W-FORGED is a new process developed by Honma which combines two new techniques, the first is an industry first high density forging method that increases the face strength by 15% via tighter forged fibers allowing Honma to make the face thinner and save 2g weight, this gives Honma a greater freedom of design. The second is Variable face thickness, and while this has been around for a while the method Honma uses is proprietary to create the perfect amount of rebound across a wider area thus expanding the sweet spot size. Bottom line bigger sweet spot, better feel, and more distance!
So how does it compare to the previous version? You will have to read on to find out.
Before we get into comparing it to the TW717 let’s put the 455 into the proper context as it is not for the slower swinger or high handicap player. There are four new Honma drivers 430/455/455S/460. The latter 3 are made using W-Forged tech and obviously and listed in order of the player skill set. If you are a pro to low capper this is a great driver to consider, why? First the shape, it’s deep faced taller from sole to crown and the heel to toe doesn’t have as much real estate meaning it’s workable, second it’s high back and forward shifted weights create a higher more forward CG, and this translates into less spin and stronger trajectory and of course we can’t forget it’s made of top notch materials KS100 Forged Ti crown + Elf Titanium high density forged face.
The head while rounded is compact with a square face now here’s where things get awesome through TSG you can get custom matte black paint done at the factory, you can also have the lie angle adjusted in half degree increments up to 1* as well as the face angle, these are all very important options to players who may want to open the face or close it based on preference. Again all factory done. Oh, wait one more thing we can also do custom shaft colors as well :)
The only limiting factor is factory shaft options but what they have available should have just about any player covered. There are two options Vizard Series and ARMRQ8 both are shafts produced at the highest level in house using the best materials. Vizard uses a prepreg sheet made with a new material codenamed YARN The outermost layer of the shaft butt on the new VIZARD (YA/YC/YZ) features YARN Prepreg sheet, a cutting-edge material highly resistant to cylindrical compression. This controls compression of the shaft during cutover and downswing, and by stabilizing launch, enables a more accurate impact. Use of high-strength YARN Prepreg sheet also expands freedom of shaft design, making it possible to develop shafts that meet a wide range of requests from top professionals players.
ARMRQ8 which is a custom option uses an eight axis structure for straighter shots and more distance, I would consider ARMRQ8 if your tempo is normal to smooth and you may not have as fast of a swing speed. These feel great and to further enhance things I suggest upgrading to 3, 4, even 5 stars if you have the coin.
My Take: Have hit this driver on my home track and on the range many times as I’ve had all the new Honma gear in for testing for a while now. Hands down one of the best all-around players driver money can buy. For sure it’s got technology that 99.999% of other drivers could only dream of thanks to Honma’s deep pockets and amazing designers but feel was sensational, the trajectory I describe as mid/high much depending on the shaft that I used the Vizard YC-65 in stiff. It felt a little too firm for me but the result was very straight shots and long, again these feel and sound so pure think a more muted metallic soft not crunch.
The Distance was top notch it’s definitely long and probably among the best with the properly selected shaft. The Key is selecting the right Honma driver for your swing based on what you want, launch, spin, workability etc..
It’s still pretty forgiving but not so much on heel and toe shots compared to the 455S and 460 so think about where your misses are and if its high and low on the face then this one is a worthy contender. Hope you enjoyed the quick review, next up are the irons.