Somewhere in Seattle is a golfer who just acquired a fine set of clubs at a ridiculously discounted price, enough to fund a couple bags of heroin. May the thieves and buyer get a permanent case of shakes and shanks. Moreover, within the set is one club that the ethically-challenged hacker does not in any way or shape deserve – – an MG Hybrid from Miura Golf.
First, I’m at fault for leaving my travel bag in the back seat of a rental car, especially since I constantly nag family members to remove anything that would attract crime. Second, I thought I was in a safe neighborhood, none of which truly exist. And since Seattle’s finest probably won’t apprehend the bad guys, let my experience be your reminder.
In any event, there are folks in the club-selling business surprised to hear Miura makes a hybrid, even through they’ve been available for several years. That’s because the small Japanese company puts most promotional efforts into its iconic irons. But make no mistake, for those fortunate enough to get their hands on one, the MG Hybrid redefines the look, feel and even the sound of utility clubs.
Available in lofts of 20 and 23 degrees, this hybrid projects the aesthetics that are typical of Miura products, especially evident in the forged muscle-backed irons for which the company has been long known. The utility’s head has what the company describes as a I.P. Black finish, although the bronze-hued faceplate gives the club a chocolate-like appearance. While as attractive as any of the so-called “workshop edition” utilities that Jesse Ortiz designed for Bobby Jones Golf, the MG Hybrid displays its serious nature in one good strike, sending the ball on a boring trajectory with a firm and audible click similar to hitting the sweet spot of a forged iron.
More important, while utilities are often considered clubs most useful for getting out of trouble or simply moving the ball somewhere up the fairway, the MG Hybrid is designed to look and play like a scoring iron. As former Miura Golf President Adam Barr once explained, “The days of the ‘three-through-pitch’ automatic set is over. Players are putting more thought into how they will configure their bags. The MGs are designed with the recognition that hybrids can be used for every thing from covering a lot of ground on par-5’s to pin-point shots into par-3s.”
Indeed, for two years now I’ve been using the hybrid instead of a 4-iron, saving the latter for punching out from under trees.
Talkin’ About Shaft
Here’s how the company describes the design of the clubhead: The MG Hybrid follows through smoothly after impact thanks to Miura Golf’s new Circle Cut method sole shape in which a line cuts through the club’s sole, creating a stepped tier on the sole and the optimal center of gravity to provide the optimal ball trajectory for a hybrid iron. It also is more about the blade’s height than the head volume. The blade height is almost the same size as the height of the ball at 43mm.
Therefore, at address the MG’s face gives the golfer an impression similar to holding a much higher-lofted club, maybe even something as forgiving as a six iron. That induces confidence that seldom accompanies 200-yard shots into a well-bunkered green. Since the space between the ears is the longest hole on any course, anything that breeds concentration and a positive outlook is an edge in psychological design.
Although the sound when the MG Hybrid makes contact with the ball is distinctive, a gentle and pleasing vibration instantly follows, transmitted up and through the Aerotech Sports SteelFiber SS 75 regular flex shaft that my club came with, which is well suited to a relatively slow swing speed. Available in three weights – – 65, 75 or 85 grams – – the SteelFiber wood shafts are perfect for hybrids and fairways woods, giving the player the control of a steel shaft and also the lighter weight and vibration-dampening properties of graphite.
The new MG Hybrid carries a suggested retail price of $299 for those with graphite shafts and $279 for one with a steel shaft, and can be tested by visiting www.miuragolf.com to locate the closest Miura dealer. And that’s where I’ll be going soon, because I need a replacement for my favorite go-to club.