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Japanese Drivers - Opinions anyone?


rge
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I have hit a few of the older Honma Twinmarks drivers and found them to be good but very pricey drivers. I didn't find anything really spectacular about them other then they looked awesome with the gold accents. I really do want to try the new Beres TW 911 they released. Really a great looking head and also USGA conforming.

 

I've seen and hit some of the Maruman drivers but have never purchased one yet. I have tried out their wedges and found them to be some massive ball eaters and spinning machines. Their new line that will be coming to America looks spectacular.

 

I've haven't had a chance to try out any of the Sword/Katana drivers yet but they also really make some great looking drivers as well as irons. The Sword 830 iron set I was checking out yesterday looked really nice too. The 808's they have look similar to Callaways with the deep channel in the rear.

 

Another company Seiko S Yard has some very nice drivers out at this time too. I've played some of the older stuff and have found them to be very solid drivers. The heads feel similar to Titleist drivers with a very solid hit and feel.

 

Daiwa Seiko ON OFF also has some great looking drivers. They have very solid heads and probably next to Tourstage my most favorite of the Japanese heads.

 

As for Tourstage stuff, I've have and have played a lot of their equipment. I like their drivers the best for the solid hit and feel they give. I also like the looks of the heads. Very clean and classic looking with very square faces. Tourstage equipment is my current favorite.

 

The things I like about Japanese equipment is their quality control is top notch and they put a lot of time into not just making good equipment but good looking equipment. I think a certain bit of physical niceties are needed to give you the confidence in your equipment. Tourstage really meets all my needs in the looks and feel department.

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I completely agree about TourStage equipment, although it is very expensive for the US market. I am also a firm believer in Japanese top notch quality in golf products.

 

My Bridgestone J33R 460 driver and J33 Forged Combo irons are up there if not better than all the major brands here. I am very satisfied with Bridgestone products, I even went from playing Titleist balls to Bridgestone balls.

Callaway Epic Speed Driver 10.5
Honma TW XP-1 5 Wood 18
Honma TW-XP1 Hybrids 22 and 25
Callaway 2019 Apex Forged Irons 6-PW
Cleveland RTX ZIp Core 50/10 and 58/06
Slighter Custom Seattle Putter

 

 

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whenever i head back to thailand, I do get the opportunity to hit different branded drivers. I have hit a few honma drivers, can't remember what models, and have also hit katana swords. I actually brought back a katana sword 300ti about 5 years ago. they are great drivers, and very expensive, but to compare them to what i hit here (titleists, taylormades, callaways), i really do like ours here more. Even my cousins and their friends that I play with, they all play titleist 905r/s/t, tm r7 tps, callaway ft3 tours, and just about everything else we play here. There was a phase when they were into the expensive japanese drivers, but i think they are now getting into the major oem clubs. oh, by the way, their stiff shafts seem a little soft compared to our standard stiffs here in the us. hope that helps.

 

 

ronnie

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I have hit quite a few. I just demoed the Beres 911 with the ARMRQ B62 shaft. I have played with a friends TW460 with an ARMRQ proto and also a TW400 with an ARMRQ as well. All solid. Performance wise they were better than my TS Xdrive 390pro spec but the 390 ps felt better.

I have tried the Marumans an Katana Izu series. I know the local distributor. The last Syard I tried was the TBL. For me the best thing about Japanese drivers is quality control AND the stock shafts are very good, just remember to move up a flex and maybe add 1/4".

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I personally tried Srixon W505 with diamana S73S, Bridgestone/Tourstage X drive with stock shaft from fujikura s flex and Royal collection Cv Pro with diamana S73S.

 

I found RC Cv Pro and Tourstage X drive 405 are the best among other Japanese clubs. These two are very forgiving, strong hitting feeling, consistent performance. You could really feel the ball that sticks on the clubhead during the impact, it is so great. But I would suggest that you need to have good matching system such as MOI matching to make the best setup. I tried two Cv Pro but the setup is different and results of the performances are different. Therefore, I found that you really need to find a good clubfitter to check the clubs and further to have a good setup, the drivers could really give you the 120% performance. Swing weight is not as good as the best to explore club's performance.

