Jump to content

Smaller head driver vs 460cc high handicapper


Recommended Posts

I am a high handicapper that can't hit a driver. I do well with my 3 wood and have been thinking about a smaller driver, i.e. TS4. However, most smaller heads are for better players. Would getting a TS4 head and use a lighter shaft., i.e. Kuro Kage work. I did try hitting it at Roger Dunn store, but they only had the Hazerdous shaft, which was too heavy. Any suggestions?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you considered a shorter shaft on your driver?

It's far from a universal cure, but there are definitely a decent number of players who report improved consistency when they get their driver length down a bit. And since you can hit your 3w better, it's not a bad guess that is at least as much due to shaft length as anything else.

If your driver uses a screw-in adapter, it's super simple to find a shaft out there at a shorter length. Or you could go old-school and just choke up on the grip by an inch or inch and a half and see how it goes. If the head feels too light at the shorter length, throw on a couple of strips of lead tape. In other words, the experiment to try a shorter driver can be done pretty cheaply.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had similar issues with my Ping G30 driver. I also had the 3 wood - and I swapped out the 3W shaft for the driver (thank heavens for adaptors) and then added some weight to the driver. Max drive "may

be little shorter but my consistency is so much better and my average drives increased little over 7 yards. Highly recommend giving it a try - with the adapter its no big deal to switch back to regular driver shaft if it doesn't work for you.

  • Like 1

Just an older guy with 7 or 8 clubs and a MacKenzie Sunday Walker bag

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know when you started golfing but I started in 2000 and the largest driver clubhead at the time from a major OEM was the Ping Tisi at 323cc. While it was considered humongous back in those days it is considered small today. What I'm trying to say that if beginners like myself at that time can't be able to hit clubs like that they should either take lessons or quit playing the game.

10.5 deg Titleist 905R with stock UST Proforce V2 Shaft (Stiff flex)
Titleist 990 (3-PW) with stock Dynamic Gold in S300
Taylormade V-Steel 5W & 3W with Grafalloy Prolaunch Red shafts (Regular Flex)
2011 Adams Tom Watson signature wedges in 52 and 56 degrees with stock steel shafts (Player's Grind)
Rife Island Series Aruba Blade Putter


"Loft for loft, length for length, and shaft for shaft, the ball will go the same distance when hit on the sweet spot regardless how old the iron."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TM Original One Driver, 43" shaft :)


OP it could be in the head: if you have no confidence in the club results can be disappointing for sure. For me its the 5 iron. Its only 3/8" longer then my 6 but its in my head :)


Shapes also can fool your eye a bit with stretched out drivers looking larger then others. For me the stretched look of a Rogue i game instills more confidence then the smaller Sub Zero, even though the SZ is a mere 20cc smaller...


Statistically, 3W do not hit fairways any more then Drivers :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think the TS4 (at 430 CC) will change much vs. a 460 CC. In addition to the original one, there were some mini-drivers from a few years ago (TM SLDR, Aeroburner, Callaway Big Bertha) that may be cheaper options. Maybe you can get a bit more out of these vs. your 3-wood but again it will probably be on the margin. You could also pick up an old 983E or 983K as a cheap ~340-365 cc experiment. These drivers are noticeably harder to hit in my opinion than the current drivers though (twisting on off-center hits is severe vs today' heads).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a Callaway mini 1.5 and it's money off the tee. My home course has some tight holes and I use it quite a bit. Not much shorter than my driver distance but much more controllable at 43 inches. Also not too expensive and the adjustable shaft helps in finding the right combo.

