Pros: Miura’s buttery-feeling forged irons provide forgiveness without a lot of bulk and sacrifice nothing by way of visual appeal to achieve playability.
Cons: The market is saturated with oversized irons that go farther than these. Most will agree that these look and feel much better, but a shorter-flying, more expensive set of irons is a tough sell.
Bottom Line: The words “Miura” and “forgiveness” haven’t always been associated with each other, but with the Passing Point 9003 Straight Necks, Miura has successfully combined feel and forgiveness.
Miura has carved out a niche with its forged irons for golfers who value the looks, feel and consistency of their clubs above all other things.
Golfers who have played the company’s irons might have noticed that Miura clubs have a slightly different feel from other brands. Others might call it a placebo effect. Whatever your take is, there’s no disputing that Miura’s irons are created with some of the tightest tolerances in the industry, and that never negatively affects performance.
Miura’s core following has come from better players, making its muscleback and smaller cavity-back irons its best sellers at most custom fitters, but Miura’s decision to release its Passing Point 9003 irons a few years ago changed that.
Mr. Miura and his sons, Shinei and Yoshitaka Miura, set out to build a “friendly” set of irons for all users when they designed the PP-9003’s. This friendly club would not only work for more advanced golfers who wanted a larger, more forgiving iron, but also for those those who needed a little help with their trajectory and turf interaction.
For Miura fans, the PP-9003 irons were great if their previous set had gotten too worn or they simply could no longer put in the practice time necessary to hit the company’s popular muscleback irons. Others who needed more forgiveness were finally able to enter the Miura world with a club that would look superb in their bag, provide ample forgiveness and still maintain the heavenly forged feel.
Miura then came out with a limited release of the Passing Point 9003 Straight Necks, featuring almost the same PP-9003 head with less offset than the originals. Offset is more of a visual preference than it is a performance characteristic, so the PP-9003 Straight Necks are a great option for golfers who like the larger size of the PP-9003’s but prefer less offset.
The Miura Passing Point Straight Necks are available in 4-GW. Pricing begins at $225 a club and can climb higher depending on shaft choice at authorized Miura sealers.
For this review, I tested the PP-9003 Straight Neck irons (4-PW) with Nippon N.S. PRO 1150 shafts (tour-stiff flex). The irons performed as I expected from a Miura club, and for me, better than other popular game enhancement clubs.
Visually, there’s clear amount of forgiveness built into the forged head compared to the smaller Miura irons I’ve reviewed in the past:
- Click here to read my review of Miura’s MB-001 irons.
- Click here to read my review of Miura’s CB-501 irons.
The PP-9003 Straight Neck irons are much more perimeter weighted and have a wider sole and a larger head size. That lead to a more consistent flight, ball contact, turf interaction and shotmaking ability– all of which was quite a surprise to me considering past experiences with oversized irons.
The last time I tried out a set of oversized irons was about 10 years ago. I have played blades for more than 40 years (with doses of player’s cavity backs sprinkled in between), but I noticed a trend of my friends switching to more forgiving clubs. So I figured, why not join them?
Well, I struggled to control my ball flight and yardage because of the hot spots in the heads, which at times gave me significantly more yardage than anticipated. Oversized-iron design has come a long way in those 10 years, but even with the latest technologies, I know that hot spots continue to be a problem. That’s why I was so impressed with the PP-9003 Straight Necks. They’re known as one of the most consistent oversized irons in golf, and I can’t disagree with that.
While the irons still have a noticeable amount of offset to me, they actually have a lot less offset than the oversized irons I’ve played in the past, which made me feel more comfortable over the ball. I was also delighted to see that my iron shots did not balloon with the clubs, regardless of what iron I was hitting, even when I hit intentionally higher-launching shots.
Trajectory control has always been a problem that I’ve had with oversized irons, but the PP-9003 Straight Neck set was easy to control. It’s as easy to control the trajectory of the 4 iron as it is the 9 iron, I’ve learned, and I never found myself hitting a 9 iron 140 yards on one hole and 160 yards on the next.
The sole of the PP-9003 SN’s, although wider compared to all other Miura sets, does not play as clunky as I expected. The sole’s camber allows the club to glide better through the grass and I didn’t feel the drag before or after impact that I’ve felt in other oversized irons. The interaction with the turf is so much cleaner and the wide sole helps with shots where a golfer hits the ground a little early.
On tight lies I was also still able to pick the ball, and out of the thick stuff — and especially with the 4 iron — the sole enabled me to attack through the thatch and achieve solid contact on the ball similar to a hybrid.
The heads still have plenty forgiveness, yet their workability led me to believe at times I was playing a sole much thinner. The club heads never stopped after a well struck shot, and though it felt chunky at impact due to the sole, I was never restricted in shot selection because of the wide sole.
The only problem with these, which really isn’t a problem, is that their construction does not lend itself to the ball speed that golfers can achieve with other oversized irons on the market. For example, Cleveland’s 588 TT, Callaway’s Apex, Ping’s i25, Nike’s Covert Forged and TaylorMade’s SLDR irons will all likely fly a little farther for most golfers, particularly in the long irons, where features such as deep undercuts and thin, welded faces can create fairway wood-like ball speeds.
Those design features almost always negatively affect sound, feel and consistency, however, which is what golfers like me prize from a set of irons. So if you want to hit your irons as far as possible, these aren’t for you.
Looks and Feel
The PP-9003 Straight Necks fit very well in the Miura line-up. Although the size of the heads aren’t what you would normally expect from Miura, they entered a market that’s loaded with clubs featuring flashy badges and bold colors. However, Miura maintained its classy, cleaner look just as it did in other irons.
The simple Miura logo is surrounded by “Passing Point 9003″ in gold and the Miura name is stamped next to it in the matte grey cavity. The word “Forged” is stamped at the top of the cavity and paint filled in black. “Genuine” is stamped on the hosel. All this is done on a gorgeous satin chrome head that oozes the classic elegance expected from Miura.
From the address position, the PP-9003 Straight Necks really shine. The higher toe gives the appearance of a much larger face and makes the club look upright and simple to hit from nearly any lie. It also helps disguise the larger sole of the club, because at address you don’t notice the trailing edge since it’s hidden. You don’t typically see a thin top-line in game-enhancement clubs, but Miura visually disguised the overall forgiveness built into the head.
The feel of the PP-9003 Straight Necks is shockingly similar to Miura’s smaller irons. The crisp sound at impact, along with the soft feel of the finely forged metal, transmits up the shaft and gives your hands a feeling that is very difficult to imitate; a feel that Miura has built their name on for years.
Although the PP-9003 Straight Necks are a huge step into oversized irons for Miura, forgiveness is the only quality they share with other clubs in this category. I have never played another club with this much forgiveness built into the head that gave me so much feedback and feel from a shot. Like all Miura clubs, the PP-9003’s feel alive and inspired, instilling great confidence throughout the set.
With the PP-9003 Straight Necks, Miura has opened up its world to more golfers. Many golfers have wanted to play Miura clubs, but felt intimidated by their smaller size. The friendlier design of these irons will fill that void. The PP-9003 Straight Necks will appeal to golfers of all ability levels and still allow them to experience the superior feel for which Miura’s fine forged clubs are known, without sacrificing forgiveness.
If you’ve always wanted to try a set of Miura irons, I highly recommend you test a set of the PP-9003 SN’s before you purchase your next set. The forgiveness, looks, feel and consistency of the irons are second-to-none. And yes, they look great in the bag, too.