Best Utility Irons Golf Clubs 2024

The best utility irons golf clubs bridge the distance gap, offering shot-making options and forgiveness

Best Utility Irons Golf Clubs
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
Best Utility Irons Golf Clubs: Quick Menu

Much like getting a set of the best golf irons, a good utility iron can be a game changer, offering a tremendous blend of versatility and forgiveness. In the right hands, the long iron is potentially one of the most versatile clubs in the bag, offering a number of shot-making options from the long high ball to the punch into the wind. But for many golfers, the long iron is the most challenging club in the bag to get to grips with as it is not overly forgiving and any slightly missed shot can often be punished quite severely.

For this reason, many higher handicap golfers tend to swap out their long irons and replace them with more forgiving hybrid clubs. Hybrids are far easier to hit with a high launch and they generate consistent distance. But, they don’t tend to be so workable and the shot-making chances are reduced.

Thankfully there is another option for the golfer who likes to get creative and shape their shots. As mentioned above, the best utility irons golf clubs on the market offer the best of both worlds. They allow you to work the ball and to control the ball flight whilst also offering a good degree of forgiveness. 

A good utility iron could be the distance gapping club that changes your game and helps you save strokes. So with this in mind we have looked at some of the best utilities out there right now. We would also recommend taking a look at our guides on the best golf hybrid clubs currently on the market or the best distance irons. We have also produced a guide on the best driving irons too.

The Quick List

Best Utility Irons Golf Clubs

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Most Forgiving Utility Irons

The main thing utility irons have to be is more forgiving than a standard long iron. Here we have picked the ones that in our testing offered the most forgiveness and which we feel are suitable for most single figure handicappers as well as those golfers who have an aversion to woods.

The back of the TaylorMade Stealth DHY utility iron

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Loft : 2 (17º), 3 (19º), 4 (22º) and 5 (25º)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana Limited 75

Reasons to buy

+
Supreme versatility
+
Delivers great distance

Reasons to avoid

-
Might be a little chunky for some

The Stealth DHY packs a punch for a wide range of golfers thanks to several updates that have been made following the release of its predecessor, the SIM DHY. We feel this is a very good looking club, with a slightly wider sole than the Stealth UDI, making it a little more forgiving. The black detailing gives it a nice, subtle edge, and it has a sleek profile at the address. 

It definitely has a few improvements on the SIM, with TaylorMade altering the center of gravity of this club to bring it much lower, allowing golfers to launch and flight the ball with ease. Thanks to the new ultra-thin 4140 forged face, the feedback on the club is softer than normal, delivering minimal noise akin to a standard golf iron. Distance-wise, we found it carried longer than the Stealth UDI and while both feature TaylorMade's Thru-Slot Speed Pocket, which helps to deliver optimal speed on the ball, the flight is slightly higher. This is something you should definitely keep in mind if you play a lot of links golf. Ultimately, this is one of the best driving irons we have tested as it is a very forgiving club that can also add more distance to your game.

Ping iCrossover Utility Iron

Ping iCrossover Utility Iron

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 18º, 20º, 22.5º
Shafts: PING Tour 2.0 Chrome 85, Mitsubishi Kai'Li White 80

Reasons to buy

+
New adjustable shaft creates options
+
Thinner sole more playable
+
Shorter shaft for control

Reasons to avoid

-
Large changes in lie angle when adjusting

Combining excellent forgiveness with superb visuals, the Ping iCrossover is one of the most functional clubs on this list. It is the latest in a long line of driving irons that started in 2016 with the G Crossover. Since then Ping have perfected their craft, producing hybrid driving irons to the point where we now have this exceptional offering that delivers superb playability to cover the gap between your longest iron and shortest hybrid. 

The iCrossover is more of an iron than a hybrid as the hollow head has a maraging steel face that is supported by an EVA polymer in the cavity which delivers an excellent sound and feel off the clubface. The sole is a little narrower than the Ping G425 Crossover which means it plays a little more like an iron, cutting through the turf better on tighter lies. Overall the adjustability this club offers, combined with its excellent visuals, feel and sound means this club has several big improvements on the G425 and is definitely one of our favorites in this category. 

Best Value For Money Utility Irons

As well as a good performance we all want value for money from our utility irons, and these driving irons below offer just that. Premium performance combined with forgiveness, they have the added benefit of giving you the biggest bang for your buck.

