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Hybrid review by Mike Holmstrom

Mike Holmstrom,

Golf Review Guide

I have been a golfer on and off since about age 22 just after graduating from college.That’s forty years of hacking and whacking, worrying and whining about my golf swing.I have taken as many as 10 years off away from golf and have played as many as twenty days in a row…and while I am not a low handicapper(I’m a 10), I have lots of golf experience with lots of courses and lots and lots of clubs.Steel shafts, graphite shafts, cavity backs, blades, offsets, you name it, I have tried it.

In my latest iteration I began playing regularly again when I retired three years ago here in Carlsbad, California.I started out as an 18 handicapper with all the common faults, poor alignment, poor set up, swinging from the outside, poor weight shift, casting my hands and so on.Struggling as I was with the lack of perfection I came across an intriguing concept I hadn’t previously come across in the vast library of golf reading I have done over the years.

The Thomas Golf system of alignment is elegantly simple.Use the patented alignment guide on the top of each club to align your body and clubface properly with the intended line of flight and you minimize the most common error that affects pros and hackers alike.

I still use the 505 irons and the fairway woods in my golf equipment repertoire.The alignment indicator keeps my game steady and my initial position consistent.Still, there is the rest of the swing and I have found at age 62 that my slower swing speed can’t handle the 2-5 irons nearly as well as 5 years ago.Thomas Golf came to my rescue.Their new hybrid club is a magnificent piece of work.I have hit the Thomas 1-5 hybrids as well as I ever hit the low irons and just as far (and more consistently straight) than I ever hit them in my life.

I challenge you to hit the new Thomas hybrids and compare and contrast them with any other brand on the planet.And remember, they all come with the patented alignment technology that will consistently ease you into the proper setup and posture when you address each shot.From that consistent platform you will develop a consistent swing and an approach to shotmaking that will enhance your golf experience.

The length of the hybrids shaft matches the typical iron so the swing feels the same as an iron to me. I take a small divot just like a long iron. The face of the club is similar to a traditional iron, but the bottom of the club has the forgiveness of a wood, and the low center of gravity makes it easy to get the ball aloft quickly. I find my fat shots (my biggest bugaboo) are far better with the Thomas hybrid and the thin shots almost indistinguishable from a perfectly struck shot. Visualize your typical thinly hit six iron, spinning weakly off to the right. A Thomas hybrid will tend to send the ball out straight and low toward the target. My swing speed was measured at 95 mph, and I have always used stiff flex shafts. However, when I tested the low Thomas hybrids, I found I hit the regular shaft beautifully. I hit the 1 hybrid about 220, the 2 about 205 and the 3 about 195. I have carried the 4 and 5 with stiff shaft now for about six months and rely on them to carry about 185 and 175 respectively. This should give you some idea about shaft selection. One last thing I have been using the 4 and 5 hybrids out of the rough to very good effect as thick grass does not seem to grab the hosel like a conventional iron. I have yet to try the lower hybrids coming out of the rough.

Then, think of the price! One half to two thirds of what you’ll pay for a major brand at a golf equipment store or online.And the quality is superb.

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