Our verdict on Honma's TR20 440 driver, a model designed for the better player seeking workability without sacrificing distance.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Honma TR20 440 Driver

Pros:

  • A traditional, compact-looking driver with modern-day ball speeds. Has a variety of effective adjustability options to maximise distance via a fitting.

Cons:

  • This particular model lacks off-centre forgiveness. Some may want more alignment assistance. Expensive.

Product:

Honma TR20 440 Driver

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£599.00

Clubhouse Golf

Honma TR20 440 Driver Review

After losing Justin Rose as a staff player, Honma will be hoping the TR20 range, which includes this 440cc version we tested in 9.5° with Honma’s own Vizard TR20-70 x-flex, will be the catalyst for a resurgence.

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It has replicated the looks from the excellent TW747 driver at address, with the glossy black crown and deep-faced shape a throwback to classic drivers from years gone by.

The 440 stock version comes with a 9g weight, which we positioned in the rear of the three slots, and two 3g weights. This is the forgiving, neutral shot shape setting but it did feel a touch light to swing.

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With five weight options available (3, 6, 9, 12, 15g) to optimise launch conditions and swing weight, we’d probably look to up the head weight slightly to give us more clubhead awareness. That said, it certainly didn’t harm our club speeds and the resulting ball speed and carry distances from the middle impressed.

Against our current driver, albeit with a slightly longer shaft, it equalled and sometimes exceeded it in terms of performance, possibly helped by a touch higher spin. This did seem to drop off on mishits – shots struck from the toe especially curved more to the left than we’d have liked – but golfers seeking more forgiveness can opt for a different weight setting or the larger 460 version.

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The weight system with the slots front, back and in the heel allows you to add draw bias if you wish, although you could argue the target player would rather want to increase fade bias. That said, there are enough settings to really optimise launch and spin based on your swing speed and delivery to the finest of details.

This driver feels really solid and it doesn’t have that dead, muted sound you often get from drivers with lots of carbon fibre. In fact, it feels very powerful without the acoustics being too overbearing.

The five weight options, along with the clever non-rotating hosel system that allows for loft and lie adjustability while keeping the shaft’s spine in the six o’clock position for better consistency, means a fitting for this club is crucial to get the most out of it and justify the premium price.

Verdict

Out of the plastic, this driver is certainly no dud. It has the potential to compete with the very best and will suit those golfers who prefer a more traditional look behind the ball with modern-day performance but a custom fitting is essential.