If you’re a serious golfer, chances are you’ve heard of Miura Golf. Maybe you’ve even hit one of the company’s clubs. But do you really know what makes Miura’s clubs different?
Even for the biggest Miura Golf fans, there’s something to learn about the company and its products in our Q&A below with GolfWRX Editor Zak Kozuchowski and Bill Holowaty, Executive Vice President of Product Strategies for Miura.
ZK: Miura offers a full line of golf equipment, but the company is primarily known for its forged irons. How did Miura earn its reputation as one of the premier forged iron manufacturers?
BH: Mr. Miura (and I love to remind people that there is a Mr. Miura) began his career in the golf industry in 1957. It wasn’t until he started his own company, Miura Giken, that Miura-san was able to address what he believed was a fundamental flaw in the forging process. His insight and innovation led to a proprietary forging process and the ability to produce a forged iron that was arguably the best in the industry.
Although the Miura family gained a reputation within Japan for premium forged irons, it wasn’t until Miura-san began to produce limited production models for the top OEM companies in golf that his reputation and that of his irons truly emerged. It wasn’t long before the most recognized names in the industry were having limited production runs of their forged irons done at the Miura factory, and what followed were numerous tournament wins (including majors), but under the names of equipment companies other than Miura. However, Mr. Miura quickly gained special status among industry insiders and one Japanese Golf Magazine referred to him as having “the hands of God.”
ZK: What was the fundamental flaw in the forging process?
BH: First, let me make certain that when Miura-san believed the forging process was fundamentally flawed, he was in no way passing judgement on what was the philosophy at the time. He simply believed there was a better way.
Traditional forging meant that the club head was formed with the hosel and club head together. This meant that from the first strike, the iron had its basic shape. But Mr. Miura believe that he needed to create a grain structure within the club head that was as “dense” or “tight” as possible. This would mean heating the billet of soft carbon steel to a specific temperature and then striking the die with a precise amount of force. Unfortunately, the need to protect the hosel (which was the most delicate part of the club head) would not and did not permit the necessary manipulation of the grain structure within the club head. Mr. Miura believed if he could somehow separate the club head and hosel manufacturing, he would be able to deliver a grain structure within the club head that would be beyond anything else being produced. In addition, by separating the manufacturing of the head, he could also deliver a “perfect” hosel, milled and pre-drilled to exact specification. The result of this proprietary process was a club head that delivered exceptional feel and performance.
Note: Watch a video of Miura’s forging process from start to finish below.
ZK: We’re always talking to top custom club fitters at GolfWRX, and when they talk about Miura clubs they often mention how tight the tolerances are, which they love for building purposes. What makes Miura’s tolerances so tight?
BH: We have been asked this question before and it always gives me such a feeling of pride when describing the manufacturing process. The ability to attain such tight tolerances is not a by product of the finished club heads, but rather the attention to detail throughout the entire 14-step manufacturing process. It starts with the initial billets of soft carbon steel. Each 5 iron billet for example, begins the 14 step manufacturing process at the same weight. Then, at each step along the way, heads weights must achieve the same attention to detail. A tray of 100 heads awaiting grooves being pressed will meet the same weight tolerances as another tray further down the manufacturing process. The attentional to detail is embraced by the entire Miura family, including the dedicated employees.
ZK: Mr. Miura has referred to certain golf equipment trends such as oversize irons as “fads.” To him, what are the viable technologies in the industry and how is Miura putting them to use in its clubs?
BH: I don’t recall Miura-san ever referring to equipment trends or oversize irons as “fads.” I can say that Mr. Miura and his sons focus on discussing what Miura Golf does and not on what others do. Mid-sized and over-sized irons absolutely have a place in today’s equipment purchasing decisions. Our mid-sized head, the PP-9003 is one of our best sellers and relatively new to our product line. The size of the PP-9003 head is appealing to many golfers looking for more forgiveness without sacrificing the renowned Miura feel and performance. There are limitations on design with respect to forged clubs. Certainly what can be accomplished with cast technology differs from forged technology. But ultimately, a forged iron allows the golfer more feedback in terms of what a good shot feels like. And the design, allowing the club head to get to “square” at impact is something all levels of golfer can benefit from.
There is no question that all equipment manufacturers (including Miura) are constantly looking to improve their product line. We believe recent changes in leading edge and sole design have made the way for better turf interaction and thus better ball on face contact. But we are also aware of advancements in all manufacturing including cast clubs. The next generations of Miura forged irons will not be limited by forging process, but rather will be enhanced by any and all technological advancements in golf club manufacturing, both forged and cast. The exciting part for Miura is that the mind and vision of Mr. Miura and his sons will continue to seek to produce the best forged irons. The good golfer will find [Miura].
