Martin Hopley

In the good old days when it came to choosing woods there was just a driver and a couple of fairway woods to pick before you went to your irons.

Then TaylorMade introduced the Rescue club and the hybrid category expanded. Now they are at it again with Mini drivers splitting the driver and fairway in your bag.

The first to try this was the SLDR S Mini last year, which was very well received, so now they have shrunk the AeroBurner driver, or enlarged the AeroBurner fairway depending on how you look at it, to create the AeroBurner Mini driver.

TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver

It features all the same design and technology as the other AeroBurner woods, but in a 253cc head. This makes it around 90cc bigger than the AeroBurner fairway and 207cc smaller than the AeroBurner driver.

The white, titianium head looks great at address and is possibly the best of the three for me.

TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver

There are three lofts of 12°, 14° and 16° and the crown uses the same raised section and rough surface to assist with reducing drag as it goes through the air.

TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver

Aiding this is the AeroHosel fin on the rear of the hosel, which you don't really notice as it merges into the white crown, which is there to help alignment with the black face and the subtle AeroBurner logo.

On the sole is the wide red SpeedPocket that maintains ball speed from low centre strikes and is one of the keys to the performance of this club.

TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver

Teeing the ball up gives a great sound and feel and the flight was high and strong. However hitting it from the ground is where the SpeedPocket comes into its own, as it gives that extra ball speed to get even the 12° version up and away just as easily. This loft flies a little lower from the deck than the tee, but the 14° performs very similarly from either.

TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver

On the range the Trackman data showed little or no decrease in ball speed when hit from the deck or the tee and that impressive stat was due to the SpeedPocket.

In addition, the smaller head can move through the air a touch faster than a 460cc driver, so that will help increase club head and ball speed too.

TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver

What is key to its accuracy is the 43.5 inch Matrix shaft that is 2.25 inches shorter than the AeroBurner driver, or about the same length as driver shafts were when I was a lad. This makes it more manageable to swing and there is also evidence that, depending on the golfer, a shorter shaft can increase distance because it is easier to strike the ball out of the centre of the face for maximum performance.

TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver Shaft

So is this a driver washed at too high a temperature or a pumped up fairway?

It is both and it performs very well, comes in at a good price and like the other AeroBurner woods is great fun to hit, which is half the battle.

Hitting a driver off the deck is one of my favourite shots to pull off, right up there with nailing a 2-iron, and it is great to see a driver designed for this purpose that is also great when teed up.

Unlike when you hit a driver from the deck, the Mini looked more at home behind the ball and there was no extra effort or swing change required to get it launching just like a fairway.

From the tee it felt effortless to get going and the sound and feel as you banged one out of the middle was every bit as good as the AeroBurner driver, if not better because the smaller head seems to have a little more feel to it.

However, before you run out and buy one without reading any further, you need to ask yourself one question:

Do I have room for it in my bag?

The answer will depend on who you are and what you want to use it for.

If you are a good driver of the ball and occasionally have to throttle back to a 3 wood on some holes, then the AeroBurner Mini could take on the driving role for either or both and it could also give you a longer club from the fairway.

If you are a bad driver of the ball and use a fairway from the tee for safety reasons then the Mini will give you some more distance from a larger, more forgiving head that still has a similar amount of loft to your fairway if you went for, say, the 14° version.

TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver

Better players who play golf a lot in wind or on links may like the option of a stronger lofted wood to hit from the fairway to keep the ball down.

The 12° Mini probably requires an above average swing speed to be effective from the fairway, so if that is not you then the 14° would still be a good choice as the larger head and slightly longer shaft should still go further than the equivalent fairway.

Others may decide to reconfigure their bag with the 14° Mini and then add the 18° AeroBurner #5 fairway before going to hybrids in order to keep the distance gaps and that would be a good call too.

The key is to get the loft gaps right in your bag, so give it some careful thought as TaylorMade expect 50% of golfers to use it as a driver replacement and the other half as a fairway replacement.

Given the AeroBurner range has a broader player appeal than the SLDR, the AeroBurner Mini driver could herald the start of another new category in golf, so I would strongly recommened taking it for a test drive.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
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TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver - Product Details

Launch UK27 March 2015
Launch RRP£219
Handicap Range
GolferMens, Women
Hand AvailabilityLeft, Right
Left Handed Lofts12°, 14°
Right Handed Lofts12°, 14°, 16°
Colour OptionsWhite
Head Volume253 cc
Club Length43.5 inches
Swing WeightD3
Shaft NameMatrix Speed RUL-Z 60
Shaft TypesGraphite
Shaft FlexRegular, Stiff, X Stiff
Shaft Weight60 grams
GripTM Speed Rubber Grip
Manufacturer's WebsiteTaylorMade Website

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User Reviews

September 2016

I've struggled to hit drivers consistently since they went to the 460 cc head. I'm a 7 handicap too. I would end up benching my driver after a couple of poor swings and switch to my 2 iron or 3 wood for accuracy. Decided to try the Mini driver Aeroburner and all I can say is wow. I'm down the middle even on tight holes. I have taken out both my driver and 3 wood because I hit this Mini Driver off the deck too! Added a 4th wedge instead. Great driver, highly recommend for anyone who struggles with the larger head, longer shaft drivers.

