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Thomas Golf AT705 Hybrid Irons Replace Traditional Irons

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Thomas Golf AT705 Hybrid Irons

Thomas Golf's AT705 Hybrid Irons features an alignment aid on the crown.

Thomas Golf AT705
May 1, 2005 - Thomas Golf was founded in 1995, but you won't find any of its equipment lines in green grass or bricks-and-mortar golf shops. That's because Thomas Golf is a direct-to-consumer manufacturer. No sales staff pitching product placement to pro shops, no huge budget for a tour staff or heavy advertising.

Thomas Golf's business model is very simple: help consumers get the clubs they need through thomasgolf.com.

But don't think, because its products aren't in pro shops, that Thomas Golf has limited offerings. Thomas makes a full line of clubs: drivers and fairway woods, irons, hybrids, wedges and putters.

We recently had our first experience with Thomas Golf equipment in the form of an AT705 Hybrid Iron - a No. 5, to be exact. The AT705 clubs can be purchased individually, if a golfer is looking for just one or two hybrids to replace long irons; or the AT705 can be purchased as a full set of hybrids, 3-PW (or other set configuration). One- and 2-iron versions are also available, as are a gap wedge and sand wedge.

Like all hybrids are designed to do, Thomas Golf's AT705 iron-woods are designed to help golfers who struggle hitting traditional irons. Hybrids are, for many golfers, simply more playable than traditional irons. They offer more forgiveness than irons, their weighting properties can help get the ball up into a higher trajectory, and they can help improve accuracy.

That makes the target audience for the AT705 clubs a broad one: anyone looking for easier-to-hit clubs than traditional irons.

One thing we like very much about Thomas Golf's construction of the AT705 set is that the hybrids are numbered to correspond to the iron they are replacing. Sure, that's an intuitive thing to do, but surprisingly, not all manufacturers do it. The AT705 No. 1 is 16 degrees in loft, 40 or 40.5 inches (depending on shaft material) in length; the No. 5 that we've been using, 27 degrees and 38 or 38.5 inches; a pitching wedge, 46 degrees and 36 inches. So a No. 5 AT705 corresponds, in shaft length and loft, to a typical 5-iron.

However, those specs might change to meet the needs of the customer. Thomas Golf builds all its clubs to meet the requirements of consumers, who, prior to ordering, fill out an online fitting questionnaire. That questionnaire is followed up with an email from a company representative; phone discussions might also take place, and a customer can make further requests through the "comment" field on the order form.

Something else we really liked about the Thomas Golf AT705 hybrid was the alignment aid on the crown of the club. Thomas Golf uses what it calls "advanced aim and alignment technology" on all its woods, hybrids and irons (even on traditional irons). On the AT705, that alignment aid is in the form of a gold line, about three-quarters of an inch in length, against the dark background of the ground. Such alignment aids are common on putters, but not seen seen nearly as often on woods and irons.

Further, the part of the crown on which the alignment line sits is flattened, removing the optical tricks that can be played by lines on curved surfaces. The yellow indicator is parallel to the ground and to the direction of the clubface.

Our AT705 No. 5 carried just as far as are our traditional 5-iron, but with a higher trajectory, and it performed better on mis-hits. The AT705 also performed well out of the rough.

The Thomas Golf AT705 Hybrid Irons come with three shaft options: TT Lite XL Steel by True Temper, Frequency Matched Dynamic Gold Sensicore Steel by True Temper, and Frequency & Flex Matched Tour Grade Thomas lightweight seamless graphite. The per club price at the time of writing was $62; the price for 3-PW set was $496 (prices subject to change, of course).

To check out more info about Thomas Golf, visit the company's website at thomasgolf.com.

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