What Driving Irons Do the Pros Use on the PGA Tour? (2023 update)

World No.1 Scottie Scheffler has not just one but two driving irons in his bag

Using long irons to play positional tee shots or to hit lower trajectory approach shots in windier conditions is nothing new.

The problem however has always been hitting long irons consistently well and it is one of the biggest challenges for any level of golfer including the pros.

Updated designs of more forgiving ‘driving’ or ‘utility’ irons have helped though to solve that issue to an extent and provided increased long shot-making options for the best players in the world.

But how many of the top pros are actually using these clubs?

We took a detailed look through the golf bags of the top 100 players on the PGA Tour to find out what some of the best driving irons are being used by the best pros in the world.

27 of the top 100 PGA Tour pros use driving irons with 3 of them using two including world no.1 Scottie Scheffler. Titleist models are the most played with 10 pros choosing them. The most used driving iron is a 3-iron with 16 using one. 6 carry a 2-iron, 7 use a 3-iron with only one pro, Brian Harman using a 5-driving iron.

As is often the case when looking in detail at the golf bags of the best pros however the lofts on the same numbered iron do not always match between different players and manufacturers but when it came to driving irons we found the variance from standard lofts was much less than for drivers or fairway woods.

What is also comforting for us amateurs to see, when looking at this topic, is that the difficulties that come with trying to hit long irons consistently well clearly also affect even the best players in the world, and even those pros that don’t use a utility iron, still use more forgiving longer irons models than their shorter irons.

Golfing Focus infographic breakdown of the number of utility irons used by the top 100 pros on the PGA Tour

Driving Irons Breakdown of the Top 100 PGA Tour Pros

Driving irons – or utility irons as they are also known – have found favour amongst PGA Tour pros who are looking for clubs that will fly the ball lower, and roll further, than hybrids or fairway woods of a comparable loft.

With their updated designs making them easier to hit than old driving irons these clubs are now used by close to 1/3 of the best players on the PGA Tour.

Srixon’s ZX Utility iron is the most used driving iron among the top 100 PGA Tour pros with six playing them and a further two choosing the updated ZX Mk II model. Titleist’s U500 is the next most popular with five pros playing them. In total 15 different models made by 7 different manufacturers are used by this elite group.

A small number of the top 100 PGA Tour pros, including Aaron Wise and Tom Kim, carry 2-iron versions of utility irons however 3-iron utility clubs are the most widely used with 16 players choosing one.

A further 7 out of the top 100 play a 4 driving iron while we found one pro – Brian Harman – using driving irons up to a 5-iron. None of the top 100 on Tour use a 1-iron.

Some of the top PGA Tour players, including the best golfer in the world at the moment – Scottie Scheffler – are also using more than utility club.

The complete breakdown of which driving/utility irons are used by the top 100 PGA Tour players is as follows:

Srixon ZX Utility6
(inc. Shane Lowry, Taylor Pendrith, Trey Mullinax, Abraham Ancer)
View at PGA Superstore

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View on Amazon
Titleist U5005
(inc. J.T Potson, Denny McCarthy, Brian Harman – 4-iron & 5-iron)
Check eBay
Srixon ZX Mk II Utility2
(Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott)
View at PGA Superstore

Check eBay
Callaway X Forged UT2
(Luke List, Marc Leishman)
View at Callaway Golf

Check eBay

View on Amazon
Titleist T200 (Utility Build)2
(Will Zalatoris, Tom Kim)
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Titleist U5052
(Matt Jones, Lanto Griffin – Black version)
Check eBay
Srixon Z U851
(Scottie Scheffler – 3-iron & 4-iron)
Check eBay

View on Amazon
Wilson Staff Model Utility1
(Kevin Kisner – 3-iron & 4-iron)
Check eBay

View on Amazon
Callaway Apex UT1
(Adam Hadwin)
Check eBay
Mizuno Fli-Hi1
(Cameron Smith)
Check eBay

View at Mizuno Golf USA
PING G425 Crossover1
(Alex Smalley)
Check eBay
TaylorMade P790 UDI1
(Aaron Wise)
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View on Amazon
TaylorMade Stealth UDI1
(Tommy Fleetwood)
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View on Amazon
Titleist U5101
(Viktor Hovland)
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[Note – Top 100 rankings based on money list at the end of the 2022 season.]

