Equipment

HONMA Golf – What do the 2, 3, 4 and 5-Stars of the HONMA clubs mean?

March 30, 2020 – HONMA Golf is more than a golf club manufacturer. It is the creator of the most beautiful and elegantly designed clubheads in golf, and of shafts brimming with innovation and technology at the service of the golfer. A brand whose equipment always inspires luxury, high class and a guarantee of excellent performance that makes them unique.

Even now that it has launched more commercial golf clubs and at more affordable prices, such as the XP-1 and TR20 families, no one forgets that the super premium BERES range – designed for golfers with slow swing speeds – is the most exclusive, too expensive for many, and within the reach of only a few. Because if you can afford the luxury of paying 30,000 Euro for a set of 5-Star BERES irons, there’s only one word for it … luxury!

But the question we all often ask ourselves is this: Why are these golf clubs so expensive, and what exactly is the difference between drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, utilities, irons and wedges, for men and women, according their number of stars? This depends on the technology and materials of the ARMRQ shaft.

But let’s take it one step at a time.

HONMA Golf – BERES 2-Stars

The 2-Stars represent the entry category, which is the standard of the Japanese brand. But in no way does this mean the 2-Star clubs are inferior. Quite the contrary, since the 2-Star BERES are basically extraordinary compared to the rest of the market. The main reason is that HONMA’s own shafts are especially light and soft, while also showing good torque values. This is a particularly difficult combination to produce, but it is precisely what makes HONMA clubs so famous. This category is the starting point in the price range: a 2-Star iron set costs around 2,500 Euro, and a driver just under 1,000 Euro.

HONMA Golf – BERES 3-Stars

Despite the fact that the 2-Star golf clubs are the cheapest in the range, most players choose the 3-Star clubs. This category has the advantage of being available in Europe, and with many more options, and that means that the waiting time to have the clubs personalized is much shorter, even for the less frequent configurations.

The HONMA 3-Stars are better in terms of shaft quality, as the M40X material of Torayca is incorporated. On the other hand, the 3-Star golf clubs are customizable at the loft, lie and length levels, and the colours of the clubheads and shafts can also be modified.

HONMA Golf – BERES 4-Stars

When you go to a golf shop (an authorized dealer of the brand) you will hardly find any 4 and 5-Star golf clubs, since they are practically all custom designs. This means that you will first be invited to go through the exclusive HONMA fitting experience, and then every component of the clubs you have ordered will be manufactured to your personal specifications from scratch by hand by Honma’s Takumi (master craftsmen) in Sakata, Japan. It is best to play with custom clubs, and these will be exceptional. But be patient, don’t forget that the delivery time can be up to two or three months.

The 4-Star ARMRQ shafts feature a higher quality carbon fibre and superior strength, contributing to minimize dispersion and achieve more homogeneous shots. Regarding the finish of the clubheads, gold is used in some of the finishes and in the ferrules that cover the union between the head and the shaft. If a single golf club is already outstanding on its own, the entire set inside a HONMA Golf bag will shine brighter still, even from a distance. The most illustrious is, undoubtedly, the 4-Star driver, but we have to tell you that you can’t top the 5-Star version!

It should be noted that in the 4-Star range most of the customizations are included in the price, such as personalizing the colour of the driver’s head, the colour of the shaft, or printing your initials or a small logo.

HONMA Golf – BERES 5-Stars

This is a jewel that borders perfection. Without a doubt, the 5-Star BERES golf clubs are the most difficult to admire. Even HONMA stores sell very few of the most premium sets, woods or irons. They are absolutely unique to you. Every component of each golf club is individually built by hand in Japan by the brand’s experienced craftsmen (known as Takumi), and the delivery time is, of course, equally long. The high price of the 5-Star BERES corresponds to the most luxurious finishes in the range, with all the possible details plated with gold and platinum inserts. The quality of the carbon fibre used in the shafts is also superior, offering the minimum dispersion.

