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Shorter shafted Driver vs Mini Driver vs strong 3 wood


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Hello, I am still tinkering with my longer sticks and I would like to share some insights with the Community.

 

i am playing a Callaway Rogue ST max driver with a full inch shorter shaft and added 10gr of weight to the clubhead. Playing length is something around the 44.75 mark. 
also I have a Aeroburner TP Mini Driver as backup since this one came out. I have tested a Mini 300 for some days as this one came out, but there was no advantage to the Aeroburner besides the sound and the loft sleeve that is changeable. 
Last autumn I got a bargain on a demo Stealth+ 3wood. The head is not glued so I can swap around some shafts and can tinker with the loft setting. My results are extremely similar to the Aeroburner Mini but with the versatility of a smaller head 3 wood of the deck. 
 

on normal days my driver is the longest and straightest club. But sometimes the driver won’t work and this is where the Mini comes into the bag, till the new 3 wood came in… 
With all the hype on the Mini drivers right now, I just want to tell my experience that there is no real difference to me between the Mini driver with 14 degree and the 3 wood with 15 degrees and turned down to lower loft setting. If you can not find the middle of the clubface you need to go with the full face driver head and maybe a shorter shaft. 

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Good insight and thank you!  I would add a quick note in here (that I try to add to almost all of the "2driver/mini driver" type threads:

 

The #1 goal of the 2nd longest club in your bag should be to have a different curvature than your longest club, or at the very least, go "straight." 

 

The only golfer I can think of where this wouldn't be true is the straight-hitting, really good player who lacks a bit of length, but is still playing back a set of tees due to his skill.  This golfer will hit "3 wood" into a couple long par 4's and for 2nd shots on a few par 5's far more often than they will off the tee, so they need a true fairway wood.  Every other case I can think of, I'd rather see a 2nd longest club that you can pull out on holes that (one way or another) go "against" how your longest club fits into the shape and/or landing area of the hole.  

Edited by Dan Drake
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I’m actually trying to make this decision myself right now. I’m a lefty and I need a go to draw shape in the second from top spot. My driver is straight to fade biased and my current 3 wood isn’t getting me there. My mind keeps thinking about getting a driver head in a 3 wood shaft for that slot.

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11 minutes ago, Streuner said:

@Dan Drake good point to have the 2nd long club with a different curvature. I was not thinking about this until your post, but it sounds so simple logically.

 

Knowing what we know now about which shots are the "high leverage" shots during a round of golf, and thusly how important it is to get off the tee, we want to create a setup where we can 1. Hit our tee shots as far as (reasonably/repeatably) possible 2. Leave an unobstructed shot into the green in regulation and 3. Do these two things as many times as possible during the round.  As such, it just makes sense to start building our golf bags this way.  Just like it made sense to pull the 4iron out of our bags in lieu of a "lob wedge" back in the early 90's (due to a number of factors including how "high leverage" short game shots are), it makes sense to look at our tee shots this way.  

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I cut an inch of my TSi3 and didn't add any weight to the head. 

 

I definitely have better dispersion and accuracy. I need to get a fitting tho and recheck my numbers and shaft options, its been a while.

 

I would say cut 1/2 inch and see how it feels. I would personally rather have the accuracy, feel and workability over having an extra 5-10 yards total all day long.

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4 hours ago, realmfg said:

43" 8x shaft with a 12* paradym X is the best decision I've made for my golf bag.  I carry two drivers and no 3 wood.

I did add a 16 gram weight to the back after testing.  Just high fades that hit fairways or near fairways.  Misses are so much less penalized its fantastic.   Definitely lose yards, but its great for tighter holes or when I lose my regular driver. The confidence with that shaft length and a large 12* head is unbelievable.  I've tried mini drivers and this setup blows them away for my game.

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3 hours ago, Dan Drake said:

 

Knowing what we know now about which shots are the "high leverage" shots during a round of golf, and thusly how important it is to get off the tee, we want to create a setup where we can 1. Hit our tee shots as far as (reasonably/repeatably) possible 2. Leave an unobstructed shot into the green in regulation and 3. Do these two things as many times as possible during the round.  As such, it just makes sense to start building our golf bags this way.  Just like it made sense to pull the 4iron out of our bags in lieu of a "lob wedge" back in the early 90's (due to a number of factors including how "high leverage" short game shots are), it makes sense to look at our tee shots this way.  

Hi Dan,  I have a question I posted in another thread but want to see if you have any insight since I see you've covered all this pretty extensively.. I'm looking for a mini driver/ 2 wood as a second tee club and have tried some of the recent mini drivers, but there low spin high launch designs go against what I'm looking for with this club. I want to try to find something in the mold of the mini driver but with a much higher CG so its more of a low launch high spin control club. Is there anything you've come across that fits that mold?

