Honma’s TR20 series of clubs has been out and getting attention since 2020 and soon Honma will be adding to its “TR” or “Tour Release” series with the addition of the newest TR21 clubs. According to Honma, the new TR21 offerings complement the TR20 clubs and help to complete the line. Most avid internet golfers are familiar with Honma’s offerings and the company’s ongoing attempt to capture US market share, but the Honma name may be new to some. If the name is new to you, it is certainly worth investigation.
Over the last several decades, Honma has been known for luxury clubs, including 24-karat gold drivers and clubs that could cost the same as a car, but it is also known for historic Japanese craftmanship in its irons and woods that deliver performance and beauty. The new TR21 woods and irons are designed with the same Japanese craftmanship that built the brand and offer minimalistic beauty and aim to deliver performance for the more skilled golfers who want precise control over the ball and workability.
TR21X Irons – Honma enters the players distance market
The biggest tech story with the TR21 series has to be the new TR21X irons, which is Honma’s first foray into the ever expanding and very popular players distance category.
The TR21X irons follow a tried and successful design concept but with a little Honma touch to complete the club. The TR21X are hollow bodied, multi-material irons that feature tungsten weighting and foam injection. This design concept allows for a near muscle back appearance but with the distance and spin control of a game improvement iron.
The TR21X have tungsten weights placed low in the head to move the center of gravity low and deep, resulting in increased launch and lower spin for increased distances. The tungsten weight increases as the set progresses from the long irons to the short irons, with a 42-gram weight in the 2, 3 and 4 irons, a 50-gram weight in the 5, 6 and 7 irons, and a 73-gram weight in the 8, 9, 10 and 11 irons. The TR21X design is completed with a thin L-cup face for ball speed retention on near-misses and the hollow body is filled with foam to allow the face to flex and to fine-tune the feel and sound of the iron. Finally, as a hollow body design featuring a high launch, Honma engineers adjusted the lofts a little stronger as compared to other irons in the TR series.
If you are curious on how the irons feel and sound, be sure to follow along with the forum because Honma sent some short irons along for testing and I will be testing them side-by-side with the most popular hollow bodied irons on the market today. With the TR21X irons, Honma is embracing the new technology and the growing players distance category without abandoning the iconic Honma look and craftmanship.
The BIG-LB Fairway Makes Its Return
Honma’s classic BIG-LB (Big-Low Balance) wood is making its comeback, which builds on the storied history of the BIG-LB name that dates back to the days of persimmon woods. As the name implies, the BIG-LB has a large footprint with a heavy sole to give it a low balance and super low Center of Gravity (CG). As a result, the BIG-LB (or the FTi) is designed to be a high launching, low spinning distance machine with a high MOI.
You may be wondering to yourself just how heavy can this sole really be? Well, the stock FTi BIG-LB has a 90-gram SUS630 steel sole and an interchangeable 12-gram weight in that sole for a total of at least 102 grams at the very bottom of the club. Although I have not weighted the club myself, I have it on good authority that 102 grams is nearly half of the club heads total weight. With this type of design, Honma is really taking the low and deep CG concept to an extreme and the BIG-LB is staying very true to the name.
Complementing the heavy steel sole, and to save discretionary weight to offset that heavy sole, the crown and face of the FTi BIG-LB are made from 6-4 titanium (a much lighter but very strong and heat treatable titanium, aluminum, vanadium alloy). All told, the larger FTi BIG-LB fairway woods are designed with distance and forgiveness in mind and could be the weapon some golfers are looking for off the tee or from the fairway to reach that par 5 in two.
Loft wise, the FTi BIG-LB is essentially a strong 3-wood at 14°, with adjustability of +/- 1° through Honma’s non-rotating hosel that ensures that each shaft remains perfectly spined for ideal feel and performance. If you are in the market for a fairway wood designed to go very long, Honma’s FTi BIG-LB is worth a swing.
TR21F (Fairways) and TR21H (Hybrids) – Compact and Classic
Completing the TR21 releases, and pivoting from the larger BIG-LB, the TR21F and TR21H are compact and classically designed clubs that share similar design features. With the intent of delivering maximum shot making and trajectory control from a compact, narrow-bodied club, Honma is clearly marketing the TR21F and TR21H toward better players.
The TR21F is constructed of a SUS630 body with a thin steel face for excellent ball speeds and has interchangeable 3 and 12 gram weights in the sole to allow you to manipulate and tweak spin and launch conditions. The TR21F comes in a 3-wood (15°), 4-wood (16.5°), 5-wood (18°), and 7-wood (21°) and is paired stock with the made-in-Japan Sakata VIZARD shafts in 50, 60, or 70-gram options.
Similarly, the TR21H is also constructed of a SUS630 body with a thin steel face for excellent ball speeds, but with only a single interchangeable weight in the sole. The TR21H is available in 3H (18°), 4H (21°), and 5H (24°) and is paired stock with the made-in-Japan Sakata VIZARD shafts in 65 or 75 grams. Both the TR21F and TR21H feature the Honma non-rotating hosel to adjust loft and lie while keeping the shafts perfectly spined.
Fittings are available at retailers that carry the Honma lines but also through Honma Experiences and Honma Mobile Experiences across North America. You can learn more about these products and the rest of the TR series by visiting honmagolf.com
Available: November 1, 2020
TR21X Irons: NSPro 95 NEO steel ($188 per club) or Sakata VIZARD shafts ($212 per club)
TR21 FTi Fairway Metal: Sakata VIZARD shafts ($329)
TR21 F Fairways: Sakata VIZARD shafts ($299)
TR21 H Hybrids: Sakata VIZARD shafts ($249)
Each TR21 club comes stock with Tour Velvet grips