I usually pass on trying the newest Taylormade gear, not for any other reason than there is enough written about them everywhere on the web yet I was intrigued by the latest Gloire F as it's a Forged driver which is something we haven't seen from Taylormade since well I don't remember when.
The Gloire F this year is geared toward the better player where as previous models where more mid-high handicap designs and with this new F we actually see the majority of the TM staffers in Japan using the complete line up from Driver, FW, UT, and Irons. I've spent 5 rounds with this in the bag so follow the jump to read the review...
Honma Golf TW727 Irons - In my previous blog post I unveiled the latest TW727 Series Drivers in this topic it's all about the TW727 irons and the good news is there are 4 types this year. Let's get briefly acquainted with them shall we? This year it's all about a new process called W-FORGED, and interestingly Honma has chosen to use different technology and materials based on the needs of the player and the iron they should choose for example the TW727Vn and TW727V are the only ones W-Forged while the 727 while S25C Forged is not W-Forged and of course I will get more information about this from Honma shortly but it goes to show they are not just shoving tech into all their new products they are carefully considering and testing which models perform best with the technologies they have available.
Honma TW727M Muscle Back Irons - Many pro's and low handicap players loved the previous version and now this version picks up where the las left off with minute differences starting with a slightly sharper leading edge that has been combined with a very thin sole it cuts through the grass like a razor.
The offset values have all been changed as well as the shape starting with the long irons at nearly zero but even the PW has extremely minimal amounts and as you go from the long to short irons the top line bends for better visuals to help good players shape shift the ball with confidence. I gotta mention that this year there is a new Vizard heavy weight carbon shaft for these blades along with many steel options.
Honma TW727Vn Muscle Cavity Irons - This model didn't exist last year! It fits in between the blade and the players CB and we are splitting hairs here because the players CB is already small and now this is just a touch more meaty than the blade is not to mention the W-FORGED technology starts here.
How this model came about is that the top players wanted a cavity similar to the below V model but with the same lofts as the blade and while that isn't enough to justify the creation of a whole new model and design Honma incorporated the W-Forged tech which is a new Forging Process so what this entails is a two press process starting with a very hot pressing of the S25C then a cold forged press with new compression technology for improved granular grain flow what this does is make the final 0.2mm more dense and that is the face area.
Honma and their tour players are claiming the W-Forged irons to be the ultimate in feel and feedback. I will get deeper on this in another blog post with actual pics of all these irons in hand.
Honma TW727V Cavity Back Irons - And this one is W-Forged as well :) Very similar in shape to the TW717V they have improved this years version by making the cavity a little deeper and the CG lower and implementing W-Forged technology.
The dimensions are just a fraction of a mm more beefy but in the end it's still a compact players CB and now easier to get up and easier to hit. We will have photos comparing all models shortly. Both the Vn and V models have some really good looking graphite options to choose from in the 90-110 gram range as well as all the usual steel models.
All in all I'm personally torn between the Vn and the V, I really should be playing the V but can't resist the VN is a new model and it's shape is quite different than the V, shorter heel to toe and also taller in the neck area. Excited to try both and go from there.
Honma TW727P Cavity Back Irons - It's still for the better player as it's in the Tour World line up, it's just the most forgiving of the bunch. The all new TW727P irons are not fully forged they are 2 piece using soft forged steel in the body and a hot maraging stainless steel face. It's top line isnt thick at all and it still doesn't have much offset but what Honma has done is give it a slightly wider sole than the rest a touch more goose in it's neck and stronger lofts.
A lot of it's forgiveness comes from its variable cavity design with the long irons having a deep wide cavity and as you go down to the 7 it narrows then to the 9 it's really just a slit then at the SW there is no undercut and it becomes a soft forged 1 piece head.
The TW-727 Irons are scheduled to launch in Japan in January 2014 TourSpecGolf suggests taking advantage of our pre order to secure yours in the first batch as these will be in high demand and there will be delays after the official release day.
Below are links to the TSG Pro Shop Listings:
Honma TW727 Drivers - There is still the misconception that Honma is for the slower swinging senior player that's looking for gold plated golf clubs and I'm here to tell everyone "again" that couldn't be further from the truth. So what is the truth? It's that Honma is the #1 golf brand in Japan today! Whaa! But how? It's because Honma has stayed the course while other brands followed the gimmicks of many U.S brands and strayed away from what made them inherently Japanese in the first place which is Quality, Materials, and Design while never compromising or creating anything less than the best.
