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TaylorMade Original One: A new twist on the mini driver

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It’s been a while since TaylorMade launched its last mini driver, and with the new “Original One” nicknamed Pittsburgh Persimmon (a nod to both the VERY first metal wood and a city known for its steel) you could say this club is 40 years in the making.

There are not a lot of golf companies that get to 25 years, let alone 40, and in 2019 TaylorMade is celebrating its Ruby anniversary in a BIG way. We have already seen the P7TW irons and a HUGE green jacket win to go along with them, and now with the Original One, we are getting a lot of tech into a product designed to help a lot more golfers than a set of blade irons.

As speculated a few weeks ago by yours truly in another piece: Spotted: TM Original One Mini Driver, I’ll pat myself on the back and say that many of the design and technology features I took from that single black and white photo have been confirmed, minus the titanium crown part – its actually carbon fiber. (Hey, I can’t be right all the time)

TaylorMade Original One Technology

I’ll let TaylorMade explain the technology story

“With the Original One Mini Driver, engineers have utilized key product technologies found in many of the company’s most notable metalwood offerings intended to deliver a faster, more forgiving and adjustable product. It all starts with a revolutionary tri-material construction, comprised of a titanium body, 50g steel sole plate and TaylorMade’s instantly-recognizable carbon composite crown. The combination of these three materials creates an ultra-low CG for distance and playability.”

The heavy steel soleplate was my biggest speculation beyond TwistFace, and now we know they are utilizing this extremely heavy sole. To put that into perspective, 50g of mass is roughly 24 percent of a 208g clubhead — an assumed mass based on the stock length and swing weight spec. That’s a pretty easy way to drop CG and push mass to the outside to increase MOI — something many people that will primarily use this off the tee will want and need.

Additional features of the “Original One” Mini include

  • Loft Sleeve with ±2° loft adjustability – get ready for easy shaft testing 🙂
  • Twist Face Technology to provide the ultimate path to straight distance – brought in from other metal woods
  • Inverted Cone Technology – their tried & tested face design to promote ball speed on off-center hits

Specs, pricing, and availability

Available for preorder starting today, April 16 and at retail beginning May 1, the Original One Mini Driver ($399.99 USD) will be offered in 11.5-degree or 13.5-degree lofts and come equipped with Mitsubishi’s Diamana F Limited shafts in 55g (R), 65g (S) or 75g (X) flexes at 43.75” at a D3 swing weight. The stock grip is Golf Pride MCC Decade grips in black & blood orange. The Original One Mini Driver will also be available through TaylorMade’s custom program, allowing for numerous additional custom shaft and grip options.

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Benny

    May 5, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Well said Larry and Ian. Great article and posts. I have my SLdR mini in my trunk. I use it when I am in a tight course. About as ling as a 3w but I can find the curtesy cut if need be. I can cut and draw it and wish I had a driver set up the same way. Anyways these are just 2w guys and simply marketed differently so people buy them. But 2w were always bigger and slightly higher loft. Not as long but finding fairway is much better than woods.

  2. Funkaholic

    May 3, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    I hit the demo at the pgass on the stiff stock diamana. This may replace my 3w.

  3. JP

    Apr 30, 2019 at 11:35 am

    $399 for this latest gimmick? No thanks…
    .
    You’re better off just learning to hit a driver and fairway wood properly.

    • Dan

      May 2, 2019 at 8:49 am

      They’ll be $199 by July

    • Funkaholic

      May 3, 2019 at 8:05 pm

      Just because you are poor doesn’t mean this won’t be a fun club to own.

  4. David Mac Iver

    Apr 17, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    Larry asked my question- how many CC’s. After playing golf for 62 years, I still can’t get used to 460 CC heads and go to my 13 deg. Rocket Ballz, or my old Callaway Deuce, when I have driver woes.

    • David Mac Iver

      Apr 18, 2019 at 5:19 pm

      Carl-Magnus is correct 275 CC’s, limited production, available May 1st. My local off course golf shop owner told me to watch that date since he is only expecting a few to be available in store.

  5. TeeBone

    Apr 17, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    This will be a big hit initially for the many people who can’t hit a driver for beans who think that a shorter club and a smaller head is the answer. It isn’t. The problem is your crappy swing.

    • James Calkins

      May 25, 2019 at 9:47 pm

      I can’t disagree. However, with limited practice time, I’d rather work on my standard iron – fairway wood swing (descending blow) and use that same swing for my driver, rather than practice what for me feel like a lot of changes in order to accommodate the upward path needed for current drivers.

      I tried the Original One today at Golf Galaxy. The significantly shorter shaft, and the ability to use a 3-wood swing rather than a driver swing, worked for me. I’m going to go back for a detailed fitting and then buy one. We’re moving soon to a house on a fairly narrow, tree-lined course. I’d much rather hit my driver 255 and be in the fairway almost every time, compared to maybe 280 but with ‘way more dispersion.

