- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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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