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TourSpecGolfer

Made in Japan by SAKATA ( 50 reasons )

27 posts in this topic

Ohh Honma, virtually non existent in our forums yet one of our top selling brands in the proshop. What is up with that? Is it just not cool because of it's history of making game improvement expensive and sometimes gaudy designs?

I spent a couple of months in Asia recently visiting nearly a dozen factories and the thing that stood out most was mass production vs hand made and then everything in between.

In the golf industry hand made is pretty much exclusive to Japan, yes there are the occasional makers in the U.S & UK but it's few and far between. While in Taiwan & China it's less about the labor of love or crafting spirit and more about fulfilling orders in mass without going overtime.

I don't know how to feel about mass produced, it's often very consistent especially when we are talking about Endo type tolerances but seeing a factory like Sakata Studio which by the way is no studio it's a massive factory where nearly everything is done by hand and that is such a beautiful thing, especially when most of the other big factories are starting to look alike and feature identical machinery.

Hand crafting takes years of work, a higher purpose than just a job, and a sense of pride. It's what we love about many of the boutique brands we feature here at TSG.

The process of how the big OEM's produce clubs is the polar opposite of how hand made clubs are produced. Big OEM's pay design firms for new tech ideas or "gimmicks" that are put into CAD and mass produced, many of the in house golf club designers have been let go in the last decade as big box OEMs outsource to actual design firms. This is not the case for hand made clubs, it's usually the owner, son, family, and fans that influence the direction of design. It's the passion of the maker.

I could go on for days talking about this, I'll just shut my mouth and let this website make the point...

Click the Image to visit "50 Reasons"

Screen-Shot-2014-04-14-at-6.39.30-PM.png

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So Chris, honma's product are all hand made in japan?

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So Chris, honma's product are all hand made in japan?

From what I know Yes and the most impressive part is that Sakata does things most factories outsource like tooling, finishing, paint, weaving the carbon etc.. all done in house. It's the biggest factory I've seen in Japan, even larger than Endo HQ in Niigata. That said it's always a possibility they use other manufactures in Asia.

It's all golf focused technology, many large factories serve a dual purpose not golf focused. One example is in finishing, there are some out of industry finishers that do a really fantastic job plating golf clubs but when a golf specific plating is applied it actually feels better at impact and has a more consistent weight. This is not only Sakata related, many makers in Himeji notice this as well.

Sakata just hasn't received much acclaim because they are secretive, they only produce their own products and haven't had the marketing push to expose what they are capable of.

I basically wrote Honma off for the past many years and would have continued to do so until seeing everything they can do. The website in the first post "50 reasons" sums it up pretty well.

XF5A0819-900x600.jpg

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It's ironic that you posted this today as I've been on the Honma page in the store all day. I've had an actual playing interest in Honma since they released their forged line last year and am really wanting to try their Tour World or even their 30th Anniversary blades.

Edited by chiromikey
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Those hand carved wood-mock ups..Just amazing

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Honma is definitely one of the most wanted JDM brand in Thailand due to their reputation from over decade but somehow I always think of it as a senior brand that's why I never game one of them myself and only buy it as a gift for someone else. But I might try gaming one of them myself soon.

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When I started playing golf, I was in love with Honma for years.

Since the brand has become a "must have" for rich mainland Chineses, I have switched to other Japanese brands.

No discrimination, but I am tired of seeing superexpensive gold like golf clubs, mainly used buy golfers that have very little to do with the game of golf.......

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When I started playing golf, I was in love with Honma for years.

Since the brand has become a "must have" for rich mainland Chineses, I have switched to other Japanese brands.

No discrimination, but I am tired of seeing superexpensive gold like golf clubs, mainly used buy golfers that have very little to do with the game of golf.......

I have to agree with you on that, another reason I try to avoid Honma because base on where I live Honma has become more of an accessories than an actual golf club and most of them were use by people who don't know anything about golf gear and swing. But the TW series is very interesting and seems right it has been design for a better and younger golfer. Edited by tokidoki1986
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I've hit their TW series last year and must say it feels as good as other forged irons out there...

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When I started playing golf, I was in love with Honma for years.

Since the brand has become a "must have" for rich mainland Chineses, I have switched to other Japanese brands.

No discrimination, but I am tired of seeing superexpensive gold like golf clubs, mainly used buy golfers that have very little to do with the game of golf.......

I agree, Thai & Chinese love Honma but it's not the same Honma most TSG'ers would be interested in, I can assume most folks here would like the Tour World models or the new Beres S03 driver.

It's also popular in parts of europe, In northern Italy BERES was quite common to see at the better courses used by better players.

This week we will be highlighting Honma and getting people reacquainted to the fact that it's evolved.

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I still remember those persimmon woods by Honma, especially, the 4 wood. Super all most in all respects. I've seen lots of fake Honma these days. What a shame!! Anyway we can tell which is real and which is copy cat?

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Despite what I said earlier in this post I have been told that most products besides the shafts are now made in China/Vietnam etc..... but the finishing and completion of the product is done in Japan.  

So what do I have to say about that?  Its a bummer.  90% of their products say Made in Japan at Sakata Factory on the neck.   

In my opinion its not ok to make a head in China and complete it in Japan then say Made in Japan.   

Why would I say something negative about a brand we do almost 2m a year in sales with?  Because they write made in Japan on the neck.  If they did not boast about how everything is made in Japan I wouldn't care.  

All that said the product is still great and performs well so if this is not an issue for you I am glad.

 

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On 2014-05-16 at 8:23 PM, Calvin said:

I still remember those persimmon woods by Honma, especially, the 4 wood. Super all most in all respects. I've seen lots of fake Honma these days. What a shame!! Anyway we can tell which is real and which is copy cat?

