AT725 Square Hybrid Driver Review
Back in 2007, square golf clubs were the “Next Big Thing.” Nike, Callaway and other major brands touted the technological advantages of block-shaped clubheads, and their claims were validated in 2009 when Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink won back-to-back major championships using square drivers.
Fast forward to 2013 and, well, those glory days are long gone. Not only did square clubheads failed to conquer golf, they’ve nearly vanished from the market. Nearly, but not quite.
Thomas Golf, maker and retailer of premium custom clubs, is single-handedly proving that it’s still hip to be square. The company continues to offer its AT Square 460 Driver as well as the AT 725 hybrid line – and now it’s combined the two with the AT 725 Hybrid Driver. (Thomas’ AT 705 Hybrid Driver is a traditional-shaped version of the same club.)
Why would Thomas Golf keep trying to, if you’ll pardon the expression, pound a square peg into a round hole (e.g. a market which seemingly dismissed the product category)?
For one thing, Thomas doesn’t mind swimming outside the mainstream. The company’s products are offered exclusively through its website, www.thomasgolf.com, with no brick-and-mortar presence or sales through third-party retailers, in their quest to save the golfer from paying markup. They also provides custom fitting, free, on their website.
What’s more, Thomas has clearly determined that square clubheads remain a valid game-improvement technology – and they’re right. Not only does the shape raise the club’s moment of inertia (MOI) and boost accuracy, it’s a great aid to the golfer’s aim. And that makes square heads a natural fit for the Thomas brand.
The company’s claim to fame is its patented shot alignment indicator. What appears to be a standard alignment line on the top of the clubhead is actually a wondrous piece of technology. Thomas woods and hybrids feature a level crown that’s parallel to the ground, so there’s no curvature to throw off your sightline or aim, even by a hair. (Thomas irons are built using the same concept.)
Long story short, that little line points the clubface precisely at the target. When you’re certain the club is aligned correctly, it’s easy to line up properly with the feet, hips and shoulders too.
Pair the alignment guide with a square clubhead and you’ve got a match made in accuracy heaven. And a unique, viable product for Thomas Golf.
So there’s the background. Now let’s take a closer look at the AT 725 Hybrid Driver.
First of all, it’s not the same as the 1-hybrid (16° loft) offered with Thomas’ AT 725 set; the Hybrid Driver replaces (or supplements) a conventional driver.
Here are the technical specs (your club’s custom specs may differ from standard):
Who’s the AT 725 Hybrid Driver for? Anyone who doesn’t mind taking a step outside the box, especially if it means gaining control off the box – the tee box, that is.
Look closely at those specs. Notice anything unusual? That’s right: The AT 725 is shorter than today’s standard driver, which typically measures 45” or more (graphite). And check out the clubhead size. At 230cc, that’s half the size of the maxed-out 460cc drivers found in many bags.
Both factors give the AT 725 a comfortable, easy-to-control feel at address. It’s noticeable during the swing, too, as the club feels more like a hybrid or fairway wood than a driver.
The other good news is, you shouldn’t lose any distance with the AT 725. The shorter shaft will help you find the sweet spot more often, while Thomas has built all kinds of distance-boosting elements into the club. (For example, the flat crown retains more energy than a conventional, rounded crown, transferring maximum power into the ball.)
And here’s a real bonus. If you’ve ever tried to get a 460cc driver airborne off the fairway, you know it’s next to impossible. The AT 725’s shorter length, smaller head, wide sole and high loft make it a whole lot easier to hit off the deck than the driver you’re carrying now.
With the AT 725 Hybrid Driver, Thomas Golf once again goes against the grain to give golfers what they really need. It just might be the club to get your tee game squared away.