Most JDM golf club enthusiasts are very familiar with the brand Epon and it’s parent company Endo Manufacturing, the largest forging house in the world. You will also know that Epon has always maintained a premium image when it comes to manufacturing, materials, performance and ultimately cost. Endo has came to realize that focusing solely on the high end and boutique market is very challenging for growth and profitability. With Endo juggling and rethinking some of its business strategies this past year, they decided to come up with an entirely new “brand” separate from their treasured Epon brand. Thus Endo Golf Lab was born.
Some of you may wonder why Epon would not just create new models under the Epon brand. Endo decided that Epon and Endo Golf Lab would essentially focus on different target audiences. Epon would continue to be the top premium brand which focuses on all golfer levels from pro/scratch to mid cappers to average golfers. On the other hand Endo Golf Lab is to focus on more average golfers, especially those with a focus on distance performance. The pricing structure would also be lower than Epon models (though not by much) and materials and of course designs would also be different. Even both showrooms are separate but both located at the Endo factory in Niigata as seen in the photo above.
Katsumasa Miyamoto was one of the main players under TourStage sponsorship and it appears he is getting along well with the new Bridgestone gear. While Miyamoto-san doesn’t have any victories on the U.S Tour he is in double digit territory with his wins on the JPGA.
Note the X-Wedges are still in his bag dispite Bridgestone releasing new wedges, expect more JPGA pics here at TourSpecGolf shortly. For more images follow the jump!
Seven Dreamers is a new shaft company launched early 2014, while new the company has a long standing history in composites dating back for over half a century. In 1955 Minamoto Takeishi Watanabe came across a material that left him intrigued with all it’s possibilities, he decided to single handedly study composites and after 2 years of research in 1957 established his very first composite molding plant in Shibuya, Tokyo and thus began the company Super Resin Inc. Click Read More to Continue…
RomaRo is one of the most well rounded Japanese Golf Brands available today, their entire line up from putters to drivers and grips to apparel and bags is top notch. This is my long term impressions on the 2014 RomaRo Ray H Forged irons their newest and flag ship players CB.
First let’s break down the basics of what it is, The Ray H is a fusion of a muscle back and cavity back made of Japanese S20C Forged steel. The weight expanding across the cavity helps produce a fair sized sweet spot yet also provides the benefits of cavity back perimeter weighting.
What is TSG Reward Points?
TSG Reward Points is a currency you can use on TourSpecGolf.com. They work like “TSG Cash” and can be used to buy (or save on), anything you see on our website! There are no downsides and becoming a member is free and easy. Remember, there are many ways to earn points. The more you buy golf gear, share us on social media, and refer friends…the more you get from us! It is our way of saying Thank You to our customers and community.
As you can see there are many ways to gain points for simply being a participating member on TSG, from writing reviews in the pro shop for products you have purchased (25pts), to sharing a purchase on facebook (100pts) and introducing a friend to the world of JDM gear can snag you (250pts) these all add up when combined with purchases and other ways to gain points earning you the ability to cash in those TSG points for maybe JDM balls, accessories, or even equipment.
It’s free, it’s easy and simple. Below is an outline of the Status rewards tiers, some members are already in a tier without even knowing it, points have been accumulating in accounts for the past month so if you made a purchase in the previous month you may have noticed you now have a balance in your cart which can be spent at the time of checkout.
Earn perks like Free Shipping, Discounts on all products, Earn 2% cash back on all purchases, and access to “The UnderGround” TSG’s secret forum where your opinion influences the direction of the TSG website and even some Japanese Golf Brands!
Honma’s newest iron the Beres IS-03 which will most likley be Honma’s #1 selling iron with the slower swinging mid capper category. While here at TSG we are more aligned with the athlete player the majority of our customers could actually fit this segment as well.
The IS-03 is a 2 piece structure made of a soft carbon forged body and high rebound miraging face, It also has a very deep cavity making this iron super easy to hit even a high capper could handle it. While It is uber forgiving I don’t consider it a full game improvement iron, Honma has kept the topline somewhat thin while keeping offset relatively less.
2-Stars, 3-Stars, 4 & 5. What does it all mean? For the long time Honma fan it’s status first but with the new generation of Honma customers not only do extra stars act as a status symbol but also buys them into certain customizations and Honma has a wide array of options to choose from starting at 3 stars and up.
Everything from the finish, to accent colors, to shaft colors, and many other options. More aesthetic than anything else on the actual head but big upgrades as far as the carbon technology used in the graphite shaft.
We have photos from all angles of this iron, If you want to see and read more please follow the Jump to proceed.
We have the entire Honma Tour World Series Collection here in one post. It’s not often I get to shoot an entire series from top to bottom so I figured I would post a brief summary of what Honma offers for the athlete golfer.
Starting with the above picture that is the TW717M Muscle Back Iron forged of soft carbon, made in Japan at Sakata Factory. It features a compact head with classic Muscle Back design to provide a penetrating ball flight. The TW717M has Minimal offset to allow for workability in both directions and a thin top line preferred by tour professionals. It also comes with a unique chrome plated, half satin finish for reduced glare in the sunlight.
Want to see the complete line up? Click Read More to do so…
For those of you who haven’t heard we are highlighting Honma this week @TSG! Today the new PP-101 & PP-102 putters and they are works of art. Each available in two different finishes, bright nickel platinum & dark nickel black dye. It’s body is CNC milled of forged carbon steel, it features two tungsten weights on the sole at each end, the face insert is milled of SUS304 and you have your choice of a black or red emblem inside the cavity and on the face.
As far as manufacturing goes this putter has some nice small touches, notice the gold ring where the shaft meets the hosel, or the B-logo sight dot, it’s emblems. The word I would use is polished, it’s simply well designed, solid performing and just feels sublime at impact. Honma could have saved money and excluded these features yet still produce a very nice product, but these guys aren’t playing games, no corners cut here. Want to see more pictures of both models? Click Read More below!
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!
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!