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tehuti

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Test Reviews posted by tehuti

  1. I finally got an opportunity to play a “proper” round with the GS today. Full disclosure - I was struggling with a loss in distance with driver before I received the GS, so my initial experience with it may be a result of that. Hopefully after a few more rounds with it I’ll get some of my distance back.
     

    First impressions: I am still fading the ball as much as I do with my current gamer. It is currently on the stock setting. Maybe I need to tweak it for more of a draw bias.

    Sound is good. A muted thwack that is not too loud, but it lets me know when I have made solid contact. I was expecting the shaft (R flex) to be a bit whippy, but it’s not.

    Look and feel are great. 
     

    That’s all for now. I need to play a few more rounds with it at least before I post my full review with grades. But it’s a good start. 

     

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    11/11 Veterans Day

    I played another round at Willowick to give the driver a good workout. Still using the stock settings I am fading a bit too much still, and not getting my usual distance. I am going to set it to more of a draw bias and try a few rounds before I complete my review.

     

     

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    Okay - I just made a slight adjustment to the “Draw Zone” in their diagram. About half way between the FL and CL settings. Admittedly I was a bit apprehensive about fiddling with the settings, but it wasn’t particularly difficult after all. I have a 9 hole round on Sunday, so I’ll only have a few shots with driver. But I’ll try to get to the range on Saturday to test the new settings.

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    New position #1 is FL/CL.

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    New position #2 is CL. Middle of the “Draw Zone”.

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    PXG 0811X Gen 1 on the left, next to the GS. The PXG head looks bigger in this photo, but they are approximately the same size. I thought I preferred the matte finish, but the glossy finish is growing on me.

    Intro

    I am really excited about my opportunity to review the Honma T // World GS driver. It was initially announced that these reviews would begin in June, but due to several unforeseen circumstances the club just arrived today 10/29. So, since I am a bit late to the party I will get right to it.

    ·         I am absolutely a casual golfer. That does not mean that I don’t take my game seriously, because I do. But I don’t have a group of golf buddies and I don’t play in tournaments. So pretty much all of my rounds can be considered “casual”. Though I do maintain a handicap that I am trying hard to improve.

    ·         My handicap is 25 currently. It has been up and down this year, and though my game is improving I have not seen a drop in my handicap – yet.

    ·         I have a slow swing speed. As a senior golfer I understand my limitations.

    ·         My typical ball flight is a fade. I sometimes stray into slice territory. But not often. And I almost never hit the ball left, unless I am aiming that way and my typical fade straightens out for some reason.

    ·         Strengths of my game – I have a decent short game and my putting has really improved lately. I also tend to stay in the fairway. Not a lot of errant shots. Weaknesses – very short hitter. My driver goes anywhere from 185 to about 215. Maybe a bit longer on a really good day. 7 iron about 125ish.

    ·         My current gamer is a Gen 1 PXG 0811X 12° with a Project X Evenflow Blue R shaft. Why I bought it? PXG was offering a great deal on the “legacy” drivers. I was not fit. Just static stats.

    ·         My #1 priority with driver is to hit the ball in the fairway as far as I can. Since I am a short knocker I cannot also be wild or else I am really screwed.

    ·         I don’t have the consistency or driver length to be too aggressive with my drives. So I tend to be a bit conservative.

    ·         I rarely hit par 5s in 2.

    ·         I am most often hitting a 4 or 5 hybrid into par 4s, if I had a decent drive.

     

    First Impressions

    I am coming into this testing cold – with no preconceived notions about Honma. I can’t even say I recall seeing anyone gaming their drivers locally. I chose the 11.5° since they didn’t have a 12° option. I also selected the R flex shaft which is what I currently have. If an A flex had been an option I might have selected it. But it appears that the R flex is softer than I expected, so it could effectively perform like an A flex shaft for me. We’ll see. I have never been formally fit. I have only used online fitting tools for my height and arm length. And that has seemed to work so far.

    Put plainly – if I can hit the ball longer and straighter than I do with my current driver, it stays in the bag. I don’t hate my current gamer, but I am starting to get less distance with it and I am kind of itching to see what’s out there. With my fade, I have learned to adjust and hit the ball in the fairway 75% of the time based on my Grint stats. But I know I am losing distance due to my fade and the amount of spin I put on the ball. If the Honma is the draw biased club they say it is I should see some better ball flight. That and the fact that the shaft is ½” longer than my current shaft, so I hopefully will gain a bit of distance.

