Golf is enjoyed the world over, and in Japan, it is an easy contender for the national pastime!
So it’s no surprise that some of the world’s leading golf club manufacturers are Japanese.
The best Japanese golf clubs have the quality and performance to help you look, feel and play more like a pro.
The Japanese can’t get enough of golf!
Japan is a global destination for golf, which is one of the nation’s most popular sports.
The islands of Japan are home to almost 2,500 golf courses, more than half of all the golf courses in Asia!!
Golf is a way of life for the Japanese and with amazing natural beauty it’s easy to see why the hardworking Japanese take time to recharge their batteries at the golf club.
There are golf clubs that can accommodate every budget and handicap.
A game of golf in Japan is a unique experience with its own customs and rituals.
Unique aspects of playing golf in Japan include:
- Two greens on the golf course for pristine conditions all year round.
- Stopping for a 1-hour lunch break at the 9th hole.
- Keeping your golf shoes meticulously clean.
- People who score a hole-in-one foot the costs of the entire game for the party! Many people insure themselves in case of this expensive event.
- Taking a hot spring bath after your game.
It’s no surprise that golf clubs are big business in Japan
Golf club manufacturers have a massive domestic market with over 280 billion Japanese yen ($2.1 billion) spend each year on golf equipment in the Japanese domestic market.
Golf equipment sales are around 20% of the Japanese sporting goods market, but the size of this market has decreased in recent years post-Covid.
Best Japanese golf clubs for a golfer who wants to up their game
A new set of golf clubs is always a treat, but Japanese craftsmanship and quality take it to the next level.
If you’re looking for a set of clubs that will give you the edge on the tee, fairway, or green, these legendary golf club manufacturers have what it takes!
Take a look at Japan’s best!
1. Mizuno Corporation ミズノ株式会社, 美津濃株式会社
Mizuno is a world-famous golfing and sporting brand that is routinely selected by professional players.
It is the Japanese golf club brand that manufactures the largest number of irons and gets the most play on the Tour.
If you are set on a Japanese set of clubs, you can choose their specially crafted clubs with confidence.
Mizuno irons online
Stand out on the fairway with a set of irons from this legendary Japanese golfing brand.
About Mizuno Golf
The Mizuno brothers, Rihachi (elder) and Rizo (younger) founded this sporting brand in 1906.
It was originally run as Mizuno Brothers, Ltd, a store selling Western sporting goods and athletic wear.
The Osaka store specialized in baseball and began manufacturing its baseballs and gloves by 1910.
|Suminoe, Osaka, Japan
|Rihachi & Rizo Mizuno
By 1933 the business had diversified into golf and began to produce its own golf clubs, the first made in Japan.
The Japanese could not get enough of them leading to the Mizuno golf club showroom becoming the world’s largest at the time.
In the war years, the company operated as Mizuno Co. Ltd and turned over its manufacturing capacity to the production of military ordnance.
Post-war, sports-related manufacturing resumed with the company expanding its factory facilities to America and producing apparel and equipment for a wide range of sports.
The Mizuno brand was strengthened internationally by a range of sponsorships including baseball player Rickey Henderson, 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, track athlete Carl Lewis, and golf player Nick Faldo.
Manufacturing has expanded further with regional headquarters and factories in France, Germany, Scotland, Hong Kong, and China.
Mizuno’s forged irons were more predictable leading to widespread adoption by amateur and pro golfers.
It has earned the saying ” Nothing feels like a Mizuno” and they are right!
What makes Mizuno golf clubs special?
Mizuno is running with the hashtag #nothingfeelslikeaMizuno and the clubs do live up to the hype.
With over a century of manufacturing innovation under its belt, Mizuno does not hesitate to stand by the quality of its irons which are skillfully forged, rather than cast using the ironmongery expertise that Japan is renowned for.
Mizuno uses a proprietary Grain Flow Forging process that was perfected in the late 1990s and continues to this day. The iron head is crafted from a single billet of steel, for superior strength and balance.
Like a Japanese sword, the iron passes through multiple forging to be shaped for superior performance and strength.
This unique one-piece exploits the natural grain of the metal to improve the consistency, and durability of the iron, unlike inferior irons that have a welded neck with discontinuity in the grain.
