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Did Justin Rose confirm his switch to Honma?

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Our Oct. 26 Forum Thread of the Day centered around Justin Rose’s potential defection from TaylorMade and move to Japanese luxury club brand Honma. Golf Digest’s Mike Stachura, the Morning Read, the Irish Times, and the Sun Times, have all added fuel to that fire.

And on the subject of fire, asked about the potential change following his Turkish Airlines Open win, Rose said

“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

Speculation had been rampant in the GolfWRX forums for weeks, with several members with connections to the company indicating they’d heard Rose would soon be a Honma man. For example, mallrat said: “A teaching pro at our club is on staff with Honma and told me the same thing on Weds.”

Beyond the Englishman’s seeming admission that the rumor is true, his agent, Mark Steinberg is mum. Likewise, neither TaylorMade nor Honma has commented.

Suspicion as to why Rose, a long-time TaylorMade staffer and the No. 1 golfer in the world, would defect to a Japanese luxury brand with little presence on the PGA Tour centers around Mark King. The former TaylorMade president and CEO joined Honma as a consultant in August.

Per Golf Digest’s Mike Stachura,

“King, who was CEO at TaylorMade from 1999-2013, stood by Rose in his early professional days when he missed the first 21 cuts of his career and posted a stroke average of 75.18 in his 1999 European Tour season.”

Stachura also indicated King has brought several former TaylorMade staffers to the company. With TaylorMade from 1994 to 2014, King said in August that the company would be looking to establish a presence on the PGA Tour and debut new products in 2019 (per Golf Inc.).

Under the guidance of Chinese businessman Liu Jianguo, Honma, now publicly traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange, has seen sales growth over the past four years amid a reworked business model. The brand now looks to expand into the United States and establish a foothold in the luxury equipment space, which is presently dominated by the likes of XXIO and PXG.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. ogo

    Nov 9, 2018 at 12:14 am

    BREAKING NEWS***** http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kuFf8cCQlg
    Hailstorm in New South Wales, Australia, hailstones the size of GOLF BALLS!!!
    Those Aussies really take their golf seriously !!!! 😮

  2. Tom

    Nov 8, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Where did my previous post go?

  3. G-head

    Nov 8, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Honma… Honma… Honmaaaaaa (Beres)

  4. Dave r

    Nov 8, 2018 at 11:50 am

    I always believed you got what you paid for, and the same is still true . Buying off the rack will get you nothing to buy properly you need to be fitted properly. The shaft is what makes a club work, thinking you are buying what the pros are hitting is nothing but b.s. Not one player on tour is playing so called STOCK . And it would be nieve to think so . Even weekend golfers would benefit from paying for a fitting . A good fitting pro can do it in 1/2 hour with all the proper fitting material out there today.

  5. Richard Tucker

    Nov 7, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Very smart move by Honma. Anyone who has played their irons will know just how good they are I have for 25 years. They are the next step up from Mizuno and very much on par with PXG. I would imagine it would be a iron only contract as I cant see him changing drivers or putters anytime soon,

  6. Travis

    Nov 7, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    I dig it. I wouldn’t mind seeing more brands in play and popular in the US.

  7. TONEY P

    Nov 7, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Players will endorse anything for enough money. And any true golfer knows, you can’t buy a golf swing no matter what your clubs cost.

  8. Clint

    Nov 7, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    “Luxury” clubs are a joke and a waste of money. They are literally just a status symbol because the performance doesn’t merit the exorbitant price tags. I could probably argue that with most golf equipment though. The need for the “latest and greatest” in golf is really unnecessary since equipment performance improvements happen so slowly.

    • Jed

      Nov 7, 2018 at 1:35 pm

      The Asians that buy them don’t really care how they hit them. $$$ is king to them.

    • Mbwa Kali Sana

      Nov 7, 2018 at 3:01 pm

      HONMA isn’t just a”LUXURY BRAND ” .Their irons are far better than competition ,if you choose their 4 Star or 5 Star shafts .
      I own a full set of HONMA clubs since 10 years :these were manufactured in JAPAN with much more care than the AMERICAN brands
      Their woods ,in contrast, are not better than the big “AMERICAN “(Made in CHINA !!!)woods

      • CaoNiMa

        Nov 7, 2018 at 10:35 pm

        Idiots will believe anything.
        Mizuno irons are far better and real players know.
        Just because you paid more money for something doesn’t make it better.
        It’s sad that the name of Honma has been raped to this extent. It’s owned by the Chinese. Honma no longer is the same company it was when it was the best at making persimmon woods. None of the original owners or designers are there. That’s why their new stuff look like everything else, instead of looking special like they used to.
        Now it’s just a joke.

