Currently raising its profile and building its business in North America steadily is Miura Golf, the rootsy, small-batch club manufacturer based in Himeji, Japan. Having recently undergone a custom-fit for Miura irons by the Boston-area master fitter Frank Viola, I’m privy to the Miura way of clubmaking from a user’s perspective—currently playing Passing Point 9003 forged cavity-back irons, 5 thru PW. Shafted up with Aerotech graphite, these irons are a very fine experience of power and control for the player. There’s pleasure in just pulling the club and aligning it as you prepare to hit a shot.
Here’s what I really notice, as a testament to their performance: When you hit a ball somewhat off-center, or thin, or high on the face, and it starts to travel on its trajectory, you find yourself evaluating the ball flight and seriously appraising the result. No lost cause, in other words. A little later you may mutter to yourself about the swing you made, and study the face to see an impact mark, and ask yourself questions about overly quick tempo or getting off-plane… but first youl study the shot, because, really, you are going to get something very decent out of it. With every other club I’ve owned, the first response to an iffy strike was: what-did-I-do-wrong. With these Miura irons, that has to wait. You watch the flight, carry and landing first, because it won’t be so bad after all, and because of that you are still legitimately grinding on the hole, with par still well within the realm of possibility.
All that said, it’s going to be fun to give the new Miura MG Hybrids a serious demo. As company president Adam Barr told me recently, “Yes, this company has been all about forged irons for over four decades, but that’s not going to be our only contribution to great golf equipment. In the course of operations, just doing what they do,” says Barr, “Katsuhiro Miura and his sons develop very exciting ideas for other clubs in the set—ideas too good to pass up, is how I describe them.” At that point, the company moves into development mode, as it did with its Precious Edition Driver, Fairway Wood and Utility Wood models.
But hey, a hybrid—in terms of yardage—is not just another club in the set, it’s that close cousin of your iron arsenal. As I noted, my Passing Point 9003’s start at the five-iron, which I can count on for about 180-185 of carry and roll on a clean hit. That coveted territory around 200, 205—ahh, to be able to control that part of the battlefield with a weapon of similar quality…