What is a Mini Golf Driver? Unveiling a Powerful Option for Improved Tee Shots

Mark Crossfield
8 Min Read

Ever feel frustrated shanking your driver or struggling to find consistent distance with your 3-wood? There’s a hidden weapon in the golfer’s arsenal that might be the answer to your woes: the mini driver.

A mini driver is a specialized golf club that bridges the gap between a traditional driver and a 3-wood. It boasts a smaller head size and shorter shaft compared to a driver, offering a sweet spot that’s easier to find and improved control, while still delivering impressive distance potential.

This blog post dives deep into the world of mini drivers, equipping you with all the knowledge you need to decide if this club deserves a spot in your bag. We’ll explore its history, compare it to drivers and 3-woods, and uncover the specific situations where a mini driver can elevate your game. So, whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just starting out, keep reading to unlock the secrets of this powerful and versatile club.

What is a Mini Driver?

A mini driver is essentially a downsized version of a driver. It typically features a clubhead size between 265cc and 275cc, which is noticeably smaller than the 460cc drivers commonly used today. Additionally, the shaft of a mini driver is shorter, usually measuring around 43-44 inches compared to the standard driver shaft length of 45-46 inches.

This reduced size translates to several key benefits:

  • Increased Control: The smaller head and shorter shaft promote a more compact swing, leading to greater accuracy and reduced slices or hooks.
  • Enhanced Playability: The lower center of gravity (CG) in mini drivers allows for easier launch off the tee, making it a great option for golfers who struggle to get the ball airborne with a traditional driver.
  • Improved Forgiveness: Many mini drivers are designed with larger sweet spots, offering more forgiveness on off-center hits and resulting in straighter, more consistent ball flight.

The Origin of the Mini Driver

What Is A Mini Golf Driver
What is a Mini Golf Driver

The mini driver concept isn’t entirely new. Believe it or not, its roots can be traced back to 1979 when TaylorMade introduced the Pittsburgh Persimmon, a smaller-headed driver aimed at helping golfers achieve more distance and control.

The mini driver gained some early traction in 1981 when golfer Ron Streck used it to win a tournament. However, the technology wasn’t quite there yet, and the mini driver faded from popularity.

Fast forward to 2014, and TaylorMade revived the concept with their modern iteration of the Mini Driver. This new breed of mini drivers incorporated advancements in materials and design, offering golfers a more forgiving and powerful option off the tee.

Comparing Mini Drivers, Drivers, and 3-Woods

Understanding the key differences between mini drivers, drivers, and 3-woods is crucial for deciding which club best suits your needs. Here’s a breakdown of their defining characteristics:

FeatureMini DriverDriver3-Wood
Head Size (cc)265-275460+190-250
Shaft Length (inches)43-4445-4642-44
Loft (degrees)11-138-1214-18
Distance PotentialModerateHighLower-moderate
Ease of UseEasierMore difficultEasier than driver
VersatilityLess versatileMost versatileMore versatile than driver

As you can see, mini drivers offer a middle ground between the powerful but challenging driver and the more forgiving but shorter 3-wood. Their smaller size and shorter shaft make them easier to swing, while still providing enough power to reach good distances off the tee.

When to Use a Mini Driver

While mini drivers aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution, they excel in specific situations:

  • Narrow Fairways: The increased control of a mini driver makes it ideal for tight fairways where a slice or hook could spell disaster.
  • Par 5 Holes: For golfers who struggle to reach the green in two shots with a driver, a mini driver can offer the extra distance needed to get on in regulation.
  • Tee Shots Requiring More Control: If you find yourself consistently mishitting your driver, a mini driver can provide the confidence boost you need to find the fairway more often.

The Impact of Mini Drivers on Professional Golf

Professional golfers have also begun to embrace the benefits of mini drivers. Take Phil Mickelson, for example, who famously used a mini driver to win the 2020 Pebble Beach Pro-Am. His success with the club helped to spark renewed interest in mini drivers among touring professionals and amateur golfers alike.

The rise of mini drivers has also impacted the standard gear composition in professional golf. Traditionally, golfers carried a driver, 3-wood, and sometimes even a 4-wood in their bags. However, with the added distance and control offered by mini drivers, some golfers are opting to replace their 3-wood with this more versatile club.


Mini drivers offer a unique combination of power, control, and forgiveness, making them a valuable weapon in the golfer’s arsenal. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, a mini driver can help you find more fairways off the tee and potentially add yards to your game.

Of course, the decision of whether or not to include a mini driver in your bag is a personal one. It’s important to consider your own swing tendencies and playing style. If you’re looking for a club that can help you bomb drives down the fairway with pinpoint accuracy, a mini driver might be the perfect fit.

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People Also Asked

Q1: What is a Mini Driver Golf Club?

A1: A Mini Driver is a golf club designed to bridge the gap between a typical driver (or 1-wood) and a 3-wood. It is characterized by a smaller head size and shorter shaft compared to a driver, offering increased control and easier launch for more golfers.

Q2: Are Mini Drivers Legal in Professional Golf?

A2: Yes, mini drivers are completely legal for use in professional golf. They conform to the rules set by the USGA and R&A.

Q3: Should I Get a Mini Driver or a 3-Wood?

A3: The best choice for you depends on your individual needs. If you prioritize distance and versatility, a 3-wood might be a better option. However, if you struggle with control off the tee or prefer a more forgiving club, a mini driver could be the way to go. It’s always recommended to test out both clubs and see which one performs better for your swing.

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Mark Crossfield is a UK-based golf coach, author, and YouTuber. He simplifies complex concepts, emphasizes understanding fundamentals, and has authored several golf books. Mark has helped golfers worldwide improve their game through his coaching, online content, and contributions to magazines and TV programs.
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