TaylorMade 300 Mini Driver
Drivers

TaylorMade 300 Mini Driver

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TaylorMade 300 Mini Driver
  • The TaylorMade 300 Mini is the company’s latest “mini driver” offering.
  • At 307cc, it’s a bit larger than previous mini offerings.
  • Retail price is $399.99 and will be available July 15.

The TaylorMade 300 Mini is the company’s latest one-off in the mini driver category. For the moment, it’s a one-of-a-kind offering in the marketplace. If MyGolfSpy did a Most Wanted Mini Driver test, we’d be limited to two products: the new TaylorMade 300 Mini and the legendary GX-7. That second one would be just to make things interesting … and I’m not sure it would.

A Not-So-Long History of Mini Drivers

Since TaylorMade’s first mini driver of the 460cc era, the SLDR Mini, TaylorMade has all but had the category to itself. PING was one and done with 13° Rapture. At just 219cc, it was more of a biggie fairway than a mini driver, anyway.

Callaway also fired a single shot within the little driver category with the Big Bertha Mini 1.5. That one launched just in time to compete with TaylorMade’s less than memorable Aeroburner Mini. Suffice it to say that neither company should claim victory in that particular battle.

I digress.

After taking a few years to recover from Aeroburner, TaylorMade returned to the category with the Original One Mini driver. That one was a bit of a nostalgia play which TaylorMade tied to its original metalwood—the Pittsburgh Persimmon.

Mini Drivers – A Category of One

In the time between, nobody else bothered to enter the category. I asked one senior-level R&D guy at a TaylorMade competitor if his company was going to make a mini driver. “We would,” he told me at the time, “but we’re a for-profit company.”

Your bottom line: What its competitors see as a near-total lack of demand, TaylorMade sees as an opportunity.

And so, two years after the launch of the Original One Mini, TaylorMade is launching the 300 Mini. Hawk-eyed observers may have noticed that Phil Mickelson had the TaylorMade 300 Mini in the bag at the U.S. Open. It’s never a good look when a competitor’s metalwood ends up in the bag of one of your top staffers so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Callaway might drop a mini for the sake of getting the TaylorMade out of Phil’s bag.

Mickelson is, however, notoriously whimsical, so it’s just as likely he’ll be on to the next thing before it becomes a lingering issue. For now, TaylorMade remains alone in the mini driver category and Mickelson is the only professional of note bagging one.

According to TaylorMade, a few of its PGA TOUR staffers have expressed interest in experimenting with the 300 Mini but it remains to be seen if anyone other than Phil puts it into play.

an address view of the TaylorMade 300 Mini Driver

TaylorMade 300 Mini Driver – Technical Details

The first thing that stands out about the TaylorMade 300 Mini is its size. The SLDR Mini was a reasonably svelte 260cc. Aeroburner was just a tick smaller at 253. The 2019 Original One Mini was a bit larger (275). By comparison, the 300 Series Mini Driver is a massive 307cc.

Where’s the line, guys? How big before you’re not “mini” anymore?

TaylorMade describes the 300 Mini as high launch with low spin which is how nearly everything in the metalwoods category is described regardless of its footprint.

Included in the offering are TaylorMade’s Twist Face technology for accuracy on off-center hits, a V-Steel soleplate to drive CG low while improving turf interaction and a Thru-slot Speed Pocket which makes the face speed-IER, particularly on low face impact.

a photo showing the twist face technology in the TaylorMade 300 Mini Driver

TaylorMade 300 Mini – Playability

The design itself speaks to the nostalgia play. TaylorMade is positioning the 300 Mini as a bit of a modernization of its popular 300 Series metalwoods from two decades ago. You get modern construction: a blend of carbon, titanium and steel in a compact package designed to give golfers that warm tingly feeling that comes from remembering a beloved club.

I get all of that but what I loved about the SLDR Mini was that, despite the larger head, it was playable off the deck. It was my 3-wood replacement and I loved nearly every minute of it until something newer came along to lure me away.

I still have it. Every now and then, I think about putting it back in the bag.

At 307cc, I do wonder if perhaps TaylorMade is trading away a bit of versatility in the interest of a good story or at the very least in the interest of making a less “mini” mini driver.

For many golfers, the 3-wood is the hardest club in the bag to hit and serving up a bigger, longer version isn’t likely to solve that issue but, then again, like others of its ilk, the TaylorMade 300 Series Mini driver isn’t for the masses.

a photo of the TaylorMade 300 Mini driver

TaylorMade 300 Mini – Who’s It For?

