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has anyone dumped their driver/woods and got a driving iron instead?

  • 20-10-2021 5:47pm
    Registered Users Posts: 23

    Ive been really struggling to get any consistency with the driver and my 3 wood this year, Im slicing it and hooking it with only the odd straight shot. Have has lessons but havent helped my consistency. So thinking maybe a driving iron might be a better option for me. I've no issues with any of my irons and quite like the idea of only having an iron swing to worry about. Im not bothered about giving up distance if it gives me more accuracy. My swing speed is about average, a good drive would go about 220 yards for me. Im a high handicapper also. How difficult is it to hit a modern driving iron well?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,683 ✭✭✭dan_ep82

    Depends what your comparing them to, in general they are easier to hit than a 3 or 4 iron from your set but if you have big chunky clubs its the same thing.

    They are a viable option, as are hybrids if you struggle with height. The hybrid will be more useful from poor lies but I find the iron off the tee easier to control.

    I wouldn't give up on the driver yet, even if you don't play it most games or most holes keep it. Get lessons from someone else if your are practicing and not improving even after 4 or 5 range sessions. Sometimes you just don't click with pro's and there is no harm giving someone else a shot at it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,425 ✭✭✭Ivefoundgod

    Driving iron should really be an option rather than a straight alternative to driver off the tee. Many of them are aimed at high swing speeds so if you are looking be sure to do some research before buying. I think off the top of my head the Titleist & Taylor Made driving irons are aimed at high swing speeds. As dan_ep82 says a hybrid might be a better option if you are a higher handicap player unless you have struggled with them in the past.

    I'd echo what dan_ep82 says about sticking with the driver. It really is critical to good scoring and what you are losing in distance will have a massive impact on your ability to score or get the handicap down. I assume if you are hitting driver 220 then its unlikely a driving iron or hybrid will get past 200 yards which will make life very difficult on most average length courses as you're likely hitting the same club again or a 4-5 iron as your approach. I'd stick with the lessons and try get the driver going though I appreciate it can be maddening when the driver isn't behaving so an alternative for those days like a driving iron or hybrid is worth a try.

  • Registered Users Posts: 143 ✭✭phelimb

    As the lads above said, try and make the driver work. Practice/range/lessons whatever but if you move to a driving iron and get comfortable with it you might never go back. But you're gonna be missing out on some big distance.

    I have one and had it in the bag for a while but it didn't give me much more in terms of distance and accuracy than a 5 iron so I got rid of it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭willabur

    If you are a high handicapper then it probably points to you needing more practice with the club. If you don't know whether a slice or a hook is coming then maybe take some time to understand why the ball flies the way that it does. One thing that helps me is at the range to actively try to hit hooks or slices, it helps me understand the feeling.

    Perhaps the driver you have is not suitable for you - does the shaft match your swing speed, does the head of the driver give you a sense of confidence over the ball. Is it a driver that you can adjust the loft or swing bias on?

    Don't give up on the driver. It is too critical a club to have on a standard course layout. Good drives make the rest of the game so much easier

  • Registered Users Posts: 387 ✭✭Skyfloater

    The problem isn't the club, it's the person holding the club.

    I would suggest taking the money you would be spending on the driving iron, and spend it on lessons preferably with Trackman and video etc.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 382 ✭✭IAmTitleist

    Like everyone else has said simply have to get the driver going.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,046 ✭✭✭bustercherry

    You don't have the club head speed for a driving iron end of story. It's likely you won't be able to launch it high enough to get any carry worthwhile and unless you are on links or hard baked fairways there is little run on the ball.

    As other people said it is operator error. The driver/3 wood are more forgiving and you need to learn to get consistent with them rather than look for some panacea.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,098 ✭✭✭wildwillow

    Try out a few drivers even if it means borrowing one on the range from friends. If you are a high handicapper, you are probably also new to golf and may not have good clubs.

    I got an old set when starting and I'm still a high handicapper anbut I recently upgraded all my clubs. The difference in my game is astonishing, I have cut shots at every hole. Driver is more accurate and fairway woods are giving me length I only dreamed about.

    Still a long way to go but the better clubs do help hugely.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,734 ✭✭✭Motivator

    I struggled badly with consistency with my driver and 3 wood and the problem was my grip. Drivers and 3 woods now are so forgiving that it really is the person rather than the club 99% of the time.

    Go to a different pro or even try YouTube as silly as that sounds. Grip is a huge problem for amateurs and even if you think your grip is fine, chances are it isn’t.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,426 ✭✭✭Ottoman_1000

    If you have an average swing speed as you have said and your max distance is 220 with the driver then I'm afraid a driving iron is not going to make life easier for you. I think someone pointed out but hybrids would be the best alternative. Most driving irons require a high swing speed and if you cant achieve that you will just end up with the same inconsistent results that you are already getting with your driver! Id stick with the lesson until you at least understand what is causing the issues with the driver….don’t give up on it just yet! 

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  • Registered Users Posts: 23 thefloor

    Well my average distance would be 220 because my slice and hooks make it travel 60 yards left or right. The very few occasions I hit it straight and in the sweet spot I would get about 250 carry. The range doesnt say if its metres or yards but im guessing yards.

