Here’s something new & special that we don’t see very often, A Honma 4-Star Upgrade but on the new Tour Wold 727 Series club. Many have heard of Honma star rated clubs and shafts but the majority still doesn’t quite understand how the program works or how it’s better than the standard versions so I figured it’s time to explain this and there is no better way than to test it myself on range and course.
So what makes the 5 Star better than the 4 or the 3 better than the 2? Follow the Jump to learn why Honma offers these pricey upgrades and what they do to better performance for the player…
Only Veteran Craftsmen can work on 4-5 Star builds, each person must have over 20 years working in the factory with Honma. Honma clubs usually come standard at 2 stars with optional 3/4/5 star upgrade options each costing more the higher it goes. The difference between them are basically aesthetics, custom options, and shaft materials, for example 4-5 star shafted clubs are open to all requests within Sakata Factories realm of capabilities..
In this case if I just ordered a 4-Star TW727 without requesting options this driver would have arrived with a gold crown but I selected custom matte black because its my preference, the matte look combined with gold is gorgeous kinda a mixture of bad ass with luxurious. I decided to keep the 4 star shaft original gold color to flow with the rest of the theme although matte black with gold foil graphics would have been insane. The ferrule itself has real 24k gold accents on it as well, it’s over the top yes but it’s beautiful looking ferrule.
Pink Shaft & Head no problem? White Ice cream cone looking driver is fine as well, Honma also let’s you customize the specs from exact lofts to lie angles and face angles or weighting biases but besides the looks it’s really the shaft that has a lot of the value. ARMRQ8 is an eight axis design made with 2 basic graphite sheets and as you go up in stars the materials used in the sheets change to higher grade carbon.
2-Star = 40T/46T
3-Star = 46T/46T
4-Star = 46T/50T
5-Star = 50T/50T
Some of you are wondering where is the 80T? 80T is not the material of choice when it comes to performance & feel as a whole, it is a great option for anti shaft deformation but it also causes issues with feel and distance so it’s not the ideal material for most shaft applications although on the web the higher # will tend to get the credit over design.
The carbon material is different depending on the star grade so the higher grade shaft will minimize wobble at off-center hits and the negatively effected shot dispersion and distance loss are minimized. let’s say you had a swing robot that hit the center perfectly the same spot and speed every time then there would be no need or difference between the 2/3/4/5 star shafts but the reality is we can’t duplicate our best results over and over so this is where materials aid the player in keeping a tighter dispersion on off center shots which maintain straighter results and more distance or in other words it improves the results of our swing flaws.
So what does this all mean? It means with better materials you rely on timing less, you get better distance on off center hits due to less shaft deformation and your trajectory is more penetrating in general.
That matte crown looks so sweet, the Tour World 455S is the second most forgiving model of driver in the series, it’s still draw biased but just slightly and like the others has a square face angle. The standard shaft is VIZARD which is designed for the harder swinger, it too also has a very tight dispersion due to the metal fibers in the tip section, the Vizard line is not available in upgrade stars only the ARMRQ8 series is.
Below an image of the face, as you can see while still deep there is space on both sides heel & toe for miss hits.
The 455/455S/ and 460 models areW-FORGED which 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!
Hope you enjoyed the run down and photos of this club, any of the tour world series drivers can be customized one thing worth mentioning is 5-Star customers when traveling to Japan can schedule a tour of the factory and have their clubs & shafts refinished and re gripped at no additional cost keeping their investment looking brand new even after years of play.