Honma has built a reputation in Asia for irons that have the look of carefully refined craftsmanship. It’s a fair assessment because the attention to cosmetics in its irons is unrelenting. It might be overshadowing its commitment to the technical side, though. The head in this iron uses a zippy high-strength steel face that wraps around the sole for more ball speed. On the sole, a heavier steel is used to drop the centre of gravity, creating a sufficiently high launch despite the strong lofts. The real hero, however, is the attention the Honma pays to aiding shots struck on the toe – a spot where average players tend to make a high percentage of their off-centre impacts. Not only has the company placed a tungsten weight in the lower toe area, it has added a smartly designed slot in the sole that gets wider as it moves towards the toe area, producing more spring and making those nagging toe strikes behave closer to that of a centre hit. The sub-100-gram Nippon NS 950 Pro Neo shaft nicely matches the needs of most middle-handicappers. Despite all of these technology advancements, Honma hasn’t sacrificed the cosmetics it’s known for. This iron looks as sharp at address as it does in the bag.
7-IRON LOFT 29 degrees PW LOFT 42 degrees
“This is the way the ball should sound coming off the club. It doesn’t look like a lot of forgiveness, but it’s hidden in there.”