The Local Knowlege

Gear & Equipment

Letter from Japan: Honma refocuses brand with new driver

By Mike Stachura

loop-letter-from-japan-honma-300.jpgEvery so often we get an update from our expert in Japan, Yasuko Mukai, editor in chief of Golf Digest Online. Recently she said Honma is changing from a luxury brand for older players to an athlete-oriented tour-player brand. (Honma has limited U.S. availability but can be found through authorized distributors Premier Golf in North Carolina and Golden Pro Golf in California.) The company has signed more than 10 tour players, including Komei Oda and Bo-Mee Lee, the No. 2-ranked players on Japan's men's and women's tours, respectively.

The shift is reflected in its latest driver, the Tour World TW717, a compact (430cc) design constructed of three kinds of titanium. "Lee and Oda won on consecutive weeks with the TW717, and that has started to shift the Honma image," Yasuko says.

Also, Honma believes athletic golfers are less interested in adjustable drivers. So the TW717 isn't adjustable. However, the company plans to open more fitting studios to serve these players. 

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