might give you that extra distance that you need.
  • What are the most common longer length par 3s that you struggle with.  Will the extra distance of a 2 driving iron be the better option than a 3 driving iron?

Does Golf Club Brand Matter?

My Secret To Golf Improvement

Let’s face it, in order to get really good at golf, we must practice frequently.  About four years ago, I made the leap and invested in a golf simulator build for my garage.  I went with a SkyTrak Launch Monitor and the TGC software and can now play over 100,000 courses including Augusta, Pebble Beach, Bethpage Black, Whistling Straits. St. Andrews and many other of the top 100 courses in the world.

This golf simulator setup, which is more affordable that you might imagine, has been a game changer.  I can now play golf everyday of the year regardless of rain, snow, cold weather or time of day.  I can practice or play rounds of golf.  I can stand in the 11th fairway at Augusta and with the auto-rewind feature I am able to practice my approach shots from various differences.

It is worth checking out through Rain or Shine Golf as they offer some incredible packages along with financing offers that are difficult to beat.

Some direct links to Rain or Shine Golf for pricing and financing:

Playing golf 365 days a year is a game changer! Build your own setup today. Check out our helpful links below!

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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