FIRST LOOK: TaylorMade launches its new 300 Mini Driver
Twenty years ago, TaylorMade released a revolutionary family of drivers known as the 300 series. As part of the release, there were three titanium-headed models of differing sizes (300 Ti, 320 Ti and 360 Ti), which was significant because it was uncommon in the marketplace at that time to have more than one head model in a single driver release.
As we know now, one size rarely fits all when it comes to how golf clubs perform for specific golfers. While most current-day drivers measure a USGA maximum 460cc, it’s now a universally accepted practice for driver manufacturers to provide multiple different head styles within one release, and this was popularized with TaylorMade’s 300 series. For example, in TaylorMade’s new SIM2 driver family, there’s a standard SIM2 head, a SIM2 Max, and a SIM2 Max D, each providing slightly different variations of the same design concepts. Other driver companies abide by the same philosophy, as well.
By offering driver options with slightly different designs, including centers-of-gravity (CG), lie angles, lofts and other variables, there’s more opportunity for all golfers to find a driver that suits their particular needs.
It’s fitting, then, that TaylorMade has returned to the “300” name for its newly launched 300 Mini Driver, since it’s a club designed to give players a different option than what’s considered as standard. Plus, the overall look of the new mini driver is a clear homage to the original.
We first saw the 300 Mini Driver in a prototype version at the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in Phil Mickelson’s golf bag. Mickelson is no stranger to using a mini driver, but he wasn’t alone in testing the new prototype; Dustin Johnson and a number of others have been testing its merits, too.
Now, TaylorMade has officially announced that it’s making the 300 Mini Driver available at retail.
The 300 Mini Driver isn’t made for the maximum possible distance, or for the ultimate control in a metalwood. If you want the most distance and largest-sized head, a traditional driver is the obvious choice. If you want greater forgiveness or performance from shots off the turf, then a fairway wood or hybrid is the play. Rather, the 300 Mini Driver occupies the space between; it is designed for distance and speed, but with its smaller head shape (307cc) and shorter length (43.75 inches), it provides more control than your typical modern driver, and more distance than a fairway wood or hybrid.
“It’s been 20 years since we last made a metalwood this size,” said Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade’s Director of Product Creation for Metalwoods and Irons. “It was only natural to call it the 300 Mini Driver to acknowledge what the 300 series meant to our brand and the game. We blended the throwback look with modern carbon, titanium and steel construction to produce a club that speaks to TaylorMade loyalists while delivering distance from the tee and fairway.”
Boosting the nostalgia factor of this “300” club, the new 300 Mini Driver has strong aesthetic similarities to the original 300 series releases. However, the new mini driver version is stacked with many of TaylorMade’s modern driver technologies to increase performance, such as TwistFace, a multi-material head construction, a thru-slot speed pocket, a V-steel sole for better turf interaction, and an adjustable loft sleeve. The 300 Mini Driver may measure around the same size as the smallest model from the original 300 series, and have a reminiscent look, but there’s also twenty years of technological improvements pumped into the new heads.
From a design perspective, the 300 Mini Driver has a lightweight carbon crown, an ultra-thin titanium face, and a 54-gram V-steel sole plate. According to TaylorMade, it’s built with a low CG to achieve high launch and low spin, and the mass in the sole plate is distributed from front-to-back in a way that helps launch the ball higher off the turf and produce more forgiveness. Since the 307cc head is larger and has a deeper face than a typical 3 wood, the launch assistance could come in handy for those planning to use this as an option off the deck.
The new TaylorMade 300 Mini Driver becomes available at retail on July 16, and it will come stock with a Mitsubishi MiDi Proto shaft (other shaft options are available) and a Golf Pride Z Grip. The loft options are 11.5 degrees in both righty and lefty, and 13.5 degrees for right-handers only. It will sell for $399.99 in stock offerings.
Is a mini driver right for you? Read this recent GOLF.com article if you’re on the fence about trying one out.
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