Clubs tested: AT505 Iron set consisting of the 4-Iron through Pitching Wedge
Specs as tested: Stiff-Flex standard-weight steel shafts; Right Handed
Price as tested: $385 (list at $686); sold $55 per club (list at $98 each)
All Thomas Golf brand equipment features the company’s patented Shot Accuracy Technology; a shot alignment indicator on the top of each club. Its products are sold exclusively through www.thomasgolf.com
The Clubs: The AT505 Irons by Thomas Golf feature a cavity-back design. The hollowed space at the back of the club head distributes most of the club’s weight around the perimeter. This produces a bigger effective hitting area and sweet spot, resulting in longer, straighter shots on miss-hits, compared to traditional, blade-style irons.
The AT505 has a slight amount of offset at the hosel to help prevent slices. We found the amount of offset to be very subdued and natural compared to clubs with blatant offsets. For example, the AT505 low irons (3 and 4) are offset by 3 millimeters, the 5 and 6 irons by 2 mm, and the remaining irons by 1.5 mm.
Addressing the Ball: On all Thomas Golf Irons, you will find their patented shot alignment technology. This handy indicator is a very helpful way to align your shot to the target. I’m sure you’ve had those shots when the ball is struck nicely and the ball flight is straight, but it’s simply off-target. The shot aiming indicator on these clubs will help prevent that. There is a golden, diamond-shaped sweet spot indicator on the club’s face for even more added confidence in your ball striking. The balanced sole allows the club to rest on the ground nicely and come through the turf nicely to make contact with the ball. The top surface of the club is marginally thicker than most traditional blades, giving it a slightly beefier look and allowing placement for the shot alignment feature.
The Swing: After aligning the AT505 iron to the ball and noticing the comfort of the Thomas Golf alignment line and sweet spot indicator, hitting the ball is effortless, painless, and straightforward. The camber shape helps the club glide more smoothly over the ground while reducing the digging effect. The AT505 irons do not dig or hang up when taking a divot. There is a balanced feeling through the swing from club head to grip allowing for straighter, longer shots. The sweet spot indicator provides feedback on miss hit shots by looking at the ball mark in relation to the designated sweet spot. Our above average ball striking tester noticed that even on his “perfect flight” shots he was off the center of the sweet spot by as much as a quarter of an inch, showing us the forgiveness of these irons.
The perimeter weighted golf head has redistributed weight around the club head's outer edges to stabilize the head on all types of impacts. Our tester went on to say that “The design of the club made it easy to hit the ball straight with limited side-spin.” It is still possible to move the ball to the right or left with these AT505’s but our tester recommends sticking with your natural golf swing for best results. The slightly offset club was workable with a fade or a draw by our tester. The AT505 is designed to help with off-centered shots and makes small misses barely noticeable.
On the Course: The AT505 irons are a great set to have; their balanced feel and perimeter weighting of the club head rips through tough rough without a lag to club head speed. The irons can be worked for the shots calling for a fade or a draw, but we recommend them for use mainly as straight shot clubs. The slightly bigger face area allows for the miss hits to be controlled and still provide a descent distance. The irons are designed to be played from anywhere on the course in any type of grass with no issues. The marginally offset hosel is designed to help slicers keep the ball in play and eliminate penalty possibilities.
Straight to the Point: Thomas Golf's AT505 irons provide the ultimate forgiveness on miss hits. Small misses are hard to feel and sometimes go unnoticed. Bigger misses are noticeable but the AT505 do an excellent job compared to other clubs on the market, allowing you maximum distance and accuracy even from a poorly struck ball. The thicker top ridge of the club allows for the shot alignment indicator, a feature only available on Thomas brand clubs, gives the golfer a way to always be locked-in on the target. If you are tired of miss hitting the traditional blades and want more playability and enjoyment out of your iron play, then the AT505 by Thomas Golf is a great solution.