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Putter Reviews

Miura KM-005 Putter Review

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By pitbull808

I’ve played many Miura putters through the years.  Many who know me personally or my WITB know that there are not many putters made that haven’t gone in my bag at least once.  I’ve become pretty much a walking putter reviewer as I’ve experienced so many putters.

The most recent Miura putters I’ve used are the KM-350 and KM-007. Since I’ve recently added the Miura CB-501 irons to my bag as well as the SIT460 dirver, naturally for me or some may say unnaturally for them, I had to buy another putter!  I’ve rolled the KM-005 in my local shop a few times and have always coveted it.  True… I’ve coveted pretty much every putter made that I haven’t owned, but this one was different.  Getting it would be something NEW from Miura that I haven’t had and would match great with my irons, wedges and driver!  What better reason to get a new putter! :blush:

As with my past Miura additions to my bag, I had Joey the owner of Aloha Golf Center, my local Miura distributor fit me to the KM-005.  As I’ve been fitted many times in the past by them for putters, length was pretty much my standard 34.5.  We did a little work to get the lie angle and loft correct for me though as it was a new putter head and style for me.

Click here for more discussion in the “Putter” forum.

Pro’s:
Miura… how much more needs to be said.  A classic shape forged and milled from mild carbon steel that has a soft feel and just exudes a richness not found in other putters.

Cons:  
It’s a classic shape that’s doesn’t have all the newfangled alignment marks, high moi, white paint, roll grooves and inserts.  For me, that’s all a pro but for some they might want it. ;) 

Bottom Line:
A classic shape designed by the “hands of god” Katsuhiro Miura. A putter that feels as great as it looks and inspires putting confidence when it’s in your hands.

The Review

Miura KM-005  1957 Series Putter
350 grams
34.5”
4* loft… up 1* from the 3* standard for Miura
72* lie angle…up 2* from the 70* standard for Miura

Looks:

On initial inspection of the KM-005, for me it just exudes class all over it.  Miura takes style to another level with all their clubs and the KM-005 screams it without flash and stampings all over to remind you what you bought in the first place. Even the sight line is left unpainted (although I did paint mine black).  The only engraving you’ll see not on the sole is the gold M and tee signifying Miura’s logo in the cavity of the putter.  On the sole is the 1957 Miura logo and simple KM-005 Forged engraved. 1957 signifying the year Katsuhiro Miura started in the golf business and also that the KM-005 is a limited edition putter series.

Miura calls the finish on the KM-005 “oiled chrome”.  The “oiled” part isn’t seen until you bring it out in the sunlight. You don’t get the rainbows of color seen in some other finishes on the market but a deep, dark bronze/gold look that seems aged at the same time being brand spanking new. Since I’ve been using my KM-005 for a few months now, I’ve found the oiled chrome finish is not only gorgeous but extremely durable.  It looks like it might be delicate but it looks pretty much like the day I got it.  In fact, all the photo’s I’ve included in this review were just taken after using it constantly for the past months.

A feature I also noticed when I first saw the KM-005 which also made me want to try it was the shorter plumbers neck.  Although there are many heel/toe weighted putters with plumbers necks, it’s pretty obvious to even the novice putter collector that no two are alike.  Just read the putter forum for a minute and see the people argue Ansers and Newports and you’ll figure that out quickly!

The shorter plumbers neck in the KM-005 changes the toe hang to about almost  5 o’clock. It seems to fit in the middle of the usual plumbers neck length and a flow neck heel/toe weighted putter.  It definitely changes the balance of the head when stroking.

The topline in the KM-005 also appears thicker than other heel/toe putters.  It’s a feature I’ve always looked for and appreciate in putters.

The milling of the face is also different than most other putters.  Not the typical circular mill marks that have become “de rigueur” but a tightly milled pattern that offers a bit of simplicity yet still shows a ton of craftsmanship behind it.

Overall, a beautiful putter that I can’t seem to tire from looking at.

Performance/Playability:

The KM-005 putter is one of those putters that even before you roll it, you know it’s going to feel super.  The looks alone of it resting behind the ball make you hear the angels warming up their voices ready to sing. :yes:

The shape of the KM-005 fits well behind the ball. The cavity helps to frame the ball and although the lack of huge gaudy alignment marks the shape alone is enough. The thicker topline for me works great in lining up my ball perpendicular to my target line as well.  The whole look of the putter creates a beautiful picture behind the ball.

