Honma TW747 Driver shafts reviewed and compared
The world of golf was astonished when the Japanese luxury brand signed the world's number one brand at the end of 2018. Justin Rose and Honma, that's a team you've quickly got used to. Because the first tour victory wasn't long in coming and the demand for the clubs Justin Rose plays was correspondingly high. One of them is the Tour World 747 Driver which can be bought for 629€. At least with the Vizard TW747 standard shaft. The FD-6S shaft is one of the many other shafts on offer, for which another 150€ surcharge is due. Basically, Honma allows himself to put together your personal driver that has exactly the desired swing weight - from D-1.5 to D-5. Here one notices immediately that the Tour World Driver is rather something for light to very sporty players. For players with a lower club head speed, Honma still offers the Beres or Bezeal series. Justin Rose plays the 9.5° driver with FD-7 X-Flex shaft - a shaft that is certainly not playable by many.
For the following test we didn't look for a professional like Justin Rose, but for a quite good handicap 11 player with a clubhead speed of 97 miles. This is not little and quite typical for a Tour World player. For him two shafts come into the narrower selection: the already mentioned TW747 Vizard shaft and the FD-6S shaft the 150€ surcharge costs. Basically these two shafts are very similar. The Vizard 747 shaft weighs 54.5g and the FD-6S 61g. The flex feels very similar, but there are two important differences. First, the kickpoint of the Vizard 747 shaft is in the middle and of the FD-6S further down. On the other hand, the torque of the 747 Vizard is 4.85° and 3.95° for the FD-6S - significantly less. The torque indicates, so to speak, the torsion of the shaft during the stroke in the undesired direction. In short: the lower the torque, the greater the control. In this area Honma is already very far ahead with its shafts and the manufacturer from Japan is no exception in the new Tour World series. That means: this value is already very good for the Vizard 747, but even better for the FD-6S.
Our test result
Our player had the task to hit balls with both shafts and identical club head. He didn't know the differences between the shafts in advance. Nothing was changed on the driver head, i.e. the TW747 driver with 460 cubic and 10.5° loft was used. To anticipate it, the results are no surprise and something that can also be confirmed from daily fitting practice.
It was important that the input values were as similar as possible, especially the factors influencing the evaluation such as club head speed, smash factor and angle of attack. These were very similar for both shafts with 97.225 vs. 97.16 mph, 1.411 vs. 1.402 and 3.4 vs. 3.37 upwards. The test therefore offers the best conditions for obtaining really meaningful results.
The first minimal difference is the ball speed, which has little significance. The player hit the balls slightly better with the Vizard 747 shaft which can be seen from the slightly higher smash factor. Therefore it is not surprising that the ball speed of 137 mph is slightly better than 135.7 mph with the FD-6S shaft.
However, this cannot be translated into length, because the FD-6S shaft achieved much larger lengths with 202.5m carry compared to 189m with the Vizard 747. This is also quite easy to see for the following reasons, as the clear differences between the shafts are evident here.
Launch angle and altitude
The launch indicates the ° with which the ball leaves the clubface. With the Vizard 747 this was 13°, with the FD-6S 14.57° - this is a big difference for a driver. The ball starts only about 1.5° steeper, but the flight altitude at the top is 19.7m vs. 23.7m. The FD-6S flies higher into the air and therefore reaches the better carry-length.
Decisive for the higher launch is the kickpoint of the shaft. Since this is lower on the FD-6S, it is easier to carry the ball into the air.
At this point it should be noted that the ball flight could of course be further optimized, especially with a change of the loft which can also be adjusted with the TW747 Driver. In this test, however, it is only a question of being able to compare the two shafts as accurately as possible.
Spin rate and accuracy
The spin is practically identical which is a good sign for the FD-6S shaft. Because a high launch doesn't give you anything if it generates more spin. You still want to keep it quite low with the driver. The difference is marginal: 1719 vs. 1765 rpm. This means that the FD-6S not only flies higher and farther, but also generates practically no more spin. Therefore it is to be expected that the ball can be controlled just as well in terms of side spin (with a hook or slice) and rolls out just as well after landing. The FD-6S not only has a length advantage, but also no spin disadvantage.
As far as accuracy is concerned, it is presumptuous to say that reliable results can be obtained from this test. For this the player would have to hit several hundred balls. However, this is not absolutely necessary. Because the values are relatively clear: the torque of the FD-6S is significantly lower and is jointly responsible for a controlled ball flight with clubs with high club head speed such as the driver. In the long run this will also show up on the course and the player should be able to work more precisely with the FD-6S.
Our result: Vizard 747 vs. FD-6S
The test has basically confirmed what is clear after almost every driver fitting: The decisive factor for the right combination of launch and spin is above all the shaft. However, this must not simply be chosen according to the optimum carry length. In this case the FD-6S doesn't offer any disadvantages because it doesn't generate unpleasant spin anymore and because of the lower torque it shows more precision. However, it immediately gives the player 13m more carry length. Yes, the FD-6S shaft costs a surcharge and each player has to decide for himself whether it is worth it or not. Nevertheless the advantages are not to be denied and shows that in this case the additional investment would be clearly worthwhile itself.