Honma has stayed the course and has come out the Champion now sponsoring the best JPGA tour players with plans and the budget to sponsor top U.S PGA Tour players as well. In this blog post I have a lot to cover so let's get the ball rolling :) Starting with the TW727 Drivers.
TW727 430 Driver - Deisgned for fast and stronger players who swing aggressively and require a low spin, low launch, anti hook design club. It has a very shallow and forward CG location for that strong trajectory and a black IP finish at the request of Honma's tour pros.
TW727 455 Driver - All W-Forged models are made by Endo using Honma's proprietary high density forging process that increases the face hardness by about 15% This W-Forged face is also 2 grams lighter which allowed it to be larger in order to expand the sweet spot and improve feel.
TW727 455S Driver - The 455S is also W-Forged and it bridges the gap between the 455 and 460. It's got a lower CG than the 455 and a slightly higher spin design to help players who need more forgiveness and who value a straighter more forgiving shot over workability.
TW727 460 Driver - Naturally the most forgiving model in the line up designed around straight higher launching shots and a shape and size to inspire confidence. It features a lower center of gravity with it's shallow back which stabilizes spin for a tighter dispersion.
The TW-727 Drivers are scheduled to launch in Japan in January 2014 TourSpecGolf suggests taking advantage of our pre order to secure yours in the first batch as these will be in high demand and there will be delays after the official release day.
Below are links to the TSG Pro Shop Listings:
TSG Club Works originally worked on 3 sets of Crazy MB's and here is the final set done up in Chrome Mirror with a Copper Under layer for a little extra added weight and a softer feel at impact.
- Chrome + copper underlayer
- Gold/Black Paint fill theme
- Dynamic Gold S200 Tour Issue CPT Stiff
- Tour G Tour Issue + 1 wrap
- D3 3-9 D4 PW
Follow the Jump to see more pics...
Mitsubishi OT Iron Shaft by FRANKI - Last year TSG visited Mitsubishi Japan at the Tokyo Golf Fair and saw several prototypes labelled FRANKI they were extremely light weight as in less than 25 grams!!! Just this week Mitsubishi Japan is showing off it's official creation the OT Iron Shaft by FRANKI.
Who is Franki? I have no clue but this shaft has peaked our interest as it is a major departure in how carbon shafts are made. Mitsubishi's goal was to create an affordable and highly capable iron shaft that has the soft feel of carbon yet the tight trajectory and stability of a steel shaft. Follow the jump below this image to read on and see it's specs...
The new for 2015 Fourteen GelongD CT315 Driver, 460cc's it's a 4-piece composite titanium head structure most noteable is it's 6-4 Ti cup face and BF-11 Ti body. This is fourteen's high MOI driver at 4160 and caters to the mid handicap player who has an issue fighting the right side or coming in over the top.
The previous GelongD had some very good reviews for the average and or slower swing speed player. This latest CT315 version has an extremely long length shaft at 47.75" long which gives the golfer a big advantage in creating more club head speed. Fourteen Japan's figures are that the difference between 45" vs 47.75" is 9 yards or about 3mph faster head speed. Follow the Jump to read on...
This isn't your average RomaRo SX-R wedge.... This version was done up by TSG's very own aftermarket division "TSG Club Works". Another interesting tid bit, this is our soft black finish and it doesn't look like it from this angle with it's almost bronzish purple hue to it so what caused this you may wonder? was it photo editing or the angle of light and sun in this image? nope.. It's a special pre step we did to it before the finish was done. Best of all at other angles it loses it's purple hue as I will show you in the other pics after the Jump.
But first let me show you what this wedge originally looked like. See below:
Continue on to see how this finish changes in different light:
The PHYZ line is something we've rarely touched on in the blog but, with the brand restructuring at Bridgestone, PHYZ has come more into the spotlight, as the Bridgestone lineup targeting Japan's largest segment of golfers, the average golfer. PHYZ has only been around since it's introduction in 2011, so barely over 3 years. However it's stock has continued to rise since that time. It was introduced at a time when Bridgestone was of course still Tourstage, and initially for many it was just another lineup in Tourstage's pocket buried beneath X-Drive, GR and ViQ. There was so much overlap among the lines that they competed amongst themselves for market share. So with Bridgestone's restructuring and rebranding here in Japan, there are now only two lines, the new J715 series targeting the better player and the PHYZ line which is aimed at the more average golfer. The average golfer should be thankful that PHYZ is still around as it does a far more focused job at making golf more enjoyable versus the ViQ line which was originally slated as Tourstage's average golfer line.