I have a re-finished Honma Tour Model 4-wood with a 2-star boron/titanium shaft. I played it in the early 1990's. Now it is just beautiful to look at.

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I love Honma too,  just a little disappointed.

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My father in law has held on to his Honma PP-737 Blades for decades .. he's at least a 20 handicap and I've tried to convince him to use something more forgiving so that he can enjoy the game more.. but he would not listen.    

Honma has been regarded as the "Cream of the Crop"  for a long time among golf enthusiasts in Japan.  

When you bought/owned a Honma set,  you had bragging rights.      Still remember when a colleague at work bought a brand new set of Honma Irons using his first bonus pay ... cost him $3000.. and this was back in 1995.    He talked for weeks about how he loved his irons!  

Certainly disappointing as a JDM supporter but I am sure a bigger shock for the die-hard Honma fans. 

 

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There is an interesting article on mygolfspy.com about Honma and where they are made.

I used to have 2 sets of Honmas, too easy to hit! I changed for Miura PP9003, yes I know my ego maybe..... But I didn't like the look of the Honmas: too much colors, too much gold, etc.., but quality is top, nothing to say about it.

Having said that, 2 of the best players in my club (almost scratch handicapper) have moved from blades to Beres models, so Honma is not only for old, and or, rich people, but for players as weel!

Yes, it's a bit disappointing to learn that some parts are made in China, but after all the company belongs to Chinese!

It's the same thing with watches, most of them have Swiss made on the dial, when most of the components are coming from China!

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I always want golf clubs that are 100% made in Japan, not those made in China! So, I played Honma before, but not in my list now. My eyes are glued to Yururi and Kyoei.

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3 hours ago, 000AA said:

There is an interesting article on mygolfspy.com about Honma and where they are made.

I used to have 2 sets of Honmas, too easy to hit! I changed for Miura PP9003, yes I know my ego maybe..... But I didn't like the look of the Honmas: too much colors, too much gold, etc.., but quality is top, nothing to say about it.

Having said that, 2 of the best players in my club (almost scratch handicapper) have moved from blades to Beres models, so Honma is not only for old, and or, rich people, but for players as weel!

Yes, it's a bit disappointing to learn that some parts are made in China, but after all the company belongs to Chinese!

It's the same thing with watches, most of them have Swiss made on the dial, when most of the components are coming from China!

The issue is its not exactly parts.  Its the head.

Also to me the biggest issue is that they mark made in Japan at Sakata Factory on everything.  If not this is fine.

I don't think all swiss watches are made of parts from China.

I am also told there are watch brands from Japan without Chinese parts.

In golf there are so many people who are brand loyal while the brand lies,  cheats them on price and ultimately sells a brand image to the customer.

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well, what the hell  does that gigantic  factory in  sakata  make then?????

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9 hours ago, supo said:

well, what the hell  does that gigantic  factory in  sakata  make then?????

Finishing

they roll shafts

assembly

badges & paint work

polishing

packing and shipping

etc..

They never had a forging press and they no longer run the casting machines for head manufacturing.

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I'm just guessing most of these recent findings are in reference to the newer models like TW737 and so forth? I'm on the verge of buying a TW272 455 driver because I was under the impression the face is Endo forged and it's premium Japanese quality, if this isn't the case I may rethink that decision. 

I've also been considering a TW373 UTc, but if these revelations are relevant to that model then I think I'll choose better.

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42 minutes ago, gregoire56 said:

I'm just guessing most of these recent findings are in reference to the newer models like TW737 and so forth? I'm on the verge of buying a TW272 455 driver because I was under the impression the face is Endo forged and it's premium Japanese quality, if this isn't the case I may rethink that decision. 

I've also been considering a TW373 UTc, but if these revelations are relevant to that model then I think I'll choose better.

None of the forged CBs were made by Sakata.  including 717/727/737

727 Driver was partially made by Endo yes.

UT,  FW for sure China.  

Don't let that stop you if you really like them.  

I just feel the need to call out brands that abuse the true meaning of Made in Japan.  The more we let brands slide on this eventually chinese products will be marked made in Japan.  Same thing with Tour Issue,  Prototype on retail products.  We can't let brands bullshit us.



 

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They do it the clever way, "Made in Japan Sakata" is on Vizzard and Armrq shafts but not on the head of irons, woods or drivers..... So it's a bit confusing for the buyer!

Do you know when they started to make the production in China, what year?

On a side note, and what I have said about the "Swiss made" for the watches: off course brands like Rolex, Patek, Vacheron, etc.... are still made 100% in Switzerland. But brands like Omega, Longines, Tag-Heuer, Tissot, etc... have many parts bought or assembled in China.

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4 hours ago, 000AA said:

They do it the clever way, "Made in Japan Sakata" is on Vizzard and Armrq shafts but not on the head of irons, woods or drivers..... So it's a bit confusing for the buyer!

Do you know when they started to make the production in China, what year?

On a side note, and what I have said about the "Swiss made" for the watches: off course brands like Rolex, Patek, Vacheron, etc.... are still made 100% in Switzerland. But brands like Omega, Longines, Tag-Heuer, Tissot, etc... have many parts bought or assembled in China.

They have been making in China for a very long time.  Drivers almost always.  Just keep in mind they cant produce drivers or forged or multi piece golf clubs.  They do have casting machines but have not used it in a long time.  

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I received demo’s the TW-737 V irons in the UK. I noticed their pricing was twice the price as I’d seen in California.  The UK shop contacted their EU Honma distributor who claims that EU Honma 737’s are Japanese forged vs US 737’s are Chinese forged.  They claim that accounts for twice the price.  Since I’ve read on multiple websites that Honma isn’t forging the TW737 at all in Japan, I wanted to check on here. 

 

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