The KM-005 puts a great roll on the ball with a gentle click.  The balance of the putter makes stroking the ball very effortless. I’ve told many friends when talking about putters, there are some you feel you need to be a bit more handsy or worry about turning the toe over and some that I simply call “instamatics”….point and shoot putters.  The KM-005 is definitely one of those instamatics.

Rolling the ball smoothly is accomplished not by grooves, inserts or any of the plethora of new fangled inventions.  Just a great balanced head that pulls you right back to the ball after your backstroke.  You can get mad at yourself for missing a putt but the KM 005 is not easy to blame for the misses! Yes, every putter is usually not to blame but the KM-005 makes it harder. ;)

Distance control was immediately achieved. There didn’t seem to be the normal break in period where I’d be on a putting green for an hour attempting to achieve different distances.  Again this brings to mind the balance of the head and the instamatic overall nature of the putter.

Click here for more discussion in the “Putter” forum.

Feel:

Putter feel is sooooooooo subjective.  I’ve been asked hundreds of times from guys who have messaged me regarding my “what’s in the bag” putters or in golf shops when I’m doing my normal one hour in a putting coral, “how does that putter feel???”  Everyone’s sense of feel is different. Some like putters to have a clickier nature or a more muted feel like those with inserts. I myself have a roving feel.  I wouldn’t have hundreds of putters if I could contain myself to one type of feel.  Each putter has a different feel that makes it seem a bit different from another which in itself makes it hard for me to get rid of or immediately makes me never roll another ball with.  For the same reason I’ve probably got forty plus 8802 styles, even duplicate heads, it’s weird to ME that none feel identical.

With that said…the feel of the KM-005 is one of those different heads.  The feel that I’ve found in Miura putters is definitely different, just like the irons are.  Miura forges the carbon steel of their putters like their irons.  Each head is filled with history and craftsmanship that is unmatched by the masses.

The mild carbon steel seems to stick to the ball a millisecond longer than on other putter heads.  The softness envelopes the ball and in the moment it takes the soft audible click to reach your ears, the face sends the ball in a gentle roll towards the hole.  Without grooves or inserts, the milled face of the KM 005 sends the ball forward with a gentle feel that transfers to your hands so intuitively distance control is magnificently achieved.

Overall Bottom Line:

I feel the  KM-005 is destined to be one of those milestone putters for Miura and for putter fans in general. The beautiful look, the graceful nature of the putter, the soft incredible feel that registers immediately in your mind will have you wanting for more immediately.  Once you roll it, you will want to roll it again and again.  For me it had an addictive feel to it where I stroked it and loved it so much, it was a purchase that quickly became necessity over  just a want.  The KM-005 easily matches up if not surpasses many of the putters made on the market.

The Miura KM-005 is a putter that you will treasure and inspire your putting confidence just by holding it in your hands.  I highly recommend giving the Miura KM-005 a test roll.

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Click here for more discussion in the “Putter” forum.

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Reid's been an avid golfer for more than 40 years. During that time, he's amassed quite a putter collection and has become one of GolfWRX's leading equipment nuts. Reid tries all the latest equipment in hopes of finding the latest and greatest of them all to add to his bag. He was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii where the courses are green and the golf is great!

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Toulon Design San Diego Stroke Lab putter

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Product: Toulon Design San Diego Stroke Lab putter

Pitch: From Odyssey/Toulon: “The Odyssey Toulon San Diego Stroke Lab Putter is our take on on another classic putter. It’s an expertly crafted, premium milled blade, with our multi-material Stroke Lab Shaft, deep diamond milled cross hatch grooves, and a new Charcoal Smoke finish.”

Our take on the Toulon Design San Diego Stroke Lab putter

Toulon is the line of all milled putters from Odyssey, originally started by club designer Sean Toulon and his sons. Toulon putters have always featured their Deep Diamond Mill face, adjustable sole weight, and brazed (instead of welded) necks. That combination has created a great putter line that has become popular on tour as well as us amateur players. For 2019, there are some new head shapes, Charcoal Smoke Finish, Deep Diamond Milling across the whole face, and the Stroke Lab putter shaft.

