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TaylorMade extends AeroBurner line with Mini Driver

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TaylorMade’s AeroBurner Mini Driver exists in the space between the company’s drivers and fairway woods, and that’s the beauty of it.

Buzz around the Mini Driver category reached new heights after the 2015 Honda Classic, where it earned its first PGA Tour win. Padraig Harrington used TaylorMade’s original Mini Driver — a 12-degree SLDR S — as a driver alternative in route to his first PGA Tour victory since 2008.

[quote_box_center]”It’s too soon to tell, but it could be a category that becomes as popular as our rescue clubs,” said TaylorMade’s Senior Director of Product Creation Brian Bazzel. “Demand [for the SLDR S Mini Driver] was greater than we expected.” [/quote_box_center]

The new Mini Driver has a marginally smaller head size — 253 cubic centimeters, which is 9 cubic centimeters less than the original. That makes it substantially bigger than a fairway wood, for more forgiveness from the tee, but small enough that golfers can hit it off the ground if necessary.

The biggest changes to the club, however, revolve not around its size, but its sole and its shape.

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At address: TaylorMade’s AeroBurner Mini Driver (left) and AeroBurner Driver.

Like the AeroBurner metal woods, the AeroBurner Mini Driver uses the company’s latest Speed Pocket, a deep slot that extends across the entirety of its sole. According to Bazzel, the Speed Pocket increases the AeroBurner’s sweet spot, allowing it to launch the ball with slightly more ball speed and a little less spin (about 100-to-200 rpm) than the SLDR Mini Driver.

The sole of the club is also flatter, a change that will make the Mini Driver easier to use from the fairway and light rough, and it borrows the more aerodynamic shape of the AeroBurner metal woods. Its crown has a raised center that gently slopes from the front of the club to the back, and a “fin” on its hosel are both said to improve aerodynamics.

Related: Click here to learn about TaylorMade’s AeroBurner irons. 

Golfers comparing the AeroBurner Mini Driver to the SLDR S Mini Driver will notice that the AeroBurner shape at address is more symmetrical, whereas the SLDR S was more elongated in its back toe section.

As for the results? Our internal testing has seen some golfers hit the Mini Driver just as far and much straighter than their regular driver, but there are a lot of different variables at play. They include:

  • The Mini Driver’s 43.5-inch length, which is roughly 2-inches shorter than a driver.
  • Its smaller head size, which is easier for many golfers to square at impact.
  • The increased loft, relative to a driver, which helps many golfers launch the ball higher and with less spin — one of the keys to more distance.

The bottom line is this: If you find yourself using your lowest-lofted fairway wood primarily from the tee, why wouldn’t you want its head to be bigger, and thus more forgiving?

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At address: TaylorMade’s AeroBurner Mini Driver and AeroBurner Mini Driver TP (right).

The AeroBurner Mini Driver ($279) is available in lofts of 12, 14 and 16 degrees (RH only) and comes stock with Matrix’s Speed RUL-Z 60 shaft.

A TP version ($349), which has a flatter lie angle and more open face angle for more fade bias, is also available in lofts of 12 and 14 degrees (both RH only). It comes stock with a Matrix White Tie MSS 70X4 shaft.

They’ll be in stores March 27.

Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about the AeroBurner Mini Drivers in our forum. 

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. RG

    Mar 12, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    I have an old school Callaway Big bertha 11 degree club. It was considered a ladies driver. I put a neww shaft in it and let me tell u off the deck or of the tee I’ll put it against any of these new “mini drivers.” It is hot and very accurate. This is not a new concept and there are clubs out there that are better and 1/3 the cost.

  2. james

    Mar 11, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    cant wait to get one of these! oh wait I cant as I’m a leftie

  3. Justin

    Mar 11, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    It’s really frustrating that it seems for this year, TaylorMade feels that there are no lefties who want TP clubs. As a lefty whose miss is a draw, I need the square to open face of a TP model.

  4. Leon

    Mar 11, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Cut your driver shaft to 43 inches, your driver will be much more forgiving than the mini ones. It will hit the ball much longer too, not only because of the lower loft of the driver, but also due to the higher COR from the Titanium face than the steel face.

    Plus, it will not cost you a stupid $300, but rather a reasonable $20 for a new grip and some lead tapes to bring the swing weight back to your comfort zone.

  5. GW

    Mar 11, 2015 at 11:45 am

    My favorite “mini driver” of all time is the original R7 line. I don’t see a point in buying a brand new driver that is smaller just so I can fill a gap between a driver and a 3 wood. Now, if I hit it as far as my current driver, or close to it, and kept it in the fairway more often then I might be interested in that.

  6. gwillis7

    Mar 11, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I always struggle from the tee….use a jetspeed and it has given me my best results (I only slice 3 out of 10 times from the tee now lol). But I will give this a try, if I can keep most my shots straight and only lose 15 yards or so I would jump on board. Not a TM guy, I am a Ping fan by far, but don’t mind their product cycle and I think a lot of their stuff looks good (not all, but a lot).

    • gwillis7

      Mar 11, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      Ok I just saw on TM website that they are gonna make aeroburner irons….The loft of the 4 iron is 19 degrees…19!!
      The PW is 43 and the AW is 49….

      I don’t care about them coming out with new stuff every 6 months, I don’t have to buy it. But I don’t like the fact that lofts have gotten absolutely crazy….4 iron that is 19 degrees, that’s just stupid

  7. Chad

    Mar 11, 2015 at 10:49 am

    I bet this thing is stupid long.

  8. Cally

    Mar 11, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Stop this product cycle comments….if you don’t like it don’t buy it, easy as that.

    • marty

      Mar 11, 2015 at 11:03 am

      Those are guys who are cheap and can’t afford new clubs.

  9. Josh

    Mar 11, 2015 at 10:07 am

    That didn’t take long.

    Looks like the market cycle is getting even faster.

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Whats in the Bag

Phillip Knowles WITB 2022 (September)

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Driver: Titleist TSR3 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Pro White 50 TX

3-wood: Titleist TSR2 (15 degrees @ 14.25)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X

7-wood: Titleist TSR2 (21 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec 8 X

Irons: Titleist T200 (2-4), Titleist T100 (5-6), Titleist 620 CB (7), Titleist 620 MB (8-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour 125 S+

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (46-10F, 50-12F, 54-10S), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (58-T)
Shafts: KBS Tour 125 S+ (46), KBS 610 Wedge 125 (50-58)

Putter: Scotty Cameron F-5
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT Tour

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360, Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

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Whats in the Bag

Kevin Roy WITB 2022 (September)

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Driver: Ping G425 LST (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana PD 70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 80 TX

Hybrid: PXG 0311 Gen5 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 90 6.5

Irons: Titleist T100 (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (50-08F), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (54-M, 58-L)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (50),  True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (54-58)

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo s5
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Flatso 1.0

Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord, Golf Pride ZGrip Cord

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Whats in the Bag

Harry Hall WITB 2022 (September)

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Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS (9 degrees @8)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 7 TX

3-wood: Callaway Epic Speed (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X Even Flow Riptide LX Proto 70, Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X

7-wood: Callaway Epic Speed (21 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Orange 85 TX

Irons: Callaway Apex TCB (4-9)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: Callaway JAWS Raw (50-10S, 56-10S), Callaway Jaws Full Toe Raw (64-10 @62)
Shafts: Project X 6.5 (50-56), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S200 (64)

Putter: Odyssey O-Works #7 W

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

Grips: Golf Pride ZGrip Cord

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