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TaylorMade BRNR Mini-Driver Copper: What you need to know

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: TaylorMade’s new BRNR Mini Driver Copper, the latest driver that isn’t a driver (and fairway wood that isn’t a fairway wood), debuts with looks, logos and colors that evoke the company’s 1990s aesthetics (Burner Bubble, anyone?). But it also adds the company’s most current tech upgrades, including a special titanium alloy face, a lightweight, CG-lowering carbon composite crown, a wider sole slot for better face deflection at impact and a reimagined K-shaped sole design to make this low-lofted head easier to play off the turf.

PRICE: $450 (11.5, 13,5 degrees with a four-degree, +/- 2 degrees, adjustable hosel).

3 COOL THINGS

1. Smarter driver. While the head evokes images of the company’s distinctive copper-colored Burner drivers of the 1990s, this current BRNR Mini Driver Copper at 304 cubic centimeters is bigger than most of the clubs of that generation. The TiBubble 2 was the largest copper colored head at 278cc in the company’s line back in 1997. The latest model, the sixth in the company’s history of these downsized driver heads that began with the SLDR Mini a decade ago [https://www.golfdigest.com/story/son-of-sldr-taylormade-shows-o], can be a smarter driver for some players because of ts more manageable head size compared to modern 460 cc heads along with a 43 ¾-inch shaft, or almost two inches shorter than current drivers. While the BRNR Mini Driver Copper is less stable than current TaylorMade drivers like the Qi10 Max and its 10,000 overall MOI (BRNR Mini might be barely over half that number), it features a carbon composite crown that helps lower the center of gravity. That helps shots launch higher with less spin, two keys to distance. The slot in the sole creates more face flexing, as well.

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2. Hotter fairway wood. The “mini-driver” head has gathered a bit of a cult following among better players over the last decade, including the bags of several top tour players like Tommy Fleetwood in recent years, as the oversized, strong-lofted 3-wood that can function both off the tee and from the fairway. What makes this model work off the turf is a K-shaped sole that is distinctly reminiscent of the multilevel sole that was part of TaylorMade metalwoods in the 1990s. That design combined to lower the center of gravity as well as provide smoother turf interaction, keys when hitting this club off the ground given its about 50 percent bigger than the largest fairway woods and more than 60 percent larger than TaylorMade’s current Qi10 fairway woods.

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Another advantage of the design is a special fast-flexing ZATEC titanium alloy face to improve ball speed. That same face has been used on the last few classes of TaylorMade titanium fairway woods, including Qi10 Tour. It also employs the assymetrical bulge and roll known as TwistFace to keep off-center hits closer to the target line in their finishing trajectories.

Two changeable weights in the front and rear portion of the sole allow a player to tune trajectory and spin. For example, positioning the heavier weight (13 grams) forward will lower flight and spin.

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3 Flashback shaft. While the heads won’t feature the iconic Bubble shaft of 1990s era TaylorMade drivers, the shaft features a throwback aesthetic of its own. The iconic ProForce 65 from UST Mamiya, a favorite at all levels of the game in that era, is part of the stock package on the BRNR Mini Copper. It’s designed to encourage that low- to mid-flight trajectory that better players prefer on this auxiliary driver. It’s offered in X, S, and R flexes.