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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: Mickelson dials up pre-Match chatter | Korda sisters land GD cover | Augenstein on going pro

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By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at [email protected]; and find me on Twitter and Instagram.
November 24, 2020
Good Monday morning, golf fans. May you enjoy your Thursday feasting and giving of thanks and Friday shopping! I will see you all next Monday.
1. Augenstein energized
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”Augenstein went on to reach the semifinals of the U.S. Junior Amateur that summer. He later signed with the Commodores and made an instant impact as a freshman, winning two extra-hole matches to lead Vanderbilt to its first SEC title in 2017. The one they call “Flash” – or, as this writer has coined, “Johnny Golf” – continued to establish himself as one of the preeminent match-play competitors in amateur golf, going 8-1 in the format between conference and nationals while also finishing runner-up at the 2019 U.S. Amateur and scoring the winning point for last year’s U.S. Walker Cup team at Royal Liverpool. Last spring as a senior, he was named SEC Player of the Year and an All-American for the fourth time.
  • “In other words, Augenstein left quite the mark on the Vanderbilt program. From “best player here” to one of Vanderbilt’s best ever.”
  • “As a coach, you dream of being able to coach guys like John Augenstein,” said Limbaugh, who on Monday had to say so long to his superstar.
  • “After four and a half seasons in Nashville, Augenstein announced that he has decided to forego the final semester of his extra year of eligibility and turn professional.”
2. “Chuck tees”
Golfweek’s Todd Kelly with some remarks from Lefty amid his usual pre-Match pot-stirring…”Mickelson will likely have to carry plenty of the weight on Friday. Curry is a talented player, and Manning has shown he can swing the stick a little bit himself. As for Barkley, well, we’ve all seen that swing.
  • “At Stone Canyon, we actually have Chuck tees,” Mickelson said. “They’re a little bit further up.”
  • …”Mickelson then described part of the strategy that he and Barkley plan to deploy later this week.”
  • “If I can hit the green, and let him putt, that’s our strategy on that. Same thing on the drivable par 4s. We saw what happened in Match II where we were really getting beat up pretty good and then Tom and I, on 11, I drive the green and he rolls the putt in for eagle and it just turns the whole match the other way.”
3 Korda sisters land Golf Digest cover
…and Keely Levins landed the Q&A…Good background on the pair which could eventually be written in the history books best golfing sister duo ever.
How do you balance being sisters and competitors?
Nelly: You’re always competing against the golf course, my parents always said.
Jess: People like to put us against each other all the time to see if they can spark a rivalry or something. But we just keep disappointing everybody.
Nelly: We have little side bets here and there. At the end of the day, we want the best for each other, even though we want to beat each other as well. You go into every tournament wanting to win.
4. WMPO organizers cautiously optimistic for 2021
Nick Piecoro for the Arizona Republic…”The annual event at TPC Scottsdale is known for its raucous, jam-packed crowds. It can feel like a tailgate party, rock concert, beer festival and sporting event rolled into one. It is a defining event on the Valley’s social calendar, an excuse even for non-golf fans to head to the course and bask in the sunshine.”
  • “But no one knows what elements of Phoenix Opens past will be visible the first week of February, when the tournament is scheduled to take place.”
  • “For now, organizers expect to go forward with the event. They say it will be scaled down in every respect. Gone will be many of the temporary structures that ran parallel to the course. Organizers hope to have fans, albeit nothing close to the 200,000-plus who typically turn out on Fridays and Saturdays.”
GolfWRX Recommends
One for the Memory Banks is part Final Rounds, part Dewsweepers, part To the Linksland, and part Rick Reilly—and 100% one of the best golf books you’ll ever read! This hilarious and heartfelt travelogue features stories of golf and friendship. If you’ve played golf in the UK, One for the Memory Banks will connect with you on so many levels—if you haven’t, this book will have you calling your travel agent!