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Went out for a round yesterday and took an old pxg 9* head up lofted it and put it on a 1/2” short 3 wood shaft and has some promising results. It’s not a draw head and I’m guessing the swing weight is really weird but hole one water on my left I drew it away from it was nice to see. Something I think I’m gona look into further!

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On 4/21/2024 at 6:01 PM, Tbone107 said:

Hi Dan,  I have a question I posted in another thread but want to see if you have any insight since I see you've covered all this pretty extensively.. I'm looking for a mini driver/ 2 wood as a second tee club and have tried some of the recent mini drivers, but there low spin high launch designs go against what I'm looking for with this club. I want to try to find something in the mold of the mini driver but with a much higher CG so its more of a low launch high spin control club. Is there anything you've come across that fits that mold?

There are clubs that fit this description and the good news for you is that they are from a few years ago and therefore pretty inexpensive, relatively speaking.  The first round of mini drivers from about 2015 (Big Bertha 1.5, TMAG SLDR, AeroBurner, etc.) were all from before COGs were as optimized as they are now and were all a bit lower launching, but higher spinning.  I'd start with one of these and see how it goes.  Personally, I'd do the Big Bertha because it has an adapter (careful, it is the driver adapter, not the fairway adapter) so you can use a few different shafts to see what you like.  If none of those strike your fancy, I'd then look into similar era drivers, but higher lofted versions.  Say something like the 12° R15 heads where you can use the adapter and sliding weights to dial in a swing weight and shot shape to fit what you are looking for.  FWIW, I'm using my 10.5° Epic Flash Sub Zero head lofted up (face closed) two degrees on a 70g Aldila Voodoo XVS7 at 43.5" for my low launch, baby fade 2nd tee club.  The only thing that is funny so far is that I have the sliding weight in the full draw position, but get baby fades, but whatevs, lol!

 

Good luck!

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I tried a 12 degree 460cc driver with a 43.5" Rip 80x (88g) and the size of the head/short shaft combo was awkward for me.  sure it worked fine off the tee usually but I just never felt like the lie angle and balance was right and kept messing with lead tape and adjusting the hosel...never got comfortable with it.  

 

Longer shaft, lower loft on a 3w just made it less consistent contact/direction wise for me.  

 

Mini driver is a nice compromise and if you choke up on them a bit they can be pretty easy to hit off the deck IMO (at strong 3w lofts).  

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Curious how many extra yards you get if play a Driver head instead of 3W or Mini Driver at the same shorter length... 

 

If you play 3W about 275ish off tee but stick a Driver head on same length shaft will it give you an extra 15-20 yards so about 290 yards?  But dont swing up, swing level or little down same as 3W so its way more accurate and working ball left and right gets easier too...

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25 minutes ago, Barfolomew said:

Curious how many extra yards you get if play a Driver head instead of 3W or Mini Driver at the same shorter length... 

 

If you play 3W about 275ish off tee but stick a Driver head on same length shaft will it give you an extra 15-20 yards so about 290 yards?  But dont swing up, swing level or little down same as 3W so its way more accurate and working ball left and right gets easier too...

Totally a guess here, but I would think that on perfect strikes, you would see almost the exact same results minus a little extra yardage on the driver due to a slightly higher achievable CT/COR.  That said, the main difference would be on less than perfect strikes where the extra volume of the 460cc would allow for better ball speed retention, a bigger (more effective?) radius of bulge and roll, better launch angle and spin envelope retention due to the square footage (inchage? lol) of the face, and a few other things I'm surely not remembering.  

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4 hours ago, Barfolomew said:

Curious how many extra yards you get if play a Driver head instead of 3W or Mini Driver at the same shorter length... 

 

If you play 3W about 275ish off tee but stick a Driver head on same length shaft will it give you an extra 15-20 yards so about 290 yards?  But dont swing up, swing level or little down same as 3W so its way more accurate and working ball left and right gets easier too...


Ball speed shouldn’t change much on good strikes but you’ll gain some forgiveness. Then it’s really about how the change in launch/spin affects things.

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18 hours ago, dsmil said:


Ball speed shouldn’t change much on good strikes but you’ll gain some forgiveness. Then it’s really about how the change in launch/spin affects things.

 

Yes the spin will be way lower and there's the lower launch from loft and what about the COR.... wouldn't a center strike on a driver have more rebound then a 3W.... like you say the forgiveness too, that would get ya more yardage.... so many reasons

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