I can’t remember a time when there has been so many amazing fairway woods on the JDM scene at once, ONOFF’s TS358 is sitting pretty near the top of that list, it’s the model created for the pro by the pro and I’ve put it’s through it paces seen what it can do and the take away it’s definitely one of my top 3 choices. You may be wondering what some of my other favorites are, well in the mix is also the S-Yard XV, PRGR’s latest Egg, Royal Collection 306V and a New Prototype we have yet to reveal made by one of TSG’s favorite shaft companies. In the past ONOFF made some really good shallow faced fairway woods, the description in the TSG Store says its got a semi deep face and I agree it’s also got a low enough center of gravity and a shallow of enough face to make it fairly user-friendly.
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Fresh off the grind the 2014 Buchi Global Launch Edition. TSG announced Buchi well over a year ago and at the time the brands design and shape catered to the tastes of Japan. Over the last year we had customers purchase Tabuchi-san’s custom grind wedges and while I was not a big fan at first , the comments began to roll in. Customers were claiming the Buchi custom wedge as the best feeling and most versatile they have ever played and that caught my attention as some of these guys play it all.
Since then we have gone through a half dozen prototypes all variants of what our customers requested until it became a blend of sorts. The result is a wedge that not only looks stunning but feels unreal and most importantly performs for a wide group players. We tested in the rain, in the desert, and from a variety of sand conditions to create a wedge that we think has few rivals.
Release is in June and it all kicks off with a limited 4 wedge set 50/54/58/62* lofts called the global launch editions. Only 10 of these sets will be made. In regards to price Buchi is an excellent value, these global models cost the same as the custom wedges! That’s pretty unheard of now days. So if you want something already prepared you can go with these, if you have custom requests and don’t mind waiting the cost is no different. Only the limited sets will demand a premium and for good reason, a new additional mold needed to be created to make it happen. Stay tuned for more info and the official release announcement.
Honma Golf has had gigantic success in decades past catering to the slower swinging wealthy segment of golfer, yet that very same success acts as a double edged sword as now there is a preconceived notion that Honma only produces blingy golden clubs for older ladies & gentlemen.. and that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m going to highlight one of their recent products that I just had to have the 2013 TW-U driving iron.
I’m a driving iron junkie, lots of options have recently caught my eye but the #1 concern was always forgiveness & accuracy, so why not use a hybrid wood? Because of accuracy, I rarely ever go OB with a driving iron while with a hybrid I can from time to time. In a nutshell it’s my belief that Driving irons are safer and more accurate with a tighter dispersion IF you excel in iron play over wood play. At the same time If you don’t get the ball up easily, and have a slower swing speed I suggest considering hybrid woods.
We at TSG work hard to bring enthusiasts worldwide not only the biggest and most popular Japanese brands but also smaller up and coming brands that most people have never heard of. If it is available in Japan, TSG can or will eventually be able to get it (so don’t hesitate to ask us if you don’t see something in our shop). We introduced Modart and it’s founder, tour grinder Mitsuru Suda (pictured above) back in February at the Japan Golf Fair. It has taken some time to iron out the details of our partnership (people always expect products to appear instantly at TSG but we make sure things are done right) and Modart clubs are finally available at TSG!
I was actually in Tochigi last week at Modart headquarters ironing out the final details and got the chance to look over Modart’s beautiful products again and snap some photos of the clubs and Suda-san grinding and posing to help promote the brand. Besides having Suda-san’s wondeful custom grind wedges now available to all TSG followers, Modart’s entire lineup can be had through TSG with an custom shafts and custom made to specs. Just to recap what I had posted before, Modart launched last year but is really just picking up steam this year especially after their first appearance at the show in February. The key things that appeal about Modart which again stands for Modern + Art are that all clubs are made in Japan and a few of the iron and wedge models are completely CNC Machined from the block!!
