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  • Writer's pictureGolf on Costa del Sol

Best Utility Iron in 2023

Updated: Feb 5

I doubt that there is a golfer alive today who considers hitting a long iron to be an easy task. That is until the best brains in golf started to make them more functional and easier to hit. Most manufacturers have a range of utility irons. Here we bring you a selection of the best and aim to discover which is the best utility iron in 2023.


best irons for beginners


The contenders are:

  1. King Cobra Utility

  2. Callaway UT

  3. Mizuno Pro

  4. Ping Crossover

  5. Taylormade Stealth UDI

  6. Titleist U505


What is a utility iron and do I need one?


Utility irons, also known as driving irons or hybrid irons, are a type of golf club that are designed to provide the accuracy of an iron with the distance of a wood. They are typically used for long shots from the fairway or rough, as well as off the tee on those tight par 4 or par 5 holes where finding the fairway with your tee shot is more important than outright length.


Utility irons have a larger clubhead than traditional irons, but smaller than a fairway wood, and usually have a lower center of gravity to help launch the ball higher and increase distance. The design of the clubhead also allows for more forgiveness on off-center hits which is what makes today’s utility irons so much easier to hit than previous generation long irons.


Overall, utility irons are a versatile club that can help golfers achieve greater distance and accuracy on longer shots.


Should I use a utility iron?


Utility irons are typically useful to golfers who have a faster swing speed, and who prioritize accuracy and control over distance. Utility irons offer a lower trajectory and are often easier to shape than hybrids and fairway woods. Hence utility irons are very good for those looking to hit the ball 180 to 230 yards to attack pins or find narrow fairways.


The attraction of utility irons is not just for the skilled golfer. Quite simply some players of all handicap ranges simply cannot hit fairway woods and cannot bear looking down at a hybrid. I am one of those! I chose my Mizuno 2 iron because it looks good next to the ball, not like a frying pan!


Ultimately, the decision to use a utility iron or not depends on individual factors such as swing speed, ball flight preferences, and comfort level with long irons.If they suit your game a utility iron will help you take fewer shots – it’s that simple.


Lets go and find the best utility iron for you!




King Cobra Utility

Reasons to buy

  1. 3 degrees of loft adjustability

  2. 3 draw settings

  3. can be precisely configured

  4. amazing value for money


Reasons not to buy

  1. workability

  2. not the longest


The King Cobra Utility is a very good looking beast. In my opinion the best looking and most confidence giving of all. The range of adjustability allowed me to dial in a configuration that gave me the most consistent numbers of all tested today, albeit not the longest.


The King Cobra Utility iron is available in a range of lofts, from 18 degrees to 24 degrees, to suit a variety of player preferences and needs. The clubs can be customized with a variety of shaft options, including steel and graphite, to help golfers achieve their desired ball flight and trajectory. It felt easy to hit, yet gave exactly the flight profile that I like (post fitting).


This is a strong contender for the title of Best Utility Iron for 2023!



Callaway UT

Reasons to buy

  1. Looks like a traditional blade

  2. Very workable

  3. High quality product


Reasons not to buy

  1. Looks like a blade

  2. Not the most forgiving


This is a player’s iron. It looks the most blade-like with a small head. For those that like hitting mid irons the small head size of the Callaway UT will be confidence inspiring. Packed with tech, the Callaway UT utility irons feature a hollow body construction with a thin, high-strength steel face.The clubheads are also designed with a tungsten weighting system that helps to lower the center of gravity and increase forgiveness on off-center hits.


The clubface of the Callaway UT utility iron is designed with a Variable Face Thickness (VFT) pattern, which helps to promote faster ball speeds across the entire hitting area, even on mis-hits. The sole of the club is also shaped with a wider and more cambeVeryred design, which helps to improve turf interaction and reduce digging.


The Callaway UT utility iron is available in a range of lofts, from 18 degrees to 24 degrees. It is a very good golf club, but somehow, I did not warm to it.



