TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver Review

TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver sole close up

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.

Introduction

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.

Looks

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.

TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver address

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.

TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver head cover

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.

TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver face

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.

Performance

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 BRNR Mini Driver

Conclusion

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.

Visit TaylorMade HERE

TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver Price & Specs

Matt Saternus
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55 Comments

  1. Gary Dougherty

    Matt….I have the 300 mini and play it very well. From your review, the BRNR doesn’t sound like an upgrade. Thoughts?

    • Matt Saternus

      Gary,

      The one big edge to the BRNR is the adjustable weight, but if you’re happy with what your 300 Mini is doing, there’s not much reason to change.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Hi Matt,
    Any info on the Proforce (is it a rebranded V2, for example)?
    Cheers from 🇨🇦

    • Matt Saternus

      Keith,

      I don’t have any insider knowledge on the shaft. To me, it was neither a positive nor a negative to the club overall. It worked well for me, but it wasn’t a standout element.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. What did you think of the stock shaft offering? I think you and I gravitate toward the same bend profiles, so I’m curious your thoughts on feel.

    • Matt Saternus

      Ben,

      All I can say about the stock shaft is that I didn’t really notice it, for better or worse. I hit the club well, so it clearly didn’t bother me, but it wasn’t a case of “Oh wow, I want this shaft in my other clubs, too.”

      Best,

      Matt

      • Frederick Diedrich

        I am 74 and like the club but they don’t offer it with senior shaft.

        Sincerely,
        Fred Diedrich

  4. Patrick Burke

    Pat Burke
    Castle Rock, CO
    5 handicap

    I’d love to try an Edison Gap Wedge. Been eying them for a while. I currently game a 50°(125 yards) 54° (115 yards) and 58° (100 yards). Lately I’ve seen my ball flight ballon. I’m coming up short a lot now. Would love a club with the described ball flight and control of an Edison. I use the 50° often. Standard lie, standard grip, and KBS 110 regular shaft.

    Great review as always.

  5. Lee Brown

    Matt, have enjoyed your reviews for years. First time to ask a question. I’m a 74 year old relic who played persimmons longer than Davis Love. Still have all my H&B Citation Powerbilt woods!. With a slower swing speed (80+-) and bad shoulders, do you think the Mini driver would be an option? I maintain a high smash factor with the driver – 1.49. Shot my age or better since I was 68 and 27 times last year. I like the looks of the smaller heads. Thanks Lee

    • Matt Saternus

      Lee,

      It sounds like it’s definitely something you should try. If your smash factor is that high, the small loss of forgiveness won’t bother you, but you will enjoy the more compact profile.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Doc-Holliday-Cadet

        Matt, first I’d like to congratulate you for your reviews which from my opinion are the very best! I bought my af 506 Epon after reading you and I enjoy them. As a very long driver striker … 25% of time I wonder if this TM could help me knowing I master my 3 wood pretty well. I’m just worrying about the shaft… Anyway, all you said about Miura mc 501, Epon af 506, Titleist TSI 3 is so right! Merci Monsieur !!

        • Matt Saternus

          Doc,

          Thank you!
          Is there a particular concern you have about the stock shaft? In my opinion, it’s very middle-of-the-bell-curve and should work well for most, even if it’s not fully optimal. It’s also worth noting that it uses the standard TM adapter, and there are thousands of TM-tipped shafts floating around that you can swap in if you don’t like the stock shaft.

          Best,

          Matt

        • Doc-Holliday-Cadet

          Thanks a lot for these precious advices!

  6. I bought a 300 Mini Driver two years ago seeking a strong fairway club. The first time I took it out on the course, I discovered that I struggled to hit it off the fairway, but I also discovered that I could hit it as far as I did my driver. I’m sure this wouldn’t work for everyone, but it certainly worked for me, and I haven’t used a regular driver since. I didn’t gain 20 yds, but I also didn’t lose any yardage. I’m just making better contact and getting the same distance. Because of the shorter shaft and smaller head, the Mini is much easier to hit than a driver, and consequently I’m hitting more fairways. I just purchased the new BRNR Mini simply because I couldn’t resist the nostalgia factor. It arrived just before I left on a trip to Bandon, so I haven’t had it on the course yet and haven’t had time to work with the adjustment factors, but a few shots on the range suggest that it might give me a few extra yards over the 300 Mini. In any case, I am sold on the Mini concept and sing its praises to anyone who will listen. It is truly a secret weapon!

    • Matt Saternus

      John,

      That’s great to hear! Glad it’s working well for you.
      I think a lot of golfers would be surprised at how little distance they lose from shaving an inch or two off their driver shaft. On average, they might be longer if they struggle to hit a 45″-46″ driver pure.

