TaylorMade is billing its new BRNR Mini Driver as ‘a modern interpretation of a classic design’. By shrinking the size of the head (in comparison to the brand’s 460cc Stealth 2 driver), and injecting some retro styling, TaylorMade is hoping to use this model to engage with a specific group of golfers.
As mentioned, the stand-out feature of this driver is the size. At just 304cc, it is noticeably more compact than any of the best golf drivers on the market. There are two moveable weights in the sole of the club that can be switched to dial in the spin profile and overall flight on offer. In addition to that there is also a ‘K Sole’ design which should help with turf interaction for those looking to use this from the deck.
We wanted to see what the TaylorMade BRNR Mini driver had to offer so I tested it over two recent rounds and have used my Arccos data to compare the performance with the Titleist TSR2 driver that is currently in my bag.
The first thing to talk about are the aesthetics. The black and bronze colour scheme works well here and to my eye at least, evoked memories of the TaylorMade Bubble Burner. I tested the 13.5˚ version (there is a lower lofted option too), with the heavier weight at the back of the sole. The loft set-up (as well as the length of the shaft) made this feel like a pumped-up 2-wood. Given that I’d been struggling for control off the tee, I liked this visual and despite the more compact look, I felt more confident standing over the BRNR Mini.
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I also loved the retro TaylorMade headcover (scroll through the images above to see for yourself!).
Looking at my Arccos data below, one thing jumped out – how many more fairways I hit. In fact, during the second of the two rounds, I only missed one fairway using the BRNR Mini. This is highly unusual for me! The flight was possibly a fraction higher than I’d usually expect but the difference wasn’t huge and I could have used the loft sleeve or moveable weights to bring down that flight (and potentially add a little more distance).
Of course, the trade-off came with the overall distance. The three drives shown above were some of my best hits. With my current 460cc driver (with its 45-inch shaft), I’d expect more distance from my best hit. And likewise, I’d also expect a little more from my mishits.
It is worth saying here that I’d expect some of the draw-backs highlighted…
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