      The other issue is club count. Going with the Original One, I’ll be 5i, 4H, 5W, driver; compared to 5i, 4H, 5W, 3W, driver. So I’ll open up a club to use at the low end of the bag – a good thing to have.

      Maybe I’m just one of a minority, but I’m really glad TaylorMade put this club together.

  6. Larry

    Apr 17, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    How many cc is the club head

  7. Dennis Sanderson

    Apr 17, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    I use the SLDR 12 degree Mini on tighter courses and in cooler weather. I believe it is quite lively and plenty accurate. Do you strongly expect the new one will be longer and more accurate and/or forgiving? With the loft adjustable on the new one would we be able to use a shaft longer than on the SLDR but still shorter than length of regular drivers? I would certainly like to try out that combination.

  8. Travis

    Apr 17, 2019 at 7:42 am

    I already play my 460cc driver at 44”, but I’m worried I would lose distance

  9. Borat

    Apr 17, 2019 at 7:19 am

    The club looks boring! Like my wife.

    • JP

      Apr 21, 2019 at 2:50 am

      Trade it in. Especially when you find a 50% trade in bonus!

  10. Steve

    Apr 16, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    Will this be any better than my 15 degree RBZ2 3 Wood? Looks way cooler, that’s for sure.

  11. Marc

    Apr 16, 2019 at 10:45 am

    I’m sure a lot of people are gonna hate on this because it is another mini driver. The reality is that many people can’t hit their big driver worth a damn, but their ego keeps it in the bag. My G400 3W is freakishly long and I hit it a lot in tournament rounds because of how long and accurate it is. If you constantly stripe it down the middle with a 3w, it wears down your competitors. I play so many events with people that shouldn’t hit drivers on a majority of the holes, but they do, and they make bogey or worse. Fact is, a lot of people would do best to replace their driver with something like this, because it will likely go further and straighter because they will have so much more confidence while hitting it. Standing on the tee with near 100% confidence is truly a weapon that many people don’t have.

    • Milo

      Apr 16, 2019 at 11:28 am

      I love by Callaway mini bertha driver, I’ll be interested to see how this stacks up to it.

      • Grayson

        Apr 16, 2019 at 6:49 pm

        I also have the Bertha Mini and absolutely love it. It’ll be hard to top it. My only wish is for maybe a 40cc smaller clubhead.

        • Milo

          Apr 16, 2019 at 7:45 pm

          I agree, if I had a problem getting the ball in the air it would be tough to hit off the turf but I actually have the opposite problem, haha.

    • Ian

      Apr 17, 2019 at 8:05 pm

      Most sensible comment I’ve read for ages in regards to Drivers. I agree most are just not that consistent with the long stick. But one good shot in every 5 drives is enough for some to still keep it in the bag

    • Larry69

      Apr 17, 2019 at 11:00 pm

      Great post. Confidence as a weapon. Awesome. Golf is beautiful because it’s played in the brain just as much if not more than physical ability.

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Morning 9: Latest memo from Tour to players | Phil’s post-Match perspective | Greg Norman’s regrettable take

