Golfers in the U.S. generally aren’t familiar with the name Honma, a maker of high quality premium clubs but the company hopes to raise their visibility with the introduction of two new club families, the BERES S-06 and BeZEAL 535. Both lines include models from driver through irons.
The BERES S-06 series clubs are made from advanced materials and reflect the artistry of Honma’s master craftsmen in shape and look. The driver and fairway woods both make use of Honma’s Key Groove Technology, a channel in the sole near the clubface that is larger towards the heel and toe. This helps transfer additional energy to the ball when impact is not in the center of the face. At the same time the sweet spot has been made larger making both metalwoods more forgiving. The S-06 driver comes in four models staring at $899 for the 2 STAR version while 2 STAR fairway woods are $449.
The BERES U-06 hybrid ($449 2 STAR) has an advanced head shape with a shallow back and low center of gravity and a 12-gram weight near the heel. IS-06 irons ($349 each 2 STAR) have high launch face construction and slots on the side of the face and sole to produce more ball speed.
BeZEAL 535 clubs are targeted for play by recreational golfers and are an evolutionary advance from the previous 525 models. There’s a Groove Power Area located in sole from heel to toe in the driver ($605) and fairway woods ($325) and the 535 driver has a 7-gram weight towards the heel which lowers the center of gravity to give a right to left bias ball flight. Both have the Vizard shaft as stock offering an improved kick point and greater butt stiffness for low spin and high launch.
535 hybrids ($260) also have the sole groove which company testing has shown performance change across the face of as little as 8%. BeZeal 535 irons with sole, toe, heel and top blade slots are $200 each with graphite shafts and $160 each with steel shafts.
Honma was started in 1959 as the Tsurumi Golf Center and the Honma brand clubs were first marketed, the Collect model, in 1969. In recent years they have become a major brand throughout Asia and have opened offices in Cypress, Calif. to expand sales in North America.
In Case Anyone Should Ask:
Woodland Takes WMO: For the sixth time this season and the fourth week in a row a Tour winner was determined in a playoff with Gary Woodland beating Chez Reavie in one extra hole at the Waste Management Open. Woodland’s winning driver, a TaylorMade M3 440, had only been in his bag a short time beginning just last week at the Farmers Insurance Open. TaylorMade can boast this is the fourth win in five weeks for players using their drivers with a Twist Face design (M3 & M4), and the eighth win of the 12 tournaments in the 2017-2018 season.
Woodland’s Winning Gear:
- Driver: TaylorMade M3 440 9 degrees, Accra Tour RPG shaft
- Fairway woods: TaylorMade M2 Tour 15 degrees & 18 degrees, Accra Tour-ZX 4100 shafts
- Irons: 4 through 9-iron Titleist 716 MB, KBS Tour C-Taper 130X shafts
- Wedges: 47, 52 & 57-degrees Titleist Vokey Design SM7 Raw, 60-degree Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind, all with KBS Tour C-Taper shafts
- Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Prototype
- Ball: Bridgestone Tour BX
TaylorMade and Titleist Lead Counts: Out of 132 drivers at the Waste Management Phoenix Open TaylorMade was played by 44 contestants, Titleist by 34, Callaway by 26 and Ping by 18 leaving 10 players using drivers from all other manufacturers. Titleist was ball of choice with 87 teeing up a Pro V1 or Pro V1x and the nearest competitor had 21. Titleist also held the top spots in hybrids (29), irons (42), approach-sand-lob wedges (172) and putters (54).
New Projects: TaylorMade Golf has improved the original Project (a) ball, a cast urethane cover ball for amateur play, and added the Project (s) a very soft 60 compression ball. Project (a) is a three-layer dual core construction with a softer inner core and firmer outer core for reduced spin with longer clubs plus the urethane cover uses the same 342LDP dimple pattern as their successful Tour category TP5 and TP5x balls. The Project (s) is even softer then the Project (a) but with a similar dual core and the ionomer cover also uses the 342LDP high lift dimple pattern. Project (a) will be at retail on February 16 selling for $34.99 dozen and Project (s) on April 1 priced at $24.99.
Hogan Custom: The relaunched and reinvigorated Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company’s business plan call for sales only through its web site and now the customization options online have been expanded to accommodate the needs of a wider range of golfers. The list of possible personalization includes shaft material, flex, length, lie and grip for its Ft. Worth, Ft. Worth Hi, PTx Irons and VKTR Hybrids.
Mizuno GT 180: Adding a string to their bow Mizuno has introduced the GT 180 driver, a companion to the low spin ST 180 first seen last fall. There are two heel and toe slots, two weights in a front to back slot plus a visual face angle sliding weight and the hosel is loft adjustable. This $500 driver also has a special titanium alloy face to give better ball speed and help on off-center impacts.