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NPG Episode 88: Who plays a Mini Driver?


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Duration: 00:20:17

In today's bite sized episode we talk Mini Drivers, overhyped tech, the 2021 Golf Ball Test, and what equipment we'd vote off the island forever.

0:00 Intro
0:45 Mini Drivers: Who are they for?
7:03 Survivor: Golf Equipment Edition
11:27 Mailbag! The Most Overhyped Tech?
15:20 Preview: The 2021 MGS Golf Ball Test

Nike Air Infinity Zoom: https://mygolfspy.com/hype-meter-nike-air-zoom-infinity-tour/

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Listen Here

:callaway-small: Epic Flash Sub Zero, 9°, Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI 70 X
:callaway-small: Mavrik Sub Zero 15°, Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI 70 S
:cobra-small: F6 5-6W, 18.5°, Fujikura Motore 6.3
:callaway-small: XR Pro 20°, Project X 75 Black HYB S
:Sub70: 699 Pro, Modus3 105, 5–PW
:Sub70: Forged Black 50°, 54°, and 58°
:edel-golf-1: EAS 4.0 [CURRENT MGS FORUM TEST]
:srixon-small: Z-Star XV

Full WITB with pictures

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Tried a Callaway Bertha Mini for one season. Found better to use a driver cut down and re-weighted.

Certified Club Fitter.

Ping G400 Max Driver 10.5° w/Diamona S+ LTD Blue-Board 70 R Flex

Ping G410 5 Fairway Wood Mitsubishi Tensi Orange R Flex

Ping G410 4-5-6 Hybrids Mitsubishi Tensi Blue R Flex

Ping i500 Irons 5-U w/Recoil SmacWrap F3 Flex (power-spec lofts)

Ping 3.0 Eye2 Glide Wedges 54°-58° w/Recoil SmacWrap F3 Flex

2019 Bettinardi QB6 and 2021 Ping Fetch Putter (depends on the greens)

PING Pioneer Cart Bag

Lamkin Sonar+ Mid-Size Grips

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I don't think you can easily categorize the player who successfully bags a Mini Driver.  I'm a mid-capper, and I've carried one for years (three different models).  It's my go-to when the driver isn't behaving.  Or more accurately, when my driver swing isn't behaving.  Maybe it's not supposed to work for me, but it does.  In fact, the Original One works so well for me, I'm already pondering adding the new 300.  I'm quite certain it's just a matter of time.  

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Tour Edge Exotics EXS Pro 8.5*, HZRDUS Smoke Yellow XS

TaylorMade Original One Mini Driver/2W 12.5*, Elements Chrome XS

Callaway Super Hybrid 17*, Aldila Rogue 95 MSI XS

Maltby KE4 Tour TC Hybrid 20*, KBS Tour Steel XS

Mizuno JPX919 Hot Metal 5-SW, Project X LZ Tour S

Titleist Vokey SM7 60*/D

Evnroll ER5 Hatchback

 

  

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On 7/15/2021 at 12:18 PM, Hacker Rod said:

I don't think you can easily categorize the player who successfully bags a Mini Driver.  I'm a mid-capper, and I've carried one for years (three different models).  It's my go-to when the driver isn't behaving.  Or more accurately, when my driver swing isn't behaving.  Maybe it's not supposed to work for me, but it does.  In fact, the Original One works so well for me, I'm already pondering adding the new 300.  I'm quite certain it's just a matter of time.  

Your response is well stated. For me I guess its because I learned to play back when persimmon drivers were the standard as were 42.5 -43.5" total club length. I guess that is why I really have trouble hearing people say a mini-driver (whatever that is size wise - i..e. <200 cc, 260cc or 300ish cc, etc ?) cannot work for them. Yet they game a similar size modern 3 wood to tee off with.

I get 460cc allows a longer club and more face area to help with mishits/ball speed, etc but call me old school I still say one should swing the longest club they can hit in the screws (middle of face). For me its a 260cc Wishon FD. The size fits my eye, again just looks more traditional and the right size in address position (again influence from another era). I hit it reasonably straight and its predictable for me. Can turn it over for roll and/or hold off for fades and it has a hot face providing plenty of roll when fairways are conducive. Play it at 43.5".

Yes I can hit 45" 460cc modern size drivers but with less predictable results regarding height and direction. Both my sons being of modern 460cc era are polar opposite and can only hit the modern size drivers. Oh well each to their own. I appreciate any company bringing one of the modern "mini" models to market, doubt business model can sustain unless the club might could also double as 3 wood off the deck. Interesting TXG video where they test the TM mini and state the TM mini could fit some golfers as a three wood. All for options for the consumer. Hope TM succeeds and other companies bring out their versions.

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After my tournament round yesterday, I demo'd the new TM 300 Mini Drivers (both lofts, regular and stiff shafts).  This is DEFINITELY NOT a club made for me and my swing. I hit my Titleist TS2 4-wood much better and farther with lower spin, and hit my strong-lofted TE Exotics 5-iron just about as far as the mini driver, plus straighter and with similar backspin. There is no way that I would put the 300 Mini in my bag!

 

Driver: Ping G425 Max, 9*, Miyazaki  Kuala Mizu Tour Issue 6S, 44.75" playing length

4-Wood: Titleist TS2, 16.5*, Miyazaki Kuala Mizu Tour Issue 7S, 42.75" playing length

5/7-Wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero set to 20* loft; Tensei Blue 75-S, 41.5" playing length

Hybrids: Exotics EXS Pro (22*), Mitsubishi Tensei Silver 75S

Irons: Exotics EXS220 5-iron and New Level MODB-1 (6-iron through PW), KBS TGI Tour 80 (stiff) shafts

Wedges: New Hogan Equalizer wedges (48* and 56* + Maltby TSW Forged 52-8, all bent 1* weak

Putter: Evnroll ER2, 34”with Gravity Grip

Ball: Snell MTBx

Spoiler

 

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When my driver isn't behaving (which is becoming pretty rare now that I have it dialed-in with a Ventus Blue Velocore 6S shaft at minus 1/2" length), I go with my TS2 4-wood or a hybrid off the tee.

