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WRX Spotlight: Epon AF-305 irons

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Product: Epon AF-305 irons

Pitch: From Epon: “New for 2019 is the much anticipated AF-305 which adds playability characteristics while visually pleasing to the more accomplished player. From the top line there is noticeably less offset than its predecessor appealing to the ball striker. However, strategic weight distribution throughout the heads shape and the use of tungsten metal delivers the highest MOI and CG depth providing for ample forgiveness in a player’s iron.”

EPON-AF-305-irons-2

Our take on Epon AF-305 irons

If you don’t know the name Epon Golf, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Epon is the personal brand of ENDO forging, and premier forging company in Japan. ENDO was founded in 1950 as a producer of small machine components, and by the end of the 1960s, it was creating high-end golf equipment. ENDO currently does a lot of forging for many golf companies out there. Epon is the brand where ENDO can show off its ultra-premium products and latest forging technology. Forged irons are coveted for their soft, responsive feel and to Epon that is their highest priority when creating new designs. Epon creates its club heads as one piece, instead of the body and hosel welded together, to ensure that soft, buttery feel.

The Epon AF-305 is a new iron in the lineup for 2019. AF-305 irons offer high playability in a shape that has reduced offset and a thinner top line to appeal to better players. When pulling the AF-305 out of the box you immediately notice the large cavity and amount of perimeter weighting, but when you set them down they look good to the eye. If I had to compare the look, I would say these remind me of the Srixon Z565 irons. The AF-305 looks great with its light satin finish that reduces glare but also has a richness to it that other satin irons don’t have. The other thing that stands out is the sole design to help with turf interaction for both sweepers and diggers. As a digger, I love seeing the beveled leading edge to help the club glide through the turf. The sole of the club is wider to accommodate tungsten metal in order to increase MOI lower the CG. If I had to think of a negative on these irons I would say the look of the wider sole, but that is a very minor thing that really helps the playability of the iron.

EPON-AF-305-irons-2

Out on the course, the AF-305 really shines. People love Japanese irons and wedges for their soft feel, and the feel is of course just as you expect, very soft and solid. These aren’t so soft where you would consider them mushy or unresponsive, but they defiantly aren’t clicky. Shots hit closer to the heel keep that same soft and solid feel, while shots off the toe offered just a little more of a crisp sound.

EPON AF 305

While playing the 305, I was really impressed with the sole and turf interaction. I am more of a digger and tend to have a steep angle of attack. With the soft conditions here the 305 never dug into the ground and thanks to the tapered leading edge. The clubs really glided freely through the ground. The sole has trailing edge relief that helps the club play like a smaller players club and get through rough easier than a wider soled iron.

The 305 has a wider flange/sole and you would think that amount of weight low on the head would launch the ball to the moon. Out on the course, the 305 did get the ball in the air quickly, but offered a more penetrating ball flight than I expected. I would classify the 305 in the mid/high launch category and spin is low, but enough where you don’t have to worry about the ball holding the green. I had no problems getting the ball to stop and with the short irons even had a few pull back on the green.

If you are looking for an iron that offers players looks, soft feel, and a healthy dose of forgiveness then you need to add the 305 to your list of irons to try. Epon has crafted a really versatile iron that will fit players in a wide range of handicaps while offering them the feel and precision they probably haven’t had in an iron that offers this much forgiveness. Overall I really like the Epon AF-305 and think it could be one of the most underrated irons out right now.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. roxenford

    Aug 30, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    “… what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again …”

    well, sort of …

    WILSON ROBERT MENDRALLA SIGNATURE IRON

    http://www.igolfvalueguide.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/r/irnwi103.jpg

    • Sun Tzu

      Aug 31, 2019 at 3:48 pm

      Not even close to a match. Besides both being golf clubs with the appearance of a cavity stye back they have ZERO in common.

    • steve

      Sep 1, 2019 at 12:25 am

      When I first saw the image on my small phone, I too thought it was some sort of Wilson product. Upon further inspection, not so much. But I do get your point.

  2. Brandon

    Aug 29, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    I want to like Epon irons, and I’m sure they feel amazing, but they look like some no name brand you can grab at Big 5.

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “New PXG putters”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases an array of new PXG putters. The flat-sticks have got our members talking, with the new look and weighting options proving to be popular amongst WRXers.

For lots more photos, check out the full thread here.

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.

  • nova6868: “These new putters look so much better than their first line.”
  • keto: “My eyes a popping out. I could roll most of those confident I would put a decent stroke on them. I haven’t checked $$, I imagine they are $$$$$, but I sure like the weighting options.”
  • chip75: “Look so much cleaner without the weights visible.”

Entire Thread: “New PXG putters”

 

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Forum Thread of the Day: “New Mitsubishi AV shafts”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases new Mitsubishi AV shafts which have caught many of our member’s interest. While speaking in the thread, Mitsubishi Chemical shared some details to WRXers on what they can expect to see soon:

“We are working on bringing 2nd Gen Tensei product to market – this is the first week of PGA Tour testing.

Be sure to stay tuned for more information towards the beginning of 2020!”

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.

  • AdamStoutjesdyk: “I’m already a huge fan of the Pro White, I can’t wait to see how these look and perform in person!”
  • ForTourUseonly: “Please make an Orange!”