The target audience for the TaylorMade 300 Mini is likely that guy you know from your favorite golf forums who laments the scourge of modern 440+cc drivers and longs for the days when he had a plethora of smaller, more workable heads to choose from.

If the market offers but a single option, is it still a choice? Anyway …

I suppose it’s equally for the guy who wants to fill the 3-wood spot in his bag with the longest club he can possibly find. I definitely understand that.

It’s exactly the reason why I kept the SLDR Mini in the bag and why I’m looking forward to trying the TaylorMade 300 Series Mini every bit as much.

Pricing and Availability

The TaylorMade 300 Mini will be available in lofts of 11.5 and 13.5 degrees beginning July 15.

The stock shaft is a Mitsubishi MiDr Proto. The stock Grip is Golf Pride’s Z-Grip. As always, a multitude of no-upcharge options are available, though choosing one will almost certainly delay your order.

Retail price is $399.99

For more information, visit TaylorMadeGolf.com.

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Tony Covey

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      Mark

      3 years ago

      I love the SLDR MiniDriver – play it when struggling with regular driver and it is a great club (accurate and long). I hit this new version with multiple shafts (at a TM fitting) and did not get the same distance (10-15 yards less than the SLDR version). Was hoping the new mini was at least comparable in case something ever goes wrong with the SLDR.

      Reply

      Tom

      3 years ago

      Why not rebrand the 300cc series head as a 2-metal?

      Reply

      Scott

      3 years ago

      The Teeless driver seems to fall into this category. Mygolfspy should review it.

      Reply

      Faulker48mitch

      3 years ago

      Have a 13.5 3+ wood from Callaway 14 gram weight in front and will fly off the tee and def hit it awesome has made my 10.5 driver almost pointless

      Reply

      Spanky

      3 years ago

      I have been using the TM Aeroburner for 3 years. My driver has been on double secret probation retroactive for 3 years. The shaft is the same length as my Ping Rapture 3 wood. The Aero is not that much shorter than my driver, but it is mucho mo straighter. At 14 degrees it keeps my tee shots in the short grass. It doesn’t work as well as my Ping 16 degree Rapture 3 wood off the deck. Off the the tee the AB is significantly longer than the Rapture 3 wood. I will be very interested to try TM new mini when it comes out. Did I insert correctly that the shaft in the new mini is the same length as a standard driver? I am confused! I thought the shorter shaft was significant to adding control to the club.

      Reply

      Steve

      3 years ago

      I just picked up a 14 degree Aeroburner mini driver quite cheaply and it’s great for my home course which has tight fairways. It’s not as slim line as a 3 wood, which is good because I find those clubs to be difficult visually – the face is too shallow. My guess is that these mini drivers are really just 2 woods, what used to be called “spoons”. 2 woods were popular in the days of wooden clubs because drivers were almost impossible for the average golfer to hit well.

      Reply

      Brad

      3 years ago

      I still use the Ping 13 degree Rapture. One of the best clubs ever made IMO, and I even bought a spare head off eBay just in case.

      I tried the Original One, but it was too close to the Rapture in size and performance for me to keep it in the bag as well. The larger 307cc head on this one might give enough of a performance gap from the Rapture to make it in the bag.

      I hit the Rapture farther and more accurately than most people hit their driver, but put a driver in my hand and every other drive will either be a bomb down the fairway, or I will hit it off the planet. Not conducive to good scores..

      Reply

      Jim

      3 years ago

      I play a 370cc Vector Beta Ti as a 2-wood mini driver along with my Cobra 10.5 RadSpeed. The Vector is an excellent fairway finder, especially on tee shots where I don’t want run out. I carry it about 250 or so. It’s paired with a Tensei CK White. It flies high without ballooning. I use it on about half my tee shots. So this TaylorMade 300 mini has been on my radar since it showed up on the USGA confirming list. But the $400 price makes me hesitate. Ah, who am I fooling. It’ll be in my bag by month’s end.

      Reply

      Will Kuchta

      3 years ago

      Have you all forgotten the Izzo 2 wood? It was 12 degree, or 14 and went along with other even numbered woods, but it was definitely a driver replacement. I hit it almost as well as the driver, and more consistent. I later bought the SLDR mini but that club never worked for me athough a friend still crushes his and doesn’t carry a driver. I would love to test all of them together.