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Softest, most forgiving players cavity irons?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from moorebaseball, who asks fellow GolfWRX members for their recommendations on soft and forgiving players cavity irons. A whole host of different irons get a mention in the thread, with Mizuno’s cavity irons proving to be one of the most popular choices amongst our members.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • jimb: “I haven’t hit anything better feeling than the 2013 Callaway X-Forged.”
  • deep18: “As others have said, JPX919 Tour. Players look but according to Mizuno’s data, slightly more forgiving than the AP3 and almost as forgiving as the MMC.”
  • elwhippy: “Mizuno will be the softest. Srixon a close second. I imagine the TM will be most forgiving. AP2s are very blade like in their performance. P760 goes very high and straight with DG 105 and 120 shafts.”
  • 300_Straight: “Wilson V6 Tour is also a great feeling iron from what I’ve heard. Never personally tested it, though. Any Srixon 7 or 9 series irons are very soft, as are most Mizunos, Callaway X Forged, etc.”

Entire Thread: “Softest, most forgiving players cavity irons?”

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Callaway launches new Big Bertha Irons and Hybrids

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Callaway has today announced the introduction of its new Big Bertha Irons and hybrids, which feature a thinner club face and optimized center of gravity, designed to provide easier launch and greater distance.

Big Bertha Irons

Following on from the 2016 Big Bertha OS Irons line, which showcased Callaway’s EXO-Cage technology, these new Big Bertha irons will feature the company’s brand new Suspended Energy Core. The Suspended Energy Core features a Metal Injection Molded (MIM’d) Tungsten Floating Weight suspended within a urethane microsphere material to create a deeper center of gravity. According to Callaway, this yields easy launch, longer, and more consistent golf shots.

The Big Bertha Irons will also feature Callaway’s 360 Face Cup, which employs a flexible rim around the face that flexes and releases at impact — this aims to increase ball speed. Owing to the new Suspended Energy Core, this will be Callaway’s thinnest face cup yet, which the company says results in increased ball speeds.

Callaway’s new Big Bertha Irons will be available with Recoil ESX, Recoil ZT9, and KBS Max 90 shafts. The irons hit the shelves on Jan. 18 and will cost $1,200 in steel and $1,300 in graphite.

Big Bertha Hybrids

The new Big Bertha Hybrids will feature Jailbreak Technology, which Callaway first introduced in 2017 with the Epic line. The technology, which was created with the aim of promoting faster ball speed and greater distance, incorporates two internal bars that stiffen the body, placing more impact load on the face. It proved to be a very popular addition from Callaway, and in their new Big Bertha Hybrids, the company have combined this technology with a new shorter and lighter OptiFit Hosel System designed to optimize the center of gravity for an easier launch and a higher, long-carrying flight.

The new hybrids from Callaway also feature an ultra-thin, Carpenter 455 steel face and Hyper Speed Face Cup, with the combination designed to create optimum ballspeed across the face.

The Big Bertha Hybrids will be available in both premium Recoil ESX and ZT9 Shafts, and they will be in stores on Jan. 18 for $269.99 each.

A special thanks to our Brian Knudson for braving the chill and doing his best to find a few blades of green grass for the outdoor, in-hand photos readers prefer.

 

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Matt Kuchar’s winning WITB: 2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic

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Driver: Bridgestone Tour B JGR (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec 6S

3-wood: Titleist TS2 (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder Evolution 757 X

Hybrids: Bridgestone Tour B XD-H (18 degrees), Ping Anser (20)
Shafts: Fujikura Motore Speeder TS 8.8 X flex

Irons: Bridgestone J15CB (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 S300 (soft stepped)

Wedges: Bridgestone J40 Forged (52 degrees, bent to 51); Cleveland RTX-4 (58 bent to 57, 64 bent to 63 degrees)
Shafts: Aerotech Steelfiber i110X, KBS Tour 120 S, KBS Tour 120 S

Putter: Bettinardi Kuchar Model 1 Arm Lock (400 grams, 3 degrees loft, 71 degrees lie, 40.5″)
Grip: Bettinardi Arm Lock XL

Golf ball: Bridgestone Tour B X

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