Things are starting to really heat up for RomaRo recently, it started eariler this year with the new 455LX Driver which not only looks the part but performs with great feel, a tight dispersion, and just a sense of user friendliness that TSG can’t not have it in the top 10 rankings. Then 3 new wedges were released the SX-R, Alcobaca Stream and Scoop Wedges and it became obvious RomaRo is able to produce anything to an extremely high standard of performance and feel. Following the wedge release the Ray H Forged which is a blade like cavity back that feels uber pure/soft at impact perfect for someone transitioning off the blade yet still wants that oozy feel from pure center struck shots in a near tiny appearance then last week the Chapter 2 iBrid which dare I say is the only driving iron ever with a forged cup face, it’s small for the better players but feels insanely good and gets going with good zip yet still easy to use.
So where are we today? The New 2015 RomaRo MC Forged irons! They call it medium cavity back??? Nooo this thing is still fairly compact in my opinion and side by side against the new Ray H it’s just a touch larger with a slightly deeper cavity, so I see it as RomaRo is playing a game of subtle differences and trying to appeal to athlete players more than ever.Just look at this profile does that seem mid sized to anyone reading this? So RomaRo has been forging its recent releases of S20C and CNC milling the cavity this represents quality all around, they have opted for a brushed satin finish that has a lower sheen than most on the market. More Pics? Follow the Jump…
In recent years Taylormade Japan has slowed it’s pace a tad when it comes to releasing Japan market only specific models but we are still lucky enough to get a taste here and there. Back in late spring several online golf communities and blogs noticed a new prototype putter being used on the PGA tour, a neo-mallet with a huge ring for a body. This putter was aptly named the arc1 by Taylormade and we all began to wonder at what point TM would release this putter to the public if ever. Fast forward to late summer when Taylormade announced that Japan would be he retail test market for the arc1 which is not surprising considering TM has been known to release more unorthodox and technology testing type of products here before anywhere else (or only here in many cases). It’s been nearly a month since the arc1 has come out and I was able to finally get a demo from TM Japan to try out.
You have to give TM credit for daring to be different in designing something they believe to make a functional difference in a golfer’s putter game. A more radical design can sometimes take the risk of being called ugly because it’s different and that certainly was the case earlier this years as photos of the tour prototypes began surfacing. Cries around the web proclaimed it to be ugly and something out of Star Trek along the lines of the Starship Enterprise – and that’s whatever one said when TM first showed off it’s spider putter years ago. (Though in my opinion, the arc1 is more deserving of the Starship Enterprise comparison.) Truth be told though, TM is not the first one to create a mallet putter that looks like a hole. Many years ago Mizuno created a line called the Draino putters in which the 100 model looks eerily similar. Even Odyssey’s Marxman putter has similar ring to it but looking at the arc1, the execution of TM’s design is probably the best of all.
Looks of any club is certainly subjective and a personal preference and many times we see clubs “grow on us”. I’ll be honest when I say that I didn’t mind the looks when I first got the putter. If one can get over the looks, the primary concern is of course does this design help make putts. Looks aside, one thing TM did get right with the arc1 is the head weight. The majority of golfers want a heavier head. In all the years I worked at TSG, I never once had a customer come to me to make or find a LIGHTER putter head. All the talk about head weight and it’s affect on greens of different speeds is certainly valid, but in the end, I’m a believer that a heavier head stabilizes my stroke and gives me a much more consistent feel and direction than a head I cannot feel. The combination of the arc1’s SUS304 ring and 220g aluminum body result in a very healthy 385g (give or take 2-3g for variance) head. I very much like the weight in my hands and with this heavy head, at all the lengths offered by TM 32″ 33″ 34″ 34.5″ 36.5″ you can expect a nice had heavy feeling swing weight. Keep in mind though to keep swing weight from going overboard in the 34.5″ and 36.5″ lengths, TM has countered the balance with heavier 130g TM Smart arc Grips. The 32″ 33″ and 34″ come with a 63g TM Winn arc Grip and the 33″ and 34″ also have an option of the 103 Super Stroke Mid Slim 2.0R. My demo is a 34″ with Winn arc Grip so the swing weight is right up there around E9.5.
Introducing the ONOFF 2015 Kuro Forged Irons – Every couple of years ONOFF releases an updated version of the model “FORGED” iron and this years looks to be their best version to date. Early at the 2014 Japan Golf Fair TSG got a sneak peak of the CB358 which was designed for JPGA super star Shingo Katayama aka the Japanese Cowboy. The CB358 was very sharp on all edges and lead the pack in this trend of sharpness which is becoming more popular for Japan makers as companies claim it ever so slightly makes the golfer increase their focus and looking back at the CB358 and even the 2013 ONOFF “Forged” iron it now appears that they have blended the two to create the new Kuro Forged.
So I’ve had a good few weeks putting the new Kuro through it’s paces and can say with confidence that It’s impressed me in all areas from it’s looks and feel to it’s forgiveness and distance. In this review I’m going start with the #4 iron then work my way to the #7 ending with the PW to hopefully give everyone a good idea of what to expect.
The #4 iron above shows a couple of things, the first is that the O logo is partially hidden, almost cut in half pushed toward the bottom of the sole, ONOFF in a really cool way was able to use their logo to dial in the center of gravity placement and this is important because you want a lower CG in the long irons to help get the ball up, I just find the way it was done very creative and classy. What you will notice is that as you move toward the shorter irons this squared shape “O” begins to lower which moves the CG higher giving you a more penetrating flight the lower the loft gets. Ready to read more and see a ton more pictures? Follow the Jump…
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…