How a club dubbed ‘Deebo’ revitalized this Tour pro’s game

taylormade 300 mini driver

The 300 Mini Driver helped get Dougherty's tee game on track during the 2023 Korn Ferry seaosn.

GOLF

If Kevin Dougherty finds himself in contention on the weekend at an upcoming PGA Tour event, listen closely to see if he asks his caddie for “Deebo” during a pivotal moment. It’s not uncommon for pros to bestow nicknames upon their most trusted clubs, but the Tour rookie might have the most creative sobriquet for his TaylorMade 300 Mini Driver.

“Its nickname is ‘Deebo’ for Deebo Samuel,” Dougherty said of his 300 Mini in a Korn Ferry Tour social clip.

For those who don’t follow the NFL, Samuel is listed as a wide receiver on the San Francisco 49ers’ depth chart, but he’s carved out a role as a jack-of-all-trades who can literally do it all. During the 2021 season, Samuel coined the term “wide back” to describe his role that saw him go from playing wide receiver to running back midway through the 2021 season. Samuel is a critical cog for the 49ers.

The same can be said of Dougherty’s 300 Mini Driver, a club initially designed to fill the gap between a driver and 3-wood. Released in 2021, the 300 Mini sported a 307cc head and 43.75-inch shaft. The goal behind the creation was simple: give golfers a reliable, more forgiving secondary option off the tee.

taylormade 300 mini driver
At address, the 300 Mini Driver looks more like a driver than a fairway wood. GOLF

Dougherty found the club to be the perfect solution to his 3-wood woes that plagued him during his time on the mini-tours.

“I struggled off the tee with 3-woods just because of speed and wind,” Dougherty said. “It doesn’t really match up. So I decided to give this thing a try.”

Doughtery confirmed he not only uses the club off the tee but around “closely mown areas” as well when he needs a chip to come out low and find the putting surface in a hurry. Hence, the “Deebo” moniker to describe the club’s ability to do a little bit of everything.

What makes Dougherty’s Mini particularly interesting is the playing length of the club, which is, in his words, “about 7-wood length” (think around 41-42 inches). The standard Mini plays at 43.75 inches, but Dougherty has found the reduction in shaft length to be a particular benefit when it comes to impact consistency and finding the fairway.

Even at the shorter length, Dougherty doesn’t have a problem pumping it 285 yards with the Mini, making it a strong choice when he needs to be center-cut.

While the Mini remains a rare sight on the PGA Tour, several pros have learned to embrace the technology and design, including TaylorMade staffer Tommy Fleetwood, who currently employs a 13.5-degree BRNR Mini on a regular basis.

After finishing 22nd on the 2022 Korn Ferry points list, Dougherty will increase the total by one when he tees it up on Tour.

“It kind of looks like a kid’s club, but I just replaced this for my 3-wood,” he said. “It’s been a game changer, and I think everyone’s starting to catch on and get them.”

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JWall

Jonathan Wall

Golf.com Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour. He can be reached at jonathan.wall@golf.com.