Mizuno pro golfers
Mizuno has a long-standing relationship with professional golfers playing at every level of the sport.
Many pros are using Mizuno clubs without being sponsored to do so.
Here are some of the recognizable names that rely on Mizuno for an edge:
- Oliver Hundeboll
- Luke Donald
- Olivia Cowan
- Keith Mitchell
Mizuno supports its pros with a mobile workshop where clubs can be serviced as and when needed.
The Mizuno workshop bus has been on the road since 1986 and can be spotted at PGA Championship Tournaments.
Honma is probably the company that springs to mind when thinking of a Japanese gold club manufacturer.
Their exquisite, handmade clubs, produced for over 60 years in Sakata, Japan, are renowned for their intricacy, embellishment, and sound performance.
If you get the opportunity to get your hands on a set of these exclusive clubs, mothball them and they will increase in value because demand is so high!
At Honma’s expansive Sakata factory, a team of 300 craftsmen, led by 33 masters produces Honma’s ornate irons, woods, wedges, and putters.
Most employees have worked at their craft for an average of 27 years.
All shafts are made from premium carbon fiber by Honma. The most expensive of the Honma clubs are gold and silver-plated with a set costing almost $55,000!
Experience Honma clubs!
An opportunity to own a handcrafted set of irons from this iconic Japanese brand is not to be missed.
This set of beautiful irons is a great-value investment.
- Set of 7 right-handed golfing irons
- Steel fabrication
- Mid head size
- Tungsten weighting inside the heads for weighting and applied power
- Regular flex
- Hand-shaped profiles for tour-level performance
- Traditional blade shape featuring engineered topline and sole proportions
- Fast and forgiving playable design
The Honma Journey began in 1958 when the Honma brothers Yukihiro and Hiro opened a driving range in Tsurumi Yokohama.
In 1959 a small workshop called the Tsurumi Golf Center Co. was opened alongside the driving range for crafting and repairing golf clubs.
By the early 1960s, the Honma brothers had developed their own golf club designs. The test models went into production at a new facility called the Honma Golf Club Manufacturing Co. in Tsurumi.
The first Collect model was launched in 1969.
|Sakata, Japan and Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
|Yukihiro and Hiro Honma
In the early 1970s, the company grew its domestic market with offices opened in Osaka and Nagoya.
Honma launched its range of shaft-installed woods, featuring black carbon graphite.
By 1976, golfing apparel and other accessories were also produced.
The enduring Tour World series of professional quality clubs and other Collect clubs were also released during this period.
The innovation continued with the development of a novel titanium boron shaft, secured with U.S. patents.
Honma’s most commercially successful series of golf clubs, the Beres Series was introduced in 2005.
What makes Honma golf clubs special?
If you are looking for Japanese golf clubs because of their superior craftsmanship, Honma clubs are a great investment.
You may be reticent to take a swing with these intricately engineered and decorated clubs but they are designed for performance.
The popular Beres line of clubs is known for being incredibly forgiving.
With a Beres driver, golfers who have a medium or slow swing can achieve advantageous yardage with high, straight ball flight.
The fabrication technologies that Honma uses have continued to advance, with the in-house manufacture of carbon-aluminum shafts that are lightweight and strong.
This interesting short documentary featuring the craftsmen of the Honma factory shows just how much detailed work goes into these jewel-like golf clubs:
Honma pro golfers
Honma has strong sponsorships with Japanese and Korean PGA golfers.
Honma is also a feature on the Tour World series with sponsored players and brand ambassadors that include:
- Justin Rose
- Lee Bo-Mee
- Miyu Goto
- Rumi Yoshiba
- Charl Schwartzel
You may be familiar with Srixon through its prolific production of golf balls, usually under the Dunlop brand.
The company’s reputation for golf balls has obscured its range of good quality golf clubs, including a respectable range of woods, irons, and hybrids using traditional manufacturing methods.
Srixon has kept its golf clubs low-key mainly because of a limited marketing budget for aggressively pursuing player sponsorships.
Therefore Srixon only has a few players that are on the tour. However, those in the know opt for the brand’s drivers and woods at the direction of well-informed golf club fitters who champion the brand.
