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Honma TW727 compared to Mizuno or Titleist 716?


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#1 pitchinwedge

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 04:32 PM

Never considered Honma before but the 727 line from Honma looks really interesting.  Obviously Mizzy and Titleist pack a lot of technology into their "players" irons to make them as forgiving as they can.  Anyone have first hand experience with them vs Mizuno or Titleist offerings?

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#2 95124hacker

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 05:11 PM

I have a set of TW 717V CB's and a set of JPX 800 Pros.
Nippon 1050's in the Honma's and 950's in the Mizzy's.
I also used to play Titleist 990's way back in the day.

Feel wise, both Honma and Mizzy are soft buttery, with Mizzy softer on mishits.
I like a little feedback so I prefer the Honma feel a tad better, but the Mizzy soft feel is amazing. The 990's were cast so hard to compare.

Forgiveness wise, the JPX are more forgiving but that's more due to the larger cavity, not due to the OEM.

Hope it helps.
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#3 creampuff

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 02:17 AM

The Honma TW 727 is the iron of choice of Lee Bo Mee, the number one ladies golfer on the Japan LPGA who this year has set a record winning more money in a single season on the JLPGA and beating the Japan men's pro men's tour as well.
She uses the TW727 Vn http://www.honmagolf...n_tw_727vn.html

I have a set of the TW 717 and have demoed the TW 727. Great feeling clubs, subtle difference between the 717 and 727 in feel, but like the Mizuno MP series the Honma TW series are for the better player. It is a toss up and all comes down to your own brand preference. I just came back from a golf holiday in Japan and from my casual interaction with local golfers, most would consider Honma of a higher brand prestige over the Mizunos. It's the same brand perception where I am in Singapore. A good set of Honmas are a lot more expensive over Mizunos. Mizunos don't figure as much for the average Japanese golfer. Most like the XXIOs.
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#4 pitchinwedge

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 11:35 AM

What a difference culture and marketing makes to our perceptions.  XXIO is hardly known where I am (California) and it's equally interesting to learn Mizuno's aren't very popular to the average Japanese golfer.  Totally opposite in USA, but I was really curious if there's anything more to it than popularity. The marketing departments have certainly done a good job of creating differentiation in the minds of consumers.
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#5 3_Putt_Par

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    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion man.

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 05:47 PM

More than marketing, I think the reason XXIO is the best selling club for years is the fact that the golfing public is older and has no problem buying game improvement clubs.  Since most golfers in Japan are older and only play a couple of times a year, mainly due to high green fees and time constraints, there are not a lot of people wanting player's clubs like Mizuno.  I think Mizuno understands this and thus clubs like the JPX line have been created to gain some of the core golfing market in Japan.

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#6 pitchinwedge

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 12:22 PM

Still not sure what to make of the Honma irons though.  What is their forte supposed to be?  Feel, forgiveness, consistency?  They look pretty good, but it doesn't seem they are the best feeling clubs compared to Mizuno, Muira, etc.  Really not convinced why a player would choose these over other options.

 3_Putt_Par, on 02 December 2015 - 05:47 PM, said:

More than marketing, I think the reason XXIO is the best selling club for years is the fact that the golfing public is older and has no problem buying game improvement clubs.  Since most golfers in Japan are older and only play a couple of times a year, mainly due to high green fees and time constraints, there are not a lot of people wanting player's clubs like Mizuno.  I think Mizuno understands this and thus clubs like the JPX line have been created to gain some of the core golfing market in Japan.

Good point, I hadn't thought about the age of populations.  All I can say is that I'm very fortunate to be living in a great place for golf.  

BTW, wondering if you tried any of the other Modus shafts before getting your 125's?  If so, what was your experience and what differences did you find with them?  I've been reading a huge thread on Nippon shafts, but I noticed your signature so I wanted to ask.  Thanks!
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#7 creampuff

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 05:09 PM

Mizuno is a huge sports corporation with a long history and involved in many sports.
They used to make very cheap clubs intended for the mass market and at the opposite ends of the spectrum a small proportion of blades and muscle backs for the pros and low handicappers, many with the "Mizuno Pro" labels stamped on them (TN series - in honour of Tommy Nakajima and MS series). Their prominence on the US and rebranding on the global market has largely been thru their T-Zoid range and the MP series. They have largely phased out the T-Zoid name and models, replacing it with the JPX line and created many iterations of the MP series (replacing the TN and MS model naming) that we have today.