Great gift for the holidays!
GolfWRX may earn a commission on sales of “GolfWRX Recommends” products.
5. England’s courses reopen
Elliott Heath for Golf Monthly…”Golf courses in England will be allowed to re-open on 2nd December as the country exits its second lockdown.”
  • “UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that the rule of six will once again apply so it looks like fourballs will also be back.”
  • “The country is going back to its Tier system, with each region set to find out on Thursday…More regions will fall into higher tiers than previously, Boris Johnson said.”
6. Course whisperer readying the Ocean Course
The Post and Courier’s Jeff Hartsell…”The man known as the PGA Championship’s “course whisperer,” Kerry Haigh, is keeping an eye on those ever-increasing distances as he prepares the Ocean Course for its next turn on the golf world’s main stage.  The Ocean Course, designed by the late, great Pete Dye, has hosted the famed “War by the Shore” Ryder Cup of 1991 and the 2012 PGA Championship, where McIlroy dusted the field by eight shots.”
  • “But with the PGA moved from August to May on the golf calendar, and with long hitters such as Bryson DeChambeau leading the distance evolution in the game, the Ocean Course will face a new challenge next year. The PGA Championship, set for May 20-23, will be the second major on golf’s 2021 calendar, following The Masters in April.  Haigh, chief championships officer for the PGA of America, is responsible for the operation and course set up for the PGA Championships. He visited the Ocean Course last week to check on preparations. His goal, he said, is to not be the subject of any post-PGA analysis, good or bad.”
7. Pro-Am golf: Reifers captures TaylorMade Pebble Beach Tournament title
John Devine of the Monterey Herald…”Sitting five strokes off the pace after Thursday’s opening round, Reifers inched closer each day before producing the lowest score on Sunday to capture the 49th TaylorMade Pebble Beach Pro-Am Tournament.   Reifers overcame fast and firm conditions at Pebble Beach Golf Course to finish 4-under-par, erasing a one stroke deficit to win the tournament by three strokes over Kirk Triplett, a four-time winner of various tournaments at Pebble Beach.  Finishing a combined 13-under, Reifers used a pair of eagles on the second and third holes at Pebble Beach to grab his first lead of the four-day event, which was played at Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Spanish Bay over the first three days.”
8. h/t Geoff Shackelford: CBS Moneywatch on golf participation
Another item for the “golf is booming” cornucopia…Via Geoff Shackelford…”CBS Moneywatch’s Megan Cerullo doesn’t tell us much we haven’t already read about golf in the pandemic. Still, after years of stories about the decline of the sport’s participation numbers, it’s worth noting pieces like this one, if nothing else to highlight that a resurgence in the game had nothing to do with the opportunity to spend $600 for ten more yards off the tee.”
  • “In August, consumers spent a record $331 million on clubs, balls, gloves and other gear — that was up 32% over the year-ago period and topped the previous sales record for that month in 2006, according to Golf Datatech.”
  • “For the first 10 months of 2020, golf equipment sales were up nearly 30% compared to the same period last year, Matt Powell, an analyst with market research firm NPD Group, told CBS MoneyWatch. Training tools, such as hitting screens, swing aids and putting matts are up 75% as enthusiasts practice their technique away from the golf course.”
9. Streb’s winning WITB
Driver: Titleist TSi2 (10 degrees)
Shaft: Project X EvenFlow RipTide 60 6.5
3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees, B2 Surefit)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ 80 TX
Hybrid: Titleist TS3 (21 degrees, B2 Surefit)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Black Hy 95X
Irons: Titleist TMB (4), Titleist 620CB (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S300
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-08M, 60-04L)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S300
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Prototype
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet
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GolfWRX Insider: Interview with RSM Classic winner Robert Streb

