Pros: Unmistakable Miura feel. Very workable, and knife-like out of the rough.
Cons: Righties only, and each iron costs $235 per head. Like all muscleback irons, they’re not forgiving.
Bottom Line: If you’re a blade lover, these are some of the best. But the market can’t be big for a 3-PW iron set that costs $1880. That’s nearly twice the price of new muscleback irons from TaylorMade ($1100) and Titleist ($1000).
Unlike many golf equipment companies, Miura does not release new product every calendar year. The company has resisted trends such as oversized clubs and casting processes, only bringing new irons to market when they feel that they have created a truly special product. Miura’s use of master craftsmen throughout its small-batch manufacturing processes leads to tighter tolerances, the company says, and better control of important factors such as clubhead balance.
The design of the Miura MB-001 irons was carefully led by Katsuhiro Miura’s eldest son, Yoshitaka, and is the product of years of study and collaboration within the Miura family. The MB-001 is also the first release of a new Miura blade in six years, making it a huge event that the fervent Miura fans have been waiting for.
Miura new MB-001 (top) and Tournament Blade irons.
According to the company, the MB-001’s were designed with “intelligent shaping.” The sole’s shape and design was subtly adjusted from successful designs of earlier models to get through the turf more efficiently and keep the face square longer.
Yoshitaka Miura also designed the shape of the MB-001 to look more upright at address to give the player a better view of the ball without having the club look overly long from heel to toe. That allows the MB-001’s to have plenty of face space, yet still look as compact as a blade should.
The MB-001’s are available from authorized Miura dealers and fitters worldwide. They carry a suggested retail price of $235 a club though the prices may vary with different shaft options.
My initial test with the MB-001’s left me very impressed and at the same time actually surprised. I’ve played several sets of Miura’s for the past 20 years. The feel has pretty much been ingrained in my hands, and I’m usually not left examining the club head after a shot wondering what’s going on. But the MB-001’s performed differently to me, especially compared to the last two blades offered, the Tournament Blade and Small Blade.
Miura’s new MB-001 (top) and Small Blade irons.
Each of those irons at first glance were the prototypical “blade” with no built-in forgiveness. The MB-001’s are far from being game-improvement iron, but they’re a different type of animal from Miura.
The addition of the leading edge grind on the MB-001’s performed very noticeably for me. I’ve never been one that takes very big divots, but I do tend to get steep with my shorter irons. There have been moments with past blades from Miura — as well as with my current set of CB-501’s — that I found myself digging a bit too much. Many reviews and Miura players that I know have also commented on how Miura’s tend to dig a bit too much. But I haven’t found any problem with digging as of yet after a few months playing the MB-001’s.
I realize some fans of Miura blades may not like the wider soles on the MB-001’s, but with the addition of the leading edge grind the MB-001’s performed with zero clunk. This in my opinion enhances the forgiveness, yet also allows golfers a cleaner feel at impact versus a club with just a thick sole and no leading edge grind.
The MB-001’s performed much more similarly in forgiveness to my CB-501’s than the Tournament Blades, which they more closely resemble. This was particularly noticeable from the rough and first cuts. Where the CB-501’s offered more forgiveness than the Tournament Blades, the MB001’s played similarly. The MB-001’s were still able to knife through the rough, but they seemed to travel more smoothly through it. If I dare say, although the spec numbers don’t reveal this, the MB-001’s almost played as if there was bounce assisting the shot in the rough. The sole cut and glided through the turf very well. I thought the MB-001’s were also much easier to hit out of the rough than my CB-501’s.
The soles of Miura’s MB-001 (left) and CB-501 irons.
The long irons also felt easier to hit than the past Tournament Blades. The sole definitely was a factor in this allowing a bit of error room in shots. Although from address they still could be a bit intimidating looking, the shots produced were superior over the Tournament Blades in trajectory and turf interaction.
