Honma Golf has signed world No.2 Justin Rose to a multi-year equipment contract.
The premium Japanese brand secured the reigning FedEx Cup champion’s signature towards the end of last year, but was only able to announce the deal on January 1, following the completion of Rose’s contract with TaylorMade Golf.
Rose is under contract to play with a minimum of 10 Honma clubs, and although the exact set make up has yet to be released, it is likely to include versions of models introduced late in 2018 in Japan. That includes the TW747 driver; a prototype version of the forged cavity back TW747 V irons (4, 5 and 6); and a prototype TW747 forged muscleback in the 7, 8 and 9-iron. Rose also is expected to play custom prototype versions of the TW forged wedges (47, 56 and 60 degrees).
His first professional outing with the new gear will be at the PGA Tour’s Desert Classic, which is being held in Palm Springs from January 17-20.
Rose, who will carry a Honma bag and have the Honma logo on both sides of his hat, said: “I’m extremely excited to be joining Honma. Coming off one of my best years professionally, I wanted to make it a point to get better. I believe Honma equipment and the legendary Honma craftsmanship can help make me better.”
Honma’s chairman, Chinese businessman Liu Jianguo, said: “With Justin’s local and international influence in the sport, and his media coverage and social media following, the partnership will create an immediate and positive uplift of Honma’s brand image and product awareness in mature markets such as North America and Europe, which will in turn accelerate the implementation of Honma’s growth strategies in these markets.”
The signing of Rose is by far the most significant player endorsement in Honma’s 60-year history. Previously, its top-ranked male staff player was Japan’s Hideto Tanihara, who is currently ranked 174th in the world, while the company has also signed several leading women professionals, including So Yeon Ryu and Shan-Shan Feng, both of whom reached world No.1 at different times during their careers.
Honma, which gained initial notoriety for its gold-plated clubs which came with super premium price tags, is staking its claim to become a major player in the global golf market, especially in North America and Europe. The company’s share price on the Hong Kong stock exchange has risen nearly 30 per cent since the first reports of Rose’s signing began appearing two months ago. The reigning Olympic champion is expected to one of several new staff players for the brand this season.
For more information see https://www.honmagolfeurope.com