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WRX Spotted: TaylorMade “Original One” Mini Driver

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It’s been said before — what’s old is new again, and in the case of what just popped up on the USGA Conforming List, it appears the new “Original One” from TaylorMade could be 40 years in the making.

Although we have no official word from TaylorMade on any of the specifics of “Original One” yet, there sure are a lot of conclusions we could draw from the standard single black and white image that accompanies a new inclusion on the conforming list.

  • First off its clearly a Mini Driver (hopefully this proves I’m literate now). We’re not sure of the CCs of this club, but based off the previously released AeroBurner Mini, we would expect it to fall between the 255-300cc mark. Which on a side note is kinda funny because 300cc used to be considered an oversized club…
  • It’s adjustable: Unlike previous iterations of the “Mini,” this club will be fully adjustable. This means that it will have adjustability +/- two degrees from the standard lofts, currently listed as 11.5 and 13.5 degrees and on the USGA list; fantastic news for anyone concerned about fitting or shaft testing.
  • Original One (Pittsburgh Persimmon): Like I said off the top, this club is 40 years in the making because 2019 is TaylorMade Golf’s 40th Anniversary. The name is a throwback to its Original metal driver — the Pittsburgh Persimmon. (A TM spokesperson did confirm “This is a cool product to celebrate our 40th anniversary…more info to follow)
  • Technology aplenty: Just from the sole alone, we can clearly see that the “Original One” has hosel adjustability, a speed pocket, and a titanium crown. This is pure speculation but it will be interesting to see if it will also include TwistFace and the company’s new speed injected face.
  • Screws on the sole: To maximize mass properties, these screws could be holding a very heavy sole plate to the bottom of the club to move mass to the furthest reaches of the club’s shell. Again this is speculation, but taking a close look at the lines of the black and white photo (I’ve been staring at it for 10 minutes now), I have an inkling this might be the case.

This is not the first time TaylorMade has brought a mini driver to market. There was the SLDR Mini in 2014, and after that, there was the AeroBurner. Both clubs were great for both professional and recreational players alike to give another confidence inspiring option for off the tee — and for the truly brave souls with some speed to hit off the deck.

We will probably be seeing this on tour very soon as players fine-tune their setups for major season. In other words, we shouldn’t have to wait long to see our technological speculation confirmed (or refuted).

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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.

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Brian Moyse

    Apr 15, 2019 at 1:35 am

    I had one of those SLDR’s but couldn’t get any benefit from it so changed to an older TM R7 and W/S Ti td5, love them both. Had a lot of time for TM and good to see Tiger using them.

  2. LoPro

    Mar 28, 2019 at 2:00 am

    From the looks of where the screws are placed, this one has “Speed Injected Anus” for a better pounding effect and at least 20 more “Crap” yards ????

  3. Bob Castelline

    Mar 27, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    I carried the original Pittsburgh Persimmon. Carried it for a long time (back in the days when you didn’t change drivers every year). I wish I still had my old Taylormade. Loved that stick. I happen to be a guy who hits his 3-wood more solidly and more consistently than his driver, so this club makes sense for me, if it feels right. Can’t wait to test it out (because after all, my current driver is now a year old, which means it’s sorely out of date).

  4. Mike Cleland

    Mar 27, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    Wonderful…get it out…

  5. HDTVMAN

    Mar 27, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    I had the Callaway Bertha Mini and really liked it. 3-Wood length shaft and easy to hit. Traded it when the Fusion was introduced. But the new drivers are so forgiving, I don’t see the reason for this club.

  6. J Mytro

    Mar 27, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Loved the MINI DRIVER when it came out but switch back to Tmad driver and cut 2″ off the shaft for more control and distance.

  7. joro

    Mar 27, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    April Fools !!!!!!!!

  8. juststeve

    Mar 26, 2019 at 11:21 am

    I carried the original “Original One” back in the day. Used it as a three wood. Easy to hit off the turf and very long. First mewtl headed wood I ever owned.

  9. Richard Douglas

    Mar 26, 2019 at 2:53 am

    I’ve been gaming the SLDR Mini since its introduction. It’s the only wood I carry besides the driver–it’s 3-iron through LW from there. I love it and use it as my fairway insurance device.

