The TR20 B is without any doubt the sportiest Honma iron available. It is the successor of the legendary "Rose Proto". Also the TR20 B was developed together with Justin Rose and the similarity to its predecessor is undeniable. The TR20 B completes the relatively sporty TR20 V iron that we have already had in our program for a couple of months.
We have to anticipate one thing: this iron is only for players who can hit the ball very consistently. It's a real blade, which means that the TR20 B should only be considered by some players. But for those who can play a blade, it is a real option. Especially the price/performance ratio is absolutely convincing.
As with the other TR20 irons, Honma offers a lot of shafts to choose from and mostly without extra charge. Shafts from Nippon, KBS, Project X or Dynamic Gold are the first choice.
Our first impression with the TR20 B
We already had the opportunity to test the TR20 B extensively before the market launch. To be honest, our result is hardly surprising, because the TR20 B is exactly the club we had in mind. The resemblance to the "Rose Proto" cannot be denied - both visually and in regards to playability. And the Rose Proto was already a blade for us that lived up to its name. This means maximum playability and accurate feedback on hits. With the TR20 B the ball can be shaped in all directions and does exactly what it is supposed to do. Hits in the sweetspot are as soft as butter and reward the player immediately. Outside hits are less soft and let the player know exactly where the ball was hit. This is exactly how a blade should be. But it is interesting that Honma has made the 3 iron a bit longer in order to improve the horizontal miss-hit tolerance. The TR20 B iron 3 has at least a bit of driving iron character.
We will soon compare the Honma TR20 B with other blades and the TR20 V in detail and review it extensively.
Club Data and Specs for the TR20 B
Our Test: Honma TR20 V vs B
Honma is working hard on the legacy of the successful TWorld series which will soon be discontinued and replaced with the TR series. Two iron heads and a driver have already been released as TR20. With the TR20 B the blade is now also available on the market. And in autumn 2020 the TR21 will be introduced to complete the series. Honma has decided to expand the TR series piece by piece.
With the Honma TR20 B the "Rose Proto" successor is now available. And even though Justin Rose is no longer under contract with Honma, he has contributed significantly to the development of this iron. The similarity to the predecessor cannot be denied. We were already very satisfied with the Rose Proto regarding the performance. It's a real blade but it doesn't seem as sporty as the Miura MB-101 or the Miura Baby Blade.
The differences between TR20 V and B
The TR20 V is like a feel-good club for us. It is a modern cavity back iron that sets no limits in terms of playability but forgives enough mistakes. The feedback is as soft as usual with sweetspot hits. All other hits still feel soft, but you can already feel the difference. That's why you get good feedback - the way it should be.
The biggest difference between the two clubheads is the mass under the ball and the loft. Since the V is a cavity back iron, most of the mass is concentrated in the lower part of the clubface. This facilitates launch and makes for more forgiveness. With the Blade, the mass is distributed more over the lower half of the clubface. This is also immediately noticeable with every hit that is not in the sweetspot.
When it comes to loft, the difference is 2°. The TR20 B has a classic loft of 34° in the 7 iron - in principle, this is the maximum you can find these days and the trend is towards lower lofts. But not with Honma - at least not with the sporty TR20 irons. The TR20 V has 32°, which is the "newer standard" for sporty irons. For this test we left the lofts unchanged - the difference is exactly 2°.
Also the swing weight was not quite identical for both clubs. We used the same shaft, but the demo clubhead of the TR20 B is slightly heavier and this is also reflected in the swing weight of D4 vs D3.
The V's face is slightly larger overall and the topline is thicker.
What does the test show?
The test of course shows the obvious: the 2° difference in loft is noticeable at launch and carry length. However, the difference is slightly smaller than one would expect. This can have several reasons and is also very individual. The loft is definitely not decisive, especially because it can be changed in a few seconds thanks to soft steel.
Our player showed a much better performance in terms of dispersion with the TR20 V. This can have several reasons and does not necessarily have to be due to the club head. What can be said, however, is that the TR20 V has slightly more weight in the area of the toe. That means in this area there is more mass behind balls that are hit in this area. This prevents, at least minimally, that balls develop too much tendency to the left. For players with a strong drawing tendency the TR20 V might thus be the better choice.
In case of uncertainty, we would generally recommend using the TR20 V. The blade is just what the name promises and should only be touched by players who have the necessary self-confidence to play it. The TR20 B is wonderful to play and feels soft and rich at impact - but certain mistakes are punished harder than with a TR20 V. You have to be aware of that. The TR20 B of course allows the player to do more with the ball. The sole is once again significantly thinner and more aggressive than the V and requires a clean contact, especially from tight fairway lies.
For all Blade fans, however, the TR20 B is a very good alternative to all the others on the market. The price/performance ratio is very good and you can choose a whole lot of different and high-quality shafts from Nippon, KBS, Project X or Dynamic Gold - mostly without extra charge. So the TR20 B is an absolutely worthy successor of the Rose Proto and is in no way inferior to it.