Club Tested: Thomas Golf AT725 Men's #3 Hybrid and #8 Hybrid
Club specs: Right Handed; Graphite “S” (stiff) flex shaft
#3 Hybrid: Loft 21°; Lie: 59°; Length 39.5”
#8 Hybrid: Loft 38°; Lie 62°; Length 37”
Price as tested: $89 (list $158)
*Note regarding Thomas Golf products: All equipment made by Thomas Golf features the company's patented Shot Accuracy Technology, an alignment indicator on the top of the club which helps assure precise aim. The company offers free custom fitting of all clubs on its website and keeps prices reasonable by selling its products exclusively via direct online.
The Club: Hybrids are a combination of an iron and wood, incorporating various features of each into one product to replace hard-to-hit traditional irons. The hybrid club hits the ball higher than its corresponding traditional iron. The Thomas Golf AT725 Hybrid is the square-shaped version, (compared to the more rounded AT705 version). The unique squareness of the club provides a shape and lines that are more perpendicular and parallel to the target line than a rounded club. This helps greatly in visually aiming the shot to the target. Shot accuracy is further enhanced by Thomas Golf's exclusive shot alignment indicator on the top of the club, which is the only one in the world to be parallel to the ground and truly accurate; giving you exceptional shot confidence.
The body of the club is longer and deeper (not desired by all testers) than your traditional iron. The lighter swinging shaft allows the club to go under the ball with more club head speed. The center of the weight is designed to go directly under the ball and propel the ball straight out and upwards along the target line. There is a slightly offset hosel to the AT725 allowing more playable surface area from of the heal area of the face. This essentially eliminates shanking the ball, as well as helps square the club face at impact, reducing the tendency to push or slice shots.
Addressing the Ball: The club calls for a ball position that is a bit forward, allowing you to sweep the ball, letting the natural loft of the face to launch the ball into the air. The AT725 Hybrid set is designed with a square-shaped head, yet with rounded corners to keep the look soft and playable.
Set up behind the golf ball and the unique shot aiming indicator can be set parallel to where you want the ball to go. We found it very effective to pick out an intermediate target only a couple of feet in front of the ball, such as a leaf or divot, then focus in on aiming the club’s indicator at that item, and thus the target line. This gave us easy and great confidence in the correct alignment of our shots. The wider sole of hybrids also promotes a square setup, so golfers can more easily achieve proper shot height and distance.
The Swing: The hybrid club hits the ball higher than its traditional iron counterpart, designed to replace them completely. The club head provides extra strength at the roof of the golf club to produce extra distance, even on mishits. The tester was able to hit from the toe, from the heel, from the top or the bottom; hit it out from bad lie, dig it out of trees, as well as a little knockdown punch shot that drilled out forward.
The weight is distributed low and deep in the sole of the club allowing the weight to get below the golf ball. The larger hollow square head distributes more weight to the perimeter and sole, with the sole being much wider than an iron. With the weight in the bottom of the club, our tester said that “everything just wants to pop the ball up in the air, which is beautiful.”
The sweet spot is bigger because of the weight and positioning of the sole of the golf club, allowing off center hits to be more forgiving. The alignment of your shots is taken care of nicely because of the square back, and sits nicely behind the ball, a pure confident head. These Hybrids allow you to get consistent, reliable distance from club to club. The square head of the AT725 Hybrid glides through thick rough without snagging the grass, limiting deceleration at impact. Many golfers, especially those who prefer to sweep the ball rather than hit down and take a divot, have found great success by replacing their conventional irons with hybrid irons.
On the Course: Thomas Golf provides a true full set of AT725 Hybrids that can be used for just about any shot on the course, from tee to green. Our tester used the AT725 #8 Hybrid (38 degree) around the green just past the fringe. Simply using the putting grip and putting stroke, he allowed himself to lift the ball over the first couple feet, allowing the ball to feed nicely to the hole. If you have trouble picking the ball up high in the air from the rough around the green without overpowering your shot, then the higher degree AT725 Hybrid clubs will do the job masterly.
The #3 AT725 Hybrid is an exquisite tool to use on those long par 3's or tough short par 4's where accuracy is essential. The Hybrid really gets the ball up in the air more quickly allowing a softer approach landing on greens. The tester had no problem getting the ball off the fairway to have a similar ball flight as off the tee. The fuller, bigger club face was able to rip through the rough at will, allowing a good trajectory to the target with minimum to no club head lag.
Hybrids Will Save your Game: The AT725 Hybrid collection by Thomas Golf is the answer to those longer shots that require a low iron. The patented alignment line, larger club face, and greater weight distribution through the sole will result in lower scores. You should make the switch to the Hybrid irons if you either: seldom use your mid to low irons, feel more confident hitting high-lofted fairway woods, seldom take a divot when hitting your middle irons, or have ever considered carrying woods like the #11 or 13.
The AT725 Hybrid hits higher, longer shots off the tee, fairway, or rough and will replace any traditional iron. If the squarish look of the AT725 Hybrid is a fit for you, don’t be afraid to carry a full set of hybrids. Thomas Golf offers complete sets of hybrids, numbered 1-9 plus the pitching, gap and sand wedges.