Callaway Epic Max LS Tensei 1K
Tour Edge EXS Pro 3W RDX Black
Cobra Radspeed 5W RDX Blue
Callaway Apex cf19 4-PW PX IO
Titleist SM8 Blue 50f, 54d, 58s
Toulon Garage Atlanta

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a high handicapper also and have tried almost all the new drivers of the last 3-5 years and I could not find the fairway consistently on any of them while my 3 wood has been very consistent. One day I came across an old driver in my garage - King Cobra 454 Comp from 2004(?). This thing is the straightest driver that I've hit in years (came with a carbon fiber(?) composite head and a light shaft). I took it to my golf store with a launch monitor and tested versus TS2/3 - the Cobra was straighter and had longer carry with less spin. You can find these things at 2nd Swing golf or ebay for $30 - $50. From that era, Cobra also had the SZ 400, 440?. 460 - some came with offset.

Also, during that time frame, the Taylormade r7 series drivers are also very good but usually have heavier shafts. I like the r7 425 = straight; with a heavier shaft; other r7 series drivers came lighter shafts as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife used to play the 440cc Mizuno JPX line and she did well with it, but a switch to the new 460CC 'full size' driver in the ST series has been much better and she's driving it much better now. YMMV of course.

Epic Max LS + ZF 6TSi2 17.25 + AD HD 7 / TSi2 20.25 + AD MJ 8 / TW-X 4 + TR20P + Modus3 105 / MD5 Raw / Toulon JDM Austin 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some people for which how it looks can be very important in the amount of confidence it gives. For those, one of the few mini-drivers or just sticking with a strong 3 wood ends up being the best way to go.

BUT it's important to know that there is more to putting together a successful shorter driver than just cutting down the shaft or choking up. Playing length, shaft weight and head weight all have to work together to get a good feel from the club and good results. Get some high density lead tape, some foot powder spray, go to the range with a bucket of balls and follow this self fitting tutorial and see if it makes a difference. If you still have the cut down shaft you tried previously, I'd start with that in the driver.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

JP has tried, bought enough 460cc drivers to now know it is a difficult fit. He has never gotten on with them super well and to date still buys the 435-440cc heads.

It's easier to come inside the ball with a smaller head. He hits them further and more accurately than their 460cc counterparts. It could be a mental thing, don't know. He also thinks the strike feels better.

The only 460cc heads hes ever even liked are the mizuno mp630 FT, mp650 and callaway marvik. Dont own any anymore.

Taylormade M5 Tour 10.5* 

Titleist 909H 17*

Titleist 818 H2 21*

Titleist 718 T-MB 24*

Titleist 718 AP2 5-GW

Mizuno MP R12 54*, 60*

Odyssey WH #6

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 330cc cleveland do certainly feel easier to hit then my 460cc taylormade.

But I am hitting both I mean how cant you if you just dont forget to check the ball. I also hit my 3 wood with just as much success. Fairway when wanting to much is another story...

Just teeing up correct ly is way easier with a smaller head beside the shorter shaft putting you in more contact with the club head. .



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking purely of the head, there is no logical reason why anyone would find a 3 wood easier to hit than a 460cc driver. The reason we have 460cc drivers is that they are more empirically forgiving. No smaller head will be as easy to hit.

When you add a shaft, however, things get trickier. Modern drivers have longer and lighter shafts that are harder to control and square up.

I'd try a driver with the same loft, same length shaft, and same weight as your 3 wood.

As an analogy, I can't hit a 3 wood. But since moving to the Cobra Baffler with a shorter, heavier shaft (like hybrid) I have no problems.


TSi2 Hzrdus Smoke
Cobra F6 Baffler

Apex 21/Epic Flash Hybrids
Cobra Forged Tec/MIM Tour Copper Irons
PXG/CBX FF wedges
PXG One and Done 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Golfer2019 I recently had decided to find a smaller driver with higher loft and a shorter shaft, like my own version of the "Original Mini Driver".
I ordered a titanium 12 deg. head from Bang Golf at 320 cc for $29 and a mid - hi flight cheap graphite shaft.
Unfortunately, the face came closed at least 2 degrees(you may like that) and they also sent me the 360cc head as well.
The head size difference isn't a problem but the face angle is so I reshafted my 2003 Magregor 9.5 380cc driver with the mid-hi launch shaft and cut it down to 44.5. I think It will probably hit "moon balls" like the 12 degree was supposed too.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you considered using a 'Thriver'? I did this about 10 years ago with great results. I built an Ashton MS5HW head at 12* on a 43.5" Dynamic Gold TX90 steel shaft. It was not the longest, but was longer than a 3 wood and far more controllable than a 45" long driver.

