Club tested: Thomas Golf AT91 Putter
Club specs as tested: Hand – Right; Loft – 3°; Lie – 73°; Length – 35”; Grip – Oversized
Putter style: Center-shafted mallet
Price as tested: $119 (regularly $238)
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, including putters, on its website and sells its products exclusively online.
Club notes: The innovative AT91 putter by Thomas Golf features the first square, heel-toe weight bars placed on the back of the clubhead. (Similar weight bars by other manufacturers are typically round.) Thomas made the bars square to enhance visual perception of the line in concert with its built-in alignment indicator.
The AT91 includes a number of other unique components as well. It weighs 366 grams, heavier than standard; features a slightly higher face profile than most putters; and pairs a red, machine-milled face insert with a multi-step, black stealth head.
At address: If you take comfort in geometrical symmetry, the AT91 will really fit your eye. It sets up dead square. The bi-level alignment guide assures that you’re aimed properly and that your eyes are over the ball, with the base of the putter resting flat on the green. The square weight bars and contrasting red insert solidify the sense of being correctly aligned.
The stroke: While the AT91 is only a tiny bit heavier than a conventional putter (300-350 grams), the difference is perceptible. Any golfer with a herky-jerky, quick or handsy stroke will benefit from the extra weight, without feeling like he’s swinging a sledgehammer.
The putter swings effortlessly back and through regardless of range. We had no trouble controlling the pace of the backstroke or the transition to the forward stroke.
At impact: A well-struck putt resonates with a gentle “ting” against the metal insert. Little feel is lost on miss-hits, which we attribute to the high MOI (moment of inertia) created by the AT91’s design. We’ve experienced the sensation of putts “going off in your hands” with some heavier models, but not this one. That’s probably because it’s only a few grams over standard weight.
Roll of the ball: The face of the AT91 is slightly higher (taller) than standard, which seems to impart an extra dash of overspin. Putts ran true to the line with no signs of excess bumpiness or wavering.
Playability & forgiveness: High-MOI putters are designed to mitigate miss-hits, and we (sometimes) intentionally struck putts on the heel and toe to gauge the effects. While no putter can make a poor putt roll purely, the AT91 did better than most. The additional weight and taller face are a bonus when putting from light rough, too.
Bottom line: Thomas Golf’s AT91 looks good, feels good and handles a variety of putts with equal aplomb. If you’re in the market for a mallet-style wand – and need all the alignment help you can get – we highly recommend it.