The Honma stars explained: 2, 3, 4 and 5 stars
Honma is certainly a manufacturer that one likes to associate with "luxury". And even if there are clubs from Honma under 200€/piece like the Tour World irons, you can't blame anyone to have this association. Because Honma clubs with a high number of stars are simply too expensive. If you can pay more than 35.000 Euro for a 5-star Beres iron set, you simply have to talk about luxury.
But the question you have to ask yourself is this: Why are these clubs so expensive and what exactly is the difference to a 2-star set?
Honma 2 Stars
The 2 star variant represents the lowest category and is standard for Honma. But it is by no means as if the 2 star variant was inferior in any way. On the contrary. Already the 2 stars Beres are basically unrivalled. The reason is that Honmas own shafts are particularly light and soft and nevertheless show good torque values. This combination is particularly difficult to realize in production. But this is exactly what makes Honma clubs so well known and popular. Despite the quite high entry price. After all, a 2 star Beres set already costs around 3,000 Euros and a driver over 1,000 Euros.
Honma 3 stars
Nevertheless, the majority of players go with 3 stars, even if 2 stars are the cheapest entry. 3 stars have the advantage that they are available in much more variants in Europe and that means practically no waiting times even in quite exotic configurations.
The 3 star Honmas are a bit better in the quality of the shaft. The difference in the iron heads between 2 and 3 stars is due to a slightly different steel. At least a 3 star iron is very easy to bend and thus to adjust Lie and Loft. With a 2 star iron this is not so easy.
Honma 4 stars
The disadvantage of 4 and 5 stars is that they are practically all "custom" designs, which means that the club must first be manufactured in the desired configurations individually in Japan. That sounds good, but don't forget the 8-10 weeks delivery time.
The Honma 4 star clubs are already made with much more expensive materials like gold. This club is certainly no longer discreet, no matter which Beres it is. The most conspicuous is certainly the driver of which you can not hide the 5 star version.
Honma 5 Stars
No question about it. 5 star clubs are extremely rare and even we as a long-time Honma dealer have sold very few sets and woods of them. They are definitely unique. Each club is manufactured individually in Japan - the delivery time is correspondingly long. The 5 stars Beres are mostly gold-plated.
Now you have to ask yourself what value this has for a player. And here one must say clearly that gold-plated club heads are more like a gimmick. Nevertheless a 5 star club has its justification as we will see soon.
Differences between the stars
It must be clearly stated that the real difference between a 2, 3, 4 or 5 star club is primarily the shaft. The ArmRQ shafts are hand drawn and are unique in quality. They are also perfectly tuned to the heads which is not so obvious as one might think.
Basically it is about offering Honma Beres players a shaft that is as soft and light as possible. That alone is no art. It becomes difficult if you want to keep the torque low with such a shaft. This torque indicates the unwanted twists of the shaft and everyone who wants to hit a straight and constant ball needs a shaft with low torque.
From the manufacturer's point of view, this is anything but easy to achieve. But Honma masters this process like no other manufacturer. That and the fact that the production is very complex means very high costs.
With these shafts you produce a lot of rejects that simply does not meet the high quality standards of Honma. The higher the number of stars, the higher these quality requirements and accordingly the rejects. That is why prices are also rising by leaps and bounds.
Is a Honma with more stars worth it?
This question is very individual and cannot be answered in general. For many it is first of all a question of ones budget that excludes e.g. a 4 or 5 star variants. For most it is more about whether 2 or 3 stars.
Fact is, a 3 star Beres is again clearly more individual and brings e.g. rarely longer waiting times with itself. With 2 stars it is already possible that a certain configuration is currently not in stock and must first be produced in Japan.
Another fact is that the 3-star shafts are once again a good deal better than 2-stars. Whether this difference will actually save you a lot of strokes off the scorecard is hard to say.
Nobody will be able to make this decision for you, but it is important to know what the differences between the stars are and not to make such a decision inconsiderately.
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