Honma TR20 V vs. P Irons: Review and Comparison

It is time to test the new Honma TR20 irons extensively and to put them to the test. We would like to test the two available iron heads P and V with different testers. Player A swings with about 90mph and player B with 77mph. The reason for this is simply that we want to work out the strengths and weaknesses of the respective club heads better. Only in this way can we give a clear recommendation for our players.

The obvious differences

Basically it has to be said that the TR20 V is rather meant for better players who prefer a classic cavity back iron. The TR20 P, on the other hand, has a "two-shell" construction with the intention to maximize ball speed and forgiveness. At this point we have to say that the TR20 P is not directly comparable to the TW747 P. This is because the new TR20 P has a smaller head. The topline, on the other hand, has remained about the same thickness. Furthermore, the new TR20 P iron looks much more classic and has little in common with a classic "two-shell" iron head. It is therefore the ideal club head for all those who want high ball speeds and forgiveness, but also a classic-looking club head.

The TR20 P is, as usual, equipped with less loft and has 31° in the 7 iron while the TR20 V has 32°. The differences are therefore minimal, even though the TR20 P is constructed fundamentally differently. The TR20 V is forged in the classic way. The head of the TR20 P is also forged, but with free space behind the club face which is equipped with an insert.

Feeling at Impact

Let's get straight to the biggest difference which is related to the construction just mentioned. The feeling of the TR20 V is much softer and this also applies - as usual for Honma - to "offcenter" hits. This is a characteristic we could already admire with the TW747 V and one of the reasons why this iron was one of the best selling irons in 2019.

With the TR20 P you simply notice that it is a two-shell construction if you compare it directly with the TR20 V. The hits do not feel quite as soft and rich. The difference between sweetspot and offcenter hits blurs a bit more. But you can also feel that the ball leaves the clubface much faster. The TR20 P has a more explosive feel and you get more support.

Differences from the Data

Feeling is something that can only be translated into numbers to a limited extent. The difference is correspondingly small when you look at the numbers:

However, we can see that the launch is a bit higher on the TR20 P with both players. This is also logical, as the iron is designed for a simplified launch. Although the loft is 1° flatter, the TR20 P has a 1° higher launch for player A and a virtually identical launch for player B.

What surprised us most was the spin, because it is practically identical even considering the difference in loft. This is astonishing because two-shell iron construction usually has problems generating enough spin. But the TR20 P succeeds excellently.

The difference in ball speed is also relatively manageable. You can at least say that our two test players couldn't benefit significantly from the "faster" hitting surface of the P. However, this should be the case at lower clubhead speeds.

The difference with slower clubhead speeds

To work out the differences between the two club heads a little bit better, we looked at a third player. He swings with 63mph, clearly from the outside and hits the ball more with an upward movement. He "shovels" the ball more and often fights against a slice. For such a player, only the TR20 P with a light graphite shaft comes into question.

The results here are clear. The launch is the same for both clubs, so the TR20 P compensates for the 1° less loft. The spin is a good 600rpm higher with the V and thus more than 10% higher. With the P, the player gets a total of 2m length out of the club, but has to live with a little more "roll". The TR20 P does exactly what it's supposed to do and even if the differences are not big, only the TR20 P comes into question for this player because of its forgiveness.

Our conclusion: TR20 P vs. V

For us, both clubs are an absolute recommendation for different reasons: The V is a very classic cavity back for sportier players. Last year we recommended the TW747 V or Vx to these players and will now recommend the TR20 V. The price/performance ratio is also unique in this segment and you get a hand-forged, Japanese iron made of soft steel. Exactly what you want for full and soft hits.

The TR20 P iron surprises us in several ways. The clubface is only slightly larger than the TR20 V, but the topline is much wider and gives more confidence. The two-shell construction is of course noticeable in comparison to a TR20 V, but does not have the disadvantages that this design normally has. The spin is similar to the V and the launch is a bit higher.

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