Justin Rose announced his switch to HONMA Golf at the start of the year, but it's only taken him two events to claim his first title with them. Here's what was in his winning bag during the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines
Justin Rose announced at the start of the year that he was making the first equipment change of his entire career by moving from TaylorMade to HONMA Golf, having signed a multi-year 10-club deal.
“Everything has worked out better than I would have hoped,” Rose said of his new deal after his two-shot victory.
We spoke to him exclusively for our latest issue, and he told us the deal had been in the works since the summer, which he admitted seemed a little bit of a weird choice at the start of his search for a new deal.
"It was around June or July that I knew I'd be moving on from TaylorMade," Rose told TG. "Honma came into the mix, which was a little out of left field at the time. But the more I explored it, understood it, started to test and saw what they were capable of, I began to see it as a huge opportunity. The big manufacturers tend to be very rigid in their approach and they want you to play 14 clubs and the ball, so there's not much scope.
"I wasn't ever selling myself to the highest bidder, I was making a decision based on how I can be the best player going forward, realise my dreams and forge my position in the game. I wasn't willing to compromise on that. It was about working with a company that was going to give me the options that I wanted and them working with me in a bespoke way to create clubs that I really want to play." (Read the full interview with Rose and HONMA in our latest issue. Buy here now)
Rose wasn't initially sure if he was going to play with the Honma driver, but has put the Tour World TW747 in to play for his first two events of the year, complete with Honma Vizard FD-7X shaft.
He kept a TaylorMade M4 fairway wood in his bag and a Titleist Vokey wedge, but his irons and three other wedges are all from Honma to total 11 clubs from his new brand this week.
It seems to be a switch that's paid off. During the final round on Torrey Pines South Course he put on a ball striking masterclass with both driver and irons, hitting 11 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens in regulation.
Also in his bag is a new putter for the World No.1, from a brand relatively unknown in the golf market.
According to our gear expert, Rose has been working with AXIS to create his AXIS-1 Protoype putter for a while. It features a very off-set hosel, which not only increases the moment of inertia (MOI) but likely puts Rose's hands in front of the ball and helps him hit it on the up. The protoype also featurs two fangs at the back, much like the fanged putter Odyssey has had for seven years, to help with stability.
Honma Tour World TW747 460 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Honma Vizard FD-7X shaft
TaylorMade M4 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 80 TX shaft
Honma Tour World TW-X proto (2), Tour World Rose proto (4-9)
Shaft: KBS C-Taper 125 shafts
Honma Rose proto (47, 52 and 56 degrees)
Shaft : KBS C-Taper 125 shafts
Titleist Vokey Design SM7 Raw K Grind (60 degrees)
Shaft: KBS High Rev 2.0 135 shaft
Putter: Axis 1 prototype
Ball: TaylorMade TP5