Honma on the other hand only produces golf equipment and pretty much everything is designed and made in house from heads to shafts, much of it by hand. In their history, back when people were playing persimmon woods, their hallmark has always been premium quality. Like most equipment companies today their lineup also includes clubs that cater for the higher handicappers but that premium quality has always been there. These two companies have been there many, many years and can hold their own long before smaller setup like Muiras and Epons have come up in recent prominence.

Mizuno's marketing moniker of "grain flow forging" you can also find with Honma W-Forged. Same thing different name.
At the pro level, for the notable Japanese brands whether Mizuno, Bridgestone, Srixon, Dunlop, PRGR, Honma, etc. there is extensive product testing by the contracted pros in terms of equipment and shaft selection fitting, ball flight analysis and personal customisation, something the very small equipment companies cannot offer.

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Edited by creampuff, 03 December 2015 - 05:53 PM.

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#8 creampuff

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 05:49 PM

 3_Putt_Par, on 02 December 2015 - 05:47 PM, said:

More than marketing, I think the reason XXIO is the best selling club for years is the fact that the golfing public is older and has no problem buying game improvement clubs.  Since most golfers in Japan are older and only play a couple of times a year, mainly due to high green fees and time constraints, there are not a lot of people wanting player's clubs like Mizuno.  I think Mizuno understands this and thus clubs like the JPX line have been created to gain some of the core golfing market in Japan.

Yes the Japanese population demographics is an aging one and that's a factor in what people do buy. The younger generation may have less time and less interest to play golf but there are plenty of ardent golf fans in Japan. Golf in Japan isn't as expensive as it used to be and I feel better accessible than in the US for the top courses. I'd also add that they are very practical people who buy what works for them, so there is less hesitation to go with game improvement clubs like the XXIO (XXIO 8 user here). Anecdotally, I see more in the US are swayed by "pyramid of influence marketing", wanting to play what the pros play rather than seeking out what's the easiest club available. In my recent golf outing in Japan and playing many rounds with complete strangers, I rarely found people playing blades. Played a round with a club pro who was using Yamaha blades and asked him that question. He said many there will agree the many blades models available are beautiful to look at but most won't go for them because they are harder to play.

Edited by creampuff, 03 December 2015 - 08:17 PM.

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#9 Christen_The_Sloop

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 06:44 PM

Played with a fellow on Monday in Shiga, north of Kyoto. He had a set of Miura Blades. First time I'd ever seen anyone in Japan with them on the course. My father-in-law carries the most outrageous SGI XXIO (EXSHIOS) you'll ever see. I wanted to hit the Miuras pretty bad, but I wasn't gonna ask... He did tell me to hit is driver though... An EPON with an ATTAS red something or other.... Smoked it.

In Japan, we are spoiled rotten for clubs. The HONMAS are beautiful. Hit them with all different shafts last month. The Modus were ill.

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#10 creampuff

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 08:22 PM

 Christen_The_Sloop, on 03 December 2015 - 06:44 PM, said:

Played with a fellow on Monday in Shiga, north of Kyoto. He had a set of Miura Blades. First time I'd ever seen anyone in Japan with them on the course. My father-in-law carries the most outrageous SGI XXIO (EXSHIOS) you'll ever see. I wanted to hit the Miuras pretty bad, but I wasn't gonna ask... He did tell me to hit is driver though... An EPON with an ATTAS red something or other.... Smoked it.

In Japan, we are spoiled rotten for clubs. The HONMAS are beautiful. Hit them with all different shafts last month. The Modus were ill.

All I want to do is golf.

Ha,ha need to check if that Epon driver is conforming or not. Many people do have "hot" clubs in their bags and Epon is one of many who cater to this segment. Agree that the Honmas are beautiful. Their carbon Vizard and ARMRQ8 shafts are really very good.

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#11 pitchinwedge

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 11:11 AM

Thanks for the input fellas.  I think I'll still stick with Mizuno or Titleist for my next set of irons.  The 727 line does look quite nice, but I just don't see it offering me anything the MP or 716 don't already.  They are definitely on the list for when I want to bag something unique (in my neck of the woods, at least).
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#12 hankmoody

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 12:50 PM

Honma has the coolest logo too--they should sell clothing and hats with the seal in a circle.  Would buy.
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#13 creampuff

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Posted 05 December 2015 - 02:21 AM

 hankmoody, on 04 December 2015 - 12:50 PM, said:

Honma has the coolest logo too--they should sell clothing and hats with the seal in a circle.  Would buy.

