Best Overall: TaylorMade GAPR
“Offering unreal forgiveness and a loft sleeve to adjust the flight of shots, the TaylorMade GAPR is a great choice if you’re looking for the best overall utility iron. With exceptional ball speeds, ultra low center of gravity, and three different loft options, this iron is a great buy!”
Best Value Option: Lazrus Driving Iron
“Looking for the best value? The Lazrus Driving Iron won’t disappoint. Despite its affordable price point, it offers high performance, forgiveness and high-quality shots.“
Best Forged Option For Experienced Players: TaylorMade P790 UDI
“With a forged hollow body construction, the TaylorMade P790 UDI can deliver power to the golf ball. It’s also foam injected for better damping and reduced vibration perfect for low handicappers and better players!”
Utility irons, or driving irons as some golfers call them, offers an alternative club for the tee box and fairways. With an ability to launch the ball with authority and low spin, the utility iron is easier to hit for better players, but that doesn’t mean that mid and high handicappers should dismiss the alternative option immediately.
For golfers looking to upgrade their game, a utility iron provides forgiveness, high ball speed, and low launch angle for extra distance.
We’ve assembled a list of eight of the best utility irons in 2021. Each iron offers forgiving impact, exciting ball flight, and marvelous club speed.
Last updated on 2021-04-23. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table of Contents
- The Rundown:
- Featured Recommendations
- Best Utility Iron of 2021
- Things You Need to Consider Before Buying a Utility Iron
Best Utility Iron of 2021
Here are the best utility irons:
- Best Overall: TaylorMade GAPR
- Best Value Option: Lazrus Driving Iron
- Best Forged Option For Experienced Players: TaylorMade P790 UDI
- Exceptional Blade-Style Option: Srixon Z U85
- Best High Launch Option: Cleveland Launcher UHX
- Best Low Profile Option: TaylorMade SIM MAX Utility
- Best Forgiveness Forged Option: Callaway X Forged
- Best Contact Quality Option: Cobra King Utility
Best Overall Option
- Exceptional ball speeds on shot after shot
- Ultra low center of gravity in hollow body design for better shot height
- Three different loft options for higher launch
Our choice for the best overall utility iron is the adjustable GAPR from TaylorMade. The iron offers a loft sleeve to adjust the flight of shots and unreal forgiveness. For advanced players, the iron provides a clear tool for hitting more fairways on average, especially if they are struggling with consistency from their driver on the tee box.
The long, low profile of the GAPR is accented by the hollow body construction that keeps the swing light and quick.
There are three different lie angle options, including a very solid 21 degree option that mimics a 4-iron.
A great buy for a well-made alternative club for the tee box or from the fairways, the TaylorMade GAPR is the best on the market.
Lazrus Driving Iron
Best Value Option
- Affordable price point with high performance
- Cavity-back appearance provides forgiveness and high-quality shots
- Great for mid and high handicappers needing flexibility in their bag
From Lazrus comes the best value option, Lazrus Driving Iron, as their driving irons offer premium distance with solid contact. The golf club, shaped like a game-improvement, cavity-back utility iron is great from the fairway.
The Lazrus is a solid buy for inexperienced players that would like to get their toes wet with playing with a utility iron.
Offering a forgiving face, the Lazrus also provides clean contact with a wide hit zone along the face.
A great addition to the golf bag, the driving club from Lazrus is a forgiving, game-improvement iron for mid-range handicaps.
TaylorMade P790 UDI
Best Forged Option For Experienced Players
- Forged hollow body construction delivers power to the golf ball
- Foam injected for better damping and reduced vibration
- Great for low handicappers and better players
For a forged utility iron, the team at TaylorMade has created a real winner with the P790 UDI. With a low profile tungsten weighting powering each hit, this club utilizes a hollow body that offers forgiveness.
The craftsmanship on this UDI is unmatched. The Speed Pocket technology located behind the face powers the golf ball with unreal flexibility. The iron is a bit on the expensive side, but with its ball speed and its hit quality the product is first-rate.
Great for the bag of any experienced golfer, the P790 UDI is a charmer worth your attention.
Srixon Z U85
Exceptional Blade-Style Option
- Hollow construction keeps the Srixon lightweight and strong
- Forged steel carbon body provides distance and higher launch
- Low center of gravity offers excellent shot quality
The Srixon Z U85 is great on the golf course, offering a combination of length and consistency. While the U85 has a forged look, the iron has a lower half hollow cavity that improves lift and creates more height.
For weekend warriors that need more carry, the Srixon offers two different lofts, including a 3-iron option that is set at 20 degrees.
An affordable buy, the Z U85 delivers distance and control, a great dual asset for players looking to lower their handicap and make the jump to the next skill level.
A well-crafted blade utility iron, the Srixon Z U85 offers modern innovative technology with muscle.
Cleveland Launcher UHX
Best High Launch Option
- Forged steel construction offers more distance and forgiveness
- Hollow construction boosts ball flight for better players
- Three different loft options provide lower spin
Another outstanding buy from Cleveland, the Launcher UHX is a dynamic utility iron that offers control and power with each swing. The Launcher has the body of well-made cavity-back irons, but with the lie angle and shot shaping ability of a utility.
The Cleveland product shines from the thin turf in the middle of the course. With a crispness that is hard to find in other utility options, the Launcher UHX creates a tall shot arc that does not disappoint.
A great addition to the bag at an incredibly reasonable price, the Launcher UHX is made for a better player that wants more from his equipment when playing.
