Honma TW757 Fairway Woods boast tradition and tech

Japan is a golf-crazed nation. The sport is associated with status, leisure, and wealth. When I lived there in the early and mid 1990s, I would sometimes spend $200 in an evening just at a driving range–and the range was packed with golf nuts like me.

Honma is one of the top golf equipment companies in Japan, and it has the second-largest following outside of the Land of the Rising Sun, after Mizuno. Dozens of players on professional tours around the world fill their bags with Honma’s high-tech, high-performance sticks.

Honma’s TW757 line includes drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, and irons. Because fairway woods are particularly difficult for amateurs to strike consistently, this is an excellent entry point into Honma equipment – if the fairway woods perform for you, you can be confident the rest of the clubs will, too.

For a decade, my 3-wood – which used to be one of my favorite clubs – has been balky. It seems I can only hit low hooks. So I was eager to test the Honma TW757 3W ($415) to see if it would address this chronically dismal state of affairs.

How it plays

The TW757 3-wood has 15 degrees of loft and a 175cc clubhead constructed of a 455 maraging steel cupped face and an ultra-light carbon fiber crown. Honma builds all of its own graphite shafts in its Sakata plant, so even the stock Vizard shaft for TW757 is precisely tuned for performance with Honma clubheads.

There’s a slot on the sole parallel to the face to expand the effective hitting area and maintain ballspeed even on mishits. The center of gravity is extremely low and deep (with a standard 9-gram tungsten weight at the back of the sole). This weighting scheme delivers the most solid, powerful-feeling strikes I have ever experienced with a 3W. The compact head feels like a true fairway wood, unlike the oversized semi-drivers some companies call “fairway woods,” so contact from the fairway or rough is extremely consistent.

Most importantly for me, though, I’m finally once again able to get the TW757 in the air. I can even hit a high cut with it – something I have been vexingly unable to do for so many years now. At least, I can hit that shot on the (much cheaper American) driving range; we’ll see if I can transfer it to the course regularly. In any case, confidence is beginning to return to my long game.

The verdict

Golf is a passion in Japan, and Honma builds top-quality clubs to fuel that passion. The TW757 fairway woods are rock-solid, with tour-proven performance and power. I’ve even hit it off the tee a few times on the course to see how it stacks up to my driver, and the distances are not that different. It makes the round much more fun to have confidence once again to stand 250 yards out from a par-5 green and think, “Gambatte-yo!” – “Go for it!” in Japanese.

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