Remember Roddio? The promising shaft co owned by Globeride formerly known as Daiwa, well it’s split from ONOFF and is now doing it’s own thing. It’s a subsidiary of Globeride just not in the ONOFF stable any longer. I used to love their shafts to pieces, I remember them as being very finicky to install for example the head weight + desired CPM would determine how many millimeters you must tip the shaft and yes even in drivers. When installed properly the results were fantastic but when installed the same way most shafts would be ( straight in no tipping for a driver ) The results were a high spin, high launch, whippy mess.
Some good news? well Roddio’s are now designed to be installed like every other shaft on the market. Even better news is they are coming back from Limbo and this time making some very interesting woods & pretty cool irons. Check it out…
There are two model types of the same design, one is produced by Miura while the other one Chiba-san from the old school company Zodia. Both have the same design but it’s the way the design is executed that’s pretty interesting. The Miura version is much smoother and more rounded while Chiba-san’s is very grainy sort of like the raw look the yururi flatback features. I really don’t know who actually forged these or if they are made from Spin Welded Hosels ( I hope not ) but it’s still a cool concept to be able to compare two renditions of the same design. I think Miura wins over the Zodia but you be the judge…
Golf enthusiasts are always surprised by the number of brands and products available from Japan whenever they visit Tourspecgolf.com for the first time. The USA has the largest population of golfers by a long shot yet the Japanese golf market is more than twice the size of the US Market when it comes to dollars (yen in Japan of course). Its the size of the Japanese market that allows for a vortex of brands to exist and the strength of he market that allows for a higher tier of premium and boutique brands which add to the already huge selection of clubs available to Japanese consumers. Even top US manufacturers like Taylormade, Titleist, Callaway and others all recognize the buying power of the Japanese consumer and continue to churn out high end Japan Market only products that compete with Japanese brands. What this equals is choice for the consumer as evidence by a selection over over 100 driver models from no less than 40 brands.
While the Japanese consumer is obviously willing to spend as witnessed by club prices triple and even quadruple other markets, they are demanding consumers who want only the best for their yen. The competition is fierce among brands, so in most cases no expense is spared when it comes to design, materials and manufacturing which is very much reflected in the prices. This no holds barred type of manufacturing is what gives birth to these premium lines as well as premium brands here in Japan. One of Japan’s top premium brands that most outside of these borders probably have yet to learn about is S-Yard Golf.
S-Yard which was formerly under the Seiko umbrella but is now independent, has been producing premium forged golf clubs for 20 years. Back in 1993 S-yard produced the world’s first all forged Titanium driver called the T.301 which they produced at the Endo factory. The T.301 was designed by Kenji Kobayashi, who not only went on to become the president of Endo manufacturing, the worlds largest and highest quality forging house, but also one of the most respected and revered figures in the Japanese golf industry over the last 20 years. Mr. Kobayashi’s designs, and knowledge of golf club manufacturing as well as the creation of the T.301 Forged driver led many in the industry to refer to him as the “father of forged Titanium drivers”. In 2001 he officially became the president of Endo manufacturing where he also took over the reigns of Endo’s private brand Epon Golf. Many golf enthusiasts will be familiar with many of his Epon designs including the Technica and Technity series, as well as more recently the AF line all the way up to the ZERO driver and Z:EN putter.
Roll the clock back 7+ years ago and Japan was still the premier source for non conforming hi COR drivers with pretty much every single brand in Japan having at least one non conforming head in their lineup. Some Japanese brands had heads with COR as high as 0.90, well over the legal limit of 0.83 COR. As 2006 came to a close most major mainstream Japanese brands decided that going forward, all their drivers would conform to USGA and R&A rules meaning hi COR heads became suddenly scarce and hard to find. Fast forward to the present and 2012 saw a resurgence of non conforming Hi Cor drivers. With many brands maxed out at 460cc and the 0.83 COR limit, brands decided that recreational golfers who wanted more distance were willing to pay for hi COR drivers and didn’t care if they were conforming or not since many recreational golfers don’t play in tournaments or competitions.
While a driver’s performance and distance can be attributed to many things, including, materials, design and the ultimately the ability to hit the sweet spot consistently (a big sweet spot helps too), a higher COR can be a quick way to more distance. COR stands for the Coefficient of Restitution and measures the elasticity of the collision between the ball and face at impact. The higher the number or higher the COR the more elastic the collision is. With all things being equal there has always been the debate as to how much impact COR actually has on distance. Some say for a 100mph swing, every 0.01 in COR can result in an additional 4+ yards. As swing speeds increase, that gain also increases. I want to stress again though that the COR of a driver is only one aspect of creating distance and even though there were many great Hi COR drivers back in the mid 2000’s, in my opinion, most conforming drivers today would probably out distance those non conforming drivers of old thanks to better materials, designs and bigger sweet spots and in many cases longer length shafts but we will get into that later.
