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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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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Cameron Halkett

    Nov 20, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    I’m just reading Honma’s H1 Results. Within page 20 of their presentation they list that a “TOP PGA player as a global brand ambassador”.

    I would say that almost confirms it.

  2. Doug McManus

    Nov 9, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    They are great clubs, very nice quality. The Honma Tour World 737 driver is longer than the Callaway Rogue. I can’t say enough good things about the clubs, if you have the money and want the best buy a set!

  3. 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 !!!! 😮

  4. Tom

    Nov 8, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Where did my previous post go?

  5. G-head

    Nov 8, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Honma… Honma… Honmaaaaaa (Beres)

  6. 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.

  7. 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,

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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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Equipment

Bettinardi releases military-inspired BB8-Wide Armageddon putter in honor of those who have served

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Bettinardi Golf has unveiled its limited-run military-inspired BB8-Wide Armageddon putter in honor of those who have served, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Veteran Golfers Association.

Limited to 250 pieces worldwide, the new release from Bettinardi features a unique full tactical F.I.T. Face over Honeycomb face milling which is designed for extra soft feel at impact. The neck, bumpers, and sole of the flat-stick features engravings inspired by military insignias used in the army.

Handpainted in a military-themed “sniper” navy, gray and white color scheme, the putter is milled to 355 grams from Soft Carbon steel and comes with a matching Made in USA headcover and a red Lamkin Deep Etched Cord grip.

 

The BB8-Wide Armageddon putter costs $550 and will be available to buy at Bettinardi specialty dealers around the globe on May 23, and online in the Hive on Bettinardi.com.

 

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Ball in the thick rough – what club to use?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from jjfcpa who asks fellow members what their preferred choice of club is when their ball is in thick rough. A variety of irons and hybrids are mentioned by our members who delve into the discussion of course management.

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.

  • RainShadow: “For me, that sot would be a 7 iron, open the face a little and play a runner up to the front of the green. Open face will help a bit with getting stuck in the grass.”
  • golfgirlrobin: “Club choice depends on whether you’re willing to accept a bogey or whether you insist on making double.”
  • ChipNRun: “I would try a hinge and hold action. Take a half swing with plenty of hinge action and punch down on the ball with limited follow-through. Use the big muscles of the shoulders – you don’t want to hurt yourself trying to muscle it. Probably choose something between a PW and a 7i. You’ll need to hold firmly with L hand, so the grass doesn’t wrap around the hosel and deloft the club face.”
  • kcd38: “If it is 200 plus from the green and a decent lie, hybrid. If it is less than 200 from the green and sunk down a little, I usually go with my 8 iron and play the face slightly open knowing the grass will grab the hosel and shut the face. Definitely need some speed to get out of the thick stuff.”

Entire Thread: “Ball in the thick rough – what club to use?”

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Ping Moonlite

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Dear stand bag,

I love you, I really do. I appreciate all of your features; your wide top, 9 pockets, and your ability to so easily fit on a riding or push cart when needed. But sometimes I need a break, sometimes it feels like even after a whole day spent together we really didn’t get the opportunity to know each other. You do a great job carrying my clubs, but depending on the day & course some of those clubs didn’t even get to enjoy a single swing – they were literally just along for the ride. That’s why I want to let you know that we’re going to have to take a break once & a while, you know, for me to get back to my roots. Sorry stand, it’s not you, it’s me.

I just got a Ping Moonlite.

 

Dramatic, and silly? YES. Honest? You bet!

Weighing in at around two pounds with a double strap, and with enough room for 14 clubs, the Moonlite is a walker’s dream bag. Even at its small streamlined size, the Moonlite is no pushover — in fact, the main strap on the bag is designed to stand up and make it easier to pick it up and get back on your shoulder (Ping thinks of everything). Unlike many of the minimalist bags on the market Ping’s focus is on technology, problem solving, and ease of use – which is essentially their entire design ethos anyway. Everything you need and nothing to weigh it down.

Not to take away from other minimalist bags on the market but coming in at only $100 its also far and away the best value you’re going to find. Not to say other minimalist bags from specialty manufacturers don’t offer something both functional and unique – because they do! But it’s a bit like comparing a well designed extremely functional nylon backpack to a Gucci bag, they hold the same stuff but send two very different messages. When talking about function, features, technology, and value, the Ping is the king of that category — and it’s not even close.

Speaking to the features the MoonLite has a nice list of them to make carrying a breeze

  • 2 Way Top
  • 4 Pockets
  • 10L pocket volume
  • Ergonomic straps
  • Water-resistant valuables / phone pouch
  • Ball, apparel, & water bottle pockets
  • Holds 14 clubs ( with standard and midsized grips easily )
  • Water-resistant belly to keep clubs and grips dry on wet dewy mornings

Water-resistant Valuables pouch

Main storage pocket with extra divider

Secondary strap mechanism – engaged

Secondary Strap removed in seconds – it’s that easy.

My personal stance is that given the opportunity, I would use this bag as my “gamer,” but thanks to some shoulder issues that flare up from time to time (thanks a lot, hockey), I split between the Moonlite and a normal structured stand bag for my push cart (official #PUSHCARTMAFIA team member). The Moonlite easily holds 14 clubs and a few extra shafts (strictly for WRX testing purposes), but I primarily use it when carrying nine clubs or fewer during the afternoon rounds or when I know I’m headed to a shorter course. I like the water-resistant pocket and the easy-to-use system to convert the bag to single strap. As a walker and someone that has a big appreciation for minimalist golf and the <14 clubs movement, this is truly what I want in a “Sunday” style carry bag.

 

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