Do you generate excess spin off the tee that causes you to balloon your shots and lose distance? The answer to your challenge could lie in a low spinning, compact driver head. In this article, I cover the 5 best small heads drivers to reduce spin off the tee.
After reading this guide, you will possess the necessary knowledge to make better-informed decisions when looking for a small-headed driver.
Honma TR20 440cc – The Best Overall Small Head Golf Driver
|Value for Money||7|
|Overall Score /100||92|
Low spin, explosive ball speed, and optimal distance are all qualities you need to gain yards off the tee. And, it is for that reason why the Honma TR20 440 driver tops my list for the best small head driver.
Although the driver is available in a 460cc option, my attention is solely on the compact 440cc design.
Honma employed the services of a TI Carbon Fast Frame to increase the stability of your clubhead at impact. That allows you to transfer maximum energy from your clubface to the ball, resulting in a powerful launch and additional yardage.
Added to its stable frame is the ET40 Carbon Crown, which is aerodynamic and designed to deliver accelerated clubhead speed.
Furthermore, internal grooves and variable face thickness combine to increase the surface area that promotes rapid ball speed.
The final feature worthy of mention is its three adjustable weights. They enable you to tweak the level spin and shot shape produced by the driver. However, the downside of this driver is the shaft options that best suit faster-swinging golfers who demand stiffer flex.
In summary, the Honma TR20 440 represents speed, stability, and further distance and best suits faster swinging low to mid-handicappers.
- Produces faster clubhead speed
- Generates explosive ball speed off the face
- Promotes optimal distance
- Adjustable weights give you the freedom to set up for your preferred launch
- Transfers maximum energy from the clubface to the ball at impact
- Reduced forgiveness compared to the TR20 460cc driver
- The stiff flex shafts better suit faster-swinging players who have no problem launching their ball high and long
TaylorMade 300 Mini Driver – The Most Versatile Small Head Driver
|Value for Money||6|
|Overall Score /100||89|
The ability to hit your driver off the deck equips you with the power to reach more par 5’s in two, as is evidenced by this European Tour compilation.
TaylorMade’s 300 Mini driver is the smallest driver head option on this top 5 list and offers you the option of using it off the tee and the fairway to maximize scoring opportunities on longer holes.
The 11.5-degree loft contains a low CG that produces additional MOI to help you launch the ball high for a longer carry distance.
Furthermore, TaylorMade’s engineers fitted the mini driver with a Steel Sole Plate, which improves turf interaction to allow the club to glide through any lie and make clean contact with the ball.
On top of its superior turf interaction and high launch is a Twist Face that combats sidespin, preventing hooked or sliced shots. Plus, Thru-Slot Speed Pocket technology produces rapid ball speed on off-centre strikes for a consistent launch and extra yardage.
Finally, an adjustable loft sleeve allows you to alter the loft up to 2-degrees. That helps you position the face for your desired launch, shape and trajectory.
In conclusion, the TaylorMade 300 Mini Driver is ideal for mid to slower swinging golfers searching for a utility club to use off the deck and the tee box.
- Improved turf interaction allows you to use the club off the tee, fairway and in the rough.
- Promotes straighter shots
- Produces accelerated ball speed across the face
- The adjustable loft sleeve allows you to customize the setup of your face for your preferred launch and shot shape.
- The weaker loft may cause faster-swinging players to balloon their shots and lose distance.
Ping G410 Plus – The Best Adjustable Small Headed Driver
|Value for Money||6|
|Overall Score /100||88|
What is your preferred shot shape? A draw, fade or straight as a die? With the Ping G410 Plus, you can adjust the loft and CG of your clubhead to achieve your preferred shot shape and trajectory.
The implementation of movable weight technology allows you to set up for a draw, fade or neutral bias. If you struggle with a slice, set the CG to a draw bias to compensate and enjoy straighter shots.
Conversely, those who struggle with hooking their tee shots will benefit from a fade-bias setup. Furthermore, an 8-Lobe Trajectory Tuning Hosel allows you to strengthen or weaken the loft up to 1.5-degrees.
To produce rapid ball speed across the face, Ping fitted a T9S+ machine forged face. The precisely forged face erects a thin, explosive impact area which generates faster ball speed across the face.
Capping off the features of the Ping G410 is its aerodynamic, streamlined shape. The driver design restricts drag on your downswing to enable increased clubhead speed.
The Ping G410 Plus driver is a practical option for high handicappers who struggle with hitting the ball straight and need to compensate for their slice or hook.
- It produces rapid ball speed across the face for increased distance.
- Adjustable CG allows you to position the club for a draw, fade or neutral bias launch.
- Adjustable loft enables you to set up for lower, medium or higher ball flight
- Promotes faster clubhead speed
- Mid to slow swingers may struggle to launch the ball with the standard stiff shaft
- Moderately expensive
TaylorMade M3 440 – The Most Accurate Small-Headed Driver
|Value for Money||7|
|Overall Score /100||85|
The TaylorMade M3 440 is my top pick for the most accurate small-headed driver. Thanks to its Twist Face engineering. The driver design reduces side spin that causes you to hook or slice the ball, leading to straighter shots and improved accuracy with the big stick.