The Honma animal mascot is a mole.
I've got a number of the Honma classic woven putter covers in new unused condition. If anybody is interested drop me a pm.

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#14 luckycharms1810

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Posted 05 December 2015 - 07:15 AM

Hi, I was in Japan lately and saw all of the 727 models. All good looking clubs but the 727Vn stood out for me. Very thin topline for a cavity. The most blade looking cavity I've seen. My plan is to get a set. Also the Honma wedges are really good looking too.

Edited by luckycharms1810, 05 December 2015 - 07:17 AM.


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#15 Soloman1

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 07:39 AM

Honma lost prestige in Japan in the early 1990's after a magazine showed that the marketing hype of golf zen masters lovingly assembling clubs to exacting specs were, in fact, old ladies and high school dropouts slapping them together. The Honma graphite shaft persimmon drivers of the 80's were cutting edge, beautiful and performed well. The 80's irons were also beautiful and so soft that Honma was the company that introduced velvet iron cover bags to try to protect them from bag chatter. You could put deep gouges in the irons by just staring at them, but that was part of the charm and mystique.

Honma is no longer a Japanese company and that knocked them down a few more pegs in the eyes in many Japanese. $4,000 Honma drivers are what you see in China now, not in Japan. Honma is just a shadow of itself now in Japan - a minor, niche brand and not a mainstream brand like the glory days. They're still built and marketed for 70 year old golfers, though...

XXIO is the top brand in Japan because Dunlop filled all the tour pro pockets with endorsement money and they own the tour space. You trip over XXIO equipment at every tour stop and every broadcast and every magazine and every store. Japanese are influenced by who is playing what just as much as in the west.

Mizuno (pronounced MIZ-no in Japan with an almost imperceptable "u" sound after the z) is still popular in Japan, but they've always been more international in focus.

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#16 creampuff

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 08:18 AM

 Soloman1, on 06 December 2015 - 07:39 AM, said:

Honma lost prestige in Japan in the early 1990's after a magazine showed that the marketing hype of golf zen masters lovingly assembling clubs to exacting specs were, in fact, old ladies and high school dropouts slapping them together. The Honma graphite shaft persimmon drivers of the 80's were cutting edge, beautiful and performed well. The 80's irons were also beautiful and so soft that Honma was the company that introduced velvet iron cover bags to try to protect them from bag chatter. You could put deep gouges in the irons by just staring at them, but that was part of the charm and mystique.

Honma is no longer a Japanese company and that knocked them down a few more pegs in the eyes in many Japanese. $4,000 Honma drivers are what you see in China now, not in Japan. Honma is just a shadow of itself now in Japan - a minor, niche brand and not a mainstream brand like the glory days. They're still built and marketed for 70 year old golfers, though...

XXIO is the top brand in Japan because Dunlop filled all the tour pro pockets with endorsement money and they own the tour space. You trip over XXIO equipment at every tour stop and every broadcast and every magazine and every store. Japanese are influenced by who is playing what just as much as in the west.

Mizuno (pronounced MIZ-no in Japan with an almost imperceptable "u" sound after the z) is still popular in Japan, but they've always been more international in focus.

Honma had to go thru a financial restructuring because as a company it lost focus and still relied on a shrinking market of high net customers for its products. Simply put it was losing money, like many companies in the hugely price competitive golf trade. That said, I would still consider it a Japanese company because it hasn't relocated away from it's Sakata premises. To say it isn't Japanese is stretching it. So by your argument, Titleist, Footjoy, Scotty Cameron and Pinnacle are no longer American because parent company Acushnet is now owned by Korean owners Fila.
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#17 Soloman1

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 04:42 PM

It's a Chinese company run by Liu Jianguo, the Chinese chief executive... from Shanghai, which is in China.
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#18 3_Putt_Par

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    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion man.

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 06:00 PM

Now we're into semantics, gentlemen.  Honma clubs are made in Japan, but they are now a Chinese owned company.  Which brings us to the question, what exactly is a company and where is it from, in today's international market.  Apple is a US company who outsources its product in China and files taxes outside of the US, Ireland I think, to avoid taxes at home.  So is it an American, Chinese or an Irish company?  Same with Titleist/Acushnet, which is a Korean owned entity whose products are manufactured in China for the most part.  