  10. Ricky

    Mar 25, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    Reliable insider sources report that this club is specifically coming to market in advance of the Masters as Augusta National will announce that the maximum size of clubs for this years tournament will be 300ccs. It is rumored that the announcement from Augusta is coming on April 1st. Instead of rolling back the ball the club has reportedly decided to take a stand against increasing distance in the game through the size of drivers and not the “Masters Ball” as discussed by many talking heads last year. All other manufacturers are working on similar products for their staff players at the Masters.

    • Simms

      Mar 25, 2019 at 9:01 pm

      Now I have to say they are going to announce this April 1st?? that would be crazy, if they have equipment requirements they would let the pros know a lot more in advance then that…do you really think giving the player less then a month to get a new club and put it in play…if this was so how come no one was hitting one on the range or playing one in the last few tournaments…reliable insider sources from one of the most private golf clubs in the world..Yea I believe that..

    • Richard Douglas

      Mar 26, 2019 at 2:50 am

      Ahh, the ground-breaking April 1st announcement. Of course.

      Did you know the word “gullible” is not in the dictionary. Go ahead, look it up.

  11. Curt

    Mar 25, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    Time for them to be the size pros have to use. Maybe they’ll have to think a bit more about swinging as hard as possible.

  12. ND Hickman

    Mar 25, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Now waiting on Callaway to re-release some form of Big Bertha Mini / Phrakenwood … which I will probably end up buying anyway.

    • Pack7483

      Mar 26, 2019 at 8:28 am

      If they would add jailbreak I will definitely buy.

  13. Shallowface

    Mar 25, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Love it! I was around for the original “Original One.” Maybe 125cc. The club was 43 inches with a steel shaft, and with a Top Flite 300 yard carries were not out of the question. Then on long par 5s you could hit it again for the second shot as the face depth was around 1.25 inches and the loft was 12 degrees. I didn’t work for TaylorMade, but letting guys hit my club sure sold a lot of them for them.

  14. C

    Mar 25, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Cool! Can’t wait! TM is the best! Beat the rest!

    • Jon

      Mar 30, 2019 at 7:51 am

      You have been brainwashed by TM’s marketing, get help.

  15. JP

    Mar 25, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Too late. The mini driver craze has ended. They didn’t realize, we’re at the tail end of the driving iron craze. You get rich knowing what’s coming NEXT!

    • Mike Rohmann

      Mar 25, 2019 at 5:05 pm

      I don’t necessarily agree. I have been gaming a 16 degree Slider mini driver for 4 years. It’s a superb club off the tee and is easy to get in the air from the turf. I have 1 that I game and another back up. I think that for many this club is a great alternative to any kind of driving iron. I have tried many and this is much easier for the regular play to use.

      • Alex

        Mar 25, 2019 at 8:20 pm

        Why do you play a 16 degree mini driver?

        • B

          Mar 26, 2019 at 3:24 am

          He obviously has problems getting it up

        • Benny

          Mar 26, 2019 at 8:41 am

          I play the same. 16* Mini as my 3w. Super easy off the tee and has great height while being able to shape it well. Off the deck I needed the 16* to get some loft.
          I had a 12* and 14* but the 16* was best for me as I am a low ball hitter. I have tried replacing it with a normal 3w but I have such issues with how the club sits and why I tend to game the Sldr Mini.

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Equipment

American Express, Abu Dhabi Golf Championship Tour Truck Report: BK to Srixon? MCA has a ton of new shafts, Rickie goes graphite

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TaylorMade

Most of the big action for Team TaylorMade is taking place in Abu Dhabi with Rory and Tommy in the field. After extensive weeks of testing, this is what they have in the bag this week

Tommy Fleetwood WITB

Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 (10.5 degrees @8.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 70 TX (tipped 1 inch, 44.75 inches)

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Rocket 3 (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 70 TX (42.5 inches)

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 (19 degrees @18.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 80 TX (41.25 inches)

