Gear: Honma T//World-X irons
Price: $175 each with steel shafts, $200 each with graphite shafts
Specs: Forged S25C carbon steel body with MS300 stainless steel face steel face
Available: June 17
Developed initially as a utility iron, Honma’s T//World-X irons blend muscleback looks with the distance and forgiveness associated with hollow, game-improvement clubs.
Honma made a splash in the U.S. golf market in January when it announced that Justin Rose had signed an endorsement deal with the Japanese company. The 2018 FedEx Cup champion has been using the company’s drivers, irons and wedges throughout 2019 and among those clubs has been a unique-looking driving iron. Now, Honma has announced that club, the T//World-X (TW-X), will now be available to the public.
Prototypes of this iron were first conceived to be driving irons for elite players, so only 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-irons were made. However, Honma was so pleased with the response Rose and other testers provided that it decided to offer a complete set of the clubs. Targeting better players who want more distance without sacrificing traditional looks and enhanced feel, the TW-X irons are available in 3-iron through 11-iron.
The body of the TW-X irons is forged from S25C carbon steel, while the thin face is made using a much harder material, MS300 stainless steel. That allowed Honma to make the face thinner, so while it is smaller than most distance-enhancing irons, it flexes more at the moment of impact and creates more ball speed.
The combination of a hollow design and a pair of weights helped Honma shift the center of gravity lower and more toward the heel and toe areas. That increased the moment of inertia (MOI) and makes TW-X irons produce a higher initial launch angle while twisting less on off-center hits.
The lofts of the TW-X irons are about 3 degrees stronger than the lofts in the muscleback Rose Proto irons. However, thanks to the higher launch angle, shots fly on a traditional-looking trajectory that goes farther.