Help get access to JDM clubs and demos at your local golf shop and get a FREE Epon, Romaro, Ryoma or Crazy Driver in return! As you all know Tourspecgolf is the leading retailer of Japan Market Golf Clubs outside of Japan. Not only is TSG pround to make Japan Domestic Market golf clubs accessible to golfers around the world, we strive to to spread awareness and accessibility to JDM by introducing and marketing brands that would be otherwise unknown outside of Japan.
As some of you may know we have begun focusing on a distribution network in North America (though we are also looking at possibilities in Europe and Middle East). We have been slowly building a team of premium and quality shops who share similar views and understand the benefits of Japan market golf clubs. TSG is currently an official distributor for the following Brands:
In recent years, the annual new product announcement for Yamaha has become a huge event at TSG. Yamaha’s enthusiast following is indeed a large one overseas, thanks to wonderful designs, great Endo forged feel, and typically awesome performance. This year Yamaha was very careful ahead of the official November 12th announcement at preventing leaks of info and images of the new clubs so as to keep everyone in suspense. I started a forum thread on the pre order of the Yamaha clubs based on speculation of their designs back on October 13th and it has been a very popular thread with our members.
Finally today Yamaha rewarded our patience with their official product announcement. The good news is the products look great and they released an unexpected surprise in the adjustable Remix driver. The bad news is as it is every year, that the limited Tour Model irons which are sold out every year before launch, will probably be sold out again in the next week or so. Luckily many customers took a leap of faith and ordered even before knowing what they looked like!
Tourspecgolf was invited to the ONOFF 2013 New Collection launch so I headed out yesterday to Shibuya to check out all the new gear for the new year. Every year they hold their launch event Ebisu/Daikanyama area which is just south of Shibuya.
While Shibuya is a constantly busy and buzzing area of Japan packed with color, lights, fashion and people, Daikanyama is more old fashioned and along with Ebisu an eclectic mix of different levels of dense residential tightly mixed with new developments and classy boutiques and trendy bars and eateries.
Last year Taylormade Japan decided to create a new Japan only line called Gloire which would compete in the premium segment of the Japanese golf market. The Gloire featured Taylormade’s only forged driver which turned out to be one hot selling and popular club. A forged fairway wood and maraging high performance iron rounded out the lineup.
Yesteday, TM announced new additions to the Gloire lineup including the Gloire Reserve driver, Taylormade’s most premium distance driver ever, the Gloire Forged Iron, an advanced soft feeling multi piece forged iron, and a new all titanium utility for max launch and distance. We will have demos coming in soon so I will go into each clubs technology in more detail when they arrive. The driver looks to be amazing and TM touts it as the biggest sweet spot they have ever produced on a driver thanks to the multi layer face. The new products launch in early December. In the mean time, here are some preview pics!
It’s my 4th Ryoma driver now, I’m all about these and have been for quite some time. The D-1 V-Spec has changed my driving game and even my wife plays one. It’s less stressful on the brain when a mishits fly a lot straighter and longer. My addiction started with the V-Spec 9.5 degree head. It was better than anything else I played up until that point but trajectory still was a little low for me, enter the 10.5 V-Spec which has been in the bag almost forever in club Ho’ing years.
Then more recently it became a 9.5 Special Tune which although higher than 9.5 conforming model it still flew a little low for my bones so…. Here comes my new babe, The D-1 V-Spec Special Tune but this time in 10.5. Glory! It works perfectly and I’m getting 10 yards on average more distance and occasionally 25! Don’t believe? Ya Neither do I. My score has gone up as some holes I have to hit a 3 wood now but I’ll work that out too U guess.
Srixon is about to release their all new revamped Z series lineup including 3 adjustable drivers, new fairway woods and forged irons. We get the new demos in the coming weeks, in the mean time check out the 12 minute promo video! The forged Super Tix faces on the driver sound very soft and the pros note a good increase in distance. The big draw is of course full adjustability on all the drivers. You can find all the new Z clubs in the Pro Shop!
Firstly my apologies for not blogging for a while. Its been a busy time here at TSG, with the golf season in full swing and lots of exciting developments underway. I have been lucky enough over the past few weeks to be able to attend practice sessions of a couple of LPGA events here in Japan. For the average golfer, the ladies tour here in Japan is a showcase of what is hot and mainstream in the men’s golfing world. Yes in the men’s golfing world. Reason is the largest segment of golfers here in Japan is the average golfer, and most of us cannot dare compare ourselves to the men’s tour and the equipment that is played there. However, the LPGA in Japan is very representative of the highest tech men’s midcapper to better player clubs available today. You’ll see VG3 Forged, ONOFF Red, XXIO, Tourstage ViQ Forged etc and many other models that you would never see on the men’s tour. One of the most common trends was the presence of Taylormade Japan’s Gloire Forged Driver.