 

In distance, I think there is no big difference on this part. The keys for good driver are the consistent performance and excellent hitting feeling to me. If you do not have good swing and stable power transmission, it is hard to make the clubs perform to the best.

 

I personally think that US clubs have strong performance and energy delivery. JP clubs are good in lighter weight, soft hitting feeling and smooth energy transaction. If your swing speed is over 100mph, I would say US clubs will be good for you. JP clubs are good for smooth swing pattern and tempo. However, comparing the price level, JP clubs are at least 30% to 50% higher cost than US clubs.

 

If you really want to try the JP clubs, I would suggest that you should try tourstage/bridgestone first. Since Tourstage/Bridgestone is the number 1 golf brand/marketshare in Japan golf market. The club's quality, performance and appearance are in certain level without taking the risk on trying. It's my experience.

chien

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The Seiko S-YARD makes one of the longest drivers on the market. But then again they do not confirm to the USGA rule for COR. Unless you are playing in a tournament, I recommend this club. The shafts are little weird, little flimsy. Other than that, its a great driver!! so Long!! They also feel very solid, like titleist or nike. Different from Callaway and TM.

 

YAMAHA INPRES is another company that produce LONG DRIVERS. THESE things are LONG!!! but I don't thnk they come to US. Only downside about the INPRES line is that their head is around 400cc. No 460cc drivers. I think.

PING ANSER
TM V-STEEL
BS J38 3-PW
588's
Scotty studio design #2

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I was at the range a couple of weeks ago and there was a Japanese guy next to me hitting the most beautiful set of irons I had ever seen. He told me they were Maruman and cost $4000.00. His Driver however was a Taylormade R7. I looked the irons up online and they do indeed cost that much! I also learned that the Maruman Drivers were Non-Conforming according to the USGA. The irons are OK. The workmanship and beauty of those irons is not to be believed! This guy by the way was hitting the "Snot" out of those irons and absolutely "Crushing" his R7. The guy was GOOD! I will say however that my Titleist Iron shots were only a few yards shorter than his......And for a lot less "Cabbage"!!! :)

Everything in Moderation, Keep it Simple, Less is Best
G10 Pings - D 9*, 3W 15.5*, H 18*, 4-PW, 50*, 54*, 58*
Redwood Zing
Titleist ProV1

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ummm.....nakashima is not japanese guys !!!!

 

anyways i have always like the japanese irons, tourstage, mizuno, MOZ, etc...... as for the drivers, the only one i liked was the tourstage 365, the 405 was kinda dead for me and i have not got my hands on the 435 !!!! the FT3 hot was one helluva driver but too bad it is not conforming....mizuno 300 tour spirit was an awesome player's club back in the day !!! but it only performed on pure strikes.....

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It's nice to see that there is still a following for Japanese clubs (even if it's not a really big following) Having lived in the US for 12 years and actually having gotten my formal start in golf while I was there, exposed me to the big names. My sets were either TM, Callaway, or Lynx. When I got back to the Philippines, I noticed that the predominant clubs here are still the big names but with much more presence from the Japanese makers. I have since bought a few Japanese sets and drivers. Honma's, Marumans, XXIO, and Mizuno of course. The observations are accurate in that the shafts tend to be softer than indicated. Their stiff shafts are about a firm or slightly firm regular. I must admit though that the quality of work is second to none. Those guys, especially at Honma and Maruman, take a lot of pride in their handmade products. I just think that the pricing on their top tier lines are ridiculously expensive. Maruman, for example, has a driver (Majesty) that sells for over $1400!!! For a single club. I don't care for all the gold filling etc. Apparently, it is part of Japanese culture. These clubs are usually given as gifts to highly placed executives or officials. The idea behind it is that the value of the gift is indicative of how you value the person. Hey, everyone has their own style I guess. I'll go with the lower tier products that are materially the same without the gold and platinum.

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