I found the MB-001 short irons — 8 iron through pitching wedge — to be incredible. They made working the ball and flighting it so simple. Where the CB5-01’s take a little more work to do this, the MB-001’s were pretty effortless. It was almost to the point where if I thought the shot in my head, the club head would perform it. I definitely feel that my accuracy has been much greater with the MB-001’s from 165 yards and in versus my CB-501 set. I attribute much of this to the greater ability to work the ball allowing me a much greater amount of shots from those varying distances.
Distance control was great with the MB-001’s throughout the set. I felt the MB-001’s sweet spot seemed a bit more generous than the past Tournament blade on mishits. Although they were still misses, there seemed to be a bit less sting in the hands with them over the Tournament blades. As anyone who has played muscle back irons knows, that’ a great thing!
Looks and Feel
Miura’s MB-001 (top) and CB-501 irons.
Like any other Miura club, the finish is incredible. I absolutely adore the satin silver finish the company applies to its clubs. It screams of a richness that’s evident without even having to look at the brand on the head. The simple logo, brand, model number and no other superfluous stampings and paint fill colors are a class above the competition.
The head looks quite a bit different than past Miura offerings, however. When you examine the sole, you’ll find that it’s much more generous than past blades/muscle backs from Miura. It’s not in a way that looks clunky, but the soles of the MB-001’s are a tad wider than the Tournament Blades, although they are shorter heel to toe. If you’re familiar with Miura sole grinds, the leading edge grind on the MB-001 will quickly catch your eye. It’s very clean, and along with its performance benefits it serves to visually narrows the sole.
I found the topline and the offset a joy to look at. Miura never ceases to amaze me in how the company can make a club head look so clean regardless of the vantage point. Yoshitaka Miura is said to have designed this head to look more upright to make the head look shorter from heel to toe, and he succeeded at that. Although the MB-001’s share similar dimensions to the CB-501 and the Tournament blade, I prefer the look from address better in the MB-001’s. And I really like that the toe doesn’t point so sharply like the Small Blade.
The transitions between each iron head are seamless as well. The first clubs I look at in any set are the pitching wedge, 8 iron and 7 iron heads, which are impeccably designed. None of the irons heads stood out from each other, which is the goal for any good set of musclebacks.
The MB-001’s muscle shape is also a bit different than the Tournament Blade and Small Blade offering from Miura. It’s a tad thicker, and instead of running straight across the back from heel to toe, it reached a bit deeper towards the sweet spot area.
The addition of the leading edge grind and the different muscle on the MB-001’s immediately told me prior to hitting it that they would play differently and feel different than the last two blade offerings. Having played the Small Blade and Tournament Blade in the past, I always felt that the Small Blade had a livelier feel over the Tournament Blade. The MB-001 seems to be a great combination of those two heads, with a more forgiving head size that’s similar to the Tournament Blade and a great lively feeling that I got from the Small Blade.
The MB-001’s have an incredible feel — even for a Miura iron — when well struck. It’s a clean and crisp feeling with a distinct click. On mishits, they give golfers immediate feedback in their hands about how they struck it, which is one of the reasons so many of the game’s best ball strikers still choose to play musclebacks.
Miura again has listened to its players wishes and developed a club that incorporates the greatness of their past clubs with improvements for today’s game. The MB-001’s to me are superior in looks, playability and forgiveness than the company’s past blade/muscleback irons.
Don’t get confused into thinking that I’m saying these irons are for everyone. The MB-001’s are still blades, and you will still need to be a better-than-average ball striker to use them effectively. I will say though that compared to the Small blade and Tournament blade, the MB001’s are the most forgiving of the three sets without looking like they are game-improvement clubs. The small design additions like the leading edge grind, thicker muscle and slightly wider sole greatly assist on mishits.
The looks are top notch and honestly I think these are the best blades Miura has ever made. Just when I think Miura has done all they could in making a beautiful and incredible feeling club, the company tops itself.
If you’re a blade lover or just want to try a blade for the first time, I highly recommend the Miura MB-001 set to you. The design features, the physical looks and the incredible feel will not only appeal to your golf demands but show you why Miura has always been one of the greatest forging houses in the world.