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This week at the RSM Classic at Sea Island, Robert Streb won in clutch fashion on the second playoff hole with a pitching wedge to within inches from 160 yards. It not only set up his second PGA Tour victory but also his second victory at Sea Island with his first also coming in a playoff against Brendon de Jonge in 2015.

After the win, we had the chance to speak with Robert about that final shot on 18 as well as his clubs, how he goes about testing new equipment, and the most common mistakes he sees from amateur golfers.

RB: To start, I have to ask you about the shot you hit on the second playoff hole to set up the win. It was a pitching wedge from the rough from 160 yards. How were you able to judge the distance so well?

RS: As soon as my caddie and I saw the lie we had a really good feeling it was going to jump a bit, and that’s why I hit my pitching wedge instead of my 9-iron. We don’t always judge it as right as we did on that shot, but the big key was to make a confident swing and trust that we made the right decision— it obviously worked out for the best.

RB: If we take a deeper look at the club you hit for that shot in the playoff, you use a pitching wedge that matches your wedges rather than one that matches your irons (Vokey Design SM8 46 degree) is there a specific reason you choose to use that club vs a set matching pitching wedge?

RS: For a long time I used the pitching wedge from my iron set, but for me being a self-described feel player I like using the Vokey 46 degree because I feel I have a bit more control on half shots because of the groove technology and the overall profile of the club. When the SM8’s hit the tour I asked Dill (Titleist wedge tech Aaron Dill) about getting set up with that, and it pretty much went right into the bag. I also really like using it around the green.

RB: Sticking to new equipment, you also recently put the Titleist TSi2 driver into play. What do you like about that club versus your previous driver, and what was your process for putting that club into play?

RS: I know I mentioned this already, but I really am a feel player when it comes to my clubs, and everything has to fit my eye. The TSi2 is really appealing since I’m a guy that plays a draw and the shape of the toe is extremely appealing at address behind the ball. I did a lot of hitting it on the range before ever getting on Trackman, because I want to know that I really love it before dialing it in.

The other thing I really like is the ability to hit it a bit higher and see a flight that I really like without having it ever feel out of control. Since I like to play a draw, I like that it helps my misses stay in the air longer and go straighter—like any golfer, I like knowing that my misses are going to be better when I switch to something new.

RB: We’ve talked wedges, and we’ve talked the driver, so now let’s talk everything in between and how you like to gap your set. You previously used a 2-iron as the next club after your 3-wood and now you go from a 3-wood to a 21-degree  hybrid and then a 4-iron. What are your main goals when gapping your set?”

RS: Over time I realized that I would make more birdies and save more shots using a gap wedge over a 2-iron, so I finally made the decision to take that out of the bag and play a full four-wedge setup (46/52/56/60) and use the hybrid. I used to have to work really hard at managing my distance gapping since there was almost a 20-yard gap in the short end of my bag, but now I don’t ever have to worry about that.

At the top end of my bag, the hybrid is really versatile and I always find I get more control with a shorter club with a bit more loft vs a 5-wood, so I’ve stuck with it since I really like the iron feel I get out of that club.

From there, my 4-iron (Titleist TMB) really plays like a 3 1/2 iron—I feel confident getting a few extra yards out of it when needed because it’s hollow, while still offering the ability to hit softer shots with it, which is whys its a club I don’t mess around with.

RB: Being a player at your level, you understand how to get around a golf course and minimize mistakes. If there was one piece of advice you could offer to golfers trying to break their next scoring barrier what would it be?

RS: The biggest mistakes I see golfers make is not playing within themselves and hitting shots they aren’t truly comfortable with. This could mean a shot around the green and trying to get too aggressive, or not pulling the right club on approach shots. When I play in pro-ams, the vast majority of golfers miss short and don’t take enough club—they hit the club they think should get there rather than the one that will, and over the course of a round of golf those missed shots add up.

Being able to take your medicine when you put yourself in a bad spot can be the difference between a bogey and a triple and a hole like that can mean the difference between making a cut, or in the case of many golfers, not getting to that next scoring barrier.

Check out Streb’s full WITB: Robert Streb’s RSM Classic winning WITB

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The DailyWRX (11/23/2020): Do not enter if…

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Don’t do it….

 

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My God…..

 

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“Bad Little 9″……..

 

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It’s an honest question…

True Legend spotted in the wild…

DM @johnny_wunder

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