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Review: Honma XP-1 Irons Are Elite-Level Golf Clubs Aimed at Improving Your Game

SPY logo SPY 8/2/2020 John Scott Lewinski
© Courtesy of Honma Golf

Honma seems to some golfers like a newer brand — a luxury club manufacturer from Japan offering an exotic alternative to more familiar American options. That’s an inaccurate perception as the company started making golf equipment in 1959, basing its identity on clubs designed and shaped by hand to create refined sporting tools.

As the 21st century rolls along, Honma is now solidly on the U.S. golf scene as a high-end club builder offering a mix of technology, elegance and attention to detail that promises game improvement to any player willing to invest in superior golf clubs.

The latest irons coming out of Sakata, Japan include the new Honma T//World XP-1 series. Designed specifically for game improvement, the blend of modern technology with hand-crafting makes for powerful and accurate golf clubs that give the player a feeling of confidence.

Of course, Honma is famous for its Beres club series. These elite golf clubs employed precious metals that could cost north of $20,000. While there’s no gold built into the XP-1s, Honma has used C300 steel, tungsten weights and graphite fiber to create a truly cutting edge club. The end result is a responsive, durable and downright beautiful set of irons.

What We Liked About the Honma XP-1 Irons:

They look great coming out of the box, but players don’t shoot par because clubs are pretty. The Honma T//World XP-1 irons are forged in one sweeping piece from hosel to head with a reassuring club face and a balanced weight in the hands.

If the player knows how to swing them, these Honma irons will put your precision golf ball right where he or she wants it to go.

Most Unique Feature: The Shape

The Honma T//World XP-1s play like a mix of a blade style iron and a muscle back. The face of the club is thin and compact enough to allow for shot shaping. Meanwhile, the club’s sole is thick and weighted for more forgiveness. The result is a club that stays in the slot well while providing as much forgiveness as a player’s game can muster.

What We Didn’t Like About the Honma T//World XP-1 Series:

The Honma Vizard shafts are cutting edge, providing tremendous whip and good feel. Still, as with many Japanese manufactured golf clubs, the stiffness levels are a bit off what American golfers are used to. In some cases, a Japanese shaft in “Stiff” will feel like a U.S. shaft in “Regular.” So, while there’s nothing to dislike about the Honma Vizards’ design and build quality, a would-be buyer should consider moving up one notch on the stiffness chart. Of course, a proper Honma Experience fitting can help with all of this.

The Verdict:

Boasting superior, detail-oriented build quality, well-tested design and the best available materials, the Honma T//World XP-1 Irons fit right into the Honma overall line as some of the finest golf clubs made for the general public. While pricier than any number of more entry-level sets available from other manufacturers, the XP-1’s price under $1,500 is a reasonable sacrifice for any golfer looking to play with the best tools available.

Where To Buy Honma T//World XP-1 Irons:

Honma now stands shoulder to shoulder with long-storied “traditional” brands in most retail stores and online golf stores. The Honma online store also offers direct ordering. In addition, if a player attends an individual Honma Experience fitting, he or she can order the bespoke clubs direct.

  
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