Without question, the most vibrant and fastest growing golf market in the world is the Far East. From Japan to China to South Korea, that region is producing the most young players while veteran golfers play a multitude of new courses.
So, it makes senses that there’s a steady flow of upscale equipment heading into the U.S. market from that part of the planet. After giving a new set of Honma Golf Tour World TW737P Series irons a run at a Pro Am Tournament, it was clear why these advanced irons sell north of $1,000.
Founded in 1959, Honma Golf Company is a Japanese company making hand-crafted golf clubs for sale in Asia, the U.S. and the UK. A relative newcomer to the American market, Honma really started to crack the States in the 2000s.
Now, it sells as a luxury brand, forging clubs out of titanium and specializing in the personal fitting process to match every set to its new owner. This reporter didn’t have time to go through the month-long fitting, ordering and building procedure before setting foot on 18 holes. I would play a standard, “off the shelf” set.
A perusal through the Honma TW737P’s website will reveal the very detailed specs on the clubs from their material composition to their angles to their weight distribution ratios. For the truly devoted and obsessed golfer, all of that data is available and will no doubt be studied in detail.
However, the golfer who hits the course for the fun of the game and is more bottom line, performance concerned (…I’m guessing that’s you…), there’s one question that matters: How do they play?
The real test of a good iron is how it walks that razor’s edge of balance — feeling light in the hands, but heavy in the swing. A great club is light in the backswing for takeaway control, but pleasantly heavy in the downswing to fall into the swing channel comfortably and accurately. Based on the number of clean, straight strikes I managed with each club in the bag, mission accomplished.
The irons do have some characteristics of a blade, offering a smaller, thinner face than some brands who offer more forgiveness. So, they are intended to a more advanced, experience player. But, that caveat aside, these Honma clubs are a dream to play and worth every penny.