      Best,

      Matt

  7. Hi Matt,
    Great review, very interesting club. I’m not that familiar with TM; how much adjustability does the adapter permit? Thx.
    Doug

  8. Hi Matt,
    Great review! TaylorMade Canada only has these in 13.5 degrees and are not planning to restock the 11.5 deg.
    My question is, being a 22.0 index, would I be OK with the 13.5?
    Best regards,
    Joe

    • Matt Saternus

      Joe,

      That’s a question that only an in-person fitting can answer definitively, but I think it’s worth a try. If you’re a high spin player, the 13.5 might be noticeably shorter than the 11.5, but could still have the advantages of versatility (off turf) and superior accuracy.

      Best,

      Matt

  9. Joe again, Matt!
    Guess, if it’s adjustable, I can almost get it down to 11.5 deg. or in that vicinity!!?

  10. Matt!! You missed one of the coolest things about the head cover. Turn it inside out and it is rainbow striped fur lined.

  11. Great review. I may have missed it, but what Specs did you test? 13.5 and the stiff shaft?

  12. Thanks on both counts Matt!

  13. Hi Matt,
    Is this club similar to the TSR2 ‘plus’ fairway? Or more closer to an actual driver? I’m very close to bagging the tsr2 plus.

  14. Jeffrey Kushner

    Why don’t the other manufacturers make mini drivers? It seems to be a Taylor Made thing. Do the others just not buy the concept? I have a Calloway Rogue ST 3 wood which I use off the tee at times. What advantage would there in replacing it with a mini driver which I would guess is harder to hit of the deck?

    • Matt Saternus

      Jeffrey,

      Other OEMs have made mini drivers, but TM has made it a regular part of their line up.
      Off the tee, the mini driver is larger – and thus more forgiving – that a standard 3W.

      -Matt

  15. I had a mini driver years ago but ultimately went back to the 460cc drivers. But I’ve never really been comfortable with that big club head so I ended up purchasing last year’s TM mini driver for a great price at a big box closeout. So far I’m loving it. In head-to-head tests I’ve done, my best driver shot is 15 yd better than my best mini driver shot. But, I hit my “best” driver shot quite infrequently, and more often than not, my t-shirts are not great with it. With the mini driver, however, I’ve gotten some really good length and I’m usually in the fairway. We’ll see what happens this season.

  16. charles lemon

    Hi Matt. Great review. I’m really interested in the BRNR mini as I generally hit my 3 wood much more consistently of the tee.
    But do you hit down on the ball with it or up ?
    Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Charles,

      You’d have to tee it up quite high to have a substantially positive angle of attack with this BRNR. I think something close to level would be ideal for the majority of golfers.

      Best,

      Matt

    • Hi Matt, I purchased the 300 mini driver a few years ago in 13.5 loft with stiff shaft. It doesn’t look like they offer the BRNR in 13.5 loft with the stiff shaft, any thoughts on that?

      • Matt Saternus

        Alan,

        I would assume TM found that the 13.5 was not as popular a choice, so they stopped offering it.

        Best,

        Matt

  17. Since it’s a “mini” driver, I’m wondering if it should be thought of as a strong 3-wood, and still carry a 460cc driver? Between your work and others, I know that almost all tour players play the 460cc heads. And I also know and agree that if a person can’t hit their driver at least 20 yards farther than their 3-wood, then they need help. I’m hitting my 3 wood about 250 off the tee.

    I’m planning to take lessons and get professional help with my swing. My question to you is if I bought the mini driver, should I think of it as my primary driving club, or, an extra wood in the bag and also carry a 460cc head driver (which presumably I could hit farther)? Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Ken,

      Good question.
      With driving being the #1 skill in golf (in terms of impact on scoring), I would always advise players to take advantage of a 460cc head for maximum forgiveness and distance. The Mini Driver comes in for things like minimalist sets, tight driving holes/holes where you don’t need full driver, and play off the turf for those with that ability.

      Best,

      Matt

    • Hi, I’ve just purchased the mini driver copper and took it to the course for the first test, my regular shot with driver is always a late fade. So I started teeing of with my 3 wood which was much straighter but lost distance obviously This mini driver goes off like a gun, straight and longer than before I’ve tweeked with the settings to suit me, this is staying in my bag forever 👍

  18. Sorry but the worst head cover I have seen for a long time. The sock design is a nightmare. Colour yuk.

  19. Hi Matt,

    Great review on the TM BRNR Mini Driver, but would you also consider doing a review on the TM BRNR comparing it to the PXG 2-wood?

