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Justin Rose signs multi-year deal with Honma

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One of the worst-kept secrets in the golf equipment world is no longer secret: world No. 2 Justin Rose is officially a Honma staffer.

The Japanese premium equipment company announced the signing in a press release today.

“I’m extremely excited to be joining Honma,” said Rose, in the press release. “Coming off one of my best years professionally, I wanted to make it a point to get better. I believe Honma equipment and the legendary Honma craftsmanship can help make me better.”

Rose had previously played a full TaylorMade bag for the past 20 years.

Former TaylorMade CEO Mark King joined Honma as a strategic advisor late in 2018. Many expected he’d be tasked with helping the brand make a larger splash in the European and American markets, the financial resources of new company owner, Chinese billionaire Liu Jianguo, behind him.

Honma has never had a male player ranked inside the top 150 under contract. On the women’s side, however, top players So Yeon Ryu and Shan-Shan Feng play the company’s wares.

Golf Digest’s Mike Stachura quoted Honma spokesman John Kawaja as saying Rose is under contract to play 10 Honma clubs.

Per Stachura

“That group is expected to include the T//World TW747 driver; a prototype version of the forged cavity back T//World TW747 V in the 4- through 6-iron; and a prototype T//World 747 “Justin Rose” forged muscleback iron in the 7-iron through 9-iron. Rose also is expected to play custom prototype versions of the T//World TW forged wedges (47, 56 and 60 degrees).”

Rose’s bag will feature a Honma logo, as will both sides of his hat.

For his part, Rose announced the news with the tweet below.

The Englishman is expected to begin his year at the CareerBuilder Challenge, January 17.

And per Rose’s caddie on Twitter, here’s a look at the full bag, including what appears to be an Axis1 putter.

 

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34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Chuck

    Jan 12, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    If he is under contract for 10 Honma clubs, I will bet that the driver won’t be one of them by the time of The Masters.

  2. Michael M

    Jan 5, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    so how many times a round will he thing of tiger woods each time he looks at his woods and clubs that saw tW on it? haha

  3. The dude

    Jan 5, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Sooo..what’s the contract???…$$$$???

  4. Jack Nicolas

    Jan 3, 2019 at 3:53 am

    Always worth a laugh when a bunch of rednecks moan about a non-US player changing equipment.

  5. steve

    Jan 2, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Nice irons, Rose can win with any well made irons.

  6. Jack Nash

    Jan 2, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    PXG might have been the most expensive irons. Not any more LOL.

  7. Shallowface

    Jan 2, 2019 at 11:43 am

    From Rose’s own countryman:

    “In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons, Churchill slightly changed the quote when he said (paraphrased), “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” and George Santayana-1905 said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    I like Rose. Hopefully the above doesn’t apply this time. But it would be far from the first time, and the examples go back decades.

  8. bogey brewer

    Jan 2, 2019 at 11:23 am

    What if the PGA went to a standard for clubs and balls like baseball has for its balls and bats? Wouldn’t that be fun to watch.

    Blades for irons and wedges. A Basic ball. Ping Anser putter, and woods that are same head, material, and lofts and limited to only 3.

    It would be really great to see Rose play even better this coming year and beyond just to show that he has the game and not just the sticks.

  9. Chris

    Jan 2, 2019 at 5:23 am

    How come this lame discussion never came up when Rory went to Callaway’s blades? A blade is a blade guys. We’re not talking about an F1 driver moving to a new cashed up team with unproven engineering. It’s a golf ball and a blade. That’s it. He’ll be fine. If he has a bad year, it will have NOTHING to do with the equipment.

  10. GD

    Jan 1, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Is he going to use Honma balls or TM balls. Certainly not Titleist.
    But if he uses Honma balls he’s definitely finished. Honma just doesn’t have the patents to make as good a ball as the others.
    He should’ve signed with Bridgestone or Srixon.
    Who cares if Mark King had a hand in the deal. Those times were over a long time ago. Poor sucker Chinese billionaire. That guy should’ve bought TM instead of fiddling with Honma

    • chen

      Jan 1, 2019 at 3:28 pm

      HONMA.. HONMA.. HONMA.. HONMA..