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Outstanding Srixon irons
Srixon irons have great playability and are dependable, making them a great choice for the serious golfer who is looking for a quality Japanese brand.
Here are some beautiful irons that any golfer would be pleased with.
- Set of 8 right-handed golfing irons
- Carbon steel fabrication with single piece forging
- Mid head size
- Compact blade shape, narrow topline and V-shaped sole
- Regular flex
- Hand-shaped profiles for tour-level performance
- Engineered mass positioning to the sweet-spot and perimeter for a soft feel at impact and enhanced workability
- World-class playability
SRI Sports Ltd owns Srixon and is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd, a major Japanese rubber conglomerate that has existed in one form or another for almost four centuries.
The company specializes in manufacturing sports equipment, under the Dunlop, Slazenger, and Srixon brands.
Sumitomo invested in the British company Dunlop Japan in the 1900s, eventually owning it by the 1960s and the vast majority of the international Dunlop brand by the 1980s.
|Huntington Beach, California, United States
In the 1960s Sumitomo turned to produce golf balls and became Japan’s largest golf ball manufacturer via its SRI subsidiary.
Golf balls produced by the company used isoprene rubber latex and soon the company dominated the market with its high-performance balls.
Srixon now is the golf arm of the company. It emerged in the mid-1990s and continues to be a prolific producer of golf balls, holding the largest number of patents in the world for them.
The company has famous pro golf players like Vijay Singh, Laura Davies, and Graeme McDowell who play its balls.
Clubs are manufactured under the Srixon and Cleveland Golf brands.
Are Srixon golf clubs worth it?
The fact that Srixon owns Cleveland Golf adds to its golf club manufacturing expertise. This Californian manufacturer made its name producing replicas of classic golf clubs.
Srixon clubs provide players of all levels with exemplary speed, distance, and confidence due to the consistency of their performance.
Better yet, quality and performance extend across the brand’s drivers, woods, and hybrids perfectly partnering with the latest Srixon golf ball technology.
In particular, Srixon ZX7 irons are a great investment for middling players who are looking to up their game.
These clubs are remarkably consistent and feel great in your hands. They have a forgiving, workable play that will give you the edge you need for low-handicap golfing.
Srixon pro golfers
Srixon has a roster of endorsements and sponsorships with the following pro golfers:
- Keegan Bradley
- Hannah Green
- Ernie Els
- Minjee Lee
- Shane Lowry
- Brooks Koepka
- Inbee Park
Best Japanese Golf clubs FAQs
Why are Japanese golf clubs so expensive?
The best Japanese golf clubs carry a premium because of the amount of human labor and craftsmanship that goes into each club. These clubs use high-quality carbon steel and superior forging for a superior product.
Are Japanese golf clubs always better?
The best Japanese golf clubs are some of the best in the world, but not always the best. However, the forged Japanese clubs have a conscience and durability that is undeniably superior so they are always a great choice for irons and wedges.
Who is the most famous Japanese golf player?
Isao Aoki (青木 功), born in 1942 is a legendary Japanese professional golfer. After turning pro in 1964, Aoki went on to win over 50 events on the Japan Golf Tour as well as the Hawaiian Open, Panasonic European Open, and World Match Play Championship. He has also been honored with election to the World Golf Hall of Fame. Now 80, Aoki is still playing golf!
Are Japanese Golf clubs harder to hit?
No, Ultimately, the ease of hitting a golf club comes down to finding the right equipment that fits your swing style and preferences. It’s always a good idea to try out different golf club models and brands to find the ones that work best for your individual game.
Did Tiger Woods use Miura clubs?
While Tiger Woods has used a variety of golf clubs throughout his career, including some Japanese brands, he has not used Miura clubs on a regular basis.
That being said, Tiger Woods has used other Japanese golf club brands, including the Mizuno MP-29 and MP-33 irons, and the Bridgestone J33B driver. He has also used various other brands throughout his career, including Titleist, Nike, and TaylorMade, among others.
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Japan has produced some of the world’s best golf clubs and the nations leading manufacturers are passionate about producing clubs that exceed player expectations.
Master craftsmen and fine materials make Japanese golf clubs that are engineered for the consistent performance that enables you to play your best game.
A set of these exquisite clubs is a great investment for any golfer who loves the game!