      Reply

      AC

      3 years ago

      Love the original one 11.5* – it just wasn’t longer than my ping 3 wood though, at least consistently enough to have it over a 3 wood and driver as well. If this is long then it will sell, but every mini driver I have tried, and that’s all of them, none are longer than most 3 woods and plenty shorter than a driver.

      Reply

      Trusty rusty

      3 years ago

      There are a LOT of amateurs, weekend warriors, ” I only play a dozen times a year” “I don’t need a lesson, I’ll figure it out for myself” many females, shorter stature players 5′ 3 to 5’8″ and guys that are rotund.

      That will really benefit from this product, good job TM

      Reply

      Andrew

      3 years ago

      I’m curious (and would love MGS to test) The difference between a mini driver and a shortened “regular” driver. I personally have a Sim Max that is cut down to 44.5″ and find that I make much more consistent contact. The theoretical loss in distance on my very best strikes vs a 45.75″ is not a big deal to me. Of course you need to pay attention to swingweights, but I would be interested to see this compared to a 460cc head built to 43.75″ like the mini-driver.

      Reply

      joejoe

      3 years ago

      I did exactly that with an actual (real original) Taylormade 9.5 degree 300 series driver and it’s pefect. and it only cost me $30.

      Reply

      Brad

      2 years ago

      Funny, I’m ordering a regular flex shaft for stiff flex driver so I can cut it down to 42” and swap out my longer shaft when the driver starts misbehaving. Glad you mentioned! ????

      Tim

      3 years ago

      i cannot stand the 460cc drivers of today. Thats probably why i have never upgraded from my 910 D3. Its still on the smaller side of the scale……,The 460 heads are just annoying to my eye……i may have to give this a peak but currently looking at the TSi4 as that seems to hit the sweet spot…..visually

      Reply

      Dennis

      3 years ago

      I bought the SLDR 12 degree and it is a terrific club, almost solely off the tee and almost as long as the Epic driver. I tried the original one 3 times the last 2 years and it just didn’t work despite me wanting it to. I am anxious to try the new one but have wondered if a mini having a 44 1/4 shaft might be even better off the tee. do any of you know of anyone trying a bit longer than stock shaft and how it went? thanks

      Reply

      Bob Subash

      3 years ago

      I have used both the Aeroburner and SLDR Mini driver’s and am skeptical about this new sentimental introduction. The mini drivers I used never had the distance nor the accuracy I was looking for.

      Reply

      cksurfdude

      3 years ago

      I’d try one – for off the tee for me. Actually have a Bertha Mini 1.5 but it’s got the wrong shaft in it for me. Would be fun to see if I could hit any*high nasty bombs* with this one ????

      Reply

      Rastrohm

      3 years ago

      Looks like a spin off of ah Adams Tight lies strong 3!

      Reply

      Nick

      3 years ago

      There is the TLess driver – Fujikura shaft, 13 degrees, and ‘inbetween size’ head.
      Adam quoted in their blurb as being “pretty impressed”.

      Reply

      Dbeyr Orsee

      3 years ago

      IMHO, the Taylormade r580xd should always be included in any “mini” driver discussion (I bought a “new” one for my girlfriend and she loved it for it’s smaller size – its 440cc looks tiny next to a 460 of today). I instead got a Callaway 2Deep. Michelson designed it and he carried a 3Deep with more loft as his only driver for his Open Championship victory at Muirfield (2013) but found it far too hard to hit off the fairway. This is an important note. Mini drivers are NOT 3-wood replacements, they are driver replacements for the few who believe they hit a 3-wood better or those like me who actually hit too far for most holes (for golfers who drive 220 yards). The problem with 3-woods of the past is they failed to include all the same tech as drivers. When they caught up, I gave up on Minis. Moreover, driving irons became much easier to hit (where even I can hit one). I used to carry two drivers (one Mini) and two hybrids. The hybrids are gone as well. Driving irons (often forgotten in comparisons) are also “utility irons.” It is much easier to fade, hook, sting, or pop a 2-iron than either a wood or hybrid. Now, my 3-wood would be more accurately called a 2-wood but nobody would buy a 2-wood. So, it is called “strong.” That’s MUCH better sounding. Ha ha. But, it’s smaller to be easier to hit off the turf. My 2-iron goes 225 yards so it’s what I use for tees with less room (and oh, my girlfriend finally bought a modern full size driver). My 3-wood can go as far as 290 yards so it’s often too long to drive with (tech is great). It doesn’t seem to leave room for Minis like this one today. And, I was quite a rare person to be carrying one in the first place (even you gave up on yours).

