We take a look at the brand that has just signed former world number one Justin Rose.
Who Is Justin Rose’s New Club Manufacturer Honma?
Justin Rose shocked many when he recently announced he was moving away from TaylorMade clubs and signing with the Japanese brand Honma.
However, is his move to Honma that shocking? We delve a little deeper into Rose’s new brand that has been making desirable clubs for almost 60 years.
Founded in 1959, the Tsurumi Golf Centre Company was created by the Honma brothers and three years later their first clubs emerged onto the golf market.
Ever since, the brand has been making super premium golf clubs with some of the most famous being their Prancer irons released in 1982, 1995’s Super BIG-LB hollow persimmon woods and their Space Voyager putter released in 2003. They also released the Twin Marks franchise in 1999 and the famous Beres Series in 2005.
From their clubs, to their processes, all the way to even their logo which features a thin font with a mole poking its head through the ‘O’, it is clear that Honma do things a little differently to other brands.
Honma are a brand renowned for their craftsmanship. Many of the workers at their factories have been their for decades perfecting their craft. Alejandro Sanchez, general manager of Honma Golf Europe said, “This is the beauty of Japan, where work life goes in stages from learner to apprentice to craftsman after many years of doing exactly the same routine.”
Testament to their incredible attention to detail, Honma hand-roll their own shafts, have 100 individual craftsmen handling each and every club during a 156-step production process and all their clubs also go through a final human-eye inspection before leaving.
Given Justin Rose’s precision and eye for detail, it comes as no surprise that he signed to play clubs with the same kind of ideology.
Indeed, now under Chinese ownership which came about in 2009 after being bought by golf enthusiast Liu Jiangao, the signing of Rose is a reflection of a new direction for the brand.
Honma have previously struggled to make in-roads in the UK and European golf market, but signing England and Europe’s current best player is an attempt to break new ground and will make an impact. Considering they have managed to persuade him away from TaylorMade, this is a big coup for the Japanese club-makers.
Interestingly, Paul Casey has also been pictured with Honma irons so maybe there could be another big gear move from another Englishman in the coming days.
Their other high profile players include Shanshan Feng and So Yeon Ryu, a two-time Major winner and former World number one on the LPGA Tour.
For more information on Honma, go and pick up our latest issue of Golf Monthly today where our very own Jeremy Ellwood travelled to Japan to visit the factories.
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