50 Words or Less
The TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver is a versatile long game club. Very long off the tee with high launch and low spin. Movable weights and adjustable loft add to the possibilities.
There are several clubs that got bigger marketing hype than the TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver. A lot of clubs will outsell the new BRNR. But there will not be a single club released this year (or perhaps for years to come) that will generate the excitement among equipment nerds than the BRNR has. Combining the appeal of the mini driver with immaculately executed retro vibes, this is the coolest club of 2023.
This section is going to go on longer than normal, but anyone who remembers the original Bubble Burner will surely forgive my verbosity.
Let’s start with the basics. At address, the TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver is just that – a middle ground between a driver and a 3W. At 304 cc, it’s actually closer to the Stealth 2 fairway wood (185 cc) than the Stealth 2 driver (460 cc, review HERE). This surprised me – the footprint of the BRNR feels closer to a driver, but that’s my personal view. The crown is a high gloss black with the old school TaylorMade logo as an alignment aid. There is carbon fiber in the crown, but it’s only visible on close inspection.
Setting down the TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver to hit a ball off the turf, it looks big. As someone who prefers smaller fairway woods – and sometimes even struggles with those – it’s not an inviting look. That said, players who fearlessly swing away with their 3W or driver off the deck will love this. For me, that deep face is built for tee shots.
Flipping the club over, you get two swaths of Burner Copper at the heel and toe. It’s such a unique color that these two patches are all the club needs to give older golfers some warm and fuzzy feelings. The BRNR branding is modestly sized across the middle of the sole, surrounded by two movable weights.
If you’ve ever seen my video reviews on Instagram [follow us HERE] or TikTok [HERE], you know that stock covers are not my thing. This is the exception. I would go out of my way to bag this club just to game this cover. The barrel style is the perfect choice to showcase the old school vibes.
The use of the retro TaylorMade logo is perfection. To every brand with a strong history: this is how you do a throwback. You shouldn’t lean on it regularly – golf is about progress, technology, innovation – but when you do one, go all-in.
Opposite the classic TM logo is the modern BRNR logo. TaylorMade simply did not miss with this club’s aesthetics, balancing the old and new beautifully. The BRNR logo is very aggressive and modern, which is a perfect counterpoint to the old logos.
TaylorMade did not stop at the head cover, continuing the retro color scheme with the shaft, too. The UST Mamiya ProForce doesn’t have the shape of the old Bubble Shaft, but it does continue the black and copper theme.
Finally, TaylorMade topped the BRNR Mini Driver with a copper-colored SuperStroke grip. While I would be hesitant to pull this grip and ruin the top to bottom coordination, it’s nice to know that you can replace it with any grip off the shelf, something that wasn’t true of the old Burners.
Sound & Feel
I started my testing of the TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver off the turf where it produced a high pitched, metallic sound at medium volume. To me, it’s the prototypical fairway wood sound. When I moved the ball to a tee and the strike higher on the face, the sound changed substantially. On pure strikes, it’s lower pitched and more powerful, like a whip crack. When I hit the heel or toe, the sound got louder and more dissonant or clanky. All together, this club has excellent audio feedback.
Strong feedback is provided through your hands, too. Shots around the edges of the face feel solid, and they clearly communicate strike location. On center, the feel is explosive. The total sensation of a perfect shot is outstanding and will motivate long practice sessions.
Off the tee, there is nothing mini about the TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver. The ball speed is excellent, the equal of the best drivers. It does the most with that ball speed by being high launch and low spin like the TaylorMade 300 Mini Driver [review HERE]. As you can see above, my launch monitor numbers with this club could easily be confused for those from a full sized driver.
Despite its smaller size, the BRNR is also very forgiving. The Thru-Slot Speed Pocket helps keep the ball speed high on low strikes as well as boosting the launch angle. This club also has TaylorMade’s Twist Face. That, along with the slightly higher loft, made this club very straight in my testing. Despite the shaft length – 43.75″, not far off a driver – this can definitely be your fairway finder.
Off the turf, the TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver has a lot of speed but does require a good strike to maximize. If you’re a confident fairway wood player, there’s no reason not to give this a go. If, like me, you tend to thin your fairway woods, this is probably going to be a tee club for you. There are two lofts options – 11.5 and 13.5 degrees – but the additional loft is no substitute for a quality strike.
Finally, the major upgrade over previous TaylorMade mini drivers is the addition of movable weights. There are two weights, helpfully labeled “Heavy” (13 grams) and “Light” (1.5 grams). Having the heavier weight back makes the BRNR more forgiving while pushing it forward makes it lower spinning, all else equal. I also found that it substantially changed the feel. With the weight back, this club felt like a driver. When I moved the heavier weight forward, the club felt more nimble like a small fairway wood or hybrid.
That change in feel and forgiveness had a major impact on my success with the TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver. With the weight back, I made better contact and got more out of my occasional mishits. When I flipped the weight, I got less forgiveness and needed it more often – not an ideal combination. Also, because I’m a naturally low spin player, I didn’t need the weight forward to optimize my spin. Regardless, having this adjustability is great because it will allow this club to work for more players in more situations.
TaylorMade probably could have put these aesthetics on a dud and golfers still would have loved it, but they didn’t. The TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver has big time distance and loads of versatility thanks to its adjustability and power off the deck. Whether you’re looking to carry fewer clubs or just add a fairway finder, give this a shot.