    When I first learned about the TM 300 Mini Driver I could not find one to purchase so ended up getting the PXG 2-wood (closest club I could find to a mini driver) as my driver replacement and have loved the PXG ever since. The 2-wood definitely finds more fairways than my driver and is only about 10 yards shorter. I’m now wondering if I’d get more distance with the TM BRNR compared to my PXG 2-wood.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

    Thanks,
    Keith

  20. Hi Matt,

    I have the PXG GEN5 2-wood.

    I was mostly interested in your team doing performance testing with the PXG 2-wood (GEN5 or GEN6) and comparing the stats to the TM BRNR mini.

    Thanks,
    Keith

    • Matt Meeker

      Unfortunately Keith, that’s not possible. However, if you’d like a custom comparisons, please feel free to send us both clubs.

      – Meeks

  21. Is the shaft connector that same the stealth? Sorry don’t know the official name…

  22. Hi Matt,
    I have recently purchased the Taylormade BRNR Mini Driver to try to gain more distance off the tee as I normally hit my Taylormade Sim2 max 3 wood. I like the weight of the 3 wood because it’s lighter than a typical driver. Granted, I have only swung the BRNR on a simulator in the off-season but it feels a bit heavy, even with adjusting the weights. I was wondering if you know if you can buy taylormade weights online that will be able to replace the “heavy” 13g weight in the driver head. Do you know if it is compatible with Sim2 or Stealth weights?
    Thank you,
    Evan

    • Matt Saternus

      Evan,

      I don’t think that TM makes their weights readily available, but you might be able to get them through an authorized TM dealer.

      Best,

      Matt

  23. Jason Jenkins

    Hi Matt,
    I’m a low 20’s handicapper who is long off the tee, tend to slice a little, but struggles with keeping on the fairway. Iron shots are fine, just the M4 giving me problems. In your opinion, is this club something I should consider ?

    • Matt Saternus

      Jason,

      The Mini Driver wouldn’t be my first choice for fixing a slice. I would get fit a driver first, likely something with a moderate draw bias or some adjustability like the PING G430. If you’ve been fit and you’re still slicing too often, you have to look at something in your swing.

      Best,

      Matt

  24. Mike Yazvac

    First time commenter here! Love checking the reviews on this site so wanted to leave my two cents for fellow readers now that the BRNR is back in stock: this club has been a lights-out, 5 strokes-off-my-handicap game changer for me.

    For background: I’m a pretty solid iron player and ball striker and generally take a pretty big divot. Currently bagging Zx7s and carry my 7 iron 155-160. Feel comfortable hitting irons all the way down to 2 iron, which had been my tee club of choice hitting low runners on Texas fairways.

    With driver, I just can’t wrap my brain around both hitting up on it and closing the face. I either hit an in-to-out push slice, a balloon ball with ludicrous amounts of backspin, or I come over the top and close the face and hit a 300 yard out of bounds home run to right field. I’ve long since given up and no longer bag a driver – it makes rounds way more fun for me.

    The mini seems to have been made exactly for my swing. The TM site says it’s a club for players who hit down with their driver and in my experience this is 1000% true. I am regularly carrying 240-250 (!!) which is absolutely unheard of distance for me off the tee. I tested on a launch monitor after a few months of using it and was hitting smash factors regularly at 1.48, 1.49 with attack angle around -2 or -1. I hit one in particular that the monitor said carried 261 with smash factor 1.51 and my jaw hit the floor. I’m playing the 11.5* head, set upright and clicked one notch closed (which I think makes it 12*?) Shots are generally straight with maybe a small fade at the end.

    I also eventually found it just as easy to hit off the deck as my 3 wood, but that did take some more work and wasn’t the same immediate benefit as off the tee. You do have to really trust it’s going to work with the deep face. Trying to hit a “safe” swing off the deck definitely doesn’t work, but confident full swings with a divot send it flying.

    I agree with another commenter that the swing weight feels “heavy” compared to a driver – but I like a heavy SW and for my swing the weighting felt perfect.

    Definitely try if you can before buying, but for my playing and swing profile it’s really been a Goldilocks club!

  25. For the 74 year old there are custom lighter senior shafts available (A)

  26. Thanks for the review, Matt. Always appreciate your insight. I used to be a very good driver of the ball in the old days of the Big Bertha, but have tended to struggle with modern drivers. I suspect it is due to a negative angle of attack. I’m a very good iron player and can hit any shot with a fairway wood but the concept of “hitting up” on the driver has always baffled me. The result is low launching, high spinning, very inefficient drives. Could this type of club be a possible cure for me?

    • Matt Saternus

      It’s possible that this could be a “cure,” but I would need to understand the problem better. You’re currently hitting low launch, high spin drives? Have you been fit into a low spinning driver set up?

      Best,

      Matt

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