TaylorMade also worked to expand the sweet spot of the driver. The design produces rapid ball speed across an expanded zone of the face.
Since setup helps you maintain ball speed on low-face mishits, it results in consistent distance on all shots.
Finally, the TaylorMade M3 440 driver includes two adjustable weights to help you achieve your preferred trajectory, ball speed and level of forgiveness. It is best suited to players looking for increased forgiveness and straighter drives.
- Promotes straighter drives
- Expanded sweet spot
- Delivers consistent distance
- Adjustable weights allow you to set up for your preferred trajectory and level of forgiveness
- Optimal feel
- The standard stiff shaft does not suit mid to slow swing speeds.
- The stronger lofts are harder for slow swinging golfers to launch.
Moon Wood 8 Driver – The Most Affordable Small Head Driver
|Value for Money||9|
|Overall Score /100||83|
Although the MW8 driver tops my list of the most affordable small-headed drivers, it is also a contender for the best unconventional design.
Thanks to the low profile of this 13.5-degree driver, it is simple to launch and control compared to its oversized counterparts. As a result, players with moderate to slow swing speeds enjoy a higher launch, leading to increased carry distance.
Furthermore, the inclusion of the SuperGlyde Sole provides optimal turf interaction, clearing the way for a cleaner strike and a high launching drive.
AutoPilot insists that despite the thinner face construction. Players can gain more yards than with a standard 460cc driver. However, I find that the higher flight reduces roll and my total distance.
Overall, the MW8 Wood is not for everyone. However, golfers with mid to slow swing speeds benefit from the hassle-free launch pad.
- The weaker loft makes it easier to launch for slower swinging players
- The shorter club length makes it easier to control and hit straighter
- Delivers improved accuracy
- A higher launch helps you achieve longer carry
- 1-year warranty
- It is not an attractive club
- The weaker loft may cause faster swingers to balloon their tee shots and lose distance
- The higher ball flight reduces the roll of your ball.
Your driver swing speed provides a helpful guideline to find the shaft flex and loft that best suits you.
According to True Spec Golf and Golf Magazine, players with a swing speed exceeding 105-mph should consider an extra-stiff shaft. However, those of you that swing below 83-mph are better suited to a senior flex shaft.
On top of shaft flex, you need to think about loft. Golfweek’s Jackson Lewis suggests that players that swing a driver over 105 mph fit a 7 to 9-degree loft best. Conversely, if your swing speed is below 85mph, a 12.5-degree and weaker is ideal.
Once you have identified a suitable loft and shaft flex, the next factor to consider is spin. If you are a player who struggles to get your ball airborne, you need a driver that increases backspin.
Conversely, those who achieve excessive height off the tee may prefer a club that reduces your backspin RPM.
Besides your ball flight, spin impacts the shape of your shot. When you generate excessive sidespin, it causes you to slice or hook your drives.
If slices are a challenge for you, a draw bias driver helps you combat the sidespin to deliver a consistently straight shot.
On the contrary, a fade-bias design prevents sidespin that causes a hook to promote straighter, accurate drives.
It doesn’t matter what your handicap is. Everyone could use forgiveness on mishits. Otherwise, you stand to lose substantial distance and accuracy.
Although small-headed drivers tend to offer minor forgiveness compared to a 460cc club, there are still plenty of forgiving options on the market.
A golf driver aims to get you as far and straight down the fairway as possible to set you up for your approach shot. Golfers with slower swing speeds stand to maximize their carry and total distance from using a weaker lofted, high-launching driver.
On the other hand, faster swinging players may increase their distance by hitting a strong lofted, low spinning driver designed to deliver optimal roll.
Small head drivers feature a compact design compared to the average 460cc design. These drivers help you increase your clubhead speed to promote a high, powerful launch.
Although small head drivers tend to offer less forgiveness comparably to their oversized competitors, they are not only for low handicap players.
My review revealed that drivers such as the TaylorMade Mini 300 are ideal for mid to high handicappers looking for improved accuracy and distance.
Yes, your shaft matters in a small head driver. Those with slower swing speeds require lighter, more flexible shafts to generate sufficient ball speed and spin to optimize your carry distance.
Conversely, players with faster swing speeds may benefit more from a stiff or extra stiff flex shaft that promotes a lower ball flight, with additional roll.
Furthermore, if you find that a 45-inch shaft is hard to control, you can reduce the shaft length. While it increases your control and accuracy, it can lead to a loss of distance.
There we have my picks for the best small-headed drivers. However, before I deliver my final thoughts, let us recap the top 5.
Earning the award for the best overall small head driver is the Honma TR20 440CC, thanks to its exceptional ball speed, adjustability and optimal distance.
Next on the list was TaylorMade with the Mini 300, which earned my vote for the most versatile driver. The equipment giants earned a second spot on my list with the M3 440cc, which won the category for the most accurate small head driver.
Ping made their way onto my list for the best adjustable design, while the Moon Wood 8 topped off our list of the best small heads drivers for its affordability.
If my words have inspired you to reassess the use of a 460cc driver, I suggest taking a closer look at the Honma TR20 440cc.