Mini drivers were a thing for a little while in the early 2010s. Instead of a 460cc head, the mini drivers featured a head closer to 300cc, which were big in another era.
Now in 2019, TaylorMade is bringing back the mini-driver concept in celebration of the company's 40th anniversary with the Original One mini driver. TaylorMade's story began in 1979 with the Pittsburgh Persimmon, the first driver with a metal head. Then in 2014, the company came out with their first mini driver, the SLDR Mini, which had a cult following. The mini drivers were never a mass-market phenomenon, but that wasn't the point anyhow.
Five years later, TaylorMade has taken much of what they've learned and created in their full-size driver heads and implemented that into the Original One. The Original One features three different materials in the head, with a titanium body, a 50-gram steel sole plate to drive down center of gravity and a carbon composite crown that really makes the sole plate possible. In a smaller 275cc head, the lower CG offers ideal launch and more flexibility. The Original One features TaylorMade's Twist Face technology to correct on high-toe and low-heel hits, as well Inverted Cone Technology for performance on off-center strikes. Like the SLDR Mini and the AeroBurner Mini, the Original One has Speed Pocket technology, updated to be more reactive and help improve ball speeds further. The Original One can be adjusted up and down 2 degrees of loft.
The Original One isn't just for better players, TaylorMade says. They believe it's for players who want the accuracy of a fairway wood with the added length of a driver. Call it a 1.5 wood, and it can be played off the tee or the deck. There is something to this. Back in the day, I used to carry two drivers at some tournaments: a modern-size head and an old 175cc driver that I could do more with, either off the tee or from the fairway. It never did me wrong.
The TaylorMade Original One driver will be available May 1 for $400 and will be offered in 11.5- or 13.5-degree lofts and with the Mitsubishi Diamana F Limited shafts in 43.75inches at a D3 swing weight.