In the great words of Dr Bob Rotella (a leading sports psychologist), golf is not a game of perfect. There is no perfect swing, no perfect technique, shot or decision, just the best we can do. However, Japanese club makers Honma (for over 50 years) do their utmost to defy this statement. They continue to strive for perfection from their clubs, and by using the best materials possible and arduous dedication to their craft, they get pretty damn close.

I wanted to fully discover why Honma clubs are held in such high esteem and why it took some time to find any information about how they make their equipment. I started at their main centre of operations, a factory based in Sakata (in northern Japan, just north of Shonai airport).

Honma employs around 500 staff at different levels ranging from Assistant to Master Crafter. Club making is an elite profession in northern Japan, its workers extremely devoted to maintaining their own high standards and doing so with unprecedented pride. To be accepted into the industry, particularly by such a company as Honma, is a great honour. People join as young apprentices and plan to stay there and hone their skills for life hoping one day to be titled a master.

The skills of the master craftsman are honed to such an extent that the difference between his level of ability and that of an apprentice starting out appears vast. The most impressive skill that the apprentices are expected to develop on their journey to master craftsman is an ability to, as they say, “feel” the club. A master is able to hold a club, close his eyes, make a few swings and actually feel the club striking a ball. He can feel the imperfections and faults in the club and thus rectify them. This coupled with rigorous testing using the most modern and efficient tools produces some truly magnificent clubs.

Honma are also surprisingly advanced in their construction of shafts. When I first looked into their methods, I believed them to be traditionalists who refuse to use modern technologies but insist on hand crafting everything, contrary to that, they have been at the leading edge of shaft technology ever since the composition of carbon and titanium shafts. This means that not only are their club heads at a high standard, but they set the standards

These clubs are made from the finest materials available. Gold, Copper, Brass, Titanium, Graphite, Boron, Persimmon, and a multitude of other materials are incorporated into the production of clubs that some consider to be the finest in the World.

Every Honma iron head is individually cast using the wax loss method. A replica of the head made entirely from wax is placed into a mix of ceramic and sand which, when left to dry, forms the ceramic mold. The wax is then melted within the ceramic mold, which continues to harden, leaving it ready for pouring.

Next the mold is filled with molten steel formula to produce the head. Over 150 steps are carried out in the process of producing each individual club head, each one performed with care and attention to improve the quality of the finished product.

This process does differ slightly depending on what star level the customer has purchased. They work on a 5 star basis, 2 being the most basic yet still above any other make in quality, and 5 being the grandest, most impressive grade. Only the Senior Master Crafters at the Sakata factory are allowed, or even able, to make the 5 star as they require such extreme skill and precision. The Master Crafters make the 3 star and the 4 star and the apprentices produce the 2 star.

When asked “What do Honma give its customers that’s better than other companies and do the clubs justify their cost?” Michael O’Rourke a professional from Worplesdon Golf club a qualified PGA instructor and custom fitter of Honma golf clubs answered:

“Look, I love it when someone comes to me asking for a Honma custom fitting, it means I’m about to make someone very happy. To watch them hit a Honma club for the first time is a real privilege, they are very easy to hit and they look great. The materials they use are the best and as long as they can afford them, I love to suggest them. In terms of justifying their cost, with Honma, you’re getting one of a kind, that’s something the mass produced clubs of other companies cannot contend with.”

When I read more and more into what Honma clubs deliver, it seems apparent that people fall in love with them the moment they hit their first ball. Words often used to describe them are powerful, crisp, pure and forgiving. It’s difficult to imagine a club to be so expensive, in Japan, to own a set of Honma clubs is far more prestigious than any car. The confidence this then provides is an outstanding feeling and to Honma, this is paramount for their customers.

This high level of attention to their products and the promise they make to their customers, that being to produce the very best you can buy with no compromises, creates some truly magnificent clubs. Clubs that are not simply a stick with an end to hit a ball with, but a piece of art, passion and precision to truly make the best of your performance.

