Joel Tadman tests out the Honma TWorld747 460 driver used by Justin Rose to see how the performance stacked up
For the then World No.1 Justin Rose to make the switch to this brand and model at the peak of his powers suggested there had to be something in the Honma TWorld747 460 driver. Now that we have experienced it ourselves, we would have to agree.
From an innovation stand point, it’s ahead of its time. Certainly when it comes to Honma’s unique adjustability system that allows face, loft and lie angle to be adjusted while keeping the spine of the shaft in the same place for more consistency.
There are also 9g and 2.5g sole weights that can be swapped to alter the ball flight and fangs hidden behind the top and bottom of the face that absorb and retain energy to maximize ball speeds.
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Perfect for those who like simplicity, at address there are zero distractions – no alignment mark, just a large, inviting and slightly shiny dark profile and a light silver face that effectively highlights where the face is pointing.
There’s an undeniable appeal about the sensations experienced when the ball comes off the clubface. It feels hot, stable and powerful in equal measure, with a pleasing sound that is neither too loud nor understated.
Testing on the Foresight Sports GCQuad launch monitor against our favourite Ping G410 Plus driver, the TWorld747 matched it in every department. Even with a slightly softer Honma shaft, we found the ‘low spin’ set-up (9g weight forward) to actually spin too low at just over 1700 rpm, so by moving the heavier sole weight back we achieved more appropriate spin numbers around the 2000rpm mark while also increasing the clubhead’s forgiveness.
Ball speeds were high, nearly identical with the Ping G410, often exceeding it. This could be because we found the sweetspot of the Honma easier to find.
This will encourage all levels of player. It then comes down to the loft and shaft combination – a crucial factor when trying to optimize the flight and one that must be done by a trusted Honma fitter as the shaft matrix and complex adjustability system requires specialist knowledge.
It uses a special tool that, once the screw has been loosened with a specialist wrench, can twist to alter the lie, loft and face angle while keeping the shaft in the same place. Honma say the benefits of this include a more consistent strike pattern and overall performance. Looking at the instruction manual, it’s difficult to know for sure which position applies to which setting, which is why it’s best left to the professionals.
But go through that process, and we’re certain you’ll eek out some extra yards.
Many will gasp at the premium price tag, but we were amazed to see how much more centred our strikes were with Honma’s Vizard FP-65 shaft kept in the same place after we tweaked the loft down to 9°. There’s clearly merit in its design and one we’d urge you to try should a driver upgrade be on the cards in 2019.