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1. Latest “bubble” memo
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard details the most recent communique from Tour to its players…“In a memo sent to players on Wednesday, tournament director Michael Tothe outlined many of the protocols that will be required when play resumes on June 11 at Colonial including the four Fort Worth, Texas, hotels that will create the foundation of the circuit’s “bubble” for the week.”
  • “The core of the PGA Tour’s plan to return was always about testing, but it’s a fine line to walk. In two weeks, at the Charles Schwab Challenge, we’ll find out if it will be enough.”
  • “Players are allowed to stay in individual RVs or rental homes but they are being encouraged to assure the health and safety of their accommodations if they choose to stay outside the bubble.”
  • “Players were also informed where COVID-19 testing will occur when they arrive in Fort Worth as well as meal options at Colonial, which will be limited to grab-and-go lunches in order to follow safety protocols.”
2. Little John finishes second at Crooked Stick 
Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star…Daly II made that same walk on Wednesday, up the 18th fairway for the final round of the inaugural Dye Junior Golf Invitational at Crooked Stick.”
  • “I think a lot of guys have re-watched the 1991 PGA tournament,” Daly II said. “I watched it every night before the tournament. (Watching him) walk down the 18th with all of the fans everywhere was pretty cool. He started as the ninth alternate and didn’t expect to play. For him to win, it was a ridiculous story. He loves it.”
  • “Daly II put together a remarkable tournament in his own right, finishing a three-way tie for second place behind winner John Marshall Butler of Louisville, Kentucky. Daly II was 4 over for the two-day, 54-hole event, which featured 33 of the top high school boys players in the country and 33 of the same on the girls’ side.”
3. Phil open to wearing mic
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, Mickelson admitted that he didn’t expect the same level of banter during a typical Tour event with a seven-figure prize on the line, but he’d nonetheless be willing to broadcast his inside-the-ropes dialogue.”
  • “I would be open to the idea because of how it’s being received, and some of the insight and so forth,” Mickelson said. “But you don’t have the play between individuals. I had a partner, and Tom and I could talk back and forth. And maybe you could get some of that with the caddie, but having a partner is much more intimate and you have much better conversation.”
4. …wants annual Match
AP report…”Phil Mickelson, fresh off the success of Sunday’s charity golf exhibition with Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, says he would like to see “The Match” become an annual event.”
  • “I think you could showcase guys like Steph Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities,” Mickelson told the Los Angeles Times in a column published Wednesday. “Those personalities are going to come out with this event. Or you could have someone who loves the game and is competitive but is really entertaining like Larry David and Bill Murray. I think that could shine.”
5. More audience info
Interesting stuff from Geoff Shackelford…“According to Showbuzzdaily.com, almost 1/3 of The Match 2’s audience was in the coveted 18-49 demo and the number was even better on on TruTV, also meaning there are people of any age group who know how to find TruTV”
  • “About 30% of The Match’s audience landed in the 18-49 demo despite the 44.5 average age of the participants…The numbers for TaylorMade Driving Relief with a foursome averaging 29.5 years”
  • “That’s 25% of the almighty buyers for a younger, supposedly more millennial-friendly group of golfers. And a grand total of (at least) 860,000 fewer viewers 18-49.  While not a huge difference in the percentage department, The Match did rout Driving Relief in overall audience and even took chipped away at NASCAR’s ratings.”

Full piece.

6. After a long layoff, how do the pros play?
Dylan Beirne, 15th Club for PGATour.com, examines the question…“As we might expect, there’s a clear relationship between performance and the number of weeks a player has been off. We can analyze how well players perform by comparing our estimate of their ability (how we would expect them to perform) to how they actually performed.”
  • “Generally, players taking small breaks of two weeks or less are marginally better than expected, while longer breaks result in an average drop in performance of between 0.1 and 0.2 strokes per round. For context, a drop of 0.2 strokes per round is about the gap between 100th- and 135th-ranked players in the world. It’s a significant change, but not enormous.”
  • “Additionally, the drop in performance after a 10-20 week gap is quite consistent across different levels of players. Top-50 players in the world are affected by a similar amount to those outside the top 50.”
7. A really bad take from Greg Norman
I mean, what else can you call it? A man who has a history of obtuseness and putting his fin in his mouth outdid himself with unfounded speculation about the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash in an interview with Michael Bamberger…“I asked Norman about the January helicopter crash in Los Angeles that killed all nine people aboard, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, among them. I asked Norman if he had any insight, from his own experience as a helicopter pilot, and as an elite athlete who has flown often in helicopters as a passenger, into the tragedy.”
  • “Yes – yes,” he said. His voice was sober. “Probably pilot error and pressure from the back,” Norman said. Norman could imagine the legendary basketball player saying, “‘Get me through this; get me there. I’ve got to get my daughter to this game.’
  • …”My instructor and I had a saying, ‘If you can’t see through it don’t fly through it.’ If I was flying to Doral or Orlando or Naples and there was fog, we just put it down and waited it out.”
8. Sprint to the Cup
Ben Everill at PGATour.com…“The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting cancellations and postponements of tournaments leaves just 11 eligible tournaments over a 10-week stretch for players to qualify for the Playoffs and a chance at the $15 million bonus that comes with the season-long FedExCup crown.”
  • “While the top 125 will not double as the cutoff for TOUR cards next season in this reduced schedule, it will remain the mark to get into THE NORTHERN TRUST, the first of three Playoffs events in the chase for the FedExCup.”
  • “Gone is the luxury of extended rest between starts for those sitting way back on the list, such as Koepka, who was just starting to find his feet again on a return from injury when the pandemic halted play in March.”

 

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Morning 9: Improving golf coverage | Oral history of TW’s “best shot” | Nichols: Charity matches were great…but why no women?