    I went to the range twice recently to work on the driver. First time i was working on keeping the left arm straight and was hitting it straight enough most of the time but not getting any decent distance as i kept hitting it heel high on the driver face, no matter what changes I made to stance, grip etc.

    The 2nd time I went to the range I focused on just doing a relaxed swing without any swing thoughts going on beforehand. I was hitting straight bullets every time. Problem is I got someone to record my swing and it was hilariously bad, i thought i was still keeping my left arm relatively straight but when I watched it back on video my arm was completely bent at the top of the backswing.

    So not sure if I should continue with the bad swing that gets good results or keep working on the better swing and try and make it work. I know if I can get the straight arm backswing working I will get 20 yards more distance but really struggling to hit the centre of the clubface and I cant really afford any more lessons as they are too expensive these days.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,683 ✭✭✭dan_ep82

    If I aim for the center of the club with the driver I tend to hit it in the heel. It's absolutely a swing fault, however I just aim for the toe of the club. Theres days I need to feel like I'm clipping the inside of the ball with the edge of the toe.

    I'd have a similar yardage to you and never found an issue with my driving iron, it's an easy 200yd carry club that sits between my 4i and 4w

  • Registered Users Posts: 640 ✭✭✭Par72

    If you can afford to buy a driving iron you can afford another couple of lessons instead. A driving iron is not going to solve your problems.

    Lessons and practice are the answer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 249 ✭✭Quahog217

    How your swing looks is not important, my swing looks awful but its functional, which is all that matters. Index is down to 2.4 at the moment. As far the straight left arm this is a really old golf cliché like "I lifted my head" which is almost always incorrect.

    Lessons are the answer but the hardest part is finding the right instructor. And I'm not saying they are all bad, its just some of them have different concepts and ideas and often you will not click with them. I have had lessons with about 12 different pros, some were great, some were bad, it can be really hard to find the right one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,142 ✭✭✭PokeHerKing

    I find the driver similar to the putter. The head can get in the way more than anything. Which is why I think avoiding it can do more damage then good.

    If you're piping drives out the middle at the range but hooking/slicing on the course it could be purely mental.

    If you play infrequently then my advice is get your driving iron and play for position, so you can enjoy your day. If you're a member add play twice or more a week id hit driver on every hole until it looks like the range.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,892 ✭✭✭RoadRunner

    Driving iron needs speed and accuracy (on the face).

    Tricky club to hit off the tee and even harder to hit off fairway.

    It's quite a bad choice when you have a forced carry. Expect to mishit it a lot and that the mishits will barely get you off the tee box. I use one sometimes and they do have their positives. But I'd not be replacing a driver completely.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,461 ✭✭✭blue note

    I enquired about getting fitted for a 3w and the fitter suggested a driving iron when I mentioned that a lot of what I'd want the club for is tee shots into the wind. Kind of put a spanner in the works, as a straight swap for a new 3w was straightforward.

    My problem is that I'm not all that sure what I want it for. It would be nice if it had a lower dispersion than the driver without losing huge distance, had a lower flight and less fade on it for tee shots into the wind / into a crosswind. I'd still like it to be an option from the fairway occasionally too.

    The driving irons back in the day were notoriously hard to hit - but I'm guessing that's not the case with the new ones?

    And currently into the wind I'll either hit the 3w or grip down on the driver, take the ball back in my stance and hit it easy. The 3w is more reliable, but the more I try the low driver the more reliable it will get I hope. I'd say about 50% of them are drilled straight and low. I actually don't lose a whole lot of distance in them compared to my normal drives with no wind.

    Part of me just wants a new toy of course.

    OP - you won't fix this with a new club. More lessons, more practice is the route to the consistency you're after. You could try a different pro. Sometimes hearing something a different way could click with you and help cure the problem. And make sure that your practice is meaningful. It's very easy to just hit a bucket of balls and practice nothing. If I'm practicing I'll usually get a small basket because I don't have the concentration for more. I'll just end up whacking balls and reinforcing bad habits.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,425 ✭✭✭Ivefoundgod

    I ended up using a couple of different utility/driving irons towards the end of summer as experiments/new toys and because I couldn't get on with a hybrid. There seems to be two different options, a utility iron like say the GAPR from Taylor Made or the Ping Crossovers which seem to be closer to a hybrid than others while still being mainly an iron. The rest are really just irons with slightly bigger heads than you might find on a standard iron, these would be the Calloway UT, Cobra UT, Srizon ZX, Mizuno HMB etc. I tried the callaway and the Mizuno and also hit the Titleist U500 (I think, not sure of exact model). The Mizuno definitely was bigger and inspired more confidence behind the ball while the Calloway really wasn't much bigger than my 4iron, if it even was. When struck well the Callaway was an absolute missile launcher. The Mizuno had a lower ball flight but still went pretty far. I ended up moving on the two of them as I just wasn't using them on my home course and a resurgence in form with driver as well as change of strategy meant I wasn't using them off the tee at all so no point. They certainly have their place and if I played a bit more links golf I'd be tempted to have the Mizuno in the bag full time. They most definitely are not any easier to hit than a driver though, I'm off 10 and get decent ball speed but if you're not swinging well don't expect one of these things to bail you out.