    Provide some brief comments on how you plan to test. How much time you spent practicing, launch monitor (if applicable), on-course rounds, and special experiments will give readers an idea of the scope of work you put into this review.

    My testing will be based on comparison to my current driver. Unfortunately I don’t have a launch monitor or access to one for this testing. That is on my Christmas list though. I intend to do some A/B testing on the range with the two drivers and play as many rounds as possible with it on my usual courses so that I can do some direct comparison. With the time change coming up I will probably have to limit my testing to the weekends.

     

    Final Review
    12/12/2021 - Note: I am taking a mulligan on my original review and updating my answers. The driving yips I seemed to be suffering from appear to be over and I was able to get back to hitting solid shots today.

    Looks (8 out of 10 points)

    Describe the following:

    ●      General Shape - The shape is fine. It appears larger than my regular gamer though it is not. Probably because it has a slightly mor elongated shape. They are about the same size

    ●      Graphics – The sole graphics look way better in person than in the pictures. I thought the photos made it look kind of cheap. But in person, with the contrasting matte and glossy grey/black treatments and the red accents, it actually looks pretty nice.

    ●      How does the overall look come together? – I tend to like a matte finish, but I really like the glossy crown more than I expected. Especially with the subtle alignment markings near the face and rear of the crown.

    ●      How does the appearance compare to other drivers in the same category? – It is in between the “too busy” look of some of the Callaway drivers and the minimalist looks like on my PXG.

    ●      Other unique details (i.e. alignment aids, coloring, swing blur, etc.) – As I mentioned, I do like the alignment aids. The center line mark in the front and the subtle red striping on the back seem to promote an inside-to-out swing arc. The glossy crown is not the distraction I thought it would be. And the finish appears to be pretty durable. So It will look good for quite a while.

     

    Sound & Feel (8 out of 10 points)

    Describe how the driver sounds and feels

    ●      Does it sound: loud, quiet, harsh, or smooth? – The sound is neither quiet or harsh. It has an appealing “thwack” especially when struck on the sweet spot. 

    ●      Does it feel soft, crisp, dull, clunky (feel free to use your own imaginative phrases)? – The feel is a bit soft and whippy for me. But after some initial struggles I have adjusted to it.

    ●      Does it feel consistent across the face, or are mis-hits noticeably pronounced? – I paid a heavy price on mishits with this driver. To the point where I shanked or sliced way more balls than I am accustomed to. Over the last few outings it has gotten better, but I am not quite there where I can say it is as consistent as my current gamer.

    ●      Compare to your best/worst feel and sound experiences? – The sound is fine to me, and initially it felt a bit too whippy, but I have begun hitting the ball well with it and the lighter feel of the shaft is no longer an issue.

    ●      Does it impact your mental game? - My earlier assessment was yes, it did affect my mental game since I was having trouble getting off the tee. In my most recent round that was not an issue and I was hitting the ball as well with the GS as with my PXG gamer.

    Basic Characteristics (17 out of 20 points)

    Before hitting the course, get some range time in so you’ve got a feel for what’s to come.  This section should be used to identify the basic characteristics that most players will notice.   If you are able to get time on a launch monitor, this would be the section to include numbers from it.

    Describe the following compared to your current gamer:

    ●        Trajectory – When I hit it well I get a higher trajectory than I am used to, which is what I want.

    ●        Workability – N/A. I did not have enough control of my shots during this review to try to work on different shot shapes. It’s straight or fade. Just like with my regular gamer.

    ●        Accuracy – Similar to my current gamer. I have a fade that requires me to aim left of target to get the desired result. 

    ●        Distance – When I was able to hit it well I got similar distances to my regular driver. I am starting to hit it as far as my gamer. 

    ●        Forgiveness – Initially I did not think it was forgiving at all. Since adjusting it to the CL setting it is forgiving enough for me.

    ●        Adjustability – Adjustability is one of its pluses. I had to make two adjustments to try to make it more draw biased. And although I really don’t like to tinker with settings it really was easy to make the adjustments. However, The first adjustment from Standard to FL/CL only seemed to make it harder for me to hit the ball. But since making the second adjustment to CL I am now able to hit MY shots again. 

