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.
TaylorMade SIM and SIM Max driver review
New for 2020, TaylorMade has launched the new SIM driver family. First the lower spinning SIM then a more forgiving higher spinning SIM Max and a SIM Max D head to help draw the ball for those that need it.
We have seen the tour players using all three of the SIM drivers.
- Keegan Bradley WITB using the SIM Max D
- Tiger Woods WITB using the SIM
- Dustin Johnson WITB using the SIM Max
The SIM, SIM Max, and SIM Max D drivers from TaylorMade feature an asymmetric sole shape as well as a redesigned Inertia Generator. The asymmetric sole shape of the drivers is designed to reduce drag while providing faster clubhead speed, with the redesigned Inertia Generator redistributing weight at the very low-and-back portion of the club in a bid to provide improved forgiveness.
The SIM Max D clubhead contains a heel-bias internal weight with a topline masking to make the clubhead look more open at address to help golfers who struggle with a right-miss.
Other features of the SIM, SIM Max, and SIM Max D drivers includes a speed injected twist face, inverted cone technology, a thru-slot speed pocket, multi-material construction and an adjustable loft sleeve.
Exclusive to the SIM driver is sliding weight technology which allows face angle and flight bias preferences of up to +/-2° loft change and up to +/-20 yards of draw-fade bias.
Here are the individual reviews from GolfWRXers’ trip to The Kingdom.
Tester: Rob “osubuckeyes691“
I’ll start by saying this. SIM is very good. It’s not a magical 30 yards like everyone is talking about here. That comes from being properly fit. But it is good, and with a proper fitting I’d be shocked if you couldn’t find at least slightly better numbers with SIM over any gamer you have.
My current set up is a Callaway Epic Flash SZ Double Diamond with a Fuji Ventus Black 6x. LOW LOW LOW combo…and I still hit it high haha. I live in the low to mid 170s ball speed with spin sometimes getting up to 2700 2800. Drives I hit well, spin around 2100. My miss is a big push slice.
But it is good, and with a proper fitting I’d be shocked if you couldn’t find at least slightly better numbers with SIM over any gamer you have. -Rob
I ended up being fit in to a SIM 9* with the new KBS Tour Driven 70 Category 5. This shaft is super interesting. It’s really hard for me to describe but it has feel, and a lot of it. Spin dropped to about 2400 on my miss right and really, that’s what I was hoping would happen. I wanted something that when I missed, wouldn’t lose me 30 yards. We put the weight in the heel and it really did help straighten out the miss. Huge advantage for me. I knew as someone who swings 120ish I wasn’t going to pick up 20 yards. I wanted to reduce my miss and that’s exactly what SIM was able to do for me. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
Tester: Will “fillwelix“
For my driver fitting, I was with Perry, who was a blast to get to work with. I started by hitting my gamer on Trackman, talking with Perry about what my misses usually are, and what I wanted to get out of the fitting.
I usually don’t have a problem with distance so I told him the biggest thing I was looking for was a tighter dispersion. I don’t have the trackman numbers yet but with my gamer, I was averaging about 110 club head speed, 160-something ball speed, 270-275 carry, 285-290 total. Launching a bit too high but spin was okay.
The thing was seriously nuclear. My club head speed bumped up only about 1 or 2 MPH, but the launch and spin were incredible, as well as ball speed. I topped out at 170 ball speed, which I had never gotten before. -Will
We tried the 10.5 SIM in a Ventus Black 6x, and he gave me a couple tips in my setup, because my AOA was something like 4 or 5 degrees up. The thing was seriously nuclear. My club head speed bumped up only about 1 or 2 MPH, but the launch and spin were incredible, as well as ball speed. I topped out at 170 ball speed, which I had never gotten before. Carrying 295-300, total of 315-320. One shot carried the fence of the driving range at The Kingdom.
Spent some time going through different shafts to see if there was an improvement, played with weights, etc. but the best numbers were with the 10.5 SIM with Ventus Black 6x and the weight all the way in the toe, because my miss is usually left. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
Tester: Nick “n_rones“
I started off with my fittings working with Joe. After some warmup we started with the drivers. Coming in I was playing a Srixon Z785 with a Hzrdus black 6.5 70 gram shaft at 45 inches.
I’m a really tough fit because I have an unusual swing and hit down on the ball heavily with every club. My AOA with the driver was between 5 and 7 down which is pretty nuts I always knew I hit down on it but not that much. I’m still waiting on the trackman date to be emailed to me but with my own driver I was somewhere in the neighborhood of 109 swing speed with a launch angle of 4 degrees and 4000 spin (Ridiculous I know right).
