12 Days of Christmas Gift Guide – Day 1 – Honma TR20 Driver
Normally the 12 days of Christmas is the period in Christian theology that marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the three wise men. It begins on December 25 (Christmas) and runs through January 6, but for our purposes it will begin today – 12/10/2020 – Which is also the first day of Hanukkah.
Let’s get right to it on day 1 with the first gift suggestion – The awesome TR20 driver from Honma Golf. I’ve been testing and tweaking the setup on my Honma TR20 driver for several months, but I believe I have it just about right now, and the results have been worth it. I’ve see measurable increases in ball speed and distance since putting the Honma TR20 in my bag. We’re not talking huge gains here, but I have picked up 3-6 yards on most tee shots and in drier conditions I’ve seen 10-12 more yards due to reduced spin.
Honma is a respected Japanese brand that has been making premium golf clubs since the 1950s. They entered the US market a few years ago with some fanfare and a focus on custom fitting. Potential customers are looking at spending several thousand dollars for a custom fit full set of clubs, but the price can skyrocket into the tens of thousands with their ultra-premium Beres 5-star line of clubs. The TR20 line fits into what is Honma’s “better player” segment. The TR stands for Tour Release, and from the look alone these clubs are designed to appeal to better players and traditionalists.
The TR20 driver uses more carbon fiber than anything else on the market and comes in a 460cc and 420cc sized heads, with several proprietary VIZARD shafts available to fit almost everybody. I was fitted for the 460cc driver with a VIZARD FD-7 shaft. After initial testing it turned out to be too weak for me, so I went to True Spec Golf and got fitted for and upgraded with a new shaft from TPT Golf called the 15 Lo, which is a heavier (79g), low spin, low launch shaft meant for stronger swingers. I’m right on the cusp between the stiff and X flex so i went with the X.
The Honma TR20 has a classic shape and their expert marriage of carbon fiber and titanium has resulted in what I think is a truly stunning and beautiful golf club. he traditional profile and lack of alignment marks harkens back to the glory years of hand shaped persimmon wood drivers, and Honma certainly built plenty of those.
One of the the reasons that proper fitting is important with these clubs is because you don’t want to spend the kind of money you’ll be spending for a Honma and not get the most out of them. This driver retails for $699 ($749 with the VIZARD FD-7 shaft) and with the $499 custom TPT 15 Lo shaft I had installed by True Spec, this is the single most most expensive club I’ve ever owned. For those on your list that demand the best, most unique and exotic Japanese craftsmanship without sacrificing performance, I highly recommend visiting a Honma fitting center soon!