Tommy Armour Atomic Irons Review

50 Words or Less

The Tommy Armour Atomic irons are very long and forgiving.  Lofts are extremely strong which needs to be considered when setting up your bag.

Introduction

The Tommy Armour brand has been around golf for a long time, but the new Atomic irons are anything but old fashioned.  With a combination of materials – steel, titanium, and tungsten – they claim to offer golfers tons of distance and forgiveness without a sky high price tag.

Looks

The Atomic irons straddle the line between game improvement and super game improvement.  The top line is quite thick, but there’s less offset than you might expect.  Also, the combination of chrome and brushed silver makes the club face appear smaller than it is.  The sole is quite wide, but it doesn’t stick out beyond the top line at address.

I have mixed feelings about how these irons look in the bag.  The branding is minimal, and there are no gaudy colors, both positives in my book.  On the other hand, there are conflicting textures – the lines on the toe, the dots in the cavity – and a lack of refinement in the design.

Sound & Feel

With a large profile and titanium face, I was expecting that the Tommy Armour Atomic irons would create a big sound at impact.  I was surprised to find that, even with a range ball, contact was very quiet.  The sound has a clicky quality, but it’s deep-pitched.  This iron does get a little louder when you strike it perfectly, but even those shots won’t draw unwanted attention.

When it comes to feedback, there isn’t much.  My hands barely felt impact, and the sound – outside of the volume change – doesn’t vary much between pure strikes and mishits.

Performance

If you scroll down and take a look at the specs, you’ll see that the Tommy Armour Atomic irons are at the leading edge of strong lofts.  Thus, I wasn’t surprised in my first range session when I saw the 7I launching well below my typical 7I window.  While that low flight can be positive or negative depending on the player, what’s unambiguously impressive is the consistency.  I saw very little difference in launch angle when comparing good strikes to thin shots.

The purpose of those strong lofts is obvious: distance.  My stock gamer 7I carries 165 yards; the Atomic 7I carries 175.  My ball speed was similar with both 7 irons, but the Atomic launched lower and spun less to create that additional distance.

One problem with strong lofts is that there is a point of diminishing returns.  When I got to the 5I, the launch and spin numbers looked like a 3W for me.  It did carry as long as my current 4I, but the Atomic 4I launched so low that it was unusable for me.  And this is the part where I speak to the importance of fitting.  I hit the ball low, so strong lofts aren’t as useful for me as they are for someone who hits the ball very high.

Regardless of the lofts, the Atomic irons do have very good forgiveness.  The ball speed stays consistently high on centered strikes and mishits.  Also, as I mentioned earlier, these irons are quite good about launching thin shots onto reasonable trajectories.

Conclusion

If the Tommy Armour name brings back positive memories for you, but you’re looking for modern performance, the Atomic irons are worth a look.  With a price that’s substantially below most other OEMs, they still offer solid forgiveness and plenty of distance.

The Tommy Armour Atomic irons are available exclusively at Golf Galaxy and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Tommy Armour Atomic Irons Price & Specs

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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6 Comments

  1. Hi Matt–

    I’m a pretty high-handicap weekend hacker looking to get out on courses a little more this coming warm season. In particular, I’m looking at getting a set of game improvement irons after realizing the following 2 things about the no-name (Turnberry Tungsten TI somethingorother) irons I’ve been using– first, the shafts are about a half-inch shorter than standard clubs, and second, the lofts on this set seem to be higher than the corresponding lofts on other sets. My 5 looks like a 4, my 6 looks like a 5, etc. I’m a taller guy (6-3) so I feel like this is not exactly an ideal combination. Distance isn’t a big problem when I make good contact, but consistently making that good contact is my bigger problem.

    These irons (4-AW) are on sale for like 250 bucks right now at Dicks, and I’m thinking about jumping on them because they seem to present a good value for the technology in the clubs The one thing I’m a little worried about is how you mention that the lofts are also pretty “strong” in order to create distance– and that’s something I’ve seen echoed elsewhere. If I’m really trying to become better as a golfer, is that something I should be leery of? I guess I’m worried that these clubs have been made in a way that would help the shots be more consistent, but at the expense of ultimately being able to control and “work” the clubs the way I want to as I improve. Or is that a worry for down the road since I’ve probably got such a long way to go before I’m really doing that kind of stuff?

    Appreciate any input. Thanks!

    • Matt Saternus

      Phil,

      Good questions.

      Stronger lofts don’t inherently hurt or help golfers at any given handicap level. The reason for this trend is that OEMs are trying to “win the fitting” by having the longest 6I. The easiest way to have the longest 6I is to give it the loft of a 5I.

      Ultimately, the best advice I can give a player of any level is to invest in a quality fitting. Club fitting actually helps the beginner golfer more than the advanced player, so it’s definitely not something you should wait to do until you’re better.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Makes sense. Thank you for the reply, Matt!

      • Matt, just wanted to follow up– I ended up getting these as a gift and what I didn’t know until that time was that if you buy a set from Dicks, you get fitted for free. Still have to pay for any extensions or lie adjustments, etc, but the fitting fee is waived– so for the set, it ended up only costing me about 50 bucks. Not bad.

        Anyway, these have been working out really well for me so far. I still need to get a little more consistent with my swing path (lessons are coming soon) but just having a proper length club with a little more forgiveness has made a noticeable difference. It’s also just more fun when you’re not afraid of biffing every other shot before you even address the ball.

        So I wanted to thank you for the review, and I’m glad I took your advice on fitting to heart!

  2. I’m 75 years old so a fitting is too late for me. I play to a 15 and have always been a good iron player though ball flight has been consistently ‘high.’ My 5 iron flight looks like most 7 iron flights, etc. I currently play Taylor Made psi irons with graphite shafts. After studying the Atomic irons and seeing the tech in those irons.. and really missing steel shafted clubs i figured the great price and the classic Name was worth the investment… they arrive this week… looking forward to them.

  3. I have always used Tommy Armour, from the 845 originals to the 855 to the 845HB. So I decided to buy a set of the Atomic. I hit them the first time yesterday at course in Little River, NC near North Myrtle Beach, Eagles Nest. You’re a little getting used to, but the ball really jumps off the club. The only thing that I haven’t got used to of course is my distance. It hits a little longer, but it also doesn’t really bite well when it hits the green. It seems to have a little more top spin than I’m use to. But overall, happy so far just a learning process.

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