Pros: The “knuckles” on the back of Miura’s K Grind wedge makes them some of the coolest looking wedges on the market. Like all Miura wedges, they’re hand ground from carbon steel, and the K Grind seems to do what Miura says it does — keep the wedge moving cleanly through bad lies and sand.
Cons: Only available for righties in three lofts — 52, 56 and 60. Their cost, $275 each, makes them some of the priciest wedges in golf.
Bottom Line: Golfers will be attracted to Miura’s K Grind wedges for their distinctive appearance, but after hitting them they will likely be more impressed with the their ability to cut through thick sand and deep rough.
The K Grind was initially discovered in prototype form by Miura’s Vice President of Product Strategies, Bill Holowaty, who spotted the distinctive wedge during one of his visits to Himeji, Japan. He asked Katsuhiro Miura (the founder of Miura and the “K” in K Grind), “Why aren’t we making this?”
According to Holowaty, Miura is not the first company to create a wedge with the K Grind’s flutes in the rear portion of the sole, but he said that Mr. Miura is likely the first to perfect it.
The K Grind was initially offered as a part of Miura’s limited-edition Series 1957 lineup in a 56-degrees model. Due to the popular demand, however, Miura recently decided to release a 52- and 60-degree model.
The wedge’s distinctive flutes (knuckle-sized channels on the back of the sole) were designed to reduce the resistance when the wedge moves through sand, rough and even a nice fairway lie. The channels move material underneath the sole, allowing golfers to get better contact no matter what lie they’re hitting from.
On paper, the Miura’s K Grind wedges are moderate-to-high bounce wedges with quite a bit of camber — the 52-degree wedge has 7 degrees of bounce, the 56-degree has 12 and the 60-degree has 13. But their aggressive trailing edge grinds means that they play like wedges that have less bounce, and shine from nasty lies and the sand because of their distinctive fluted soles.
The three lofts can easily be bent a degree or two in either direction with no real detriment to the club’s performance, which is nice considering that many players may not play the three lofts offered.
As with all Miura clubs, the K Grind is offered at official Miura dealers. The wedges costs $275 with a standard steel shaft. Additional cost may be added if upgraded shafts are requested.
I’ve used Miura’s K Grind 56-degree wedge in the past, so I expected that a 60-degree model would play well for me. But I wasn’t so sure about the 52-degree, a club I rarely use from inside 100 yards.
All of the wedges have a gentle teardrop shape — round at the toe, but not too much. The sole grind, as you stare at the head from the heel, has a gentle leading edge and a more aggressive trailing edge grind. The heel grind is also shaped nicely, and although it doesn’t have as much relief as some other models on the market I found that I was easily able to pull off the opened-face shots I wanted to hit with it.
It was interesting to me that I didn’t have to open up the wedges as much as some others I’ve used because of the wedge’s flutes. It seemed that they kept the wedge from wanting to turn over on shots from the sand and rough, which allowed for a higher, softer flight. I’ve studied grinds so much through the years and no other wedge has left me so fascinated. I can feel the energy that Mr. Miura put into each head as I look at his work.
The spin also seemed to be greater than other Miura wedges I’ve used because I felt that I contacted “more of the ball” on partial shots. That made me feel fearless out of the sand, and like a magician in the rough.
If you look at the sole, you’ll see that about 50 percent of the trailing edge does not touch the ground. That gives the club a narrower “effective sole width,” which is like having a sharper knife — it cuts through the grass and sand much easier than wedges with wider soles. For those of you worried about digging, the K Grind also has a rounded leading edge and more camber than other Miura wedge models, which helps keep the club sliding along the grass instead of sticking in the turf.
Maybe the best part of the K Grind was its performance from the bunkers. Balls are easily lofted out with the K Grind’s “knuckles,” which act like a rudder through the sand. I found myself actually attacking the pin more as the ball got out so easily and came to a quicker stop.
Trajectory on opened shots from turf made me think I could pull off flop shots from everywhere. Therein lies the danger in the wedge, however. The 60-degree K Grind slides so easily under the ball that you will have to practice opened-faced shots a bit to get the feel of how far the ball will fly.
Although I had my doubts about how well the 52 would work on full shots, I was impressed with how cleanly the sole brushed through the grass. It appeared that the lack of restriction from the turf allowed me to get much better contact on the ball, imparting much greater spin than I had with my last Miura wedge set, the New Wedge Series (click here to read my full review).
The New Wedge Series are Miura’s traditionally shaped wedge designs, which are the company’s lowest-bounce wedges. I found my shots with the K Grind wedges to be even more crisp from the fairway than the New Wedge Series, likely because of the increased bounce and camber. And the extra spin I got from the flutes was particularly noticeable from the first cut of rough at 100 yards.
Looks and Feel
The satin finish on all Miura clubs has always been a thing of beauty to me. The same satin finish on the K Grinds continues to leave me in awe. It’s tough to look at something so gorgeous for the first time and know that its future will be slamming into the turf, sand, hardpan and dirt. It’s something that you have to get over quickly knowing it’s a tool that will help your game, but that still doesn’t make it an easy task.
The flutes on the trailing edges catch your eyes immediately. The questions never cease from people who see it for the first time.
“Does it work?” “What’s it for?”
I never tire of answering those questions. Sometime I feel like an infomercial giving much more information than the questioner wanted, but I truly rave about the K Grinds in person.
When I got my first 56-degree K Grind, I remember sticking my finger tips in the flutes and gripping the head. I did it again when I received the 52 and 60 degree heads. I eyed the light mill marks in the cavity of the flutes and marveled at the way the head reflected the light in a soft silvery glow. The simple stampings on the back of the head took nothing away from the beauty of the grind, and their placement and style screamed something special to me.
The feel, like pretty much every other Miura club, was magical — the K Grinds will make driving range rocks feel softer. No matter the shot I was playing, the feel was was very consistent and provided great feedback when I didn’t catch it quite right.
Miura listened to many of us loyal fans and finally put into production what we had been asking for in the past years. They not only produced beautiful wedges in added lofts, but wedges that actually work well with the K Grind.
Although K Grind wedges should not be confused with traditional game-improvement wedges, the sole grind allowed me some wiggle room on shots – I could make mistakes, but the wedge would still let me get to the ball. I’m not saying you can chunk a chip and still hit a good shot, but a slight miss for me is still better than other wedges without the K Grind.
If you’re a golfer with a more aggressive angle of attack, consider Miura’s C Grind wedges, which are available in 55-, 57- and 59-degree models. They have more bounce, but like the K Grinds they have rolled leading and trailing edges that make them play with a little less effective bounce. They also have more heel and toe relief than the K Grinds, which might be better for golfers who like to play the club very opened or sit it on its toe for chip shots.
A special thanks to Mr. Miura for his deep appreciation for the users of his clubs and for his commitment to designing clubs for players who expect the very best.