So what is a Japanese golf company now?  Other than Mizuno, very few golf clubs are made in Japan by a Japanese owned company.  

Perhaps food for another thread.
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#19 Soloman1

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 06:41 PM

Honma is not an independent subsidiary of a holding or parent company. That's the difference. Who is the operational management. It's not semantics.

Edited by Soloman1, 06 December 2015 - 06:47 PM.

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#20 Vegaman

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 03:24 AM

So Jaguar and Landrover are now Indian brands? Volvo is Chinese? Of course not, they are just Indian and Chinese OWNED brands, their whole identity, not to mention design teams etc are still British and Swedish respectively. Titleist is not "an independent subsidiary" either.


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#21 Vegaman

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 03:28 AM

 3_Putt_Par, on 06 December 2015 - 06:00 PM, said:

Now we're into semantics, gentlemen.  Honma clubs are made in Japan, but they are now a Chinese owned company.  Which brings us to the question, what exactly is a company and where is it from, in today's international market.  Apple is a US company who outsources its product in China and files taxes outside of the US, Ireland I think, to avoid taxes at home.  So is it an American, Chinese or an Irish company?  Same with Titleist/Acushnet, which is a Korean owned entity whose products are manufactured in China for the most part.  

So what is a Japanese golf company now?  Other than Mizuno, very few golf clubs are made in Japan by a Japanese owned company.  

Perhaps food for another thread.

True. Honma is even more japanese than most other brands since they still make their stuff in-house in Sakata. Which is more than can be said about almost any other company, it's rare indeed. Miura and Zestaim (kyoei) perhaps? Even Epon makes most of their clubs in Thailand these days if I'm correct

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#22 Vegaman

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 03:31 AM

 Soloman1, on 06 December 2015 - 04:42 PM, said:

It's a Chinese company run by Liu Jianguo, the Chinese chief executive... from Shanghai, which is in China.

Chinese owned, but still incorporated in Japan. Nice try though

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#23 Vegaman

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 03:36 AM

On another note, Honma has really re-invented themselves in recent years after struggling for a long time. They are back with a vengeance even, the Tour World stuff leading the way.

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#24 Soloman1

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 03:58 AM

Titleist is an independent subsidiary. The CEO and entire day-to-day operation is managed in the US, not Korea. The day-to-day operation and all decisions for Honma are made in China. My criteria is reasonable. No one in India makes any decisions in the day-to-day operations of Jaguar.

"Nice try though?" What are you, 14 years old?

fini

Edited by Soloman1, 07 December 2015 - 03:59 AM.

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#25 Vegaman

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 04:35 AM

Production is in Japan, design is in Japan, corporate HQ is in Tokyo/Japan. Day to day running of things take place at HQ in Tokyo and at the factory in Sakata (of course) and not by remote from Shanghai. It's a thoroughly japanese company with a chinese owner. Besides, why would your personal ideas about what consitutes a japanese, chinese or american company be seen as some universal law? Why would "decisions" and where they are made be a more important factor than were the company was founded, is incorporated and where the product is actually made? If you think the chinese and indian owners of Volvo and Jaguar/Landrover give managers in Britain and Sweden free reign without any oversight you are delusional.

Edited by Vegaman, 07 December 2015 - 04:39 AM.


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#26 No Catchy Nickname

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 08:10 AM

Interesting article from a couple of years back on Honma:
http://www.japantime...f/#.VmWD6oQxHeQ

The Honma websites are interesting. Not all of them are updated, but none mention the Chinese ownership explicitly, even the Chinese language sites. It would appear that Honma don't want to advertise it too much.
Driver: Ping G400 Tour 65S
4w: TaylorMade R9 stock Fujikura Motore X flex
7w  TaylorMade V-steel, Quadra Fire Express RB 6SX
Driving Iron: Tourstage Airmuscle with DGS200 (for occasional use only)
Irons (4i-PW): Mizuno MP18 PX6.0 @ + 1/2"   
Wedges: Callaway MD2 50* S and 54* S-grind
              Titlesit Vokey 260 60*                  
Putter: Macgregor Muirfield or Wilson TPA XVIII

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#27 Vegaman

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 10:11 AM

 No Catchy Nickname, on 07 December 2015 - 08:10 AM, said:

Interesting article from a couple of years back on Honma:
http://www.japantime...f/#.VmWD6oQxHeQ

The Honma websites are interesting. Not all of them are updated, but none mention the Chinese ownership explicitly, even the Chinese language sites. It would appear that Honma don't want to advertise it too much.