    • Udontknowathing

      Jan 2, 2019 at 10:54 am

      No he’s still gaming the Tp5 and a M3 3 wood

    • Jack Nash

      Jan 2, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      The Chinese Billionaire is that for a reason. Why buy a money losing company when you can buy Honma?

    • KK

      Jan 9, 2019 at 2:27 pm

      He probably will buy it. He almost bought it before when it went up for sale.

    • KK

      Jan 9, 2019 at 2:30 pm

      Honma golf balls are made in the same facility as some of the Tileist balls in Taiwan. They are just as good. Try them sometime. G6-six piece, G1x-3 piece, G1-4 piece

  11. Scooby Doo

    Jan 1, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    He will be #10 by years end.

  12. Caroline

    Jan 1, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    That maybe good for the name Honma, I hope everyone understands you will never play the same detailed and fitted clubs Rose will be playing….just like all the rest the pros get so much custom grinding, fitting etc. even the balance points are custom on many…if you ever get a chance to play a club or two build in those trailers you see each week at tournaments you would be amazed. Fitting has become an industry on its own, soon I would think custom build clubs will be the thing.(meaning granding, bending, balancing weight etc).

  13. ogo

    Jan 1, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Rich Asians apishly follow European and American values just to show they are hipsters too. Most are short and weak and golf is a challenge for them, nevertheless they want to imitate Western values. Their mentality is not to play golf well, it’s to own the most expensive equipment because “you are what you own”… similar to our gearheads.

    • pharmdog98

      Jan 1, 2019 at 4:41 pm

      most are short and golf is challenge for them? lol. go to hell bro. dumb ass

    • Rich Ronaldson

      Jan 2, 2019 at 11:43 pm

      Most of their swings are as bad as their haircuts.

  14. ogo

    Jan 1, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    If Rose’s clubs are now tour tested Honma, they are now good enough for me.
    The only thing that bothers me is they are made in China… like most all other clubs… even PINGs. 😮

    • CaoNiMa

      Jan 1, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      737 were made in China, which was the huge mistake they made.
      747 will be again made in Japan, according to sources.
      But who the heck wants to buy Chinese owned Japanese clubs anyway. It’s like the awful BMWs in the US made in the US

  15. JB

    Jan 1, 2019 at 11:37 am

    Yes, he did ir for the money, but lets be honest, he is playing a forged blade that is custom built the way he wants it. It’s not as if Taylormade is making a superior forged blade to Honma. They are apples to apples almost the same. Honma’s forged irons and wedges are every bit as good as Taylormade’s and he has room to still play other OEM woods and putter if he so chooses. I would be surprised if we saw any change in his play good or bad.

  16. Scheiss

    Jan 1, 2019 at 11:03 am

    And nothing about it on Honma’s website. No new clubs, but the same blade from 2 years ago. That’s how lame Honma is. Why did you go to them, besides the money?

    • Travis

      Jan 1, 2019 at 11:13 am

      He didn’t go with them for any reason besides money. Honma is owned by a billionaire and run by the former CEO of Taylormade. The CEO said to grow the business you need high-profile staff players, and to get those staff players you need to pay them a lot of money. So the billionaire said “okay” and they inked a deal to grab Justin Rose (who’s already familiar with the CEO) for a deal that’s probably incredibly, incredibly lucrative. That combined with Taylormade spreading their portfolio super thin means JR needed to look elsewhere sooner than later anyway.

      It’s all just golf equipment. Rose will find a way to win either way, but now he has a club deal that is worth probably 3x, 4x, or 5x than his TM contract was.

      • shawn

        Jan 1, 2019 at 12:09 pm

        Money, money, money
        Must be funny
        In the rich man’s world
        Money, money, money
        Always sunny
        In the rich man’s world
        Aha aha
        All the things I could do
        If I had a little money
        It’s a rich man’s world
        It’s a rich man’s world

  17. Lar

    Jan 1, 2019 at 11:00 am

    He’s done.

