Tour World Takes on the World Number 1
Honma Golf, Japanese manufacturers of prestigious and premium golf clubs, have announced that Justin Rose, 2018 FedEx Cup Champion and world number 1, is on board as poster boy and ambassador. The signing sees Rose in a multi-year, 10 club equipment deal which would lead Honma’s worldwide tour presence. A decision the board sees as an important milestone in Honma’s efforts in global professional golf. According to a recent Nielsen research, Honma ranks as the world’s number one premium golf brand in terms of sales.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining Honma.” said Justin, “Coming off one of my best years professionally, I wanted to make it a point to get better. I believe Honma equipment and the legendary Honma craftsmanship can help make me better.” The new deal also requires Rose to have a hand in future product development, and to carry a Honma bag alongside the brand’s logo on both sides of his hat.
Mr. Liu Jian Guo, chairman of Honma Golf, commented, “When we thought about the ideal golfer that aligns with our company values, everything pointed to Justin Rose. Justin is a world-class player, and beyond that, a gentleman and family man. We are ecstatic to have him on the Honma team. Besides, we strongly believe that with Justin’s local and international influence in the sport and his media coverage and social media following, the partnership will create an immediate and positive uplift of Honma’s brand image and product awareness in mature markets such as North America and Europe which will in turn accelerate the implementation of Honma’s growth strategies in these markets.”
In turn, Rose expressed confidence in his chosen set of Honma clubs, saying they have been put through their paces, thoroughly tested, and are ready to go to work on tour. He played a key role in the design of Honma’s “Rose Proto” iron which features a sharper toe that’s more to his liking. According to a Honma representative, Rose and Honma started the iron design process last July before a finished version was shown to him during the week of the Tour Championship.
“With a blade, it’s all about how it speaks to you when you look down at it. It’s like a relationship,” Rose said. “I prefer Japanese styling with the clubs. The American styling is more rounded on the back end and toe. I like the pointed, pinched-up toe. I was able to tell [Honma] what I liked and what they sent back looked unbelievable.”
During testing with the TW747 model driver on the launch monitor, Rose was seeing increases of three to four miles an hour in ball speed. Even so, he’s been learning to understand all he can about the design, and how to most effectively adjust the face angles and weights for an optimum setup.
In addition to using Honma’s forged wedges (47, 56 and 60 degrees), Rose is mulling over the idea of replacing his 5-wood with a utility 2-iron that he remarked “goes just as far as my 5-wood but with more control.”