I was able to take it on the course with me that afternoon and hit 12-14 fairways a new record for me and ever ball was easily 15-20 yards longer than I was used to. -Nick
His main goal for me was to get launch up and spin down. The first club he handed me was the Sim 10.5 turned up to 11.25 with a Graphite design IZ 7x. Instantly my launch angle increased and spin dropped. We then went through a few other shafts like graphite design ad di 7x. We came back to the IZ and with a quick change in tee height we ended up where we wanted. We knew with my angle of attack we were never going to get me to super low spin and high launch we just wanted to get it to a manageable number.
By the end of the fit I was hitting the sim with the iz under 3k spin with a couple down at 2500 and 9 degree launch increasing my carry from the 244 range up to the 260-265 range on good swings and we neutralized my cut massively. I was fortunate enough to finish my fit while other guys were still busy so we went right into the build shop and he built me my driver on the spot and gave me a super cool kingdom exclusive headcover. I was able to take it on the course with me that afternoon and hit 12-14 fairways a new record for me and ever ball was easily 15-20 yards longer than I was used to. Most of that is me never being through a proper fitting before but a big factor was I was able to get into the sim head with high loft but it was a great spin killing head for me. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
I am one that gained a good bit of ball speed from getting fit for the SIM driver. My gamer is a Titleist 915D3 9.5* with a Rogue Silver 70X. I wasn’t fit for the driver as I just bought the parts off of the BST. I always felt that I lost yardage due to high spin. The Trackman didn’t lie as I was getting 166mph ball speed and 3000 rpm of spin on well-struck shots. Where this posed a problem was when I was off-center, the ball would be a high right spinner that would lose a lot of distance.
Where I saw great gains was in dispersion. TwistFace just flat out works. Toe shots came back to closer to center, and heal shots faded right back towards center. I also didn’t lose as much yardage. I did pick up about five mph in ball speed. There are a plethora of reasons for this gain and the resulting 20 yard gain in ball flight.
Some could attribute the gain to almost 30 feet of height in ball flight. It could also be because there was 300 less RPM, or over a degree increase in launch angle. Either way, it has proven to me that getting fit by a knowledgeable fitter is crucial. This is the first time that I have been fit for a driver. All the expectations of mine going into this fitting have been met.
The SIM is forgiving. The SIM is aerodynamically superior to what I have been playing. The SIM just flat out performs for me because it doesn’t balloon, it is forgiving on mishits with good direction and ball speed, and it reduced my spin rate. –
The sounds of the SIM line is amazing. The solid “thwack” sound it makes at contact is extremely welcoming. Gone are the days of high pitched aluminum baseball bat sounds. Now, some sounds just sound perfect to me. Johnny Wunder posted a video on Instagram of me hitting a driver, and you can hear the sound. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
WRX Spotlight: Athalonz EnVe—The best golf shoes you’ve never heard of
One of the coolest parts of being in this part of the golfing world is being able to shed light on smaller companies that typically get overshadowed by their bigger corporate brothers.
So, this post is about one of those products that is definitely competitive against top golf shoe companies, and it’s made by a company called Athalonz, which is based out west in Arizona. Typically known for its innovative baseball cleats and insole packages, Athlonz newest addition takes the patented design to the world of golf with the EnVe golf shoe.
These have started appearing on the world long drive circuit due to the amount of traction they get, allowing players to swing harder. So for the last few months, I have gotten to wear them and see if they are as good as the company claims.
Athalonz EnVe: Living up to claims
The main selling points of these shoes are focused on two things
- Design that delivers more power and stability
- Custom comfort that lasts all day
These are somewhat difficult to combine into one shoe, and though they are on the heavier side, Athlonz are completely worth it for the benefits. It is obvious that they made strides to hit each box on the list for a great shoe. The patented design has been adapted from their baseball cleat and introduces a spikeless golf shoe with a circular design that allows the player to gain traction through the golf swing. This gives a player the chance to swing harder and faster without losing their footing. They also offer insole packages that help with correct bodyweight placement to help add an extra layer of consistency.
Secondly, it’s very noticeable that there was plenty of thought given to comfort with a roomy toe and custom insoles to fit your style. Additionally, ankle padding helps to provide more stability and comfort.
On another note, they have a good sense of style with a more classic, casual take. In addition to the pictured white/brown color, there’s a black/grey colorway as well.
After multiple months of wear in all types of conditions, these shoes have performed great for me with all the traction I need and while feeling great throughout the round.
I am a person who tends to support smaller companies when I can if they make good products. Any support for them goes a long way—especially in the golf business. Since these shoes will set you back about $150, I wanted to be sure they are worth it for the money and they absolutely are. Seriously, for anyone looking to boost their shoe game and help alleviate aching feet and ankles, give these a shot.