I actually happened upon reviewing the PHYZ irons and originally had no intention of doing so. 2014 has been a tough year for me in golf as I battled shoulder issues which kept me from enjoying the game for much of the last 16 months. I went stretches of months where I didn't play at all which to say the least, really sucked. In the past few months however, I've built back enough shoulder strength to start practicing again and I've been able to get a few rounds under my belt. Naturally that meant finding new clubs and I went searching for irons with very specific requirements. Those of you who know me know that I do consider myself an average golfer, someone who loves golf clubs and their designs and who loves the game of golf but doesn't get out there nearly enough to become "very good". Taking all that time off didn't help as well so my search called for "forgiving" clubs which translates into 3 things in my mind: 1. Easy to use, 2. Covers up mistakes and miss hits well 3. Automatic distance and accuracy. Adding to the forgiveness aspect, I also wanted something lightweight due to my shoulder issues. Irons are probably a weak spot for me so I decided I would try everything out there to see what would work.
One of the driving ranges I frequent out in Sakura happens to have a lot of demo clubs so every time I went to practice I would grab a few, and this was not limited to JDM models only as I tried TM Speedblade, the new RSi 1, Callaway BB Beta's, X2 Hot's, Titleist VG3 Type E, ONOFF Red, XXIO 8, PRGR Super Egg, Epon AF-703 and the list goes on. After trying out all these irons, I had to change my criteria a bit to include "FEEL". Golf is very much about feel and my years of testing top flight irons for TSG have spoiled me thanks to being able to hit many of the most pure forged irons in Japan. Sadly some or should I say many of the average golfer (you may call them GI) irons lack feel or come across as simply hard. The TM and Callaway irons, while I liked there performance, I hated their feel (and before you jump on me about the feel, please keep in mind feel is subjective and we all perceive feel differently). A lot of this can of course be because of comparing cast irons to forged carbon steel but it's more than just that. Feel of a club not only comes down to materials, but also the design, the manufacturing, the shaft, an even how the sole interacts with the turf, which all equal what kind of impact you get. That said, I have hit Ti Face as well as Maraging irons that feel very close to forged as well as irons with AS Rolled Faces or Super Spring Steel as they call it.
I was leaning towards XXIO or ONOFF both coming very close too all my criteria - I'm sorry I just could not get over the looks of the Super Eggs nor the feel, when I saw they had the new 2014 PHYZ III iron demo in the rack. I thought what the heck, I'll give it a hit. I'm not going to beat around the bush. I BOUGHT THE PHYZ IRONS. So I guess I should tell you why.
Mizuno Yoro Craft MP-15 Irons - The latest forged irons release in the MP line by Mizuno the MP-15 so I figured I would go the distance and request them optioned like a fully loaded baked potato. These are the designed for the low handicap player forged of their 1025E steel and feature a blend ti material that removed over 30 grams of weight replacing it with only 10 grams.
The retail version is mirror chrome and as you can see this one is done up in double nickel satin finish for a drastically reduced glare in the sun... but wait theres more! On top of the Double Nickel Satin Finish it features a W Sole Grind which is a subtle killed trailing edge + leading edge for the steeper swinger or player who is in softer conditions that wants to get through the turf more easily. Still more modifications done by the Yoro Dept... Follow the Jump to Read on!
Fourteen Type 7 Driving Hybrid Iron - You seen it on the PGA Tour at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, we have been seeing variants of these for more than a year on the Japan Tour and now it's been sent to us for testing and eval. I'm going to keep this short and sweet, This is a near perfect driving iron that is highly refined, from it's angles, feel, forgiveness and overall performance it hit's all marks for the player type it's intended for.
So who is it intended for? I'd have to say the low/mid handicapper who want's to shoot tight accurate bullets to land in 2 on a par 5, or I can imagine it's extremely usefull off the tee on tricky par 4's or longer par 3's, yes there are higher launching more forgiving driving irons and hybrids that can be used but none as evolved as this in my opinion. Follow the Jump for more pics and review...