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.
Visit TaylorMade HERE
TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver Price & Specs
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Matt….I have the 300 mini and play it very well. From your review, the BRNR doesn’t sound like an upgrade. Thoughts?
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.
Any info on the Proforce (is it a rebranded V2, for example)?
Cheers from 🇨🇦
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.
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.
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.”
Castle Rock, CO
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.
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
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.
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 !!
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.
Thanks a lot for these precious advices!
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!
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.
Great review, very interesting club. I’m not that familiar with TM; how much adjustability does the adapter permit? Thx.
Good questions. Two degrees up or down.
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?
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.
Joe again, Matt!
Guess, if it’s adjustable, I can almost get it down to 11.5 deg. or in that vicinity!!?
Yes, you can get the 13.5 to 11.5, but you’ll be opening the face quite a bit.
Matt!! You missed one of the coolest things about the head cover. Turn it inside out and it is rainbow striped fur lined.
Great review. I may have missed it, but what Specs did you test? 13.5 and the stiff shaft?
I tested the 11.5, stiff.
Thanks on both counts 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.
The BRNR is a bit bigger, but it’s a similar concept.
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?
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.
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.