Normally we hear the term “JDM” (Japanese Domestic Market) discussing the automotive space. True golf gearheads, however, will also know that it also applies to Japanese golf clubs. Japan is the second largest golf market in the world. As such, they have many brands we don’t hear much about, but produce great golf clubs.
In Japan, the first place golfers look for new equipment is GOLF Partner. GOLF Partner is not only the largest golf retail chain in Japan, but is the largest in the world. Through www.golfpartnerusa.com, GOLF Partner makes thousands of new and used JDM clubs easily available to global buyers. Let’s explore a few of these offerings with five great options for JDM drivers.
#1 GOLF Partner NEXGEN 6
In addition to their retail presence, GOLF Partner also produces a private line of clubs under the NEXGEN name. These aren’t low-quality clubs though and the NEXGEN 6 driver is consistently a top seller on their website. This driver is designed to help slower-to-moderate swing speed players maximize their distance through a light-weight, low kickpoint shaft. The CG of the head is low and in the back to encourage high launch and forgiveness. The NEXGEN 6 is one of the best JDM drivers you can buy.
#2 XXIO X Driver
XXIO is pronounced “zek-see-oh” if you’ve been curious. It’s a brand we’re now able to get in North America, but is still a somewhat rare sight out on the golf course. In Japan, however, it is one of the market leaders and their drivers are consistently top sellers in the Japanese domestic market. This means that GOLF Partner can offer a variety of options both new and secondhand. XXIO designed the head to maintain ball speeds on strikes all over the face. It can be a good option for inconsistent ball-strikers. You can find the XXIO X in the US, but greater availability on the Japanese market gives it a place on this list.
#3 Bridgestone Tour B JGR
Bridgestone has made significant strides in the US as a golf ball brand with names like Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on the roster. In Japan, however, they are a complete performance golf brand. The Tour B JGR features a Power Rib sole design to keep the driver stable while minimizing weight. This promotes a high launch and draw-bias shot shape desired by golfers everywhere. Bridgestone is a top JDM name and this driver earns a spot as a great option to buy.
#4 Maruman Shuttle
While not well-known in the US, Maruman is one of the top names in the Japanese luxury golf market. While this driver doesn’t have the bling-factor that the gold-plated Majesty line of Maruman clubs, the Shuttle line is built for performance. The Type X titanium driver has many design elements to be long and forgiving for higher-handicap players with slower swing speeds. The classic pear-shaped head will appeal to golfers who want the forgiveness of a modern driver without the extreme looks. With Maruman, you’re adding one of the most desirable Japanese golf brands to your bag. This driver does that without breaking the bank.
#5 PRGR RS E
The E in the RS E name for this driver stands for “Easy.” PGRG designed the head to provide distance and forgiveness for high-handicap golfers. The majority of these golfers slice of the tee, so the RS E features a significant draw bias. PRGR managed to accomplish this without creating excessive visible offset or a closed-face. This is a bonus for golfers who need the help of a draw bias, but want a traditional look behind the ball. PRGR has gotten some attention for their low-cost launch monitors in recent years, but the RS E shows their clubs deserve respect as well.