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I’m interested in coming up with some alternate configurations for my bag. One thing that has kinda interested me are the mini-drivers, but it seems like if you’re going to shrink the clubhead and increase the loft, you should at least gain playability from the turf, but a lot of reviews I’ve read suggest that isn’t necessarily the case.

 

Instead, I’m considering getting a strong 3, preferably with an adjustable hosel so I can turn it down to 12.5 degrees. My hope would be that I could replace both my driver and 3 wood with it, assuming I can find something I can hit well from the deck. This would give me a free slot in my bag I could then fill with a 5 wood, or another wedge, or whatever the course and conditions may call for.

 

Has anybody tried this? How much distance do you lose from the driver to the 3+ and how much did you gain over a standard 3 wood? I’m hoping they would nearly balance out. The courses I typically play aren’t especially long, so if two whacks with a strong 3 are nearly equal to a drive + a standard 3w it might be efficient and give me more flexibility, but I don’t know.

 

For those of you who’ve got a strong 3, any recommendations on a good model?

 

Thanks

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Got a Ben hogan strong 3 - 13# loft. I use it strictly as a 3 wood. The course i play doesn't require that I hit it off the tee on any hole. Ball flight is a little lower than a standard 15# 3 wood

Edited by 308 Ragin Cajun

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My 3 wood that I have been using for a long, long time is 14 degrees and low profile.  I use it on a lot, both from the fairway on and quite often off the tee.

Back in the day it was marketed as a strong 3 and is usually my most trusted long club.

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I actually recommend a “mini driver”. I like my 14 degree aeroburner version a lot.  

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I used to use a strong 3 as my driver.  The idea was that I would be more familiar with it the more often I used it.  I eventually went back to a driver/5 wood pairing as I rarely needed the 3 wood for a second.  It isn't a bad idea...but driver/5 wood suits me better.  The strong 3 was too long for the dog-leg holes and not as reliable as the 5.  If I played from farther back I might have a different opinion...but I don't.

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3 hours ago, HJJ003 said:

I actually recommend a “mini driver”. I like my 14 degree aeroburner version a lot.  

I’ve been fairly interested since discovering them. How much yardage do you lose vs your full-size driver, and how well does it perform off of turf?

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I also have a 14 degrees aeroburner mini driver - it's the club that is almost solely responsible for trimming 4-5 shots of my handicap (at least, when it was working 🙂 ). It normally replaces my driver, which I often don't take out. 

I think you already understand that you get less playability from the turf. The idea of the club is that it's a cross between the two - a bit easier to hit than a 3 wood from the tee, but harder to from the turf. I'd say I lose 10-15 yards of carry vs my main driver, but for some reason I tend to be able to get a flatter trajectory and get more roll, despite the increased loft. Misses don't tend to be as bad as with the driver, and usually in play. 

From the turf, it's more playable than a driver, but less playable than a 3 wood - shots low off the face still get a lot of speed, but the launch is still very low. If you want to hit a low shot that runs on a long way, no problem, but if you want to carry over a pond 200+ yards away, then you'll need to be a better player than me to do it with this club.

 

 

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9 hours ago, FrivolouslyWasted said:

I’ve been fairly interested since discovering them. How much yardage do you lose vs your full-size driver, and how well does it perform off of turf?

According to my GG account I lose about 15 yards to my driver with my mini driver. To be honest I’m not the best “off the turf” three wood guy, however, I have actually had some success hitting this club off the turf that I did not have back when I had a normal 3-wood. However, my swing is better than it was then. The face is larger so it’s a little more intimidating from the turf than a normal 3 wood, however, I have spoken to others who hit it off the turf no problem. 

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12 hours ago, Moxley said:

From the turf, it's more playable than a driver, but less playable than a 3 wood - shots low off the face still get a lot of speed, but the launch is still very low. If you want to hit a low shot that runs on a long way, no problem, but if you want to carry over a pond 200+ yards away, then you'll need to be a better player than me to do it with this club.

 

Thanks for the input. That’s about what I expected to hear, which does kinda have me leaning towards strong 3. Basically I’d like to have something that could let me take two clubs out of the bag, and give me a little more flexibility to play around with different club configurations. That may not ultimately be feasible or worthwhile. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for a good deal on a secondhand strong 3 and give it a try.

 

That said, mini driver might still be worth looking into simply as a replacement for the 460cc, which I struggle to find the center of the face on.

 

It’s funny, I play tiny irons and I’m getting pretty decent at hitting them, but give me something with a huge face, and that’s just more area to miss on

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I've tried them all during my first few years of playing golf regularly when I really struggled with Driver. I've used mini-driver, strong 3 wood, regular 3 wood, 1 hybrid, 2 hybrid. Nothing stuck, and it wasn't the loss of distance so much--my first few shots with the mini-driver were quite promising, but the same issues that plagued my driver would eventually work down to the replacement club. None of the replacements worked well off the turf either. A few years ago, I started hitting the driver much better after lots of youtube videos. I quit swinging out of my shoes, made sure my hands and arms were relaxed, slowed my backswing and accelerated through the ball. I now hit fairways and close rough most of the time with the driver, rarely in the trees now. My next club in the bag is a 5W or 3H for turf shots and par 3s, and I'm not particularly accurate or happy with either. Glad I stuck it out with the driver.

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@FrivolouslyWasted Another option I looked into before the mini was a deep 3 wood - face is still similar to 3 wood size, but just a little deeper (again, more tee shot friendly).If this matches your preference , then there are a few of these, such as one from Calloway. 

 

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My 3 wood is technically a mini-driver. I have an SLD from Taylormade. I really like it. I hit it about 85% how far I hit the driver off a tee. With about 80% in the fairway or at least the first cut.

Off the deck the mini-driver is really feast or famine. To me it's all about the turf conditions. If the turf is soft, or a little longer grass than normal it seems like a can hit it great off the deck. Tight-cut hardpan and I've got to be really precise or it can get ugly. Normally if the ground is hard and tightly cut I'll go 5 wood instead. 

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On 10/17/2018 at 5:06 AM, Moxley said:

@FrivolouslyWasted Another option I looked into before the mini was a deep 3 wood - face is still similar to 3 wood size, but just a little deeper (again, more tee shot friendly).If this matches your preference , then there are a few of these, such as one from Calloway. 

 

This is another one I’ve considered. I’ve seen legend of a 2 Deep from callaway, but I’m not convinced it actually exists, because I can’t find one anywhere. 

 

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I don't know your age, handicap, or clubhead speed, all of which could have some bearing.

How do you hit your current driver? It is possible that you may actually gain distance with a 12.5 degree club off the tee, due to better launch and better contact from the usually shorter shaft. Most mini drivers/strong 3s are around 43 inches. It is also possible that you will lose distance off the deck. It takes a good strike from a good lie with some speed to maximize these clubs off the deck. Still, it can be a viable option, improving tee shots and improved performance from the fairway in appropriate situations, and using another club like a 16-18 degree fairway for most of your fairway shots.

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I have a Ping G30 14.5 deg 3 wood which I have adjusted to 13.5 degrees. It has a 43 inch senior flex Ping graphite shaft. Due to my slow swing speed  ~ 85 mph, I have found this a good alternative to my TM 12 deg driver on days when the fairways are soft. If the course is dry and warm weather - the driver is around 15 yards longer.

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