 

Driver: Ping G425 Max, 9*, Miyazaki  Kuala Mizu Tour Issue 6S, 44.75" playing length

4-Wood: Titleist TS2, 16.5*, Miyazaki Kuala Mizu Tour Issue 7S, 42.75" playing length

5/7-Wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero set to 20* loft; Tensei Blue 75-S, 41.5" playing length

Hybrids: Exotics EXS Pro (22*), Mitsubishi Tensei Silver 75S

Irons: Exotics EXS220 5-iron and New Level MODB-1 (6-iron through PW), KBS TGI Tour 80 (stiff) shafts

Wedges: New Hogan Equalizer wedges (48* and 56* + Maltby TSW Forged 52-8, all bent 1* weak

Putter: Evnroll ER2, 34”with Gravity Grip

Ball: Snell MTBx

Spoiler

 

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14 hours ago, aerospace_ray said:

For me I guess its because I learned to play back when persimmon drivers were the standard as were 42.5 -43.5" total club length. I guess that is why I really have trouble hearing people say a mini-driver (whatever that is size wise - i..e. <200 cc, 260cc or 300ish cc, etc ?) cannot work for them. Yet they game a similar size modern 3 wood to tee off with.

I grew up at the end of persimmon and still play it a few times a year.  It reminds me why I like 460 cc drivers 😆.  It's just so much easier to get the ball airborne now.

I agree wholeheartedly that modern drivers are far too long for most mortals.  I'll choke halfway down the grip on a driver when I'm spraying it.  I don't hit the 3 wood any better; I just hit it shorter.  I'm surprised fitters don't try people in shorter shafts to get people more consistency and to hit the ball closer to the center of the face.

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What's in the bag:
Driver - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
3 Wood (16*) - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
3 Hybrid (19*) - :taylormade-small: RBZ
4i - PW - :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged - Recoil 760 ( S )
GW - LW - :cobra-small: F8 - N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour105 ( S )
Putter - :ping-small: Craz-e
Bag - :1590477705_SunMountain: 2.5 (Black)
Ball -  :taylormade-small: TP5X Pix
Instagram - @hardcorelooper
Twitter - @meovino
Facebook - mike.eovino

 

 

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1 hour ago, HardcoreLooper said:

I grew up at the end of persimmon and still play it a few times a year.  It reminds me why I like 460 cc drivers 😆.  It's just so much easier to get the ball airborne now.

I agree wholeheartedly that modern drivers are far too long for most mortals.  I'll choke halfway down the grip on a driver when I'm spraying it.  I don't hit the 3 wood any better; I just hit it shorter.  I'm surprised fitters don't try people in shorter shafts to get people more consistency and to hit the ball closer to the center of the face.

This fitter does exactly that!  This year alone, I have fit players into 450-460cc drivers at every length from 44" to 45.5", with the vast majority falling between 44.5" - 44.75".

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Driver: Ping G425 Max, 9*, Miyazaki  Kuala Mizu Tour Issue 6S, 44.75" playing length

4-Wood: Titleist TS2, 16.5*, Miyazaki Kuala Mizu Tour Issue 7S, 42.75" playing length

5/7-Wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero set to 20* loft; Tensei Blue 75-S, 41.5" playing length

Hybrids: Exotics EXS Pro (22*), Mitsubishi Tensei Silver 75S

Irons: Exotics EXS220 5-iron and New Level MODB-1 (6-iron through PW), KBS TGI Tour 80 (stiff) shafts

Wedges: New Hogan Equalizer wedges (48* and 56* + Maltby TSW Forged 52-8, all bent 1* weak

Putter: Evnroll ER2, 34”with Gravity Grip

Ball: Snell MTBx

Spoiler

 

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Saw an interesting comment from the creator of DECADE on Twitter. He said his new setup is going to be a max length driver and then a mini driver he can turn over (no 3 wood). Seems similar to how Phil's bag was set up at the PGA. 

:titelist-small: 917 D3 9.5* Kiyoshi Black 65-05

:titelist-small: 917 F3 15* VA Drago 75-X

:titelist-small: 818 H2 19* Ventus Black 10-TX

:mizuno-small: MP-20 MB 3-9 PX 6.5, T20 47* PX 6.5

:titelist-small: SM7 54-10S/60-08M PX 6.5/6.0

:titelist-small: Scotty Cameron Special Select Squareback 2

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a Mini Bertha at 12 degrees that I occasionally game. Its not a driver replacement but rather a 3 wood replacement. I never hit my 3 wood off the deck, so as a tee club its nice to have a larger club head to look at. More confidence inspiring. 

Titleist Blind Tester

  • Driver: :ping-small: K15
  • Woods::cobra-small: F6 Baffler AD DI 8S
  • Hybrid: :callaway-small: Apex 20 AD DI 85s
  • Irons: :srixon-small: Z585 5-6, Z785 7-PW, Modus 120x
  • Wedges: :cleveland-small: RTX4 50, Modus 120x:taylormade-small:, Hi Toe 56 & 60, Modus 120x
  • Putter: :EVNROLL:  ER3 @ 33"
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