We were playing a public course. He explained to me that 30 years ago, he was rejected from every country club. So, he got used to playing public courses and enjoys it more, now, because he can meet more people. He does play private courses, and mentioned that he has another set (presumably in better condition) he uses on those courses.
No caddies on public courses.
Honma clubs are big-time "image" clubs in Japan. You need to have at least one Honma club in your bag just in case your boss decides to take you out for a round of golf one day. As you probably know, golf is very expensive in Japan, so you need to make a good impression when golfing with the head man.
I see, that makes sense as well.