Suda-san explained that this creates the most pure iron when it comes to materials. The pressure and heat from a forging press can create inconsistancies in the steel including cracking and weakening of the material ultimately degrading he feel. With each Modart iron and wedge being milled straight from the block, there is no contamination of the steel and you get S25C in its original and purest form. The mix of satin and chrome mirror plating really enhances the machine marks on the irons which make them stand out like no other brands irons.
It’s not possible to have grinding inconsistencies or unbalanced shapes as every head is machined to perfection. Every curve, every line. Not to forget those who also want a human touch, Suda-san will grind his custom wedges for any TSG order to whatever shape and offset and spec the customer wants. While the CNC machined irons are works of masterful technology and machinery, the Suda grind wedges are works of masterful hand art and his experience from grinding on both the PGA and Japanese tours.
One of the great things about the new Modart drivers is that unlike many Japanese drivers that are made to counter slicers, the Modart drivers are fade biases for those who fear the hook. The black IP finishes of all the woods look amazing and the key strengths are feel and performance. The new Modart putters are also CNC Machined and look fantastic. So be sure to check out the new clubs here in the pro shop. And as always if you need help choosing the right models or understanding options, just give us a shout!
Many new & exciting products are constantly being added to the TSG Proshop, this week EMILLID BAHAMA is that brand. Just recently launched E-Bahama is owned by Grand Prix golf a Korean company that also makes many products in Japan. E-Bahama has nearly a full line up of gear to start off with including 2 models of drivers, 2 models of fairway woods, a UT, DI, and accessories. It’s listed here in the proshop just click the link here: Emilid Bahama
Another year another Japan Golf Fair gone by. The impact of this years show was greatly subdued by Tokyo’s largest snowfall in over 60 years essentially shutting out tens of thousands of visitors from even reaching Tokyo Big Sight. My wife suggested I stay at a hotel in Tokyo the Thursday night before the show so I would not have to risk a killer commute through the snow from Kiminomori in Chiba to the Odaiba area and I am glad to say it was the right call as it was an easy ride into the show Friday morning. As always Tourspecgolfer and Tourspecgirl flew in from Las Vegas to cover the show.
We shifted out focus this year to more of a social networking approach as we covered the show through Facebook, Instagram and google+, many of the posts which you can see now up in our new Social link. The golf fair itself seemed to take a new marketing angle as well with less flashy than usual booths and displays but more hitting and test areas for visitors to get hands on with all the new gear. Taylormade went from one of the largest booths last year flanked by 20+ female models to a more toned down booth featuring its new motto Loft Up+ and with a hitting area taking up more than half the booth.
While the Japan Golf Fair is certainly the place to see new gear, truth is, there are few surprises as to what new products are coming out since TSG as well as our in the know members usually know well in advance of the show anyway. So the show is more about discovering up and coming brands and unknown products. Like for example Modart which we have already made a post on here. In coming weeks TSG will focus more on these “finds” as well as begin offering most of them for sale in our shop.
Being a technical golf fanatic, I was immediately drawn to a booth titled Seven Dreamers. This is a shaft brand unlike any other we have ever seen. It is of course high modulus carbon which is nothing new but it is the way they design and manufacture the shafts that set them apart from any shaft maker anywhere in the world. We will be going into more detail with a dedicated post on Seven Dreamers but to make a long story short, they manufacture each shaft based on EACH INDIVIDUAL. A fitting session done at their Tokyo Headquarters utilizing their own in house 3D swing analysis software allows Seven Dreamers to collect enough data about a players swing to be able to design a shaft from scratch for that player and even a specific head he/she is using. And it does not stop there. Seven Dreamers’s parent company is involved in the building of satellites from around the world, supplying the highest grade carbon used for space travel as well as other sports (ie formula 1 car racing) and will utilize the same manufacturing expertise and machinery to make the shafts (and the machines they use are nothing like what other golf shaft makers use – but more on that later.) Chris and I have already been to their Shiba Koen shop and were blown away by the mind boggling process and finished products.