    ●        Pressure – A week ago I was terrified to stand over the ball with this driver because I had no idea where the ball would go. Today 12/12 it was like I was using my regular gamer. Pressure? Little to none. Certainly no more than usual.

    ●      What factors were you pleased with? – As mentioned above, I liked the sound and the look of this club. On the occasions that I did hit a solid shot it sounded great. Looking down at it at address I really like it even though it took me quite a while to become comfortable enough with it. It is a very durable club. I beat it up quite a bit with my mishits, but it does not appear any worse for wear. The sole still looks practically brand new.

    ●      What factors did you find lacking? – The unique hosel design was a bit of a struggle for me to find the right setting. I had pretty much given up on being able to game this driver but I gave it one more shot with the hosel adjustment and that seemed to do the trick. They need to provide better instructions for tweaking the head. I was reluctant to mess with it but I am glad I did. The soft shaft is not as bad as I initially thought it was. But I would probably want to go with a slightly stiffer "regular" shaft. I am partial to UST Mamiya shafts and all of the regular versions I have tried were stiffer than the Honma shaft. 

    On-Course / LM Performance (21 out of 30 points)

    It took me several rounds before I was able to really feel confident with this club. If I continue to hit the ball the way I have been lately I would say the On Course number would go up. But given the small sample size I can't give it stellar marks yet.

    Final Performance Comments:

    ●      Overall, how did it perform? – I have had sort of a "Jekyll and Hyde" experience with this driver. I went from wanting to banish it from my bag forever to now wanting to see if it will really displace my PXG gamer. Though I still have my reservations I did see signs that it could perform well for me given time.

    ●      How, if at all, did this product change your overall impression of Honma? – Since I had no real exposure to Honma before this I came in cold, with no assumptions. If anything, the lack of any exposure to it made me think that maybe it is not a brand that a casual golfer would gravitate toward. Though I won't be ditching my favorite brands in favor of them any time soon I can say that Honma is now on my radar at least. If I continue to like what I am seeing I would consider looking at some of their other clubs in the future.

    ●      What feature would you change or eliminate from the next generation of this model? – I can’t say there is anything that I would change about this driver.

     

    Miscellaneous (8 out of 10 points)

    •        I really want to like this driver. It looks great and though I don’t like to tinker with adjustments I do not have a problem with their non-rotating hosel. The headcover is good looking and something you would expect for a $500 driver, though I would still swap it out. I do like the grip and wouldn’t change it. The delivery issues which delayed this for several months didn’t help, and I wonder if I would have had better luck with it if I had more time to try to bond with it. Basically, I think it probably is worth the asking price as compared to other drivers in that price range. 

     

    Play it or Trade it? (15 out of 20 points)

    • Undecided. As I mentioned above I finally had a breakthrough with it and started hitting the ball well. Assuming that continues it will certainly give my current game a challenge. I liked what I saw the last time out with it.

     

    Conclusion

    I came into this process excited about maybe finding a new gamer that would straighten out my fade a bit and give me a few more yards off the tee. While I haven't achieved either of those things yet there are some positives I have seen so far. This was a really interesting review, because I was ready to give up on it and then found my "A Ha" setting that completely changed my mind about it. This experience has changed my attitude about adjustable drivers completely. If you're okay with tweaking a bit, a quality driver will probably have a setting that works for you. It would seem that the Honma T//World GS is designed for someone like myself. I just need time to bond with it now.

    Final Score: (77 out of 100 points)

    Post Review

    12/7 - I was going to wait a little while before making another adjustment, since I already submitted my review. But I decided to go ahead and change the hosel setting from FL/CL to CL. Hopefully I can get out to the range some time this week and see if it makes any difference.

    12/9 - I took it out to the range to try to fix my driver swing, along with my regular gamer. Though I hit both a bit better I still have a ways to go. However, I was much improved with the GS since changing to the CL setting. Less of a fade. I have another round coming up this Sunday. So I’ll try it again.

    12/12 - My Eureka round proved that I can successfully play a round with this driver. I finally really enjoyed hitting with it today and now I have a real dilemma on my hands. (In a good way.) Initially I wanted to go back to my regular gamer, but after today I am not sure. More research to do. My final score bumped from 62 to 77.

    12/23 - I was able to get a good workout with the GS and I was finding fairways all day. Still fading  and not hitting it as far as I would like, but I am pleased with my results otherwise. 

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