HONMA Beres IS-06 Iron Set

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HONMA IS-06 Iron Set Honma introduces the newest BERES Series lineup for iron called Honma Beres IS-06 Iron. Easy, Long, High Trajectory combined in the most beautiful beres iron ever. Features New Head Design * L-Cup face structure with a wider sole, providing a high trajectory and improved performance to increase the distance. * Irons #4 to #8 incorporate 3 slits on the bottom of the sole and near the face to increase ball speed on miss shots. * Irons #4 and #5 redesigned with a wider sole and bigger head providing a deeper center of gravity for improved forgiviness and confidence, easier to play like an hybrid. The new design enjoy a gorgeous appearance and high impact visual difference to any other iron. The cavity provides a premium-feeling that meets players high espectations. Forged Head A Mild Steel alloy is used to produce the head, providing a soft feeling and premium appearance. Casted Face * Irons #4 to #8. L-Cup face/sole structure manufactured in Maraging Stainless Steel (AM355P) for improved forgiviness and higher ball speed. * Irons #9 to SW. Flat face structure manufactured in Maraging Stainless Steel (ES235) for improved control and durability. New ARMRQ X shaft designed to perfectly match S-06 By the use of Torayca carbon fibers specifically selected for this new shaft, Honma’s engineers have been able to reduce the weight of the shaft by 1gr, maintaining the soft feel and consistency, and reducing the backspin. The adoption of the new X layer (10 axis cross fiber) is a key element for the performance of this new shaft generation. HONMA IS-06 Iron Set Product Specs #(No.) Length(inches) Loft(°) Lie Angle(°) Face Progression(mm) Distance to Center of Gravity(mm) Height to Center of Gravity(mm) Depth to Center of Gravity(mm) Gravity Angle(°) Swing Weight-Gross Weight(g) R SR S 4 38.5 19.5 60.5 2.45 36.5 19.5 7.0 – C8-350 C9-353 C9-354 5 38.0 22.5 61.0 2.75 37.0 19.5 7.0 14.0 C8-355 C9-358 C9-359 6 37.5 25.5 61.5 3.05 37.5 20.0 6.5 – C8

HONMA Women Beres IE-06 Iron Set RH 5-11, SW Graph Lady

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HONMA Women Beres IE-06 Iron Set TECHNOLOGY The BERES IE-06 irons reflect Honma’s commitment to the craft of club making, where beauty and performance co-exist. Handcrafted by Honma’s Master Craftsmen – The BERES IE-06 Irons consist of premium materials and performance-based innovation, generating outstanding results. MASTER CRAFTSMANSHIP Handcrafted by Honma’s Master Craftsmen- The BERES IS-06 Irons consists of premium materials and performance based innovation, generating outstanding results. IMPROVED TURF PERFORMANCE 20g tungsten is placed on the sole, lowering the center of gravity, resulting in higher trajectory and performance on mishits. WIDE SOLE DESIGN Performance off the turf is optimized with a wide sole design, offering positive results for players with moderate swing speed. (#5 – #10) TOTAL DESIGN Designed to maximize performance of IE-06 Irons – This shaft allows golfers to increase trajectory with their long irons, while optimizing ball striking consistency with their short irons.

HONMA TW-X Iron Set RH 4-10 Steel Stiff

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HONMA TW-X IRON SET The Honma Tour World X Irons are a beautiful Player’s distance iron with game improving performance. These irons offer distance with a high, playable trajectory to both better players and discerning game improvement golfers who want a blade-like iron with game improvement playability Features Beautiful muscle back design Modern, forgiving, hollow construction High launch, long carry, pin stopping power from the low and deep CG Exceptional feel from the forged 25C body Fast, high-strength forged MS300 steel face Forgiving ground contact from the wide, cambered sole Full set inspired by PGA Tour validated utility iron use

MUTSUMI HONMA Golf Driver MH488X 10.5 degrees (R) high-rebound / large 488cc

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■ optimal Japan-only model, the large head of a high rebound 488cc golfers involved in the distance. ■ face is realizing the coefficient of restitution of non-standard (0.84 to 0.85) using the β-based material. ■ face the back side realized a further jump in a special part thickness change structure. ■ in the 0.7 the thickness of the crown, it flies in the deflection of the crown. ■ distance UP by using the large centrifugal force in the long 46.5 inches. ◇ head volume: 488cc ◇ Head material: Forged 6AL-4V titanium body + beta titanium face Partial thickness change & peripheral thin high rebound face ◇ finish: Gold IP + laser engraving groove finish ◇ Length: 46.5 inches ◇ loft angle: 10.5 ° ◇ lie angle: 61 ° ◇ Hardness: R / SR ◇ gross weight / balance: (R) 288 ± 5g / C9 ± 1, (SR) 290 ± 5g / D0 ± 1 ◇ Shaft: Piper kick graphite MH488 Shaft ◇ Grip: Original Rubber ※ with a private head cover Progression:14.0mm Head volume:170c㎥ Length:41.5” SR Total weight / Balance:314g/D1

Honma D1 Dynamic Distance Golf Balls 1 Dozen (White)

At Premium Golf, we review new and existing products and technology in order to select only the best products and services from across the golf industry and make them available to golfers who are looking to get the most from their golf. To find out more about Honma and their leading technology in club design, have a look at our Honma page at http://www.premiumgolf.co.uk/honma.htm.
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