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 Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?

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TITW
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PostSubject: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:00 pm

Hi all

I'm curious and I hope some of you can shed some knowledge on it.

So much has been said about US-brand drivers such as Titleist, TM, Ping, Cobra and so on... Thet are indeed very good and are used/endorsed by top PGA players.

My question: ARe Made in Japan less technologically advanced and therefore less desirable than compared to the US brands? Besides being costlier, are they good

I asked this questions as golf forums here and elsewhere in the world just talk about the famous US brands, that's all. Maybe be interested in Japanese drivers but are they as good as the Titleist's, Ping's, TM's etc...

Thanks for shedding some light on this issue.
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kopiO
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:07 pm

juz ask cyp_PGA about his nakashima driver...

whatever works for you lah... and dun get overwhelmed by the marketing
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Duval_S
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:27 pm

Ryo Ishikawa uses a driver that cost 1M (R&D ++++++++++ etc etc).....so I think technologically should not doubt.....as i have read, Japan tour is very rewarding and many of them on that tour uses japan products....
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Ssquirrel
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:52 pm

I don't think Nakashima is Japanese. It's based in California if I'm not wrong.

I think the Japanese drivers are more technologically advanced that the US brands. They were making thin face >0.83 cor drivers long before the US brands were. They also have a great tradition of forging katanas, and so have very excellent forgings.

The main downside to Japanese golf stuff is that they are usually expensive, and mainly made for the Japanese domestic market. If you read Japanese golf magazines, they do very thorough write ups and comparisons. The Japanese are very serious about all their undertakings (more anal lah) and same with golf too... albino
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DGman
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:15 am

i want to share a story i heard from the first Taylormade representative in Japan. he was helping his friend who was trying to bring in TM to Japan. this is way before the ernie els endorsement days and TM was relatively unheard of.

so through his contact he approached Jumbo Suzuki. Jumbo promised to try the driver but he asked for 50 heads to be sent to him. they did and apparently his clubfitter chose 4 pcs out of the 50 and they stick in a Graphite Design JS boron shaft in it. Jumbo went on to win several tournaments and that was the start of the revolution of TM in Japan.

Moral of the story....the japanese are proud of their shafts and they are really particular about quality. and of course, TM has to thank Jumbo for helping the brand take off in Japan.

DGman

PS....the representative, Ono-san has since retired and in our last game together, Ono-san and i partnered to defeat with Kopi Towkay and the "Director" in Yokohama. The lunch and the tea (the reward for the winner) was simply fabulous.
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golfcoma
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:21 am

Don't be taken in by what the PGA pros use - a lot of them are using what they're using because money talks. Club manufacturers will go to great lengths to provide what the PGA pros want/need, and what they use are not necessarily available to the general public. A lot of it is just about how deep of a marketing budget these manufacturers have.
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eiji
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:51 am

TM Japan and Tourstage make very interesting stuff, as do most of the other Japanese manufacturers, just a pity that their prices are pretty steep and don't drop much even during sales.

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golfcoma
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:56 am

Indeed, although I have to admit that I'm a slut when it comes to Japanese clubs and forging...
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Kopi Towkay
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:39 am

DGman wrote:
i want to share a story i heard from the first Taylormade representative in Japan. he was helping his friend who was trying to bring in TM to Japan. this is way before the ernie els endorsement days and TM was relatively unheard of.

so through his contact he approached Jumbo Suzuki. Jumbo promised to try the driver but he asked for 50 heads to be sent to him. they did and apparently his clubfitter chose 4 pcs out of the 50 and they stick in a Graphite Design JS boron shaft in it. Jumbo went on to win several tournaments and that was the start of the revolution of TM in Japan.

Moral of the story....the japanese are proud of their shafts and they are really particular about quality. and of course, TM has to thank Jumbo for helping the brand take off in Japan.

DGman

PS....the representative, Ono-san has since retired and in our last game together, Ono-san and i partnered to defeat with Kopi Towkay and the "Director" in Yokohama. The lunch and the tea (the reward for the winner) was simply fabulous.

AHH, the good old days. even with a birdie on the 18th the Director and I couldn't pull out a win. What a marvelous time it was for sure. We MUST go to Japan late March/early April for a rematch!!!!!
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Khorkar
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:39 am

I think like all other products, we are just brand conscious set of people. I mean, if you were given opportunity to pay 700 for a Japanese driver vs a titleist driver, what would you choose. The answer would be Titleist right?