I noticed that too when I visited the website. Then again, why would they advertise details about company ownership? Does TM bullhorn out that they are german owned or Titleist that they are korean? No, I guess it's because ownership isn't all that important these days. The brand, it's history, the products and quality matters


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#28 No Catchy Nickname

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 07:49 PM

 Vegaman, on 07 December 2015 - 10:11 AM, said:

 No Catchy Nickname, on 07 December 2015 - 08:10 AM, said:

Interesting article from a couple of years back on Honma:
http://www.japantime...f/#.VmWD6oQxHeQ

The Honma websites are interesting. Not all of them are updated, but none mention the Chinese ownership explicitly, even the Chinese language sites. It would appear that Honma don't want to advertise it too much.

I noticed that too when I visited the website. Then again, why would they advertise details about company ownership? Does TM bullhorn out that they are german owned or Titleist that they are korean? No, I guess it's because ownership isn't all that important these days. The brand, it's history, the products and quality matters

I agree that it's not particularly necessary to say exactly who owns them, and other companies don't necessarily do it either. But I do think the owners can have a direct effect on a company, in spite of its history and brand. Of course, a wise owner knows when to shut up (to maintain the brand) and when to innovate.

Edited by No Catchy Nickname, 07 December 2015 - 07:49 PM.

Driver: Ping G400 Tour 65S
4w: TaylorMade R9 stock Fujikura Motore X flex
7w  TaylorMade V-steel, Quadra Fire Express RB 6SX
Driving Iron: Tourstage Airmuscle with DGS200 (for occasional use only)
Irons (4i-PW): Mizuno MP18 PX6.0 @ + 1/2"   
Wedges: Callaway MD2 50* S and 54* S-grind
              Titlesit Vokey 260 60*                  
Putter: Macgregor Muirfield or Wilson TPA XVIII

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#29 tsupo

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 08:01 PM

they are  100%  made in  sakata japan and  they have had a HUGE re invention since   2014  , prob at the behest of the new  Chinese owner  bec the BGGEST buyers of honma  clubs  are rich  CHINESE golfers who want uber premium clubs  100% made in japan  bec MIJ still means quality!
seriously go hit a honma iron u wil have a tough time going back to ehat u were hitting previously, ive certainly not gone back ive got 4 sets of honma  tw blades.
jbeam 435, 9.5*--- 7dreamers 70xs
solid contacts 12.5---* diamana stinger 70x
(prgr egg 16.5* --- quadra fire express 75xs)
(prgr egg 18*--diamana stinger 71x)
(modart 18* ute--crazy ut 75s)
(honma di 21*--NS125s)
prgr- tr500cu--NS2g18x ss
fourteen mt28 proto 52/57 --NS 125s
tourstage x-01z


"im an equal oportunity hitting machine, all day every day".

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#30 pitchinwedge

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 11:19 PM

Interesting discussion going on here about ownership, etc. but to switch gears I thought I'd chime in to share my recent experience with the 727Vn.  I hit them indoors at a golf shop with a LM so my trial was limited but I still got to feel/touch the clubs and see what they're all about.  They were fitted with the Modus 120 shaft, which I've also tried with good success in Titleist 716 irons.

First off, I totally agree the 727's look like a good premium set of irons.  They set-up very nicely and are very much a player's iron in shape and size.  After hitting a bunch of balls, I realized nothing about these irons stood out to me.  Maybe this is a good thing, but in comparison to recent clubs I've hit, the MP-5 wins for feel, the 716CB wins for accuracy/consistency, and the 716CB wins again for looks at address.  Just my opinions.  

As far as launch conditions, for some reason, 727's launched lower than any other club I've recently tried and also with less spin.  Very low ball flight. Someone could say it's my swing, or AOA, or shaft, or grip, or weighting, etc... but the reality is that I've hit other clubs of similar design with the same shaft and had better results.  

Regardless, I didn't bother to investigate since I now know I wouldn't really consider buying a set.  I would certainly play the 727Vn if they were given to me as a gift, but if it's my own $$, I would go choose something else.

917 D2 8.50* - Tensei CK Pro White 60
917 F2 13.5* - Rogue Max 70
816 H2 19.0* - D+ Plus 90
716 T-MB (3i, 4i) - Modus 120
716 CB (5-PW) - Modus 120
Hogan TK15 - 49, 55
Edel Deschutes

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