Cobra King Tec Utility Iron review

(Image credit: Dan Parker)

Specifications

Lofts: 17°(2), 19°(3), 22°(4), 22°(5) adjustable +/- 1.5°
Shaft: MCA MMT Hybrid, KBS $-Taper Lite

Reasons to buy

+
Very forgiving from low strikes
+
Easy to flight and shape
+
Solid distance

Reasons to avoid

-
No loft/lie adjustability

We have been seriously impressed by a number of Cobra utility irons in the past, specifically the Cobra King Utility Iron, which was released in 2020. For 2023, the brand has introduced us to to the Tec Utility Iron, which has much of the same forgiveness, as well as the ease of flighting and shaping the golf ball.

Available from a 17° 2-iron to a 25° 5-iron, there is still plenty of scope to find the right distance to fill a gap in your set, and it's also worth mentioning that it comes with a stock graphite Mitsubishi MMT 80 graphite shaft which is a joy to use.

The only slight downside is that it doesn't feature any loft/lie adjustability but, on low strikes especially, it still performed superbly. The Tec feels powerful while maintaining solid spin characteristics and decent distance. An excellent all around choice that offers the perfect balance between performance and value.

Wilson Staff Model Utility Iron

Wilson Staff Model Utility Iron

(Image credit: MHopley)

Specifications

Lofts: 18˚(2), 21˚(3), 24°(4)
Shaft: KBS Tour Hybrid Graphite

Reasons to buy

+
 Pleasing shape
+
 Impressive ball speeds and strong flight

Reasons to avoid

-
 Dirt gathers in screw on sole

The Wilson Staff Model Utility has been designed to deliver a combination of distance, reliability and forgiveness. One of the ways this is created is through the positioning of seven grams of weight low in the clubhead for improved launch.

The high-strength maraging steel face produces impressive ball speeds and notable distance. It’s a versatile club and we found it to deliver a reliable, penetrating ball flight. In testing out on the course, it gave us a useful and accurate option off tees on tight par fours, and it was proficient from the turf too.

Wilson irons always look stunning and these are no exception. One of the best looking irons you will find. 

Best Better Player Utility Irons

Better players also look for that forgiveness from utility irons but in a head that is maybe a little more compact and will blend in more with a performance set of irons. You will also find that these irons offer better feel too, but they will probably not be as forgiving as the ones above and will therefore suit low single figure handicaps.

Srixon ZX Mk II Utility Iron

(Image credit: MHopley)

Specifications

Lofts: 18°(2), 20°(3), 23°(4)
Shaft: KBS Tour steel

Reasons to buy

+
Return of versatile notch sole
+
Great feel and sound
+
Better shaped head

Reasons to avoid

-
Can still see muscle at address, although well disguised

The Srixon ZK Mk II offers plenty of forgiveness in a mid-sized head and, what's more, we see the return of the sole notches which have been a feature of previous Srixon irons. Not only do they create a great look, they really help reduce drag through the turf and improve the versatility from uneven lies.

We were really impressed by Srixon's previous ZX Utility Iron and, at address, the ZK Mk II is the same. It gives the impression of a blade style iron, which is thanks to some visual trickery that sees the larger muscle on the back of the iron feature a chrome finish to reflect the grass and make it look smaller than it is. This has been done a few times before and we think Srixon has created the right balance here to create a forgiving long iron that better players will appreciate the look of.

Definitely one to consider if you're a low handicap player looking for a bit more workability at the longer end of the bag.

Takomo 101U Driving Iron

Photo of the Takomo 101U Driving iron

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 18°(2), 20°(3), 22°(4)
Shaft: KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent, clean aesthetic
+
Premium components
+
Nice feel and turf interaction

Reasons to avoid

-
Much higher flight than expected

We recently tested the 301 CB iron and were seriously impressed, giving them a full 5 stars in our review, and while we weren't quite as blown away by the 101U driving iron we would say it's an excellent option for the price point it comes in at.

The 101U is a hollow body construction and features a wide, weighted sole to help bring that CG down. Takomo promises “power, low spin and bullet-like ball flights” but our experience was a little different as we found the 101U to be a high flying and fairly spinny club relative to some other driving irons we have tested.

Whilst feel and sound were both excellent, the flight we experienced was much more akin to a hybrid than a traditional driving iron. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as this hybrid style flight is extremely useful in the correct circumstances, but just be aware that this club may not give you the flight you would normally associate with a “driving iron”.

