Tour Release co-designed in the U.S. deliver beautifully crafted speed for accomplished players
Honma’s foray into the West world last year was earmarked by the signing of Justin Rose as global brand ambassador, who represented and played the T//World 747 line of clubs designed and manufactured in-house in Sakata, Japan. While the product line offering to the global golfing community garnered positive reception, Honma still asked themselves if they could better those results.
With this season Honma ups their game with the new TR20 Tour Release line, which replaces the 747 series. Incidentally, the line is officially listed as the T//World TR20, yet internationally is touted simply as the TR20.
It says a lot that the TR20 isn’t a full Japanese design, but was co-penned with an American team based out of the new Honma House headquarters located in Carlsbad, the Silicon Valley of golf. And with the new Honma Experience fitting centre in Orlando and two more in the pipeline, Honma has wised up to the game, showing serious intent.
While Japanese designed clubs are superior in many ways, having come up with technologies other major companies have incorporated into their own products years later, they’re not necessarily the best fit for anyone other than an Asian.
“This is a space Honma wants to be more aggressive in,” said Chris McGinley, Honma’s Global VP of Product, “We want a product that’s a little more Westernized, a little more performance-forward for markets like North America, the U.K. and Europe, while still maintaining our Japanese heritage.”
With that said, the all-new Tour Release line is for competitive golfers looking for premium performance matched with uncompromising craftsmanship. Engineered to deliver exceptional speed and Tour-level performance, the TR20 line – already in the bag of Olympic Champion and US Open winner Rose – include two holistically designed drivers and two sets of irons.
Where the Tour Release Series sits is alongside the game-improvement XP Crossover Series in Honma’s premium performance category, while the recently introduced new Beres range commands the super premium sector.
The TR20 Drivers come in two beautifully shaped profiles of 460cc and 440cc. The near-total carbon body and lightweight titanium frame deliver explosive distance and accuracy. With more carbon in the head than others in the industry, Honma were able to remove 14 grams out of the crown, 20 grams out of the sole and 2 grams more out of the face. The twinning of the TiCarbon Fast Frame to the lightweight ribbed ET40 Carbon Crown combine to reduce unwanted vibration for a more efficient deflection off the club face.
Instead of a sliding weight system, the sole features a more weight efficient system of three strategically positioned weights (3g, 3g, 9g) with a possible five weight options, including an additional weight kit (3g, 6g, 9g, 12g and 15g). This ensures ball speed, launch, spin and swing weight can be optimised for greater distance and accuracy.
Innovative vertical grooves feature behind the precision cast thin titanium face, saving an additional 2 grams of weight, providing increased face repulsion for explosive ball speeds.
The hosel incorporates the Non-Rotating System to allow eight possible loft and lie adjustments to be made, ensuring the spine of the shaft remains in the 6’oclock position for greater impact consistency.
The TR20 Drivers have been holistically engineered with Honma’s own high-performance Japanese made VIZARD shafts to ensure all components work in perfect harmony. For the more performance-minded, the VIZARD FD/FP and Tour prototype shafts are available as an upgrade.
The TR20 460 and 440 drivers are available in 8.5° (US and EU Only), 9.5° & 10.5° lofts, inclusive of weight kit.
Combining highly sought after HONMA craftsmanship with Tour-level performance, the TR20 irons have been engineered using the most premium materials to deliver precise feel, distance and control.
Crafted for golfers seeking a better player preferred blade length, the TR20 V iron is forged from the finest soft S20C carbon steel for the soft feel pros prefer and incorporates a modern cavity back design. To achieve a lower centre-of-gravity, the neck has been shortened 3mm compared to the previous model and 10g tungsten weights are positioned on the toe side in the 3 to 8 irons.
Built in strong but playable lofts that still maintain optimum trajectory for green-stopping ball control, the 7-iron is 32 degrees, while the pitching wedge is 44 degrees; stronger than the modern loft standard by 2 degrees.
And in a nod to Honma irons of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the TR20 V irons feature the gold Honma mole logo in the cavity as an emblem of uncompromised forging heritage.
The TR20 P irons are a true player’s distance iron with game improvement playability. They feature a forged S35C steel body with an L-cup face for increased ball speeds, and a tungsten weighted pocket cavity to create speed-enhancing forgiveness if the sweet-spot is missed. A low centre of gravity and high MOI achieves high launch and longer carry.
As a whole, the TR20 irons have been designed to allow golfers to build the perfect set by blending forgiving P long irons with the more compact V short irons. Not a tricky proposition as lofts on both the V and P irons are virtually identical, save for the 11 (Gap) wedge which is a degree stronger.
Both the TR 20 V and P irons feature the Nippon Modus3 (steel) and the Vizard TR20-85 (graphite), with the Vizard a stiff-tip shaft with ascending weight for more speed with long irons and more control with the scoring clubs.
Honma aficionados will be happy to know that an additional set of Tour Release irons called the TR20B is currently in development, with prototypes currently being played by Justin Rose. Expect left-handed models, fairways, hybrids and a hollow-blade iron to follow soon.