Mizuno Pro

Reasons to buy

  1. Feels like a forged blade

  2. Great distance

  3. Workability


Reasons not to buy

  1. Not forgiving

  2. Suited to higher swing speed


The Mizuno Pro utility iron is available in a range of lofts, from 18 degrees to 24 degrees, to suit a variety of player preferences and needs. The clubs can be customized with a variety of shaft options, including steel and graphite, to help golfers achieve their desired ball flight and trajectory.


The standout features of the Mizuno Pro utility iron is its exceptional feel and feedback. The club is designed to provide golfers with a soft and responsive feel at impact, which can help improve shotmaking and confidence on the course. However, for me the trade off of great feel meant far less forgiveness especially when compared to the King Cobra


Mizuno produces high quality clubs. The Mizuno Pro range exemplifies that heritage. Whilst this is a great option for players, its relative lack of forgiveness denies it the top spot.





Ping Crossover

Reasons to buy

  1. Amazing performance

  2. Huge range of fitting options

  3. The tech works!


Reasons not to buy

  1. Not the easiest on the eye

  2. Hosel area looks a bot cumbersome


The Ping Crossover is part of the Ping G series of clubs, which are known for their performance-enhancing technologies and innovative designs.


Like all of the Utility irons on our list,the Ping boasts “a hollow body construction with a high-strength steel face that promotes faster ball speeds and greater distance. A tungsten weighting system helps lower the center of gravity and increase forgiveness on off-center hits”.


Similar to its competitors the blurb continues with “the clubface of the Ping Crossover is designed with a variable thickness pattern that helps to promote faster ball speeds across the entire hitting area, even on mis-hits. The sole of the club is also shaped with a more cambered design, which helps to improve turf interaction and reduce digging”.


Quite a mouthful.


However, in the Ping it all works! I found it to be sensitive to finding the right weight and flex of shaft, but once properly fitted the Pings performance was amazing. If you can live with the looks then you can add the Ping Crossover to the shortlist of best utility iron in 2023.



Taylormade Stealth UDI

Reasons to buy

  1. A great performing club

  2. Taylormade brand inspires confidence


Reasons not to buy

  1. Chunky head might not suit those looking for classic iron profile

  2. Higher flight than the others


The Taylormade Stealth UDI utility iron is part of the Taylormade P series of clubs, which are known for their performance-enhancing technologies and innovative designs.


One of the standout features of the Taylormade Stealth UDI utility iron is its striking black finish, which helps to reduce glare and provide a sleek and modern look. However , as I looked down upon it I could not help but comment on how chunky the head looked, in fact, it is swollen to the point where it is getting close in size to a hybrid .


The results generated by the Taylormade were as good as one could have hoped for. Taylormade make clubs that work! But for me the look of the clubhead did not suit my eye and therefore it is not the right club for me.



Titleist U505

Reasons to buy

  1. Outstanding premium feel

  2. Ultimate workability

  3. Perfect for players


Reasons not to buy

  1. Performs best for higher swing speeds

  2. Not the easiest to launch


The Titleist U505 utility iron is a high-performance club designed for golfers with higher swing speeds looking for a club that gives ultimate workability.

The Titleist U505 utility iron features a hollow body construction with a forged SUP-10 L-Face insert that promotes faster ball speeds and greater distance and a piercing flight. This is the club for hitting stingers on windy, slender par fours!


A full range of shafts and lofts allow you to find the perfect combo of utility clubs to fill the top end of your bag. Perhaps a 17 degree iron for tight tee shots and a 22 degree for pinseekng on longer par threes. This is the most complete range of utility irons and offers the best results for those with higher swing speeds.



Summary


And the winner is……


For me the Best Utility iron for 2023 is the King Cobra Utility, pipping the Ping simply on its looks.


However the ones that I need in my bag are a pair of Titleist U505. I would take

one to replace my 3 wood and 2 iron and a more lofted U505 to replace any 3, 4 and 5 iron. 


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