Kyoei Golf in Hyogo prefecture is one of Japan’s oldest forging houses, making soft forged irons for over 50 years. Many of you may know them as the house that forges Vega golf clubs as well as wedge heads for Gold’s Factory. Kyoei believes that they are global representatives of Japanese forgings and their business philosophy not only hinges on producing the highest quality heads but also cutting edge design and service that demanding golfers want. Every employee is trained to be part of Kyoei’s synergy and harmony and creating an environment where seniority and ranking does not exist. Each skilled craftsman is able to show his own flexibility and independence. This creates an atmosphere where Kyoei workers truly produce irons and wedges from their hearts. Yes this is a translation of the Kyoei Philosophy. (^_^)
Recently, Kyoei has launched a new line called Zestaim. Zestaim allows Kyoei to show off not only their superior forgings but also their CNC and grinding skills. Zestaim irons are all forged in house from ultra soft JIS S25C steel which Kyoei supplies themselves. Each Zestaim head is forged and finished with great care and detail. Kyoei sent me two of their new Zestaim Models, the Zestaim Fi-2 Muscle Back (top pic iron on the left) and the Zestaim Fi-2 Toe Heel Semi Cavity Back (top pic iron on the right).
Both the muscle back and semi-cavity are compact irons with thin sole and topline and minimal offset. Focus is on the better golfer wanting feel and control. As you can see from the pictures, the detail of each iron is superb with wonderful finish and full back face milling. All Kyoei Zestaim irons are available custom made for the customers including custom grinds and finishes.
The Semi Cavity is for those who want a blade like setup and performance but with a touch of forgiveness. There is a slight cut out in the lower cavity allowing for weight to be moved lower and towards the toe and heel, hence the name Toe Heel Semi Cavity. This increases MOI and widens the sweet spot. The stepped cutouts were planned by Kyoei for proper distribution of thickness of the head and face in order to maintain a premium soft feel.
The Zestaim Fi-2 Muscle Back is also completely CNC Milled with wonderful looks. Those who want a challenge and the purest feel will opt for this iron. The thickest spot is in fact right behind the sweet spot where the CG is also moved towards the heel. This prototype model has traditional lofts (28* 5 iron) and is made for accuracy and touch. Only 200 sets of this model are made to be available.
Many of you may not have seen Kyoei’s promotional manufacturing video. It’s in Japanese but it is pretty much self explanatory. It covers 3 main processes, forging, grinding and plating/finish. You get a look into the entire manufacturing process from start to finish including the cutting of raw S25C steel into billets for forging.
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