What it does: When making irons that are designed to appeal to the very best players – even irons that feature distance technology – the natural tendency is to make them forged. However, this overlooks how soft a cast iron made from 17-4 stainless steel can be. Honma used the material for its 4-iron through pitching wedge before transitioning to an all-carbon-steel head in the gap wedge for improved feel on shots around the green. The thin L-face (which wraps around roughly half of the sole) features variable-thickness regions. This allows the face to flex better on off-centre strikes while delivering more mass on centre strikes.
Why we like it: The company believes its irons are the pride of its brand, and this one serves as an example. In a nod to better players, the irons are quarter of an inch shorter than most mainstream irons and a degree flatter – a combination that functions well for players who come into the ball shallower with a sweeping motion. For players desiring graphite shafts, Honma’s own Vizard IB-WF (Iron Bolfa Weight Flow) is a stable, lightweight shaft. With options ranging from 50 to 100 grams, it carries only a slight upcharge.
7-iron loft 28.5 degrees; pw loft 43.5 degrees
“These are crazy. The feel off the face is like you’re hitting a shuttlecock off a badminton racquet. There’s no digging whatsoever.”
– Player comment