I got my hands on the Toulon San Diego, a more squared-off blade shape, for this review. The shape, milling, and finish on the San Diego are great and really show off what a high quality piece it is. The biggest change visually is the full Deep Diamond Mill face, making the view from address more uniform. The face used to have the milling only in the center of the face and to some that was a distracting look while others liked the way it framed the ball. The new finish also looks great. I always have liked darker finishes and this looks high end while still reducing glare in the brightest conditions.

The Stroke Lab shaft goes well with the finish on the San Diego and the head cover is a plush synthetic leather that feels like it will hold up for years of use.

On the green the San Diego SL has a crisp sound and feel. If you like a little more click to your putter, then the San Diego SL will be right what you are looking for. And don’t take that as a negative thing, that crisp feel gives great feedback on face contact. You know exactly where the putter face and ball met by the sound and feel. The Deep Diamond Mill gets the ball rolling quickly on line with very minimal hop and skid, providing very consistent and repeatable distance control.

This is blade, so shots off the toe to tend to stray from your intended line a bit, the face does seem like it wants to rotate open a bit. Heel strikes defiantly stay online better, but tend to lose more steam and net get the roll out you might expect. The simple alignment line on the flange of the putter is easy to align, even for a guy who has been using mallets for years.

Like I have said before, I think there is something to the Stroke Lab tech, the lighter shaft and weight in the butt of the shaft do affect tempo for me; I noticed a slight calming of my backstroke and stroke through the ball.

Overall, the San Diego is a great putter for those who like a little firmer feel and more audible click on their putter. It is very responsive and putts a great roll on the ball. This isn’t a cheap putter ($450) and the fit and finish let you know that you are getting what you paid for.

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Putter Reviews

WRX Spotlight Review: Miura MGP-NM1 Putter

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Product: Miura MGP-NM1 putter

Pitch: Limited to 300 pieces, the Miura MGP-NM1 is Miura’s first 303 stainless steel putter. Its appearance is in keeping with the bolder designs of the Miura Giken family.

Our take on the Miura MGP-NM1 putter

Miura Giken has become the brand where Miura can push some limits and try out designs and technology not really fit for the standard Miura line. And if doing something new and different is what Miura Giken is about, then the MGP-NM1 fits like a glove. When most people think of Miura, they think forged carbon steel and traditional, old school shapes. The MGP-NM1 is a long ways from that, being milled from 303 stainless steel, having adjustable weights and milled stepped pockets in the sole.

If you love mill marks, then the MBG-NM1 will fulfill all our needs because the head is covered with them. I really liked the top line where the mill marks go front to back but then get much finer around the alignment line. If you look close the milling is still there, but just much finer. It works great along with the alignment lines on the “fangs.” The MGP-NM1 is a great size: large enough to give you confidence that a mishit will stay online, but not too big to be distracting. Like most putters with this (Odyssey No. 7)  shape, it frames the ball really well and looks great to my eye. The way the shaft goes into the head is for sure unique, it is straight from address but does drop down into the head.

I will get my one con on this putter out of the way early: the way the shaft goes into the head from address. I love the shape of the head, but the way the shaft enters the head makes it harder for me to line up. At address you can see the the top line of the putter on both sides of the shaft and for some that might be helpful, but it took me a long time to get comfortable with my alignment. Also, the head cover isn’t up to standard for a putter in this price range.

But the good of this putter really outweighs that bad. The putter  feels and sounds great, much like the Miura KM-009 reviewed previously. Feel is very solid with, to me, the perfect amount of click on impact. There might be just a slight bit of vibration on contact, but very minimal and will probably vary with the ball you play. Contact on the toe and heel really stay on target well; you can tell this mallet has a fairly high MOI. Like any responsive putter should do, this really provides good feedback on mishits. Toe and heel shots are not punished as much as you would think, the ball still rolls out well with minimal distance loss. That solid, soft Miura feel really does come through with this putter.

Overall, I think the Miura Giken MGP-NM1 is a really great way for a mallet user to put a Miura putter into the bag.

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Putter Reviews

Review: Optic Z Putters

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Pros: Point-and-shoot putting. Optic Z putters use a Z-neck design that can lead to a more consistent setup with your hands and eyes on every putt.

Cons: It could take a little while to get used to the design.

