The new face of Honma
New launches, a new boss, more presence on Tour... This Japanese brand has some big plans to reinvent itself for 2019
Honma are best known in the West for making bling, gold-plated drivers and irons which come with the sort of price tags only dotcom whizz-kids or Russian oligarchs can afford. Yet they actually have a long history of producing beautiful and affordable forged irons, which can be traced all the way back to 1959.
The Japanese brand recently hired former Taylormade CEO Mark King to make Honma as popular in the West as it is in Asia, and he has some ambitious plans to get some serious tour visibility in 2019.
Rumour has it they’re in the process of recruiting a top-10 Tour pro, so it comes as little surprise they’ve launched a brand-new Tworld747 range (part of the brand’s Tour World range) for 2019 – and minus any massive price tags or gold detailing.
There’s a genuine tech story behind the new driver, which has a £559 RRP and comes in 455cc and 460cc sizes. A clever adjustable hosel allows the head to turn and dial in loft and shot shape preference without rotating the shaft’s spine, just like other adjustable drivers on sale. Essentially it means the shaft’s spine is “pured” to any of the head set-ups. Honma say it improves ball flight, distance and dispersion.
There is, of course, matching fairways (from £309) and hybrids (from £269) to accompany the driver, but we reckon it’s the two new irons which will have the biggest impact. Honma say the two Tworld747 models (from £969 for a set of six irons) let golfers experience “artistry and premium performance” at a more affordable price.
A new “P” iron offers forgiveness, with strong lofts and fast ball speeds, while the new Vx Forged is much more of a players’ iron, with 10g of tungsten to aid forgiveness and a shorter blade length to cater to a better player’s eye. They’re just the sort of irons that would look at home in any top player’s tour bag. Who that might be is worth keeping an eye on...