Irons: TaylorMade P7TF (4-PW) 
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Wedges: Callaway MD5 Jaws Raw (52-10S, [email protected], 60-08T)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue  S400

Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro 3
Grip: SuperStroke Mid Slim 2.0

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (D, 3W, 5W, 7W, and wedges), Iomic Sticky @1pm (irons)

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x ’21 Proto

Rory McIlroy WITB

Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 (10.5 degrees @8)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (45.5 inches, 59.25 lie, D4)

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 (15 degrees @13.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80 TX (43.25 inches, 58 lie, D4)

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 (19 degrees @ 18.25)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7MB (4-PW)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 7.0 (6.5 in PW)

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09SB, 56-12SB, 60-08LB)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper (34.25 inches, 2.5 loft, 70 lie)

Ball: 2021 TaylorMade TP5x (#22)

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (58R 1+1, logo down)

Matthew Wolff WITB

Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 Max (10.5 degrees @9)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD TP 7 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Titanium (15 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD XC 8 X

Irons: TaylorMade P7MC (3-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (50-09SB, 56-12SB, 60-09LB)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Grips: Golf Pride ZGrip Cord (+3 double-sided tape)

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Proto (33 inches, lie at 70, 3.5 loft, D4)
Grip: TaylorMade Red/Black

Ball: TaylorMade TP5 ’21 PIX

Other TM news 

Doc Redman put the new Aldila Ascent Red 70 TX in his SIM2 (60 TX pictured below).

Sepp Straka put the new MCA Kaili White 60 TX in his SIM2.

Titleist

The Fujikura Ventus Red trend continues with Russell Henley moving from his KBS TD to Ventus Red 7 X in a TSi4.

Tyler Duncan was testing a custom K Grind lob wedge. He was inspired by Kevin Na’s win and looking at Aaron Dill’s pics on IG. Can you blame him?

Justin Thomas (Abu Dhabi) moved out of Ventus Red 6 TX (tipped 1 inch) in his TSi3 (9 degrees) into a Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 6 X. According to my source, JT was looking for a specific feel with the driver and also one that dialed in the launch windows on a little cutter he has been working on. We will keep you updated if it sticks or if any of the info changes.

Callaway

Akshay Bhatia put the new Apex Utility Prototype in play with a KBS Tour Hybrid Prototype 105 X shaft. Shay also put the new Epic Max LS driver (9 degrees @8.5) with a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green “Hulk” 75G 6.5 TX.

Kevin Na tested Callaway’s Epic Max LS (9 degrees) with a Graphite Design Tour AD GP 6 X. No need to panic, that original Epic gamer ain’t goin’ anywhere till it keels over and dies.

Phil Mickelson was spotted testing a Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X shaft in a Mavrik Sub Zero. Not confirmed if it will indeed go in play.

Ping

Scott Stallings (non-staff) put a Ping G425 LST (10.5 degrees @11) driver in play with an MCA Kaili White 60 TX (tipped 1 inch @45.25).

Abraham Ancer (non-staff) also converted to the Ping G425 LST (9 degrees @7.75) with an MCA Tensei AV Raw Blue 65 TX (tipped 1 inch @45).

Cameron Champ lost his clubs en route to Palm Desert and the Ping Tour squad had to build a brand new set of sticks from scratch, top to bottom. Thankfully the gamers showed up and Cam was left with a fresh new backup set.

Srixon

Rumor has it that former world No. 1 Brooks Koepka has inked a deal with Cleveland/Srixon to play its Z-Star XV ball, ZX7 irons and Cleveland Zip Core Wedges. Koepka showed up to Palm Desert with a new set of irons with Tour Issue X100 shafts, a Srixon utility, and his trusty Nike Vapor Pro 3-iron and TaylorMade M5 driver with an MCA Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX shaft. We will continue to update to confirm or deny the rumors. Awesome news for Srixon and BK if true.

Cobra

Rickie Fowler made some significant changes to his bag coming into Palm Desert. The Cobra staffer put the REV33 MB’s back in the bag this time with a fresh set of Mitsubishi Chemical MMT 125 TX graphite shafts. Fowler, who has tested quite a few different shafts over the years, going from KBS C-Taper S+ to Tour Issue X100, loved the integrity of the MMT’s.

