Hybrid clubs, those gifts from the golf gods, have transformed the game for many of us. No longer does a 180-yard carry over water mean an automatic layup. The sting of a skulled 3-iron is but a distant, unpleasant memory.
Then there’s the driver. Despite technological advances straight out of a Michael Crichton novel, the #1 wood remains a bugaboo to legions of players. No matter how much we practice or how many different models we try, the colossal clubheads and extra-long shafts just don’t agree with our swings.
Enter Thomas Golf. A leading manufacturer of premium custom equipment – sold exclusively though its website – the company recently introduced the AT 705 Hybrid Driver.
You read that right: a hybrid driver. Not to be confused with the 1-hybrid (16° loft) offered with Thomas’ AT 705 hybrid set, the Hybrid Driver is intended to replace your actual driver. Based on our tests, it’s definitely worth a try.
First, a few basic facts about the AT 705 Hybrid Driver:
Length: 43.5” (graphite shaft), 42.5” (steel)
Available Shaft Flexes: R (regular), S (stiff) and A (senior) in both graphite and steel
Clubhead Size: 230cc
Hand: Right and left available
Note: Thomas Golf offers free custom fitting on its website, so your club’s specs may differ from standard.
What sets the Thomas Golf AT 705 Hybrid Driver apart from the pack? In a word, controllable. While the big manufacturers obsess over beating each other’s distance claims, Thomas recognized that many everyday golfers have difficulty wielding modern drivers with any semblance of consistent accuracy. At the same time, Thomas noted how successfully golfers have integrated hybrids into their sets – and how much easier the clubs have made things for the Average Joe. With a trio of its own 460cc drivers already on the market, plus a pair of 380cc models, the company had a bright idea:
Let’s make a driver that’s as easy to hit as a hybrid. The AT 705 delivers on the promise. With a sleekly shaped clubhead that’s half the maximum allowable size (yet still bigger than the original Big Bertha), it provides a refreshingly “hittable” look at address. It should prove especially appealing to golfers who feel confident with the setup appearance of regular hybrids.
The other big difference is the AT 705 shaft. While standard driver shaft lengths have crept up over 45”, this one checks in at just 43.5” in the graphite model. This is a particularly welcome change. Sure, longer shafts produce longer shots, but only if you’ve got the swing to control them. Otherwise, the added inches only make it harder to find the sweet spot – and off-center hits lose considerable distance.
Last but not least, the AT 705 Hybrid Driver is much, much easier to hit off the fairway than a conventional driver. Again, chalk that up to the small, hybrid-shaped head, the wide sole and short shaft. If you relish the chance to hit driver off the deck but have no confidence in your super-sized model, this one could make your dream come true.
When designing the AT 705, Thomas Golf left one thing alone: the company’s patented shot alignment indicator. Paired with the club’s flat crown, the indicator line eliminates any uncertainty about exactly where you’re aimed. If the guide looks like it’s pointed at your target, it’s pointed at your target.
Oh, and don’t worry about sacrificing distance with this club. It’s got plenty of loft and a low center of gravity to generate a high launch and ample carry distance. Besides, any club that boosts your confidence will promote a more authoritative swing and better contact. Which is exactly what you can expect with the Thomas Golf AT 705 Hybrid Driver.
For more information, visit thomasgolf.com/Drivers