GolfWRX Spotlight: Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII
Every golfer should have an accurate, reliable, easy-to-use rangefinder. With the new Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII, you get all of that and more in one of the smallest, lightest packages on the market.
Not only do you get a ton of features, but when you consider these devices start at only $199.99 for the 20 G II and then $229.99 for the 20i GII ( slope adjusted version ), you get one of the best values in a rangefinder from one of the most well-known consumer optics companies in the world.
Review: Nikon CoolShot 20 GII and 20i GII
First Target Priority and 8-Second Continuous Measurement: “First Target Priority” is Nikon’s way of making sure you are picking up the flag and not a tree behind your intended target. There is nothing worse than thinking you have your distance dialed in to then have a shot fly over the green. With how quickly it lets you know the ranger finder is locked, getting that distance and double-checking can happen remarkably fast.
In the eight-second continuous measurement setting, the rangefinder will continuously measure the field of view as you scan the target area for approximately eight seconds. This setting is great when playing unfamiliar courses or trying to figure out the exact spot to a dogleg, tree, or hazard on your intended line.
Bright, 6x Monocular: Nikon is known for its glass and multi-coating technology, from telephoto camera lenses to rifle scopes, if it’s Nikon glass, it’s going to be clear, fog-resistant, and high-contrast for easy viewing. From a viewing experience perspective, the Coolshot 20 GII’s 6x monocular has an adjustable diopter for sharp focusing, along with long eye relief—meaning you can keep your glasses (or sunglasses) on when acquiring your target.
Slope-Adjusting ID Technology: With the 20i GII you have the option to get the slope-adjusted distance for any shot thanks to Nikon’s ID Technology. The mode can be turned on and off by the user to comply with USGA rules to make it legal for tournament rounds. Having tested it out on hilly terrain it’s easy to see why so many golfers mis-club going into greens when elevation changes become a lot more dramatic.
The Nikon Coolshot 20 GII’s size and weight make it ideal for anyone who regularly carries and wants the benefit of knowing distances but without having to worry about weight—it weighs about the same as a sleeve of balls.
The size allows you to hold the units stable. However, I could see for those new to the rangefinder space, it could take some time getting used to when first getting acquainted with it. The best bet for this is to take it to a range or just step outside with it on your next walk and get used to hitting targets before you take it to the course—plus it makes for a fun game to see how good you really are at estimating distances.
Overall, for the price and size, it is one of the best rangefinders on the market. Plus, with a five-year warranty, you can be assured of years of use with the Nikon CoolShot 20 GII rangefinders.
Paige Spiranac blasts golf culture: “A big boys club” that is “elitist, stuffy and exclusive”
Looking back on a golf genius: Anthony Kim (with final full bag specs)
Patrick Reed’s winning WITB: 2020 WGC-Mexico Championship
Adam Scott’s winning WITB: 2020 Genesis Invitational
Sergio Garcia WITB 2020
On Spec: Fairway wood fittings | Adam Scott wins with 17-year-old irons
Today from the Forums: “Best 3-wood off the deck?”
Phil Mickelson WITB 2020
Viktor Hovland’s winning WITB 2020 Puerto Rico Open
Sungjae Im’s winning WITB: The Honda Classic
Byeong Hun An WITB 2020
Equipment accurate as of the Farmers Insurance Open Driver: Titleist TS3 (8.5 degrees, B2 SureFit setting) Shaft: Accra TZ5 M5...
Pat Perez WITB 2020
Equipment accurate as of the Farmers Insurance Open. Driver: PXG 0811X Gen 2 (9 degrees) Shaft: Aldila Rogue Black 130...
Adam Long WITB 2020
Equipment accurate as of the 2020 Players Championship. Driver: TaylorMade SIM Max (9 degrees) Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green...
WITB Time Machine: Ian Poulter WITB 2014
Equipment accurate as of Franklin Templeton Shootout (12/10/14). Driver: Titleist 915 D2 (9.5 degrees @ 10.25, D3 SureFit setting) Shaft:...
News1 week ago
Looking back on a golf genius: Anthony Kim (with final full bag specs)
Whats in the Bag2 weeks ago
Bubba Watson WITB 2020
Equipment2 weeks ago
Today from the Forums: “3-hybrid or 7-wood?”
Opinion & Analysis5 days ago
Behind the numbers: A road map for an 18 handicap to get down to a 9
Equipment4 days ago
Building the perfect half set
Whats in the Bag2 weeks ago
Tommy Fleetwood WITB 2020
Tour Photo Galleries3 weeks ago
10 interesting photos from the 2020 Players Championship
Whats in the Bag1 week ago
Steve Stricker WITB 2020