This category reaches the top in the price range, and a 5-Star set of irons amounts to some 30,000 Euro, and a driver around 5,000 Euro.

Each BERES is handcrafted to provide the best performance and the confidence golfers seek. The difference between stars is not, therefore, a matter of being better or worse golf clubs, since they are built to work in a sublime way in your hands, whatever their number of stars. The difference is established by the performance of the materials, handled by a hundred artisans working in their production with the best components, and in the richness of the finishes, distilling the exclusivity with which you want to play – and show your class – on the golf course.

Going further into the matter, the difference between the stars is established by the innovation of ARMRQ shafts, rolled and hand painted by a meticulous crafting process that uses the best raw material in the industry. In the BERES 2020, these shafts feature a 7-axis design, where Metal Hybrid Armour Technology in all 2 to 5-Star models provide higher compression strength and an additional 5mm of counterbalance closer to the hands, to help increase swing speeds and improve the feel gripping the club.

But in addition, the ARMRQ of the 3, 4 and 5-Star incorporate the Twist Fleuret Technology through the combination of the new high strength, high elasticity M40X and T1100G materials, which transfer the energy from the player to the shaft and the clubhead more efficiently. This is where performance, in terms of distance potential and stability in off-centre shots, increases with the grade of the shaft selected.

Before, we could say that the ARMRQ shafts differed in consistency and appearance through the number of stars, but with the new ARMRQ, the higher the grade chosen, the greater the distance performance achieved by increasing swing speed. That is, the higher the star level, the longer you will hit it.

  • ARMRQ – 2-Stars: The flexibility from the soft mid-section and the metal hybrid 7-axis sheet at the butt creates a stable backswing to promote faster swing speeds.
  • ARMRQ – 3-Stars: Reinforcing strength at the butt pushes the stress on the shaft into the soft midsection, allowing the shaft to deform and recover quickly so the golfer can feel the clubhead through the swing.
  • ARMRQ – 4-Stars: The new BERES shafts feature a lower kick point to further increase swing speed.
  • ARMRQ – 5-Stars: The use of selected T1100G material throughout the shaft contributes to less torque, an improved feeling of control and stiffness while maintaining flexibility, to produce maximum distance with the least dispersion.

They are also perfectly tuned to their respective clubheads, which is not as obvious as you might think at first glance.

The goal is to offer BERES golfers a high precision shaft, with the appropriate softness and lightness at a slow swing speed, while maintaining a low torque on this type of shaft, which is difficult to achieve. This is because if we want to hit a ball straight and with consistency we need a low torque.

With long experience of more than 60 years of craftsmanship and tradition, HONMA masters this difficult process like no other brand. The use of the finest materials and the complexity of production lead to very high costs. With such a demand for perfection during manufacturing, rejects can occur because, for example, a shaft doesn’t meet the brand’s high quality standards. The higher the number of stars, the higher these requirements for consistency and quality will be, and consequently, there will be more discards in the course of creating perfect golf clubs for the player.

At this point, you might be asking whether it’s worth choosing the BERES one star higher than you had planned, or even going for the maximum, the BERES 5-Stars. This is a very individual decision, which cannot be answered in a general way. The budget will probably put the 4 or 5-Stars out of reach for many, and for the majority it will be more a matter of choosing between 2 and 3-Stars.

On the one hand, the 3-Star BERES will be more personalized, as they have more finishes available. It is very possible that your configuration for a 2-Star BERES is not available in stock. In addition, for the 3-Star clubs, the shaft is of superior quality with a notable improvement in terms of precision and feeling. Another advantage is that there is greater availability in Europe, and the possibility of custom clubmaking, which will greatly reduce the waiting time. Even so, it can’t be categorically said that these differences will save you a certain number of shots on your scorecard.

HONMA‘s mission is to produce the most refined golf clubs in the world. That is its art, and hence it’s continuous pursuit of perfection. Only the potential BERES player, or the one who has played the previous models, will be able to make the final well-informed decision. Be assured that your golf clubs will be quite exceptional.

Por Miguel Angel Buil