Who It’s For: Players looking to develop a consistent setup and stroke.

The Review

  • Model: Optic Z8
  • Head Weight: 365 grams
  • Material: Proprietary “Power 51” Alloy
  • Finish: Black “High-Tech Molecular” application
  • Face Milling: Deep Double Mill
  • Stock Lie: 70.5 degrees (rolled sole allows angles from 67 to 75)
  • Loft: 2.25 degrees
  • Stock Length Options: 35 inches (All lengths available custom order)
  • Stock Grip: Lamkin E.B.L “Optic” grip (Custom grips available)
  • Stock Shaft: True Temper Steel (Aerotech, Loomis, and UST available)
  • Price: $325 Base (Up to $500 with custom options)

Over the past decade, it seems like there have been as many new putter companies as there have been drivers released in the past year (I think another one just released since I typed that sentence). While many of them have come up with ways to re-create or re-design the classic favorites of the past 40-plus years, there are a few companies that are pushing the boundaries of what a putter can be and how it can help make putting easier. And a company called Optic Z Putters has done just that.

Z8Putter4

I reviewed the company’s Optic Z8 putter, which has a distinct batwing shape. It’s one of three putters the company offers — its Z3 is more blade-like in shape, while its Z7 is more mallet-like — and each putter sells for $325.

According to the company, Z Optic putters take the two main parts of putting and making them easy to reproduce. And with every putt, Optic Z putters are said to help golfers set their hands and eyes in the same exact position for every putt. “This has been done!” you say? Well, let’s find out if my experience with the Z8 was different.

The Look

back optic z8

When I first saw the Z8 putter with its Z-shaped hosel, I began to wonder, “What exactly is going on here?” It has a unique Z-neck that creates a “3D” effect when looking down over the ball at address. But when looking at the putter in any other view, it does look odd. It will take a little bit of time to get used to it, but like many putters that come out these days, after a while you simply get used to it and forget about it.

Z8putter1

The putter is 100 percent milled, U.S.A. made, and has a deep “double” milled face pattern that is familiar to most people. It offers an incredibly soft feel that is part from the milling, but also from the Proprietary Power 51 alloy metal that is used. The sole of the Z8 has 8 degrees of roll to it. This means that it can effectively play with a lie angle anywhere from 67 to 75 degrees. The new Z-neck hosel also makes the putter face balanced as if it was a center-shafted putter. And finally, there are several thick alignment lines, both horizontal and vertical, to help aim.

The Z Revolution?

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Once you set the putter down and see how everything lines up in a “3D” type of alignment, you get the point of the Z-neck. Instead of just giving one point of reference similar to other putters, the Z8 gives you three points of alignment.

You align the Z-neck bend with the toe of the putter, the heel and shaft together, and then make sure both are lined up together. Once you have this set, your hands and eyes will be in the correct position.

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In addition to adding more reference points, the key difference with the Z8 is that it actually requires you to have forward press with your hands. The stated loft of 2.25 degrees is the loft with your hands in that forward-press position. The Z-neck is also supposed to eliminate the visual moment of impact of when the ball comes off the face of the putter. The theory is that it helps you relax more through the stroke by not seeing the point of impact, a similar theory to looking at the hole instead of the ball when putting.

Does it work?

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I was skeptical of the putter when I first started using it, and it took me a little bit to get used to the 3D effect. After spending a good amount of time with it, I can say that it does what it is supposed to do. It really becomes a “point-and-shoot” kind of putting, and it makes the set up of putting incredibly easy. The ball rolls really well off the face, too, and the feel is incredibly soft. The alignment aids do a good job helping at address, and I’m someone who has moved away from alignment aids because I tend to aim them incorrectly.

The Optic Z8 putter performed the best for me on putts inside 10 feet. I struggled on longer putts, but it was more due to the weight of the putter. At 365 grams, it is much heavier compared to what I’ve been using, but I’ve always struggled with long-distance putting with heavier putters. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the performance. And the more I used it, the more comfortable I became and the more putts I made.

The Takeaway

Z8putter

If you struggle with consistency, especially at set up, this is one to try. It may take some time to get used to Optic Z putters, but most golfers should be able to adjust. These putters are well made, feel great and can truly help golfers in two areas that we know are important to putting.

To learn more about Optic Golf’s putters, visit the company’s website

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