What is a mini driver? You might have heard of Talor Made’s revival of this old-school golf club but what is it really? Should you own one? When should you use it? How did it come about? These are all the questions we’re going to answer in this article, so stay tuned to find out what a mini driver really is.
The History Of The Mini Driver
The original mini driver was called the Pittsburgh Persimmon and it was released by Taylor Made back in 1979. The Pittsburgh Persimmon was not the first metal-faced driver to come on the market but it was the first to make a name for itself.
In 1981, Ron Streck at the pro at the time won the Tour in Houston with the Pittsburgh Persimmon and it was from there that this club built its reputation and became one of the most popular metal head drivers of its time.
Slowly, as golf clubs evolved, the Pittsburgh Persimmon went out of production and was replaced by longer larger drivers, that is until Taylor Mader brought it back in 2014.
Taylor Made’s Revival Of The Mini Driver
For Taylor Made’s 40th anniversary they decided to recreate an old classic that most new-age golfers might never have used, the Pittsburgh Persimmon and they named it the Original One Mini Driver.
Taylor Made’s Original One Mini Driver is, as you might expect, full of new golfing technology. The mini driver is built for multiple layers of materials with an adjustable hosel, face flex enhancing sole slot, and an optimized face curvature to reduce any miss hits golfers suffer from.
Their new mini driver is built with a 43 3/4-inch shaft and 275 cubic-centimeter head, making it smaller and easy to control than a large driver or lofty three wood, thus bridging the gap between a driver and three wood that a lot of players might want in their game.
Mini Driver vs Driver
So, how does a mini driver compare to a driver, what are the main differences? Knowing them is key to understanding if this club should take one of the 13 golf club slots you have in your golf bag, and here they are.
The key differences between a regular driver are its size and when you’d use them. Your average driver such as the Taylor Made Sim2 has a shaft length of 45.75 inches and head volume of 460 cc. This means the head is large and much easier to find the sweet spot on.
The Orginal One Mini Driver has a shaft size of 43.75 inches and the head is just 275 cc, so is a lot smaller than a normal driver.
But how does it compare to a 3 wood?
When you compare the Orginal One mini driver with Taylor Mades Sim Ti Fairway 3 wood the stats show that the mini driver is a tad bigger with a head of 275 cc vs 170 cc, and the shaft length is exactly the same bar .25 inches.
Where does the mini driver sit?
Looking at the stats it’s quite clear to see that the mini driver is a sort of 2 wood. Smaller than a regular driver but larger than a 3 wood and if you take a look at the hitting stats, you’ll begin to understand its purpose a little more.
Off the tee, the mini driver on average creates a ball speed of 159 mph at a launch angle of 12.9 degrees and travels around 262 yards with a peak height of 41 yards.
A driver hits 266 yards on average, and a 3 wood 252 yards, so it does sit right in the middle in practice too, but why would you use a mini driver when a regular driver and 3 wood have got you covered?
Why and when to use a mini driver on the golf course
When you pull up to a golf hole that requires quite a lot of accuracy off the tee, you’re most likely going to take out your 3 wood instead of your driver, choosing the accuracy of your 3 wood over the extra yardage of your driver.
Hitting a 3 wood off the tee isn’t so easy for a lot of golfers as the head is much smaller and thus it’s harder to find the sweet spot and get enough distance onto the fairway.
The mini driver provides all the accuracy and control of a 3 wood with more forgiveness whilst giving you the distance of a driver is a golf club that’s easy to handle.
The mini-driver is the best golf club to pull out of your bag when accuracy is key off the tee but you don’t want to lose your distances with a 3 wood.
Can you play a mini driver off the fairway?
You can certainly play a mini driver off the fairway, just like you would a 3 wood except with a mini driver you’re going to get a higher ball speed, less launch angle, and a longer distance than with a 3 wood, while still having the accuracy and control you’d expect from your 3 wood.
Is a mini driver just for pros?
The mini driver is not just for pros, it’s a golf club for golfers of all skill levels and might actually suit amateurs more than pros, as pros will have more control and accuracy with a driver or distance with a 3 wood than most of us.
Which club should the mini driver replace in your bag?
According to USGA regulations, you’re only allowed 14 golf clubs in your bag to choose from, so which club is the mini driver going to replace if any at all?
It doesn’t make sense to swap out your main driver with a mini driver as you’re going to want your main driver for those golf holes that require maximum distance off the tee. And, carrying around a driver, mini driver, and a 3 wood doesn’t make much sense either as they’re so close to each other, and you’re going to have to drop and iron or a wedge.
If you think a mini driver is going to add to your game, in my eyes it makes the most sense to sap it out with your 3 wood. After all, the mini driver does everything a 3 wood can but with a bigger head and more distance, off the fairway and the tee.
Another good idea is to swap a mini driver in and out of your golf bag depending on the golf course you playing and what it demands. If there are a lot of golf holes that demand distance and accuracy off the tee, leave your 3 wood in the car and take your mini driver on the golf course.
What is the best mini driver on the market?
It won’t be surprising for you to hear that Taylor Made is not the only company that makes a mini driver and if you’re sold that this golf club should be in your quiver, which mini driver is the best? Here are the top 2 on market.
The number 1 is Taylor Made’s Orginal One mini driver. Compared to a lot of others this golf club has superb distance, is very accurate, simple to control and the loft is adjustable so that you can tinker with it between tees and fairways as you please. It does have a slightly higher spin rate than others off the tee though.
The number 2 slot is owned by the Tour Edge Ex9 mini driver. This driver creates low spin off the tee, is super forgiving with a load of MOI, extremely adjustable, and super accurate. It doesn’t quite have the sleek looks one the Original One and it’s not quite as great when it comes to distance.
Should you get a mini driver?
Personally, I’ve been sold on the purpose of a mini driver for a while now as it certainly does have a time and place that suits it better than any other golf club type out there. Should you get one? Well, that comes down to whether it suits the way you play golf.
If you struggle a little with a 3 wood off the tee or play golf courses that require the distance of a driver but the accuracy of a 3 wood off the tee, then you wouldn’t be wrong in adding a mini-driver to your quiver of golf clubs.
If you hit a 3 wood with ease and are getting around golf courses just fine without a mini driver, then maybe it’s best left in the shop. But try one out and see, then you’ll know and the question of if a mini driver will improve your game can be left off the golf course.