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1. Match-inspired innovations for improving golf coverage
Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan with a few thoughts…Mid-round interviews…There’s no really good reason beyond mild annoyance to the players that this couldn’t work, even in the current COVID-19 environment, provided that safe social distancing is practiced. In the major team sports, coaches are obliged to give interviews, and players will occasionally speak at halftime or between periods. There are no “coaches” in that same sense in golf, but the game happens at a slower pace, and a 60-second walking interview between holes is not too much to ask. I don’t think there’s a reasonable argument that it’s overly disruptive, especially if planned in advance.”
  • …”Mic’d up players and caddies…In exhibitions past, we’ve witnessed players with live microphones, but the purpose behind it is dreaded “banter,” which typically comes across as hollow, forced and not very funny. But if players and caddies wore mics during a round, producers could find riveting audio that captures natural conversation or impromptu strategy sessions. Phil serving as a mentor for Tom Brady was riveting and hopefully stokes our appetite for similar mid-round insight…”
2. An oral history of Tiger’s “best shot” 
Cameron Morfit for PGATour.com…(This is just the introduction to a fantastic piece that talks to Bob Weeks of TSN and Steve Williams, among others!)…”Had it slipped between Tiger Woods’ 6-iron and golf ball, one rogue grain could have sunk his hopes of winning the RBC Canadian Open in 2000, becoming the first since Lee Trevino in 1971 to win golf’s Triple Crown – the U.S., British, and Canadian Opens in the same year.”
  • “So was it the ultra-fine margin? The stakes? The absurdly improbable physics of the shot itself?”
  • “Yes. Yes. And yes. All of these things compelled Scott Verplank, among others, to call it “the greatest shot I’ve ever seen in my life,” Woods’ 218-yard masterstroke from the wet sand at the par-5 18th at Glen Abbey. Woods’ caddie Steve Williams would return to the bunker once the commotion had died down, still struggling to get his head around what he’d seen. Others have made the same pilgrimage and tried to visualize what Woods had, tried to feel what Woods felt, for this was magic.”
3. Thrive? Struggle? Survive? 
Golfweek’s Adam Schupak contemplates what’s ahead for the golf industry…”These are strange times living through a global pandemic. Suddenly, golf courses are packed in a way the industry hasn’t experienced since Tiger Woods was revolutionizing the game in the late 1990s and former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem was predicting 50 million golfers by 2020.”
  • “Well, that didn’t happen, but golf has been given this new-found seal of approval highlighting its healthy aspects and its ability to provide safe recreation. As courses across the country re-open there is pent up demand among golfers to get out and play. Tee sheets are mostly filled and former golfers and those trying out the sport for the first time are emerging out of the woodwork desperate to be in the sunshine and doing something, anything that has been deemed “COVID OK.” There is renewed belief that golf can grab a bigger piece of the pie among recreational and entertainment options.”
4. Where were the women?
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols wonders…How can there be downside to two Sundays of golf taking center stage and raising mega-money for COVID-19 relief?”
  • “Well, there is no a downside, but it could’ve been more. As LPGA player Mel Reid tweeted during the TaylorMade Driving Relief Challenge, the broadcasts could’ve represented all of golf.”
  • “They could’ve included women.”
  • “…It would’ve been great to see an LPGA player and her sponsorship partners get in on the action in a similar fashion.”
  • “The TaylorMade event could’ve been a mixed-team format. Maria Fassi and Paula Creamer are both in Florida. Some of TaylorMade’s female stars could’ve also called in during the broadcast as Jon Rahm did. Staffers who could’ve called in include Natalie Gulbis, Muni He and Charley Hull. Sung Hyun Park, who speaks limited English, was involved in a charity exhibition in South Korea with current No. 1 Jin Young Ko. Women’s golf frequently takes center stage in that part of the world.”
5. 80% of golf retail open
From the NGF Q…”The number of physical golf retail outlets that are back in business continues to increase – from off-course stores and specialty club-fitters to green grass pro shops.”
  • “Approximately 66% of golf course pro shops are open at facilities that are open to play, the equivalent of almost 9 million square feet, although some states and counties have limitations on the number of customers permitted at one time. That percentage is up from 36% at the start of the month, but is unchanged over the past week as pro shops in at least 10 states (including Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois and New York) have government mandates that say they must remain closed inside to customers.”
  • “Meanwhile, approximately 79% of off-course golf retail stores were open (in terms of total square footage) through May 25. This is up from 73% last week and 59% two weeks ago. In early April, only about 4% of the 6.5 million square feet of total off-course golf specialty space was open to in-store traffic. Roughly 81% of all off-course retail stores are now open to customers.”
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GolfWRX Classifieds Spotlight (05/27/20): Adams, Mizuno, Ping

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Gator5 – Adams CMB Irons

Forged – check, Multi-Material construction – check, cool as all heck because these clubs are sweet and Adams made some really cool gear – check!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Adams CMB Irons

Member Ksears – Brand New Mizuno MP20 Irons

Did someone say brand new Mizunos??? What else could you really want from a forged blade beside being meticulously crafted and forged in Japan – as well as being priced lower than retail.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link hereMP 20 Irons

Member 1hellaofashot – Ping G410 7 Wood

Speaking from experience let me just say this “stop denying the inevitable and embrace the 7 Wood” It’s endlessly versatile, more forgiving than a hybrid, and because this one for sale is a Ping G410 it is adjustable. Here’s your chance to dial in your own par 5 killer.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Ping 7 Wood

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds 

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