    • A&E

      Jan 1, 2019 at 11:45 am

      Wow, really. Please tell us what stock to buy in 2019.. he got to the world #2 despite playing TM irons and wedges. Man got golf skills

      • shawn

        Jan 1, 2019 at 12:32 pm

        If you come second place in all the golf tournaments you play, you will ama ss enough points to be first in the world.

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Accessory Reviews

Talking with Alonzo Guess of Sunfish…and a look at the insane headcover they made GolfWRX

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We last talked with Alonzo Guess of Sunfish in November of 2017 after the Nashville-based company launched a custom headcover and accessory builder on its website.

The company has been producing custom headcovers, yardage books, and other accessories since 2013 when it entered the market with its signature wool headcovers.

We wanted to see what was up, and Guess was kind enough not only to answer a few questions, but to design a pretty incredible GolfWRX driver cover using some raw assets we sent over.

BA: What’s new at Sunfish since we last talked? 

AG: 2018 was a great year for innovation at Sunfish. We worked hard to develop new design and construction techniques, and it has been really exciting combining these new creative elements into one of a kind headcovers and accessories. 2018 was our eighth year in business, but it was probably the most significant in terms of innovation. We’re excited to see where we can go from here!

BA: Looking at your websites, I know one of the new things you developed is something you call Photoflux. What exactly is Photoflux?

AG: Photoflux is our proprietary high-resolution printing process, that gives us the ability to apply to our products anything from photos to complex patterns to intricate logos. The level of resolution and detail is truly unmatched, and can’t be achieved with embroidery. We apply it to our leather and Duraleather products, even our hand-made copper ball markers and divot tools! Those are really exciting, because we can make custom copper ball markers with full color logos, on demand

BA: How the heck did you come up Photoflux?

AG: A customer ordered a scorecard holder with his family photo to be embroidered on each side. We made the piece and weren’t happy at all with the result. The embroidery process couldn’t do justice to the photographs. It was clear that there were certain limitations to embroidery, and we were motivated to overcome them. After months of trial and error, long hours and strenuous testing against sun, rain, and wear, we developed the current process.

BA: What are ways the Photoflux process can be used?

AG: Photoflux is perfect for applying photos, but can also be used for intricate logos or family crests. Really any graphic element can be expressed accurately using Photoflux, including shading. Recently we’ve had fun developing custom patterns such as tiger fur and using them as stripes on headcovers. The sky’s the limit!

Photoflux is best in concert with other design techniques, such as embroidery, laser engraving, and precision cutting and sewing. The featured piece (shown in this feature) incorporates Photoflux, precision cutting and sewing, laser engraving and embroidery. The result is as much artwork as it is a functional golf accessory.

BA: What are the limitations of the technology…what products can you apply Photoflux to?

AG: It’s great for leather and Duraleather headcovers, putter covers, scorecard and yardage book holders, alignment stick covers, cash covers, valuables pouches, wine bags, barrel style tartan headcovers…and even copper ball markers and divot tools!

BA: Tell me about this headcover you made for GolfWRX. I suggested the use of a graffiti wall, a GolfWRX logo, and skeleton hand holding up one finger to denote one club/driver, and you really went to town!

AG: So for the headcover you have, we used Photoflux to apply the graffiti wall image to the top of the cover (did you notice the ‘GolfWRX’ spraypaint in there? We threw that in there for you as an Easter egg!). On top of that, we embroidered the skeleton hand. For the stripe, we laser cut the outline of a typical urban skyline, and laser engraved the chain-link fence pattern over the top, than sewed that down. The bottom portion is a Photoflux image of GolfWRX that you sent over.

With so many new ways to decorate and manipulate the materials, we’re really excited about combining it all for our fans and customers to create really unique products. We feel the sky is the limit, and we hope this headcover illustrates that.

 

 

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Equipment

New XXIO Prime woods, hybrids, and irons aim for lightweight power

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XXIO’s latest club offerings, XXIO Prime, looks to offer easy distance and easy accuracy for the moderate swing speed golfer, according to the company.