Entire Thread: “New Mitsubishi AV shafts”

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Equipment

Honma launches new XP-1 Series driver, fairway woods, and hybrids for 2020

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new 2020 Honma Driver

For 2020, Honma Golf is launching the all-new XP-1 line of clubs comprised of an entire family holistically designed to help players maximize forgiveness and get the most out of their games with one set. The new Honma XP-1 drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids, all the way to irons, is a new direction for the premium Japanese company that brings together ultimate craftsmanship with performance.

The highlight of the XP-1 line from Honma is the fact that they were designed from top to bottom to work as a comprehensive set of tool to achieve maximum performance. The technology in the metal woods flows from the driver to the hybrids with a seamless transition that creates consistency for feel and looks for the player.

Honma XP-1 driver

new 2020 Honma Driver

New 2020 Honma Golf Driver

Honma is known for its dedication to quality and craftsmanship, and every part of the XP-1 line was developed with the golfer in mind to both look appealing and perform to the highest standards. The XP-1 driver packs a lot of technology into a very classic looking club, and we’re here to take you under the hood—or in this case, the carbon fiber crown—to show you how it can help you hit better shots.

2020 Honma XP1 Driver toe

Honma XP-1 Driver Toe

It starts with a tour-inspired look from address, designed to inspire confidence for any level of golfer. Underneath ther gloss black crown, there is a lot of technology to generate faster ball speeds around the entire face and help get you dialed into the right setting. Speaking to the crown, it’s made from ET-40 fiber, making it one the lightest in golf. This weight savings helps engineers relocate an additional 15g of mass around the head towards the heel for increased MOI and greater ability to help players close the club face more easily.

Flip the driver upside down, and we have a lot more going on with the sole than initially meets the eye. Honma is introducing a new double slot in the sole for increased ball speed across a much larger area of the face. What starts off smaller in the middle increases in width and depth as it reaches towards the heel and the toe of the club. These slots, along with improved MOI, keep ball speeds up and misses closer to the intended target. The last part of the equation: How these wider parts of the face, flex around the more narrow middle to also increase gear effect—think of it like one more way to help the bigger misses stay in play.

New 2020 Honma Driver XP1

2020 Honma XP-1 Driver sole and shaft adjustment connection

The last piece key piece of technology in the XP-1 driver head is exclusive to Honma—the adjustable hosel that changes face angle, lie, and loft, but never changes the orientation of the shaft. This gives the player or fitter the ability to truly dial in hosel settings without having to worry about the constantly changing of the grip orientation. This, according to Honma, also keeps the shaft spine in the ideal location for consistent performance.

Honma 2020 xp1 driver shaft

Honmq Vizard 43g shaft

Honma is the only manufacturer that produces its own shafts from start to finish in house, and the XP-1 is getting its own custom-designed and built shafts to complement the technology built into the heads. The Vizard stock shafts are engineered to produce a smooth feel that promotes faster clubhead speeds, yet also remain extremely stable. For the XP-1 driver, the matching Vizard shafts will come in weights of 43g, 53g, and 63g, and flexes from senior to stiff.

Honma XP-1 fairway woods

The XP-1 woods bring the same level of craftsmanship and technology as the drivers to a club designed for use both off the tee and off the fairway.

New for 2020 Honma XP-1 Fairway wood

New for 2020 Honma XP-1 Fairway wood

The Honma XP-1 3-wood uses the same weight-saving ET-40 crown to position a large amount of the club’s total mass low and on the sole for greatest possible launch and spin consistency. The 3-wood is the second-lightest club in most players bags by total weight and head mass, and unless you are carrying a second driver, it’s also the second-largest by volume. By using the carbon crown designers get everything they can from the other technologies including the double slot sole and thin fast face without having to sacrifice the overall design of not just the head but the entire club.

New Honma XP-1 3 wood crown fairway

Honma XP-1 3 wood crown

The XP-1 fairways also include a 5  7-woods, but with the smaller volume of the heads and the reduced crown size, using a carbon crown would actually increase the mass higher in the head, so they instead utilize an extremely thin high strength steel crown.

New Honma 53g Vizard Fairway Shaft XP1

Honma 53g Vizard Fairway Shaft

All of the fairway woods come with the same made-in-Sakata, Japan 43g, 53g, and 63g Vizard shaft options as the driver to help every player get the most of each club in the set. If might seem like a minor detail, but being able to design an entire club in house from head to grip is a big advantage for Honma versus other OEMs. This holistic approach to designing an entire club/set is a big benefit to the consumer looking to get the most out of each club in their bag and not feel like something may be working against them.

Honma XP-1 hybrid

With the Honma XP-1 hybrid, forgiveness and flow from the fairway woods is the number one consideration for these club. The flow includes a wood-like shape that keeps the club shallow and the center of gravity as low as possible for higher launch and approach shots that fly higher and land softer. Considering the target player for the XP-1 line, the wood-like shape is also very confidence-inspiring.

New 2020 Honma XP1 hybrid

Honma XP-1 Hybrid

Honma continues the design philosophy of keeping the XP-1 both forgiving and fast by utilizing the double slot sole all the way into these hybrids that go from a 19-degree 3-iron replacement to a 25-degree 5-iron replacement.

Honma XP-1 specs & availability

The Honma XP-1 driver, fairway wood, and hybrids will be available starting in October.

New 2020 Honma XP1 Driver fairway hybrid specs

Honma XP-1 line club specs

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