      Reply

      Randy

      3 years ago

      Interesting concept. Would this club go farther off the tee though than my super hybrid? If so would fill a gap, although where does it slot with a driver? If it’s a more consistent club then sure, could be a driver replacement for some.

      Reply

      Steve

      3 years ago

      I think the idea is that you have a 6 degree driver, a 12 degree mini driver and a 16-18 degree fairway wood as your three woods – like Phil Mickelson. Basically, you’re squeezing as much distance out of each category as possible, as long as you can actually hit those clubs.

      Reply

      Capecodbeachfrontgolfer

      3 years ago

      I still have in my bag Callaway’s Bertha Mini Driver from years ago. 14* degree with adjustable hosel. Nearly as long as any driver I have used since. STRAIGHT but will DRAW when I want it to…. dog leg left from an elevated tee. Can be used from the deck BUT there are #3 hybrids that would be better if you have abandoned your 3 wood. I kept my Tour Edge 3wood in the bag so I gave up a mid iron to carry it. I have both M2 DRIVER and MINI Callaway in bag. Mini is great insurance if the driver is acting up.

      Reply

      Steve S

      3 years ago

      Eh. This might be something a really good amateur might play, but I think it would be a waste for anyone above a 10. I’ve stopped using a 3 wood off the tee because I’m much more consistent choking down on the driver and using a 3/4 swing than teeing off with a three wood. Hard to miss the center with that kind of swing and the large face of a 460cc driver.

      Reply

      Wilson Kelly

      3 years ago

      Why dont they just make a “3 wood” @ 13° like it used to be. I’d buy it, but not at $400..

      Reply

      Jon

      3 years ago

      You mean like a Sim 2 titanium Rocket 3 wood (14•degree) that also retails for $399?????

      Reply

      lgv

      3 years ago

      Years ago, a mini-driver would have been a welcome addition. When the SLDR mini came out, I immediately bought one. It never worked for me. I thought it would be a “more accurate than driver/more distance than 3-wood” kind of club, but it never was. It was never achieved the accuracy gain, which was more important than the extra distance.

      Now that age has stolen my distance, there is no gap that this club would fill for my game.

      As for Mickelson, his whims are more course specific. I would expect him to continue using the mini on specific tracks and specific conditions, but wouldn’t expect it to be in his bag on a weekly basis.

      Reply

      MG

      3 years ago

      I have the callaway 1.5 mini and I love it. I play a course that is pretty short and tight. I have at least 5 holes that a driver is too much because of dog legs or a crossing creek. I actually have it lofted up to like 15 degrees and I put a 43 inch shaft in it (I took the 44 inch shaft that came with it and put it in my driver.) I still can hit it 260+. I just have more confidence being able to it up a bit more than a 3 wood.

      Reply

      Dani

      3 years ago

      I agree. This is exactly what I use mine TM Mini for. Driver is about 260, but that is too long for a bunch of par 4s on my short home course. The mini goes 240ish, with a big club face that is hard to miss. Also no need to ever hit a 3 wood off the deck, so the mini fills this hole nicely.

      Reply

      Dickard

      3 years ago

      So the G400 stretch doesn’t fall into the mini driver. It’s was way better than the rapture

      Reply

      JK

      3 years ago

      Been using the 13.5 degree Original One mini lately & it has worked out well. Was happy to see the new mini until I saw that the 13.5 degree is available only in right hand.

      Reply

      Pete

      3 years ago

      The Cobra Long Tom 2-wood is a mini driver. I love it and hit it off the deck and Im a 12+
      Club is 12 degree, 44 inches, and not sure head but prob 250-300.

      Reply

      Mark

      3 years ago

      I look forward to trying it. I swing my 3 wood at the same speed as my driver and have more control. This may end up replacing my current driver.

      Reply

      Ciaran

      3 years ago

      Perfect timing to my dilemma I noticed over the weekend, struggling with driver missing equally right & left, scary on the tee! But when using 3 wood of tee straight down the middle (arccos caddie recommended hitting 3 wood from tee ) lacks bit of distance but gains accuracy, so mini driver could be answer to my issue

      Reply

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