It’s often easy to forget that golf is a worldwide sport. Too often when we think of golf we think of only North America and Europe. However, there’s a vast quantity of golf manufacturers around the globe. Some of them are even making equipment that rivals the best North American manufacturers. Here we put together a list of four exotic manufacturers that you will probably be hearing a lot more of in the coming years.
Geotech: Geotech is a Japanese golf brand founded in 1988. They manufacture their own grips, shafts, and heads. While featuring technological advances, their focus seems to be more on the quality of materials and precision used in the manufacturing process. You will not find adjustable rails and sliders on their products. Interestingly, they feature products at a wide range of price points from the entry level (Kailas STB) all the way to gold plated clubs (Quelot RE18 SLE). While we have been unable to demo any Geotech clubs for ourselves, reviews seem to indicate that their iron sets are their strong suit. Like their woods, Geotech features a wide range of price points for their irons. They offer sets as low as $210 and some as high $910. However, the sweet spot seems to be the GT Forged I-817 Irons 5-PW which are available at only $627. This is a great deal for any forged irons and should be a serious contender for anyone looking for JDM irons. Given the growing popularity of Japanese brands in golf, it seems only a matter of time before Geotech crosses into the North American and European markets.
Majesty: Majesty/Maruman is a company many of you may have already heard of. It is best known for producing the Maruman Prestigio X Driver. This Driver is gold plated and is delicately engraved. It also is one of the most expensive golf clubs currently on the market at $2,185. The Majesty/Maruman brand is a premium one. They do produce a mid to high tier product line called the Maruman Shuttle Gold, but iron sets start at $760 and drivers start at $715. Obviously, Majesty/Maruman is not exactly an entry-level brand. Without testing the clubs in person, we are forced to theorize that the strongest selling point of these clubs is their sheer beauty. The craftsmanship of their Prestigio line appears nearly unparalleled in the industry. They have managed to turn a golf club into a beautiful work of art. If your goal out on the course is to set a statement the minute you take your bag out of your trunk, then this is the brand for you. The beautiful thing about golf is that it enables niche equipment like this. Even though most of us probably cannot afford a full set of Prestigio X clubs, we are all glad they exist. We here at Haggin Oaks are looking forward to the growth of Majesty/Maruman.
Seven: Seven is another Japanese golf club manufacturer. Unlike the previous two, Seven only produces wedges, irons, and putters. They utilize precision 5-axis CNC milling in Himeji and the clubs are then hand-ground in Ichiwaka by the Shinagawa family. The unique tempered steel utilized for the clubs increases spin control and feel characteristics. While not gold plated or especially flashy, the elegant nature of Seven’s designs makes their equipment have a timeless and sophisticated appearance. I would wager it hard to find an equal in their sheer craftsmanship. These clubs mark the stark contrast between JDM and western equipment. While we prioritize bleeding edge design advancements, the Japanese markets prioritize materials and craftsmanship. Seven’s putter line is premium as well and looks to compete with other high-end putter manufacturers. Overall, if you are looking for a timeless, handcrafted set of irons, wedges, or a putter then Seven is a serious contender in the Japanese market. It will be interesting seeing whether they expand outward into other markets.
ONOFF: In 2000, Globeride in Japan decided to utilize their over 50 years of fishing and sports expertise to enter the golf industry under the name ONOFF. ONOFF follows other Japanese manufacturers with an emphasis on materials and precision over drastic new designs. Their equipment features a signature trench design and is made out of high-quality materials. They are priced as a premium product but do not get as expensive as the Majesty/Maruman brand. The GIII Driver features gold accents but is not as delicate looking as some of the previous gold plated clubs. As a whole, ONOFF designs seem conservative in appearance and do not seem interested in appearance just for appearance sake. Overall, ONOFF is relatively new to the industry compared to many other brands. Be sure to keep an eye on them as they continue to establish their own identity and expand into other markets.