CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA – As Honma expands its diverse product line to appeal to the technology-focused North American market, its latest TR20 460 and TR20 440 drivers deliver speed, versatility and adjustable performance in a stylish body that has been expertly crafted by leading engineers from Sakata, Japan and Carlsbad, Calif. Golfers seeking effortless power and preferred feel in a driver that can be configured for optimal ball flight will enjoy the TR20’s high performance design and customization options.
TR20 drivers feature a unique full carbon clamshell body on a fast titanium frame and come in two distinct player-proven head shapes with outstanding performance characteristics. TR20 460 is a full-profile driver that is deeper front-to-back with a swept crown to bolster confidence, playability and stability. The TR20 440 features a compact profile that sits higher in the back for a classic appearance.
Honma’s holistic design process means that every TR20 driver includes a premium, made-in-Japan Sakata VIZARD shaft with a precisely oriented spine for impact repeatability. VIZARD shafts are essentially a premium upgrade that comes standard in every Honma driver, providing a superior overall club composition.
The TR20’s refined beauty makes a bold impression but it’s the combination of speed and feel that are fueling the line’s growing reputation. “Like a race car, our TR20 drivers have a minimum titanium frame and maximum carbon body,” says Global Vice President of Product Chris McGinley. “It’s an innovative carbon clamshell construction with the entire outer crown and sole made of high strength, lightweight composite material that sits on top of a minimal titanium frame. It’s very weight-efficient, so it’s therefore very speed efficient. Unlike other typical carbon constructions on the market, this one yields outstanding sound and feel at impact.”
The TR20’s TiCarbon Fast Frame combines an ultra-thin, ultra-light and uniquely molded ET40 carbon crown from Toray Composites (the world's leading manufacturer of PAN-based carbon fibers used in a variety of applications like aerospace and aeronautics) with a lightweight carbon sole on a highly engineered titanium frame that locates weight and structure exactly where they are needed for speed. A unique variable thickness and vertical groove face saves weight and works with the Ti frame and carbon body to deliver even more ball speed. Three adjustable weights are strategically located to optimize the CG location for high MOI, low spin or draw biased performance allowing the golfer to achieve their optimum launch conditions and preferred ball flight.
“TR20 is our 2020 ‘Tour Release’ line and while these drivers are designed to perform exceptionally for the game’s most elite players, amateurs stand to gain the most, in terms of speed, feel and distance,” says Honma President John Kawaja. “Classic, sleek contours in the head design inspire confidence at address while the TiCarbon Fast Frame enables efficient speed and power swing after swing. With drivers, you know almost immediately when a model successfully delivers performance across the board and that’s the feedback we’ve been getting on the TR20 460 and 440, which is exciting and a great testament to our company’s talented people, unique process and technical expertise.” The fine details set the TR20 460 and TR20 440 apart. From the molded ribs in the ET40 crown, to the fast and weight optimized face, to the innovative combination of carbon body and efficient frame, to the master craftsman hand shaped profiles, TR20 drivers exemplify Honma beautifully crafted performance.
On a trip to Sakata two years ago, McGinley was shown driver models that were marked as “advanced development” product and slated for future market release. Based on the innovation construction and use of materials he convinced the team this was a breakthrough design that needed to be refined and green-lit. McGinley added the strut and adjustable weight elements and locations to the prototype the takumi had designed and the wheels were in motion for one of the fastest driver designs on the market.
Every company touts pleasing aesthetics as a selling point of their driver lines, but with Honma, beauty is born through a unique process. The TR20 460 and 440 came to life, like every Honma driver and fairway wood, in the hands of a seasoned takumi (Japanese craftsman) as a large, single block of Mississippi persimmon wood that was meticulously shaved and hand-crafted into the desired, actual-size clubhead shape. Once that wooden model is perfected with precision angles, curves and lines, its scanned digitally and brought into the CAD environment for engineering. Honma them employs state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge materials to bring out the performance and beauty into an unprecedented design.
Each TR20 model comes in base lofts of 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5 degrees that can be adjusted up or down by one degree through a patented, non-rotating hosel system that adjusts both loft and lie while keeping the optimized shaft spine in a consistent position for every adjustable setting for more consistent performance. Both drivers feature three strategically-located and adjustable sole weights to provide flight and playability preference for increased MOI, reduced spin, or more draw bias.
Made in Sakata, Japan, Honma VIZARD shafts are always installed with the spine oriented at 6 pm. VIZARD shafts, available in 50, 60 and 70 gram options, are premium-made and use only the finest materials from Toray Composites in their manufacturing. Different EI profiles across the three available shaft weights enhance the distance needs of golfers with different swing speeds and shaft loading tendencies.