Since it is the general thought that long irons are not easy to hit, would one have to be adept with them to have any success with a (premium) driving iron? I'll hang up and listen.
Stupid driving iron question......
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I recenty purchased a pair of X Utility Prototype Irons by Callaway (driving irons). I believe Phil Mickelson uses them.
They are supposed to be for better players with high swing speeds. Even Callaway makes it clear they are not meant for high handicappers.
I am a mid handicapper with a medium swing speed and they did not work well for me. I gave them to a friend.
For me it's much better to use a 7 wood. Somehow it just seems incredibly easy to hit.
Short answer: Yeah, I think so.
Long answer: I always thought the "driving iron" market was the group of people who were either more proficient with irons than fairway woods/hybrids or just simply preferred the look/feel of the iron to a wood/hybrid.
If somebody is good with their fairway woods and hybrid, I don't see any reason to recommend they look into getting a driving iron.
Not necessarily. I think two of the things that make long irons hard to hit are 1) center of gravity too high, making it difficult to get the ball up; and 2) off center hits are much more penalizing than with hybrids.
Most "driving irons" have two (or more) piece construction, meaning a thinner face than a typical long iron. This alleviates both issues with long irons: the thin face allows the club manufacturer to push the COG much lower, making it easier to launch the ball higher than with a long iron; and the thin face creates a much more forgiving club.
All that being said, hybrids and woods are still going to be more forgiving and easier to hit for most golfers.
Well, you'd have to be adept with any club to have success. I consider them to be a largely unnecessary club compared to a 5 wood or hybrid, since they aren't as forgiving and are harder to launch. I consider long irons to be decent choices if they fit your yardage gaps but the driving iron is usually more as an option off the tee for people who don't control woods well. For me, there are other clubs that I'd rather carry unless I really had issues with driving, and I'd rather not be stuck with it unless the course was suited to it really well.
If you want one, many people buy them and get rid of them so check the used market. Unless your swing is pretty good you'll probably be wishing for more loft though. They aren't as difficult off the tee but hitting them off the deck is tough at times.
While the common phrase is that long irons "aren't easy to hit," I think the truth is more like "long irons hurt more on a miss than short irons." You are talking smaller clubheads with long irons, not as generous a sweetspot (at least in terms of feel). Yes, there are some physical characteristics of them compared to more lofted hybrids or fairway woods that accentuate the negative consequence of certain swing faults - a big one being when people try scoop the ball get it (rather than down and through like any other iron). I think a lot of the "hard to hit" impression is psychological, which is no small thing on a golf course. I guess this is my long way of saying whether you think you can hit a long iron or you think can't, you a probably right.
I don't have a driving iron, but I do carry a 1-iron. For me it plays like a long fairway wood and the lie has to be about the same (really only hit it off the tee or off a good fairway lie). Now for me, I have have always liked my long irons. To me, a long iron is just a short iron that's a little longer! - if that makes any sense at all. If you are comfortable with your irons, I would go for a driving (or a 1 or 2 iron) that fits with your set. That way when you look at it, mentally you can be comfortable (hey this is just a flatter longer version of my 5 iron). If you aren't comfortable with your irons, then maybe a driving iron isn't for you. Or the least, go for something a little different, to give you a different frame of mind standing over it.
I think there is a mental aspect to them. I am a 7 handicap and I even have trouble looking down on clubs that are too small looking. I also hate clubs that are too large looking as well. I am picky
Today's long irons are much more easy to hit than in the past. The CG is lower, larger club heads, golf shafts that help launch the ball in the air. Really it comes down to the golf swing. So yea, I think there is some sort of ability level people should consider when buying equipment. Basically shove the pride and get something that benefits your game
I've been using the Adams Super DHy driving hybrids in 18, 21, and 24 and I absolutely love them. I find they're closer to a super game improvement iron than a hybrid. In addition they're designed to fit into your iron set so you don't get that annoying yardage gap. They hit about 15yds longer instead of 20+ like my traditional hybrids. They're marketed as driving irons but I find they launch really well off the deck too.
I carried a 2i driving iron for a while and it was a beast off the tee but you needed to be really on the money with your ball striking. Gorgeous penetrating ball flight when you got it though. I tried that new Titleist (714U I think it was) and quite liked it but couldn't get it to launch off the deck. A little too single purpose for me.
For driving irons, Mizuno has produced several generations of its FLI-HI club. The 2010 Iron Collection brochure introduces the MP FLI-HI Iron Hybrid. It had hollow construction, and looked like a long iron with a very wide sole. I've seen versions in steel - Project X - and graphite shafts - Graphite Design YS series was popular.
The hollow-head construction made them easy to hit. Key with FLI-HI, as with all driving irons, is to get right shaft for your swing.
After the arrival of the JPX irons, Mizuno sent the FLI-HI went over to the JPX side. The 2013 FLI-HI had more of a triangular head, and 2014 has a definite hybrid look. Not sure it's still a driving iron.
Edited by WUTiger - 3/22/14 at 1:47pm