While there were of course many new products we have come to expect from all the big brands (plus an influx of more shoes than ever!), it was Modart and Seven Dreamers that really got us excited especially now since we will soon be offering both brands at TSG. Stay tuned as we share more details in coming weeks!
As I had originally posted back almost a year ago when the first M.A.C. was created, Master Sasaya of Gold’s Factory is a man who appreciates the fine details in premium workmanship. In late 2012 we were casually chatting over some ramen noodles in Itabashi about how some high end cars have a single “Meister” defined as “a person expert in or renowned for a specific skill” who builds the engines in their high end models from start to finish. We all know that nobody can tweak or modify a putter like Master Sasaya does and he is very much in his own way a Meister. Using the word Meister he created his new line of one off, one of a kind putters under the banner Meister Absolute Crafting.
These new M.A.C. putters would use all of Gold’s Factory’s best design ideas, each be unique in its own way and have only one ever made. Master Sasaya takes each head, machined from JIS SUS303 and through hand machining, grinding, polishing, modifying and finishing create his usual beauty. He asked me what I thought about names for each putter as he wanted to give each unique putter a name, and I suggested why not pay homage to the Greek Gods? Their names as putters would sound very cool. Master Sasaya agreed since then we have had steady line of M.A.C. releases including Artemis, Prometheus, Apollo, Zeus, Chronos and Hades. Only one of each will ever be made so owning one will mean owning a one of a kind M.A.C. model.
The 2 latest M.A.C. putters have been created called Erebos and Athene, click on the read more to check them out!
Titleist’s first forged wedge for the Japan market, 2012’s Vokey Forged was perhaps one of the best selling wedges here at TSG. Buoyed by Titleist and Vokey users and enthusiasts all around the world, they jumped at what was a great wedge and forged from S20C at Endo.
The new 2014 Vokey Cold Forged models have even more lofts and more grind options and are now cold forged. Bob Vokey again worked with Titleist Japan and the many Titleist Tour pros here to create a wedge that would provide performance up to their specs. This time Vokey chose a cold forging process to help increase consistency in manufacturing and reduce thermal contaction during the cooling process from traditional forging processes. This create more consistency across the wedge head resulting in more consistent feel and performance.
When the Vokey Cold Forged were announced, I figured they were no longer Endo and asked our Acushnet rep where these were made. He immediately said, its a secret but… they are made in Japan. Follow the Read More to get more photos and specs and info!
It’s been a hectic and very busy month so I was glad to take some time away from sitting in front of my monitor to snap a few custom Mizuno Yoro orders. We had about 5-6 Yoro orders come in and 3 of them made their way here for some photos. The first set featured the MP-69 with a Nickel Chrome Satin finish instead of the standard mirror finish. Customer wanted the grind of the MP-69 to be similar to the JPX 825 Forged iron which has some leading edge and trailing edge relief. He kept the stampings the same but changed some of the color.
Customer also wanted 3 of the Japan only MP-R4 wedges with a 48* wedge acting as the PW. This time the customer opted for a beautiful Raw finish and custom stampings with own name. Grain flow forged was removed and tour 2010C etching was added to the neck.
The MP-R4 is turning out to be a very popular wedge. An eye pleasing shape, easy to use, nice and sharp quad cut grooves with full face micro milling, it is also in huge demand since its available with all Yoro options. Read More to see more pics and specs!
Royal Collection has a pretty big spread lined up for 2014 and at the Japan Golf Fair they were out in full force focusing the attention on the new RC 6 Series which includes the following new items:
- BBD 106V – Driver
- BBD 306V – Fairway Wood
- BBD 506V – Hybrid Wood
- BBD 706V – Hybrid Driving Iron
- BBD 706V – Forged Irons
- DB Double Milled Forged Wedge
Ready to see the rest of the line up? Click Read More and follow the jump to see pictures and a breakdown on RC’s latest 6 series models.