For the Tommy Armour brand, its latest lineup of woods and irons continues a clear message of pushing the boundaries of speed and forgiveness. It gets there with high tech materials, highly complex constructions and high-end manufacturing methods. What it doesn’t do, however, is charge a high price.
The iconic golf company is in its second year after reemerging as part of the Dick’s Sporting Goods umbrella of golf brands, and just like with last year’s TA-1 family, this year’s collection of Atomic woods and irons will be aggressive when it comes to technology. The key element in the entire lineup is the use of a unique DAT55 titanium alloy and a brazing construction, usually reserved for high-end golf clubs in the Asian market that can run upwards of $2,000 a piece.
“Tommy Armour is the first company to use this technology through the whole line,” said David Michaels, senior product manager for golf at Dick’s Sporting Goods. “The thing that makes this material unique beside its strength, durability and speed, of course, is its great sound and feel.”
The new Atomic driver uses a DAT55 titanium cupface combined with a carbon composite crown and a Ti-811 titanium alloy body. Michaels said the DAT55 is 25 percent stronger than traditional 6-4 titanium, while the newly designed carbon composite crown is 40 percent larger than last year’s version on the TA1.
“We’re able to cast the DAT 55 thinner, and the thinner you make it, the easier it’s going to be to increase how much the face flexes,” Michaels said, offering that DAT55 was a popular alloy for its durability in drivers used in long drive competitions. “Plus, the game is all about saving weight, so wherever we can use that discretionary weight we save by using DAT55, we can move the center of gravity low and deep to improve forgiveness and lower spin.”
According to Michaels, the Atomic has increased its moment of inertia (the measured stability on off-center hits) to near 5,400 grams-centimeters squared, among the very highest on the market.
Aerodynamics has been another focus in the driver. The crown features a row or ridge points to reduce turbulence, Michaels said, who explained the design grew out of input from golf ball dimple design technology.
The Atomic driver also expanded its adjustable hosel to six settings from four, across a plus/minus two-degree range.
The Atomic wood range also includes fairway woods and hybrids that also incorporate a DAT55 cupface. The heavier stainless steel body provides perimeter weighting and lowers the center of gravity. The face is brazed to the body, a process that joins the two dissimilar metals without welding to save additional weight.
“Just by using the DAT55 in the face we saw a 10 percent increase in CT [Characteristic Time, or the measurement of face flexing] right off the bat,” Michaels said.
The Atomic line also includes two sets of hollow irons, the game-improvement Atomic and super game-improvement Atomic Max. Each features a DAT55 titanium L-shaped face, which like the woods is brazed to a heavier steel body.
Michaels said the face is 40 percent lighter than steel, which saves an average of 30 grams. That allows for 60 grams of tungsten that can be redistributed low in the sole for more forgiveness on off-center hits and higher launch. That weighting allows for stronger lofts. The Atomic irons feature a 27-degree 7-iron and 41-degree pitching wedge, but the wider-soled Atomic Max move their lofts a degree weaker to provide those super game-improvement players with a little higher launch.
“The beauty of using this construction is we’re able to save all that weight by using titanium so this player is not going to have any problem getting the ball in the air,” he said. “These are just as easy to hit, if not easier to hit, than hybrids.”
The Atomic woods (driver: $400, 9 and 10.5 degrees; fairway woods: $250, 15 and 18 degrees; and hybrids: $230, 18 and 21 degrees) and irons (Atomic/Atomic Max: $800, set of eight, steel) are now available online and at Golf Galaxy and Dick’s Sporting Goods.