The 101U is however, a wonderfully forgiving driving iron. Many of our more severe mishits still produced perfectly serviceable results, while turf interaction from the extra wide sole was again excellent with zero snagging and it provided a super smooth exit from the turf when taking a divot from the fairway.

For $119.00 with a premium shaft and grip combination, the Takomo 101U driving iron represents some real value for money for what is another beautifully put together product from the direct-to-consumer brand. 

Titleist U505 Utility Iron

Titleist U505 utility ironEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: MHopley)

Specifications

Loft: 16°(1), 18°(2), 20°(3), 22°(4)
Shaft : Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black graphite

Reasons to buy

+
Large head with offset hosel
+
Wide sole

Reasons to avoid

-
Looks more like wood than iron

The Titleist U505 is a very playable utility iron that looks surprisingly inviting to hit without looking overly clunky behind the ball. The feel is fantastic and the flight on offer can be tailored to suit your needs. Versatility is arguably its strongest suit, with competitive distance not far behind.

Make no mistake, this club packs some serious fire power, and well-struck shots are rewarded with a sensationally solid feel and a towering ball flight. The distance and flight window you experience will very much depend on the loft you choosebut it has the potential to fulfil a lot of important jobs, whether that’s a fairway finding shot off the tee or an approach shot into a par five.

It's not the cheapest utility iron out there but the design reflects this with an internal tungsten weight and a wide sole that draws the CG back to ensure easy launch. It also comes with a wide range or lofts combined with plenty of steel and graphite shaft options so you should get a specification that is worthy of the investment.

Best Elite Player Utility Irons

Elite player utility irons are aimed at scratch golfers, leading amateurs and professionals who have the club head speed and accuracy to launch these blade style driving irons into the heavens. If you have the power then the advantage of this style of iron enables easier shaping of trajectory into the green or off the tee.

Photo of the Callaway Apex UT from the back

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 18°(2), 20°(3), 23°(4)
Shaft: Multiple options available

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptional aesthetic
+
Lively feel off the face
+
Strong ball flight

Reasons to avoid

-
Smaller head may deter some

Noticeably smaller and with slightly less offset than the previous iteration, the Apex UT from Callaway strikes all the right cords aesthetically. Whilst this new smaller profile could potentially prove prohibitive to the masses looking for a bit more of a confidence inspiring footprint, the top line has just enough substance to show the player that they are still getting some level of playability. This iron performed really well in testing and we're a big fan of it.

This certainly isn’t what you would call an “all-rounder”, it knows exactly what it was designed for and delivers that specific performance in bucket loads. Quick off the face, penetrating and low spinning, the Callaway Apex UT is a rocket ship of a driving iron that we think better players will absolutely love as a tee shot alternative when the course tightens up a bit. 

TaylorMade P790 UDI 2021 Utility Iron

TaylorMade P790 UDI 2021 Utility Iron

(Image credit: MHopley)

Specifications

Lofts: 17°
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX Rescue graphite, Steel (custom)

Reasons to buy

+
Appealing looks
+
Good workability

Reasons to avoid

-
Not very forgiving 

The TaylorMade P790 UDI utility iron is an upgrade to the previous version and continues the hollow head design for faster ball speeds. It has a fairly compact head to look like the blade shape elite players will prefer. 

The SpeedFoam Air upgrade is 69% lighter than before and that saves 3.5g which is moved elsewhere in the head to improve the launch of the club. The new 8620 carbon steel head is thinner in more places and that weight is also moved lower down to drop the centre of gravity, which you will certainly need as this is a low launching club. 

The 17° UDI driving iron is the club at the top end of the set P790 set for those who want it, and those people will tend to be be elite players who have a driver swing speed in excess of 105mph, as the P790 UDI utility iron launches considerably lower than most of the utility irons we have tested. It is certainly not for the faint hearted as the thin top line and compact head mean that this is not exactly the most forgiving club in the sector either.

How We Test

When it comes to testing utility irons we use the same kind of process for most clubs but have to cater it slightly for each club in the bag as they all do different things. 

To start we will attend product launches and speak to R&D experts to gain an understanding of the new technology and then once we have samples we will put them to the test. This usually starts with indoor testing so we can have a controlled environment with premium golf balls and a launch monitor. From there we take the clubs outside to hit on the range and out on the course. We think it is vital to do both. 