I'd see about finding a clubhead you like and trying it at 44" long and see what happens, and then work on going to 43.5" and seeing what happens.

Either that or try one of the really hot 3 woods in 13* like a Tour Edge Exotics CBX or something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

G400 is probably the most forgiving sub-460 driver. It also spins a lot and doesn’t tend to go as long as a well-struck 3W (for me).

Oh, and do NOT get a TS4 if you’re a high cap struggling off the tee. That’s a specialty head for high swing speed players who hit the center every time and need lower spin. Most high cappers need more spin to keep it in play. Your best bets are TS2, Mavrik Max, Speedzone Xtreme, G400 Max, etc.

Better yet, forget driver altogether and focus on a GIR+1 strategy. Score lower by hitting well-struck shots in fairway, just getting on the green inside 50y, lag putting, and sinking 3-5 footers. Spend less time in the trees and enjoy golf more.

Winter 2022

Ping G400 1W Elements Chrome 6F4

Ping G400 3W EvenFlow Blue 75

Ping G400 3Hy & 4Hy Aldila NV 2KXV Green 85

Ping i200 5i-UW AWT 2.0

Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth SS 56.12 60.10

Yes! Sally 12 Mid / Odyssey Stroke Lab Double Wide CS



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Larger clubheads do have higher moi but not necessary easier to hit the center off. Lots of talk about forgiveness on crap shots but not really seen that. Bad shots is just bad shots it´s a super good swing thought focusing on finding the center still!

There is differences on how you swing with a 3 wood versus a driver so what is easier depends more of if you are a sweeper or preferr more steep swings I feel. The clubhead is still so large much bigger then oversized iron clubheads there is no reason to miss it!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is an M1 430 head that was available. That thing was brutal though. If you didnt strike it you lost so much distance, and it killed spin. Justin Rose for a while tried to use it and kept putting back the 460 head into the bag because thats how unforgiving it was. I dont think any of the pros at the time seriously used it.


If youre struggling with a driver, a smaller driver isnt going to help. Its just going to exacerbate your issues with the driver.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Titleist 905 T 400cc and GDI YS6 shaft real smooth oldie thats cool these are now Retro and $65us in NZ.....


2020 18 July mid winterNZ
Ping Rapture 2006 10.5
Nike VrS 3wood
Callaway Razr Edge5 wood

MP100=33 9876 5/mp63
54     RTX2
60     RTX2
ProPlatinum NewportTwo
2002 325gram +8.NewGrip
Dont hesitate to buy one!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

My gamer driver is a 43.5" strong lofted 13* 3w. Tour Edge Exotics CB2. Shaft is a 65g Fujikura Moto X-flex. I had it built precisely because I don't like the huge 460cc drivers. They have their own set of design issues.

TEE CB2 13* 3w, 43.5", 57g Fujikura Motore F1 X-flex
TEE CB2 15* 3w, 43" 65g Fujikura Motore F1 S-flex
Miura Black Boron 1957 Small Blades 2i-PW, Nippon NS Pro 850 GH S-flex
Miura Black Wedges 53* and 60*, Nippon NS Pro 850 GH S-flex
GripMaster Club Maker's Stitchback Grips
34" Piretti Bosa, GripMaster Pistol Grip

Registered Bladeocrat
Outlaw Golf Association Member #7

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was looking on eBay and in the components section was a head I used to have. The KZG Maraging Power driver. They had a brand new in wrapper 9* head that was like $35 bucks. This and a shaft of your choice would give you a smaller headed driver that you could build easily to 43.5 or 44" long. The KZG MP was a very hot head back in the day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...