Honma T//World-GS Irons Specs
- Lofts: 4-iron, 20°; 5-iron, 23°; 6-iron, 26°; 7-iron, 29°; 8-iron, 33°; 9-iron, 37° 10-iron (pitching wedge), 42°; 11-iron (gap wedge), 47°
- Stock shafts: Nippon NS 950 NEO (steel); Honma Speedtuned (graphite)
- Cost: $174.99 per iron
There’s a mystique among the knowledgeable about Japanese golf equipment companies, who have the reputation for meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail. Particularly, that’s true about forged irons. The truth is that nearly all forgings sold by American companies are manufactured in Japan.
Honma, founded in 1959, is one of those companies whose reputation has preceded its entry into the U.S. market. Every phase of Honma’s design and engineering happens at its home in Sakata, Japan.
However, to make headway into the U.S., companies need to aim beyond the aficionados to the rank-and-file who need extra help from golf equipment. Honma’s statement in that regard is its T//World-GS irons.
The GS is a game-improvement club and rather than designing all the clubs with the same technology, Honma’s engineers divided the set according to function. The 4 through 7 irons feature a variable thickness L-cup face, designed for high initial ball speed, high launch, medium spin and a high degree of forgiveness, says Takahiro Suzuki, head of product development at Honma. Long irons need spin to get the ball in the air but not so much that they rob the player of carry distance.
The 8 through 11 irons (in Honma’s nomenclature, the 10-iron is a pitching wedge and the 11-iron is a gap wedge) are designed for optimum spin to control the ball when it lands on the green by increasing contact time with the grooves while maintaining forgiveness, Suzuki says.
“Since the functions required of the club differ depending on the long, middle or short iron, we are pursuing the performance of each by changing the CG (center of gravity) height and CG depth of each iron as a detailed design (feature),” Suzuki said in an e-mail.
The GS irons have also been designed with high moment of inertia (MOI), which further helps players with off-center hits, by placing tungsten weights in the lower part of the cavity, slightly closer to the toe, and aids in the ability to get the ball in the air easier. Combined with a deep, wide cavity and a wide sole, the GS checks the boxes for game-improvement golfers.
“(The GS has) the aim of being visually appealing to game improvement golfers and to have the effect of creating a sense of security and strength when addressing and creating relaxation,” Suzuki said. “(We at Honma) think these are important factors that lead to a great shot.”