Technology aside, we are still brand conscious. Branding is the key. There isnt any exposure of Japanese brand out here.
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ahdan78
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:34 am

I think yamaha drivers are pretty long and easy to hit, but of course they are not cheap....
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grooveballer
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:46 pm

i would think it's more about the marketing and distribtuion. the japanese seem obsessed with quality and technology, and i would think this would extend to their favourite sport - golf. so i don't believe that the japanese drivers would lose out in technological advancements when compared to the americans.

i also have the srixon Z-RW and the mizuno MX-500. both very good drivers.
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Duval_S
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:17 pm

So I guess we can all agree, that it is the driver and not the driver....that makes the difference...BTW...I am an old driver..
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pug
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:24 pm

It is also difficult to find reviews and comments on Jap brands. Magazines in English do no carry reviews and articles on them, much less online reviews.
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TITW
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:49 pm

From what I gather from the kind feedback given, that there isn't much diff betw US brand vs Jap drivers. Both are equally good..

What would then be a decent Jap driver for the average golfer? PRGR, Tourstage, Daiwa, Yamaha etc? Saw many beautiful drivers (and shafts) at the http://www.tourspecgolf.com/ website.

Hopefully they perform just as well as the much marketed US brands.

Thanks for the feedback
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grooveballer
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:31 pm

World of Golf carries the Bridgestone, Tourstage and PRGR stuff. I think MST carries the OnOff (Daiwa) range. So you can go have a look-see. But what is decent for the average golfer is very subjective.
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TITW
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:52 pm

grooveballer wrote:
World of Golf carries the Bridgestone, Tourstage and PRGR stuff. I think MST carries the OnOff (Daiwa) range. So you can go have a look-see. But what is decent for the average golfer is very subjective.

Haha.. very true. Smile
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maryet
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:53 pm

I have a kaki who is in his 60s, using S yard Exelight driver, senior shaft, he bombs it past us younger guys all the time. If you're considering Jap drivers, try S yard!
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:11 pm

I'll just throw in my 2 cents:

When buying a driver, you pay for 3 things -- brand, head, and shaft.

a. The brand is just something to heow with, without even swinging the club. I have been outdriven by people using less 'branded' drivers.

b. The head gives you forgiveness and distance

c. The shaft gives you distance and accuracy

Of the 3 above, I would want my money to go into (b) and (c). In the case of (b), I have no doubts that some Japanese heads are especially 'hot'. As for (c), having the right shaft for your swing, not the most expensive one, makes the difference. The Diamana Stinger in the hands of a 24 HCPer isn't going to increase his driving distance by 100 yds overnight.

Something to consider: Asians on tour are usually smaller built compared to their Western competitors, yet many of them drive the ball as far. Either they got their swing technique perfected despite the difference in body mass and have a more perfect swing, or their equipment does make a difference.

That said, while one would think that western golf professionals would use the best equipment that would propel them to the top, hence getting them more endorsement money, but I hardly see any EU/US golfers using Jap gear, except Furyk who plays Srixons
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:13 pm

maryet wrote:
I have a kaki who is in his 60s, using S yard Exelight driver, senior shaft, he bombs it past us younger guys all the time. If you're considering Jap drivers, try S yard!

True, but that probably indicates that he has a setup that suits his swing. Give me that driver and chances are that I can bomb it 300 yds... into the next fairway.

Many of us buy so many drivers over the years in the hopes of finding the 'right' one. Sometimes, we get lucky, and we find it, but we tend to be gian for more distance, and 'cheat' on the 'right' one. Such cheating results in subtle swing changes, and going back to the 'right' one feels weird after that, and one starts the quest for the perfect driver again.
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HyBriD
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:00 am

Just wanna share this....

I have a regular golf buddy who couldnt drive his golf balls more than 250yards.

But when he used a Honma Beres MG712 ( using a Demo club ) his yardage increased 20 to 30yards.

Hence, despite the 40,000 pesos price tag in our country. He ordered one.
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:26 am

Yeah if u want go for japanese club go for NAKASHIMA.... increase 30 yard on my driver n accuracy too
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:34 am

I did try to search for the perfect driver back then but gave up after some time. Back then Jap drivers was never in my mind back then as I tried and feel that the impact is softer.
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PostSubject: Re: Japanese Drivers.. Are they just as good?   Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:14 pm

HyBriD wrote:
Just wanna share this....

I have a regular golf buddy who couldnt drive his golf balls more than 250yards.

But when he used a Honma Beres MG712 ( using a Demo club ) his yardage increased 20 to 30yards.

Hence, despite the 40,000 pesos price tag in our country. He ordered one.


Was told by my fitter here (who's from Manila City) that there is a thriving 2nd hand golf equipment market in Manila, with a wide variety of branded Japanese kit going pretty cheap. Will keep you guys posted when I get more updates Smile
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