In testing, they tried a set that was soft stepped as well as the current set that is straight in. The overall takeaway was integrity on mis-hits and hitting a very specific flight window all while keeping spin the same. Fowler also had the new Cobra RadSpeed Driver in the bag with a Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 60 TX shaft.

Jason Dufner put the new Aldila Tour Concept 60 TX in his Rad Speed Driver (70 TX pictured below).

Free Agents

Scottie Scheffler finally swapped out his TaylorMade P730’s for a brand new set of P7TW’s (5-PW). Like his older set, they come fully loaded with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts. Scottie did keep his Srixon Utility 3-iron and Z785 4-iron in the bag, however.

Newly minted free agent Ryan Moore showed up to the Desert with a bag only a true gear junkie could love. The six-company bag featured a TaylorMade SIM Driver, TSi2 3-wood, Srixon hybrids, Mizuno MP-18 irons, and Cleveland Zip Core wedges.

Paul Casey put the Titleist TSi3 driver in the bag with a Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX shaft.

KBS seeded out a new Proto graphite shaft. The yet-to-be-named new edition to the TD line has a higher modulus material on the bottom third to increase stability and lower torque. The feedback with the original TD from players with fast speeds: it needed to be stiffer. This “newer version,” which will probably only come in the category 4 and 5, is very firm.

Patrick Reed went back to his Ping G400 LST driver—that’s all on that.

 

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Rickie Fowler spotted with graphite iron shafts (Mitsubishi MMT) at The American Express

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When it comes to equipment stories, The American Express this week at PGA West is the gift that keeps on giving. Our newest scoop is that Rickie Fowler is taking after another Cobra staffer (aka “the big golfer”) and has made the switch to graphite shafts in his irons.

From the photos captured from his practice round on Wednesday, it appears that Rickie is using Mitsubishi Chemical’s MMT shafts in his custom and yet to be released Cobra Rev33 irons.

This is not the first time Rickie has switched iron shafts in the last 12 months. He was a long-time user of KBS C-Taper before switching to True Temper S400s, and now it appears he is looking at graphite as his next frontier.

This is a developing story and we are working hard on getting all the details and specs of this equipment change but for more pictures of Rickie from The American Express, check out the gallery below.

 

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Equipment

2021 FootJoy HyperFlex with BOA

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FootJoy is celebrating its 75th year as the number one shoe in golf, and to celebrate designers are continuing to push the boundaries of comfort, support, and technology with the release of the all-new 2021 HyperFlex with BOA.

The HyperFlex is two years in the making and features a number of new technologies to provide the stability golfers require with the out of the box comfort they demand.

“They look and feel so athletic. They are super comfortable the moment you put them on.”
– Rafa Cabrera Bello

HyperFlex with BOA technology

WRAPID Fit Technology: BOA is a staple footwear technology, but the designers at FootJoy wanted to take its capabilities further and make it more comfortable. The result is an asymmetrical configuration that ensures a snug comfortable fit but reduces unwanted pressure on the top of the foot. It enables the shoe to move with you, wrapping your foot for complete security, all while providing powerful support through the swing.

Stratofoam Cushioning: This is a proprietary foam blend that is used in the midsole to offer the perfect amount of walking comfort while still providing the right amount of support to reduce fatigue.

OptiFlex outsole –  The design winds through the length of the sole to naturally flex as you walk and still offer torsion control through your swing when needed.

“This new outsole technology is designed to mimic the natural flexure of the foot, so not only are you getting a great walking shoe, but a shoe that will maximize the ground force throughout every movement in the golf swing.”
-Chris Tobias, Vice President, FJ Footwear.

Waterproof Technical Mesh Upper – The Hyperflex is going technical to maximize comfort by pairing a breathable knit mesh-lined upper with a waterproof membrane to regulate foot temperature in any weather while also keeping your foot dry.

Price and availability

The new Hyperflex with BOA, along with the standard laced model will be available starting February 1, and will be priced at $179.99 with the Wrapid BOA system and $149 for the traditionally laced model.

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