TaylorMade SIM MAX Utility
Best Low Profile Option
- Great for better player and experienced golfers
- Forged face increases ball speed with minimal effort
- Wide face offers wide hitting area with moderate loft
From TaylorMade comes the SIM MAX utility iron. The iron is a real pleaser, offering crisp strikes from either the tee box or from the fairways. Regardless of where you use this terrific golf product, the SIM MAX delivers the goods, providing extended yardage with every swing.
The club’s wide sole and hollow area behind the hitting area increases flexibility and forgiveness at impact. The SIM MAX works well when you take a shallow divot because it keeps the ball on the center of the hitting area where the production is unmatched.
The TaylorMade SIM MAX is a first-rate utility iron and a worthwhile buy at its price point.
Callaway X Forged
Best Forgiveness Forged Option
- Exceptional ball speed with smooth hybrid-like feel at impact
- Feels like long iron with increased swing speed
- Four different loft options for various shot height and shot angles
The Callaway X Forged is the best forgiveness option on the list, offering a blade-style look with shotmaking quality of a cavity-back product.
The Callaway model is incredibly precise, even from long distances, you’ll find that the utility gets the golf ball close to your intended target.
There are four different lofts with the X Forged, each offering different flight and length. For weekend warriors that want shot shaping ability, the X Forged doesn’t disappoint from long range distances. Each hit of the golf ball is crisp with the Callaway X Forged making it a solid buy and well worth the higher-tier price.
Cobra King Utility
Best Contact Quality Option
- Tall face offers wide hitting area for increased ball speeds
- Available with graphite and steel shaft options
- Tungsten weighting provides shot balance
The Cobra King Utility Iron is a dynamic option for advanced players that need more power on the golf ball. The Cobra King offers a crispness seen with high irons, despite the difference in lie angle.
Another utility iron that has a bigger cavity along the sole, the Cobra product delivers higher flight than other utility irons. Having a taller arc makes this utility among the best for increasing carry and adding length to your golf game.
The Cobra King Utility is a solid buy with a price point that does stay around the top of the market. But the price is well worth it due to the club’s overall performance and production.
Things You Need to Consider Before Buying a Utility Iron
While adjustability is common in most modern drivers, for utility irons, very few offer customization. For those utility irons that do offer customization, you will typically first see a loft sleeve.
Another possible feature you can find on an adjustable utility is a removable weight. Since most modern irons like this have a hollow interior, the weight can provide balance and power at impact.
Golfers like Tiger Woods play driving irons like the GAPR that offers the full suite of adjustable features. The GAPR has a sleeve that can add or subtract launch from the face as well as a low sole weight that keeps the club grounded through the impact zone.
For serious golfers, the adjustability option can help shape shots off the tee box and from fairways with authority.
The launch angle of utility irons is typically low, around the equivalent of a 3-iron or 4-iron. You will also find a similar lie angle on clubs, such as a 3-wood. These clubs offer premium distance with a compact hitting area. While it isn’t as easy to hit as a hybrid, these clubs offer a smooth hit quality that accents forgiveness and swing speed with the lower launch angle that experienced golfers prefer.
Since these clubs have the launch of long irons, the lie angle is shallow. That detail can be problematic for inexperienced golfers who don’t quite understand how their swing and its attack angle matter when it comes time to hit the golf ball.
For utility irons, the shaft of the club can be either stainless steel or graphite.
The benefit of using a stainless steel shaft includes reproducing the similar feel and response of the remainder of the set that the golfer uses regularly. The steel shaft is heavier, which may cost the golfer a bit of distance and forgiveness with their swing, but it does provide reliability and a firmer feel at impact.
Graphite shafts are lighter than steel, making them better for golfers that need more swing velocity to increase distance. Clubs with graphite shaft are ideal for players that are struggling with losing club speed. So while these players might prefer using a hybrid here, a well-made utility with the launch angle of a 2-iron or even a 4-iron, can provide a new method for playing golf.
Long Irons vs Utility Irons
A traditional long iron will usually parrot the style of the set it belongs to, while the utility is its own beast entirely. Since a typical set has many irons, each with a specific purpose, they have different face angles for a variety of launch degrees and spin.
There is little distance gap between the two styles of clubs and dependent upon the number of the long iron, you can expect similar yardage from either of these clubs.
Utility irons made by companies like Tour Edge and specific ones, like the Titleist U500, offer the similar shape and style of an utility iron.
For high-quality shots, the launch angle of a utility can provide the length and shot shaping that most traditional irons carry so the golfer can attack the hole.
Hybrids vs Utility Irons
When looking at hybrid clubs versus utility irons, the difference revolves around turf interaction. When we talk about how clubs interact with the turf, we are referring to how crisp the contact is as the iron enters the turf.
Hybrids have a wide sole that is usually rounded so it can glide across the turf and into the golf ball. Because the swing path is rounded and the profile of the face is shallow, the hybrid moves directly into the lower half of the ball. These shots come out high and fast off the face with a smooth impact that is great for inexperienced golfers.
Utility irons have the look and feel of long irons, so they must be used differently than hybrids. Since they take a divot, the attack angle is sharper and the swing is not as rounded as a hybrid.
Fairway Woods vs Utility Irons
While they may share the same lie angle on the face, there are several noticeable differences between secondary woods and utility irons. The alternate wood offers a low profile with a wide face that helps with forgiveness when hitting the ball off-center. Irons, such as the ones made by Tour Edge with a 2-iron profile, offer smaller margins of error, so the swing must be more precise.
A fairway wood provide the benefit of generating incredible ball speeds to create the distance necessary to reach the green on long par 5s. While the same is true of utility irons, the wood use a rounded sole that slides easily along the turf to create clean contact with the golf ball.
Either is a great option to use if distance is needed with high ball flight, but the difficulty of hitting the utility must be considered before playing the club.