XXIO Prime woods

xxio-prime

XXIO Prime Woods feature a new re-designed hosel structure, and reduced stiffness at the tip of the driver shaft, which is designed to help moderate swing speed golfers to close the clubface through impact.

Forged from Super-TIX PLUS Titanium, the new cup face includes a sweet spot that is noticeably larger than previous designs, which aims to increase distance performance significantly. The Super-TIX PLUS Titanium Cup Face is thinner, lighter and stronger than previous additions, creating a maximum COR across the face, which aims to increase ball speed and distance.

According to Chuck Thiry, Vice President of XXIO USA

“The speed increases, higher launch angles, and draw bias of the new Prime will show immediate results from swing one. It’s legit lightweight power for the players that absolutely need it the most.”

Featured in the XXIO prime woods is the SP-1000 shaft, with TORAYCA T1100G carbon fiber and NANOALLOY resin, which creates a strong but lightweight club. Along with the lightness in the shaft, XXIO has made weight savings in the grip and club head, which aims to produce woods that are both fast and easy to swing.

The XXIO Prime woods feature an expanded toe and narrowed heel, a tungsten-nickel inner weight that is low and deep, a lighter hosel repositioned closer to the center of the face, and reduced stiffness at the tip of the shaft, all with the aim of offering golfers with maximum forgiveness from their woods.

The XXIO Prime woods will be available from March 1 and will cost $579,99.

XXIO Prime hybrids and irons

The new XXIO Prime hybrids feature an expanded COR and a lower center of gravity, which is designed to increase distance and ball speed while delivering a straighter ball flight.

The hybrids from XXIO contain a Forged Maraging Steel Cup Face which includes a large sweet spot which aims to increase distance performance.

Just as with the woods, the XXIO irons also feature the Super-TIX PLUS Titanium Cup Face, though along with this, they also contain a CNC milled speed groove, which significantly increases the COR, creating a larger sweet spot, designed to provide greater distance, ball speed and accuracy.

Both the hybrids and irons include the SP-1000 Shaft, with TORAYCA T1100G carbon fiber and NANOALLOY resin. The hybrids and irons also feature weight savings in the grip and club head, with the aim of increasing swing speed.

With an expanded toe and narrowed heel, plus a crown step that moves weight low and deep, XXIO claim that this is their most forgiving suite of Prime hybrids. While with two high-density tungsten nickel sole weights and an overall profile that is 3mm shorter than the previous model, the company also claims to have created their most forgiving irons yet.

Speaking on the new XXIO Prime series, Chuck Thiry stated

“XXIO Prime is, quite frankly, the most unique and beneficial product ever available to moderate swing speed players. Period. People might think that is marketing hype, but they simply haven’t hit Prime yet.”

Both the XXIO Prime hybrids and irons will hit retail stores on March 1. The Prime hybrids will cost $379.99, while a single graphite iron will be available for $259.99.

 

 

 

 

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Equipment

SPOTTED: 2019 Mitsubishi shafts

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The Diamana shaft line from Mitsubishi Chemical is probably one of the most iconic in the sport. Released in 2005, Blueboard, Whiteboard, and Redboard, were the first generation of shafts.

Photos of the full fourth generation Diamana lineup, offering new materials and technology, along with new names, have surfaced in the GolfWRX forums. Like previous generations, each color shaft offers different ball flight and spin characteristics.

“RF” is the highest launching and spinning in the Diamana line, offering high launch and mid spin, while the “BF” is the mid-launch and mid/low-spin model. Finally, the “DF” is mid/low-launching and the lowest-spinning shaft in the lineup.

All of the fourth generation Diamana shafts use updated technologies and materials that you would expect from a premium lineup. DIALEAD pitch fiber is helps reduce shaft deformation, while still producing exceptional energy transfer.

Each shaft contains MR70 carbon fiber that is 20 percent stronger than conventional materials and Boron fiber for its compression strength and shaft reinforcement. ION plating has been done before in the Diamana line, in vacuum chambers — silver alloy ions are bonded to the shaft to give it a chrome-like finish that can’t be replicated by paint.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying in the forums.

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