The Golfy Brand Logo

Driving Iron vs Hybrid: Pros/Cons of Each and When to Use

Driving Iron vs Hybrid: Pros/Cons of Each and When to Use

It can be difficult choosing the right golf clubs to put in your bag.

There are only 14 clubs allowed, so the decision about whether to include hybrids, long irons and driving irons is a difficult one for many golfers.

I’ve always found that one of the most important steps is to understand the difference between clubs like a driving iron and a hybrid. Let’s take a look at hybrid vs driving iron to see which one you should carry and why.


Table of Contents

  • The main differences between a Hybrid and a Driving Iron
  • Pros and cons of a Driving Iron
  • The pros and cons of a hybrid
  • When to Use Each Club Type

The main differences between a Hybrid and a Driving Iron

There are often similarities between a hybrid and a driving iron. In addition, both of these clubs are intended to get players’ distance and help with improving tee shots and overall performance in the long game.

The hybrid and driving iron have big differences in ball flight and forgiveness, carry distance, and playability.

Ball Flight

Long irons are traditional and have a low, penetrating ball flight. These clubs have less spin than other clubs in the bag. They are designed to have a little less carry distance, but plenty of roll.

The ball will fly higher when you replace the long irons with hybrids. A hybrid’s center of gravity is located low and in the middle, which increases the ball flight players get from their shots.

Expect a higher ball flight so that the ball stops on a green more easily. You can also use the hybrid for approach shots easily.

Driving irons on the other hand are very similar to long clubs in their ball flight and launch angle. This club is designed for shots that are a bit lower and can be used to cut through wind and rough conditions.

Both of these shots can be crucial. I decided which one was best for me by looking at my entire bag and determining where there were gaps in performance. The driving iron may be an option for me if I already have a lot of high-flying shots in the bag.


The forgiveness of golf clubs varies from one manufacturer to the next. A hybrid golf club can sometimes be very forgiving. Other times, it will be more flexible and workable.

A hybrid’s forgiveness is typically a bit higher that a driving iron, long iron, or long iron. This is why the club is so popular. The average golfer has done well with hybrid clubs because of their ease of use, especially in the rough.

Driving irons tend to have less forgiveness. However, this can sometimes be due to the total loft. The loft of a club makes it more difficult to hit. Driving irons are often equipped with a 2 or 3 iron loft. This is because they offer a second option to the driver off the tee.

Carry Distance

The three parameters that determine how far a golfball will travel are carry distance, roll and total distance.

Driving irons have a lower carry distance, but a longer total distance. Hybrid clubs will have lower total distances and carry distances but higher distances.

This decision will require that you match up your current level with the equipment that will make a significant difference in the game. Carry distance is a key factor for many golfers when it comes accuracy and aiming shots that land close to the pin.

pin high in golf


The playability of the club refers to your ability to control the ball’s flight and trajectory, as well as the type of lie that you can use the club from.

A hybrid is usually not the most useful golf club in your bag. Even when you make a great swing, you will notice that the ball goes relatively straight and high, and it’s hard to control this. However, it is easy to hit a hybrid from the rough or out in a divot.

However, the driving iron is difficult to hit out of rough or sloped lies. This club should only be used for clean fairway lies.

A driving iron has the advantage of being able to hit a cut or draw quickly.


A Driving Iron’s Pros and Cones

Every golf club has its positives and minuses. The driving iron is becoming more popular as an alternative to the hybrid or long-iron, but also as a fairway wood, and for some, a substitute to a driver.


  • You can choose from a variety lofts that will help you to fill out your golf bag
  • Low spin can increase total roll and accuracy.
  • Shaft options in graphite or steel
  • For increased clubhead speed, lighter weight and aerodynamic
  • Each year, more options are introduced to the market


  • It doesn’t have as much forgiveness, the sole is narrower
  • It can be hard to find the gold in the rough
  • This seems to be a better fit than the high swing speed players


The pros and cons of a hybrid

The hybrid golf club is a revolutionary addition to the game of golf. More players are putting in hybrids than ever before. Some players still feel that hybrids are a bad decision for their game.

A hybrid golf club is not going to give you perfection. The club does a great deal of combining forgiveness and distance to give players what is needed and make the game more fun.


  • It is very easy to launch
  • Great club to replace the long irons
  • High launch from the rough
  • You can choose from many lofts
  • Optional lightweight graphite shafts for higher ball speeds
  • Distances are easy


  • Not as usable as other clubs.
  • It can be difficult to control the ball’s flight
  • For lower handicap players, there are not as many options


When to Use Each Club Type

Now that you have a better idea as to what the hybrid and driving iron have in common and where they can benefit your game, it’s time to understand where it makes sense to use each of these clubs.

Club selection is key to golf course management. Golfers who are good at it score better from a scoring perspective.

Tee Box

You can either use the hybrid or the driving-iron off the tee. I prefer the driving iron.

The driving iron is a great choice for players who struggle to find a club that will give you a straight drive and catch some extra roll. The tee box gives you the ability to lie perfectly on a slightly elevated green, making it easier for you to hit the driving iron.

It can be beneficial to learn how to hit a stinger-type shot when you are hitting the driving iron or hybrid from the tee box. This encourages increased roll.

Clean Fairway Lie

The fairway lies are another area where you can hit the driving iron or hybrid. This is a situation where you need to choose a club that suits your confidence level and the end goal.

Driving irons are best if you want to move the ball as far as possible down the fairway. The hybrid is for golfers who want to hit the pin at 10 feet.

Consider your game as a whole and remember that golfers with a faster swing speed have better luck driving irons from these types lies.

Out of The Rough

The hybrid is the clear winner in rough shots. The launch of hybrid golf clubs is extremely high, and the clubhead is slightly heavier, which allows them to cut through the rough easily.

Hitting the ball out of the rough requires paying careful attention to the lie to ensure if it’s going to be a flier or if it may knock down the total distance. If your ball is sitting up nicely and you have a driving iron with a bit more loft, don’t be afraid to give the driving iron a shot.

Smart players will be able to read lies and combine that knowledge with their ability to make the shot.