When it comes to the top players on the PGA Tour who are using driving irons it is therefore clear that when they become an option for them it the 3-iron and 4-iron which are most often under consideration.

What is also clear though for these top pros is that the driving iron sometimes forms part of their ‘wider set’ of 15-17 clubs which can be interchanged with fairway woods and hybrids of the same lofts depending on where they are playing.

Hideki Matsuyama for example regularly changes the set-up at the top of his bag in terms of playing fairway woods and/or a 20º driving iron.

And while these utility irons are used throughout the year by many of the top 100 golfers on the PGA Tour they can also find increasing favour in weeks on Tour where the wind is a factor and lower launched shots will be preferable to the high flying shots that hybrids and fairway woods typically result in by comparison.

Titliest's U500 and U510 driving/utility 3-irons
Viktor Hovland uses Titleist’s U510 driving iron but the U500 model remains the most played by the top 100 pros on the PGA Tour

How Far Do Pros Hit Driving Irons?

As we have already discussed one of the reasons pros and better players will choose a driving or utility iron over a fairway wood or hybrid of a comparable loft is that they are looking for a lower launch angle and flight with the shots they are hitting with that length of club.

But one of the other reasons that driving irons are chosen is that because of the technology the modern utility clubs are now packed with they are easier to hit further than standard 2, 3, or 4 irons.

And the reason for this is that they fly higher than traditional long irons although not of course as high as fairway woods and hybrids.

How exactly far pros hit driving irons is difficult to give a precise number on as this data is not made available by the PGA Tour however through Trackman’s measuring of the average carry distances for all clubs on the PGA Tour we can give an estimation of how far pros hit driving irons.

As a general rule we estimate pros hit 2-driving irons about 249 yards based on Trackman’s stated average 5-wood carry distance on the PGA Tour. 3-irons carry on average 217 yards on tour, 4-irons 208 yards and 5-irons 199 yards so again pros will likely hit comparable driving irons the same distance if not further.

And if you are interested in how far the top pros hit each club on average, both in terms of ‘carry’ and ‘total’ distance, check out our in-depth look at this topic here.

Callaway's X-Forged UT driving/utility iron
Callaways’s X-Forged UT Driving Iron is their most used model among the PGA Tour top 100. Check it out on Amazon here

PGA Pros Often Choose More Forgiving Long Irons

When studying in detail the driving irons used by the top 100 pros on the PGA Tour what was interesting to note was that although some of the top pros do not use specifically called ‘driving irons’ many use much more forgiving longer irons in conjunction with more blade-like shorter irons.

PING’s G425 Crossover irons for example blur the line for many between a driving iron and simply a ‘forgiving’ long iron. While some see them as driving or utility irons others don’t.

Other examples of similar clubs include Titleist’s T-MB irons which began life as the ultimate driving irons but have now evolved to be available as a full set of irons to players looking for the extra forgiveness associated with long driving irons across all their irons right up to the 9-iron.

Finding sets of clubs amongst the top pros which include much easier to hit 3, 4 and even 5 and 6-irons is therefore relatively common on the PGA Tour.

Cameron Young and Scott Stallings for example each use a ‘players distance’ Titleist T200 4-iron in addition to their Titleist 620MB and T100 shorter irons.

Shane Lowry opts for Srixon ZX5 4 and 5-irons before choosing less forgiving ZX7 irons for the remainder of his set.

Tony Finau and Brooks Koepke meanwhile both use the more forgiving Nike Vapor Fly Pro 3-irons before switching to blade PING Blueprint and Srixon ZX7 Mk II clubs respectively for the rest of their irons.

While these long irons may not all technically be ‘driving irons’ the trend for using more forgiving long irons across even the top players on the PGA Tour is clearly evident which can give us all hope that it’s not just us lowly amateurs who need a bit of help to hit those long iron clubs!

Before you go …

As part of our detailed look at all the clubs being played by the top 100 pros on the PGA Tour we noticed a clear trend of even those players not using driving irons still opting for more forgiving long irons.

So read our next article to see how it is not just us lowly amateurs who are opting for a bit of extra help now and again when it comes to embracing more forgiving clubs!

Do Pros Use Game Improvement Irons? They Also Want Forgiveness!

[Note – Just so you know, and we are upfront as an affiliate program participant, Golfing Focus, at no cost to you, earns from qualifying purchases made through links on this page.]

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