Club tested: Thomas Golf AT460 TS Driver
Club specs: Hand – Right; Loft – 10.5°; Lie – 56°; Length – 43.5”*; Shaft – Graphite, Stiff flex
*Custom built by Thomas Golf. Standard graphite shaft length is 45.25”.
Price as tested: $189 (regularly $378)
About Thomas Golf products: All equipment made by Thomas Golf features the company’s patented Shot Accuracy Technology, an alignment indicator on the top of the club which helps assure precise aim. The company offers free custom fitting of all clubs on its website and sells its products exclusively online.
Club notes: The “460” stands for 460cc (cubic centimeters), the maximum clubhead volume allowed under USGA rules. The “T” refers to the club’s titanium construction – super-light and incredibly strong – while the “S” means this is the standard version of the model. (There’s an offset version as well.)
The tested club was outfitted with Thomas Golf’s Ultralite – Low Torque graphite shaft, trimmed down to match the tester’s specifications. The shaft is available in Regular (R), Stiff (S) and Senior (A) flexes – all frequency- and flex-matched; it’s made from high-modulus materials and weighs 60 grams with 3.3° torque. The R and S flexes feature a mid-kick point for a medium trajectory; the Senior version has low kick point for higher trajectory.
At address: Like all Thomas Golf drivers, woods and hybrids, the AT460 TS has a flat portion of crown to accommodate the alignment indicator. While this looks a bit unusual at first, it actually enhances the sense of squareness at setup. Otherwise, the clubhead is traditional in shape and appearance, with an attractive, glossy-black finish contrasted against the metallic face.
Swinging it: As tested, this is a very lightweight driver. However, the shaft and clubhead pair well because both are extremely light. (A heavier head on the same shaft would likely feel very awkward, and vice versa.) The stiff shaft is solid but not “boardy” (i.e. too stiff) with a nice punch at the bottom.
At impact: With the AT460, the sound and sensation of a well-struck shot are pretty typical for a 460cc driver. Unless you’ve been hitting persimmon all these years, contact will be similar to what you’re used to in other brands. Off-center hits are where the club really shines. Stability is excellent owing to the high MOI (moment of inertia) of the AT460’s oversize head.
Ball in flight: Tee it high and let it fly. As with any 460cc driver, the Thomas Golf AT460 TS performs best when the ball is struck just above center on the face. This maximizes both launch angle and distance while reducing spin, and our tester was able to rip a few drives quite far, indeed. Balls struck lower on the face still produced solid length and good feel, but a lower trajectory. On the range, the ball appeared to hit the ground pretty “hot” with a nice amount of roll.
Playability & forgiveness: While pros and low-handicappers want a driver that lets them “work” the ball (hit draws and fades), most golfers prefer a club that imparts the least possible sidespin. Our tester was able to consistently play his go-to fade with the AT460, without too many veering into slice territory.
When struck poorly, the AT460’s broad face and high MOI compensated well. Distance loss was noticeable but not extreme.
Bottom line: Any golfer looking for help in the clubhead speed department will benefit from the AT460 TS driver’s lightweight profile. Those accustomed to swinging big-brand clubs will notice little if any difference in look, feel or performance in Thomas’ 460cc offering. And if you suffer from chronic aiming issues, the alignment indicator will help you fix the problem and maintain proper aim over the long haul. That’s a pretty nice bonus.