September 2016

Found a used one in Germany and took it for a test drive yesterday - can only agree with the above comments - amazing club and the speed pocket does marvels from the deck 250+ yards.and much straighter. Goodbye 460 cc's forever.

August 2016

Just an average Joe on the course, used the club with 14° loft first time today. I have to say I was really impressed. Off the tee was just like using a 3 wood, just a little longer. What really impressed me was off the any 3 wood I've ever used out of the water. Can't wait for my next round.

August 2016

I'm almost 59 and was using a GGB 3 wood off the tee. I recently bought the 12 degree Aero mini . I love it its added 20 or 30 yards off the tee. I've been in the fairway a lot more often lately. My playing partners use drivers mostly and spray a lot of their drives. The shorter shaft gives me more control. I would recommend this club to anyone looking for more accuracy.

June 2016

Loaned my Mini 14 degree stiff shafted club to a relation in England and played a round of golf with this 9 handicap golfer. On the first par 5 (530 yards), he teed the Mini up and drove the ball straight down the middle 273 yards, there was a golfer on the green and I advised my relation not to hit the ball until the green was clear, he ignored my advice and from the ground he hit the Mini to within 8 inches of the hole. Naturally I called out FORE. On arriving on the green the golfer stood and applauded my relations shot, he of course scored 3. My relation advised he had never got near this par 5 hole in two before and went on to score 75 on this par 72 course. He was like a little kid in a lolly shop every time he hit the Mini and believes it will take him down to a 4 handicapper. Unfortunately my Mini 14 has disappeared from my bag, wonder where it has gone!

April 2016

I invested in the Burner driver because I'm a great lover of TaylorMade but I couldn't get used to it and was struggling to find consistency. Then I came across the Mini driver and let me tell you not only did I drive the ball over 250 yards my confidence has grown very quickly so 10 out of 10 for me and what a cracking Club to have in my bag. Happy days!!!

February 2016

I bought a SLDR Mini Driver about 6months ago and have dropped 4 strokes of my handicap just by hitting straighter and longer than I did with my SLDR driver.

January 2016

Bought this is 12 degree stiff back in October. Due to the weather and being generally busy I haven't played much since, but lately I've been managing to get out. I have to say once the crappy stock grip was replaced this is basically a cheat stick! I have always struggled with the big stick mainly as I can't get on with the size of head. I grew up playing with oversized heads that were more like today's 3 woods so the 260 cc head on the burner suits my eye. I can honestly say it's taken 6/7 shots off my scores. It's longer than my Nike VR pro driver by a mile and extremely forgiving. The smaller head gives me more confidence to commit to my shot and I feel I can shape my drives which I have NEVER been able to say. I am not a fan of TaylorMade normally as I often feel they are all talk and their product turnover is borderline ridiculous, but this is a fantastic product and is exactly what I have been looking for for years so credit where credits due taylormade have played a blinder with this! I highly recommend it to anyone who struggles with the driver.

January 2016

I recently purchased the 12 Deg version of the Mini as a replacement driver option. I have always been wayward off the tee with large headed, long shafted drivers but pretty good with my fairway woods so the Mini seemed like a good option to try. I have now played 3 rounds with the club and it's very impressive, definitely no loss of distance and much more accurate. It feels really stable with the stock stiff shaft and has a really solid feel at impact. The overall weight and balance of the club also feels just right for me. I haven't tried it off the deck yet as the course I play is very wet at the moment so that will have to wait for the summer and better lies. Some players may lose a few yards if they hit a 460 cc well but the increase in control is well worth it. Put your ego to one side and give a try.

August 2015

After 40 years of never hitting a driver in the fairway more than 50% of the time, I replaced it with the aeroburner mini. I gave up about 25-30 yards --240 versus 265-270 in length, but I hit the mini with a lot more accuracy--80% in the fairway, and more often than not, straight down the middle. It is a revelation. I also noticed it is about the same size in club length and head size as the persimmon wood I used in the 70s and 80s. Most golfers including myself until now, do not want to replace their driver with a club that won't go as far--do your self a favor and forget that. My scores have dropped by about 8 strokes a round since I started using the aero mini.

July 2015

The best driver ever... and I have been playing since the mid 80's!!!

July 2015

I just got my 14 degree aero burner mini driver and went out at my club and didn't miss a fairway. This club is awesome off the tee. I am a over 60 and find the driver a bit hit and miss and use a 3 wood offthe tee more often than not and this new aero burner 14 degree is just the greatest club ever for me.

July 2015

Hit the club at goldsmith felt amazing after all these good reviews I'm going to buy it!

May 2015

Bought the 12 degree mini today... took it out to range to challenge it vs my Big Bertha driver. At age 63 I know I'm not getting the most out of big head drivers like when I was younger. The AeroBurner Mini is awesome for ease of swing into centre hits with speed. TaylorMade should have named it mighty mouse! This club is amazing.

May 2015

I had last years TM Mini driver and ditched my 460cc driver. Hit just as far but straighter. I did find the 2014 model a tad hard to hit off the fairway due to its very curved underside, but the Aero has remedied this with a flattened underside and can now replace two clubs in my bag the driver and 3 wood. I use the 14 or 16 degree depending on the course and wind on the day. Great product !!!!

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