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Club tested: Thomas Golf AT725 Square Hybrid Driver

Club specs: Hand – Right; Loft – 10.5°; Lie – 56°; Length – 43.5”; Shaft – Graphite, “S” (stiff) flex

Price as tested: $139 (regularly $238)

About 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 sells its products exclusively online.

Club notes: They’re baaaack. Actually, square drivers never left the Thomas Golf lineup. While other brands dropped square clubs from their lineups at the first sign of consumer indifference, Thomas stuck with the shape. Why? Because it works.

The company originally entered the category with its AT460 Square Driver, which it still offers. Recently, Thomas added the AT725 Square Hybrid Mini Driver as a complement to its AT725 Square Hybrid line.

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There’s not another driver on the market quite like this one. While most of today’s models feature huge clubheads and shafts of 45” or more to boost distance, the AT725 Square Hybrid Driver goes the opposite direction. Its clubhead is a mere 230cc in volume – half the allowable size – while the standard graphite shaft is 43.5”.

In other words, this driver is built for accuracy and control.

At address: While the AT725 is called square, it’s got rounded corners for a less jarring look than other examples of the style. That was a bonus to this tester, who never embraced square drivers during their flavor-of-the-month phase. You might expect the smaller-than-average clubhead to look puny, but it really doesn’t. If anything, the AT725 instilled a stronger sense of control.

Golfers who struggle with their aim will love the AT725. Thomas Golf’s alignment indicator and the square clubhead are a match made in straight-hitters’ heaven.

Swinging it: The feeling of control carries over to the swing. Chalk it up to the smaller head and shorter shaft, which make the AT725 feel more like a 3-wood than it does a typical modern driver.

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At impact: Here’s where you know the AT725 is, in fact, a driver. It delivers a slightly louder blow than a fairway wood or hybrid; feels more like a driver, too. A ball position similar to that of a 3-wood shot – maybe two inches inside the left heel – delivered the best contact. We’d attribute that to the club being about the same length as a 3-wood, and shorter than a regular driver.

Ball in flight: It would stand to reason that the AT725 might cost you a few yards off the tee, but our tests didn’t seem to show that. The 10.5° loft produced a nice, high trajectory without excess spin. If anything, the shorter shaft gives you the confidence to put a little extra “oomph” into the swing, minus the fear of launching one off the planet. Less shaft between hands and clubhead made for more consistently solid contact.

Playability & forgiveness: Golfers who are willing and able to work the ball with the driver, but find hitting draws difficult with 460cc models, will appreciate the shotmaking capabilities of the AT725. As a bonus, it’s much easier to get airborne off the fairway than its contemporaries (provided you’ve got the necessary skill and clubhead speed). We tested it “off the deck” and, while not every shot was great, the club delivered on our good swings.

Bottom line: Thomas Golf’s AT725 Square Hybrid Driver isn’t for everyone. Its downsized dimensions and unusual shape will scare some golfers away. But if you can put aside such prejudices and try the club on its own merits, the AT725’s control and versatility may just win you over.