In terms of utility irons, we would use them in a variety of situations applicable to the club. That means hitting them off the tee, from the ground into par-4's, in the wind and sometimes we put them to the test on links courses because that is where the advantages of a utility iron really come to the fore. 

We would then collate the information and write comprehensive and honest reviews. Finally it should be said no manufacturer can buy a good review because our team tells it how it is.

How to choose a utility iron

What are some of the factors you need to consider when looking to buy a driving iron? Let's take a look.

Utility iron vs long iron vs hybrid?

Firstly you need to work out which club out of utility iron, long iron, or hybrid would be the best for you. Each has a different set of positives and negatives and the difference between them is big. The hybrid is a little more versatile as you can use it well from light rough and around the greens. However, there are plenty of golfers out there who prefer an iron-like profile. In which case, the utility iron is a great option. A long iron in the bag in all likelihood signifies a player who is consistent with strike. 

Course

What kind of course do you play on? We think this does play a part in the world of driving irons because if you play on a links course from day to day, then a driving iron is perfect for those low shots below the wind, especially on firm fairways when you will get extra run. If you play on a parkland, chances are a driving iron will not be as impactful in the bag, particularly when the fairways are wet and soft. 

Gapping/Loft

One of the most important things to know is how far each club in your bag goes. For example if you know there is a large gap between your three-wood and first iron then a driving iron will fit in there perfectly. Therefore knowing the gap you need to fill at the top of the bag will give you an indication of what loft the driving iron should be as well.

Distance

A driving iron has to deliver good distance without compromising on workability. Both are important because not only only do you need to fill that gap at the top end of the bag, but you should also be able to flight the ball and move it with a driving iron as well. 

Forgiveness

They may have iron club-head's but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be forgiving. Some models are better than others as we have shown above and you should be aware of which model will suit your game and ability to strike the ball better. The difference between a TaylorMade SIM UDI and SIM DHY is a case in point. 

Versatility

It is important to be able to use a driving iron off the tee as well as from the ground when needed, so when trying out models be sure to hit both shots. A model that can do one and not the other is pointless really. Also have a go at chipping with them too, as that can be nifty weapon to have in your arsenal. 

Looks

How do you want the driving iron to look down by the ball? Do you want it to have a sleek, small profile or look larger and more confidence-inspiring? Additionally do you want it to blend with the irons you have in the bag, or maybe you want it to match the brand of iron you have in your setup. These are all things you need to consider in terms of looks as a club that does not look inviting at address is not going to inspire confidence. 

Budget

Finally have a think about how much you want to spend on a driving iron. There are models at most price points these days as every brand makes a utility iron so be aware of how much you want to spend.

FAQs

What Are Utility Irons Used For?

Utility irons are mainly used from the tee on narrow holes when you want to get the ball in play safely. They can also be used from the fairway, especially in windy conditions where their lower ball flight is more accurate. They are not particularly good out of the rough.

Are Utility Irons Forgiving?

Utility irons are more forgiving than normal long irons as their design features larger heads that are usually hollow. This creates a larger sweet spot and a lower CG which makes them easier to get off the ground.

Are Utility Irons Good For High Handicappers?

Utility irons are predominantly aimed at better players who have the club head speed to get the ball airborne. Some of the more forgiving ones can be used by high handicappers, but these players may find hybrids easier to hit.

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Sam Tremlett
E-commerce Editor

A golfer for most of his life, Sam is Golf Monthly's E-commerce Editor.

Working with golf gear and equipment over the last six years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes. 

He combines this knowledge with a passion for helping golfers get the best gear for them, and as such Sam manages a team of writers that look to deliver the most accurate and informative reviews and buying advice. This takes the form of buying guides, reviews, supporting gear content as well as creating deal content.

This is so the reader can find exactly what they are looking for, at a good price.

Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website, whilst he is also responsible for all content related to golf apparel. 

Additionally Sam oversees Golf Monthly voucher/coupon content which seeks to find you the best offers and promotions from well-known brands like Callaway, TaylorMade and many more.

Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a single-figure handicap. 

Sam's What's In The Bag: 

Driver: Cobra LTDxLS (9 degrees) 

Fairway Wood: Ping G430 Max (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees) 

Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚ 

Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 

Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond

Shoes: G/FORE Gallivanter/Nike Air Zoom Victory Tour 3/Cuater The Ringer (For off the course he goes for Nike Jordan 1 Low G shoes as well)