Over the past few years, utility irons (sometimes referred to as driving irons) have become a growing category in the golf equipment industry. Almost every major manufacturer is making them now.
Compared to traditional long irons, a utility iron’s design can offer higher ball speeds and launch angles. In theory, it makes them a suitable replacement for those who struggle with hybrids, fairway woods, or long irons.
But does that mean golfers should choose a utility iron over a fairway wood or hybrid? Unfortunately, the answer is not so simple. With any equipment decision you make, you have to match your swing tendencies with the proper club design.
In this guide, I’ll help you understand how utility irons perform compared to other clubs and what kinds of players they might be suitable for.
I’ve learned a lot about golf equipment over the last few years from some of the industry’s top experts. For this article, I tapped two resources – Mark Crossfield and Woody Lashen.
Mark Crossfield’s Take on Utility Irons
Many of you are familiar with Mark Crossfield; he has one of the most popular golf YouTube Channels. I’ve always admired his data-driven approach and have learned a lot from him over the years.
Mark was kind enough to shoot this video exclusively for Practical Golf readers:
In his test, Mark showed how a utility iron could perform against a hybrid. Despite having similar lofts, you can see how the clubs perform differently due to the difference in center of gravity and clubface design.
Woody Lashen is the co-owner of Pete’s Golf located in Mineola, NY. They have been recognized as one of the top clubfitters in the industry by almost every media organization. I’m lucky to have him as a resource on all matters related to clubfitting.
I spoke with Woody about his thoughts on utility/driving irons and how they can work with certain golfers.
He told me that the main benefit of a utility iron (versus a traditional long iron) is that they can launch the ball higher due to a lower center of gravity, achieved through a hollow face. Additionally, they’ll have a little more MOI (a measure of forgiveness).
On the whole, he finds that less than 10% of the players he fits are good candidates for utility irons, but here are a few conditions that usually lead to him selecting them:
Utility irons are usually suitable for players who have higher ball speeds.If a golfer tends to spin the ball more than normal, a utility iron would be a better fit because it can help control the ball more with less spin.Utility irons are a better fit for players who don’t match up well with hybrids. Gear effect can be a problem with hybrids for certain players, and the utility iron can reduce those effects.Some golfers have “emotional” issues with fairway woods or hybrids, and they might have more confidence with utility irons on
Title: Utility (Driving) Iron Guide: Should Golfers Consider Putting One in the Bag?
Sourced From: practical-golf.com/utility-driving-iron-guide/
Published Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2020 21:33:40 +0000
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