The story on Development of MG701 1 To Hell With Our Fixed Concepts!
Ever since our establishment, we at Honma Golf have strived for the perfect flexible iron.
We wouldn’t settle for anything less than the most satisfying of sounds when the ball is hit, the accompanying feel in the hand?and the accompanying exhilaration. For many years, Honma held the belief that, as the name indicates, iron was the material most suited to this type of club. However, severe development competition between manufacturers in recent years had created a demand for even better carry for irons.
Two years ago, a certain manufacturer released the mother of all irons. With this stainless steel iron, which featured excellent carry and stability, all you had to do was hit the ball to send it flying. Though it was expensive, it took the market virtually by storm, especially with seniors.
In fact, Honma was not without a stainless steel club at that time. However, in contrast to our competitor's club, with a thickness of just 2.5 mm at the face, ours was 3 mm. A difference of just 0.5 mm spelled a tremendous difference in carry.
“Honma clubs look cool, but they’re hard to peg the ball with.”
“The stainless club was expensive but the carry is so good that I bought it.”
“I wonder why Honma doesn’t make more stainless steel clubs.”
The development staff at Sakata Plant were so into their work that they even when to the driving range on their days off! And these are the kind of remarks they heard.
Suwa, deputy director of the plant, remembered something that had happened 20 years before. It was when Honma Golf started selling the Plus-2 irons. This club was a favorite among golfers―the kind of club that took your playing buddies by surprise because you only needed a more-lofted club.
However, at the time the cavity iron did not exist yet. To produce excellent carry, the loft was made two degrees stronger in a simple structure. And now, 20 years later, the iron structure has became more complicated with the debut of the cavity. To make up for the limitations of this structure, we needed to research materials that would produce carry.
“Now’s the time to come up with new materials instead of fixating on iron,” thought Suwa, who quickly bought one of our competitor's irons for himself. The sound and feel you get at impact were better with a soft iron, but the ball did fly five to ten yards higher than it does with other clubs.
What the hell is it that takes the ball so much further with a difference of just half a millimeter?
Our analyses indicated that a thinner face design means more flexure, which bolsters restitution, and thereby carry. Also, a thinner face is a lighter face, which means the head center of gravity could be lowered to ensure stability on shots.
Without a doubt, this iron was the ideal choice for average golfers. Suwa immediately set the development team to work, imploring them, “Let’s make a stainless steel face of 2.5 mm or less!”