Is Callaway The Latest Manufacturer To Jump On The Mini-Driver Bandwagon?

There seems to be a growing trend of major OEMs producing their own “Mini-Drivers”...

Photo of the new Callaway Mini-Driver
(Image credit: GolfWRX)

I recently wrote a piece on the prototype Titleist “2 wood” that was first spotted at The Players Championship and subsequently made it into Cameron Young’s bag for the Masters. Shortly after that, I received a sample through of the new TaylorMade BRNR Copper Mini-Driver, and also noticed a number of pictures on the USGA conforming list of a PXG version.

Now, based on some tour sightings, it seems that Callaway is the latest major manufacturer to be joining the growing contingent of Mini-Driver producers. Callaway staffers Xander Schauffele and Christian Bezuidenhout have been spotted on the range at the RBC Heritage testing what appears to be named the Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini-Driver.

Photo of the Callaway Mini-Driver

(Image credit: GolfWRX)

Similar in looks to the rest of the Ai Smoke driver family, we are assuming that the 340 is referring to a head size of 340cc and the Ti would suggest a greater use of titanium than in the main driver range.

This would be the first official dive into the Mini-Driver world from Callaway, although they have produced some very aggressive, low-lofted, deep-faced 3 woods in the past that would serve a similar purpose such as the X2 Hot 3 deep fairway wood that Phil Mickelson used so successfully during his Open Championship victory at Muirfield.

Scott Fawcett of Decade Golf is taking full credit for the growing popularity of this style of club, believing his statistical research on the importance of the tee shot is driving much of this momentum. Based on the research of Decade Golf, Fawcett feels that the most effective way to maximize your game from the tee as an elite player is to fade your driver and draw a Mini-Driver, giving players the best opportunity to advance their balls furthest up fairways on varying shapes of hole and with different wind directions. 

Decade Golfs research shows that “dropping back” from the tee is one of the major limiting factors to low scoring and that this style of club means you will have to lay back less often and less distance.

This way of thinking is very similar to an idea I had a few months ago when I wrote an article considering using two drivers, one built with fade bias and the other with draw bias, for precisely the same purpose.

Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Cameron Young, Phil Mickelson, Jake Knapp and now Xander Schauffele are just a few of the names that seem to be coming around to that way of thinking, and are either currently gaming, have gamed or are testing various Mini-Drivers.

As yet, we have no confirmed release date for the Mini-Driver from Callaway but will keep you posted as and when we receive an update.

Joe Ferguson
Staff Writer


Joe has worked in the golf industry for nearly 20 years in a variety of roles. After a successful amateur career being involved in England squads at every age group, Joe completed his PGA degree qualification in 2014 as one of the top ten graduates in his training year and subsequently went on to become Head PGA Professional at Ryder Cup venue The Celtic Manor Resort. Equipment has always been a huge passion of Joe’s, and during his time at Celtic Manor, he headed up the National Fitting Centres for both Titleist and Taylormade.  He’s excited to bring his knowledge of hardware to Golf Monthly in the form of equipment reviews and buying advice. 

Joe lives in North Devon and still plays sporadically on the PGA West region circuit. His best round in recent years came earlier in 2023 where he managed a 9 under par 63 at Trevose GC in a Devon & Cornwall PGA Tournament.

Joe's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Ping G430 Max 10K 9 degree - Fujikura Ventus Red 6X 45.75"

Fairway wood: TaylorMade Qi10 Tour - Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Pro White shaft 70TX 43.25"

Irons: Callaway Apex CB 24'  3-11 - Project X LS 6.5 shafts

Wedges: PXG Sugar Daddy 54 and 60 degree - Project X LS 6.0 shafts

Putter: Odyssey Toe Up #9

Ball: TaylorMade 2024 TP5x