Club Tested: Thomas Golf AT708 Traditional-Length Hybrid Putter
Club specs: Loft 3°, Lie 74°, Custom built to 33”, Head weight: 322 grams (also available in heavy version of 388 grams)
Price as tested: $99 (list: $198)
Intro: Can you look yourself in the mirror and say you're a great putter? If not, you’re not alone in this category. Every golfer knows how frustrating putting can be. Instead of hitting yourself in the head a couple times with your putter after a 4 putt double bogie from 12 feet, you should simply consider getting a new one. Who’s to say you must have a life long relationship with just one putter? A new putter can often be the best move if you’re struggling to find the cup.
The Club: The square-shaped head of the AT708 Hybrid putter comes in two different weights, regular or heavy (322 grams or 338 grams) and can be custom fitted to any length for free by Thomas Golf. The machine milled face ensures ultimate flatness and the resilient urethane face insert provides added feel and distance control. We tested a traditional-length model, custom built to 33” (standard is 35”). Thomas Golf also offers the AT708 in a mid-length style. Grip choices include standard and oversize.
At Address: The golf ball should be placed just forward of the middle of your stance to help hit the ball slightly on the way up. The face of the club is taller compared to a traditional putter, and we found that it gives the visual of an end-over-end putt. You will see the defined gold alignment indicator offers the point-blank support that is vital for the mind's eye to accurately aim the shot and swing-path to the target. Squaring the blade at impact is the most critical component to hitting putts on-line and we found the square designed hollow head of this model to increase our accuracy to the target.
The Stroke: We loved the unique snag-less body and sole design that does not catch the ground on your back swing or forward stroke (even when you try). We also found the stability of this head to be perfect for long putts, when you have to bring the putter farther back in your swing allowing a higher chance of unwanted movement. Just bring the club back and you will feel the weight push forward allowing for a great feel and technique in each stroke.
At Impact: Here's where we found the AT708 to be the real money maker. We really cherish the Hybrid style hollow head because it provides more forgiveness on off-center hits. We noticed shots off the toe and heel still roll nicely off the face, giving you more confidence before the putt. On good contact, we were very pleased at how soft but solid the strike of the ball was; a winning combination.
How it Rolls: A prized attribute in testing the AT708 Hybrid Putter was the reduced skipping due to the greater face height and hollow head. By pulling weight back away from the face, the club automatically optimizes the center of gravity for you, producing an end-over-end, straightforward roll. Our tester treasured the elegant roll of longer putts, finding the ball to “glide to the hole.” We also found getting the speed of long distance putts to be easy with a more enjoyable “lag to brag” approach.
Playability & Forgiveness: This was our favorite part of the test, for good reasons. The AT708 Hybrid putter could be played from anywhere around the green. We tried it from the fringe, fairway, and even out of the rough. The special snag-less design makes it much easier than a traditional putter to come through to the ball and get it rolling; verses trying a chip out of taller grass. Arnold Palmer famously told Jack Nicklaus that “often your worst putt will still be better than your best chip”. We have no hesitation recommending you play the AT708 Hybrid putter just off the green, where you would normally expect some snag from the grass.
Bottom Line: We favored the AT708 Hybrid off the green and admired how well the taller than traditional face helped produce such a smooth straight forward roll on the green. We loved the performance and versatility; a real game improver for every type of golfer. We even suggest using it as a second putter for an off-the-green alternative to difficult chipping. Feel is one reason there is a greater variety of putters on the market than any other piece of equipment, and we have a feeling you will end your search with this beloved putter.