ZK: Last question, Bill. Miura is a frequent topic of conversation in our forums, and many questions often arise about the company and its products. What do you most want to tell our readers about Miura Golf that they might not know?
BH: I really like this question as it allows me to talk about what is unique about our company.
First, that there is a Mr. Miura and there is a MIURA factory. I don’t believe this can be overstated; The Miura family oversees the entire manufacturing process, start to finish.
Secondly, the proprietary nature of our forging process. The Miura way does not lend itself to mass production. And with this, the knowledge that a forged club is in essence a hand-made club. The last two chairs on the grinding line belong to Mr. Miura and his son Yoshitaka. The odds are very good that one of the Miura’s did the grinding on each set of irons or wedges. You can imagine that if you are producing a product that bears your name or signature that you would make sure that product would be the best possible. It’s this attention to detail that fuels the culture with which Miura operates and allows us to say with confidence that the good golfer will find us.
Finally, I would like to invite golfers to visit a Miura dealer or contact us directly to discuss why Miura should be part of their next equipment purchase decision. What you might find is that Miura irons or wedges are within your reach. Whether you dip your toe in the Miura waters with a single wedge or choose to reward yourself with a complete set, we’re sure that you’ll #discoverpefection.
What Adam Scott said about his new 681.AS irons
- Editor’s note: We originally filed this piece for the Equipment Report on PGATOUR.com.
Adam Scott has used the same irons — Titleist Forged 680 — for the better part of 10 years.
“When you’re old and stubborn, you like what you like,” the 41-year-old told PGATOUR.COM.
Indeed, as he has transitioned into Titleist’s latest woods and wedges, the 14-time PGA TOUR winner has remained steadfast in playing his 2003 680 irons with KBS Tour 130 X shafts.
It was interesting, then, to see Scott with a different — but very similar — set of irons in the bag ahead of THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT.
At a glance, the visually stunning irons look identically shaped to the 680s we’re used to seeing in Scott’s bag — similar large muscle pad on the rear of the club, similar hosel transition, similar generous amount of offset, similar topline. However, the irons looked substantially less worn and were stamped with 681.AS on the hosel.
What’s going on here?
Titleist declined to comment, but PGATOUR.COM caught up with Scott, who shared some details. As it turns out the new irons are the same…sort of.
Before digging into the 681.AS, we asked Scott why he doesn’t simply continue playing 680 irons, and when a set wears out, replace them with another. The answer, he said, was simple. Titleist “just ran out of original sets,” which the company stopped producing in 2005.
What to do? Scour eBay and used club stores? Frequent garage sales?
Scott indicated Titleist engineers took a different tack: They made CAD (computer-aided design) copies of his beloved 680s and CNC-machined what he called, “basically the same clubs.”
“Thanks to technology,” he said, “they’re as exact a replica as you can get, but with the way they’ve been made, I could argue it’s a more solid head with a more solid strike.
“I’ve been stuck on the 680s for a long time now,” he added. “…We’ve tried some stuff here and there. We tried bending the 620 MBs earlier this year, which I actually used at the Masters. I’ve been looking for 12 months for that new fresh set with good feel in the hands and good vibes, and we just couldn’t get there, so they took this project on.”
He continued: “It’s very nice for me that Titleist was able to do that. I know what I know. I’ve played it so long, I’m at a point where I think it’s detrimental to go searching and trying to change. I know how I play, and I know what I need to play well.”
Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (10/15/21): Tour Issue Rare Odyssey Stroke Lab Jailbird Mini
At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.
We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.
Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Tour Issue Rare Odyssey Stroke Lab Jailbird Mini
From the seller (@Hunter01): “Rare Tour Issue Odyssey Stroke Lab mini putter. From the tour van with tour crimp on hosel. 35” long with grip options available. This putter never came to retail but we’re made available to the tour in limited quantities. 329 firm.”
To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Tour Issue Rare Odyssey Stroke Lab Jailbird Mini
L.A.B Golf unveils new MEZZ.1 Proto putter
L.A.B Golf has soft-launched its new MEZZ.1. Proto, which is currently limited to just 1,000 individually numbered putters.
The new mid-mallet putter is fully CNC machined from a billet of 6061 aircraft aluminum (body) and 303 stainless steel (midsection) for what L.A.B are calling their “best-feeling putter to date”.
The new addition includes 10 weights (eight on the bottom, two on the sides) that allow the company to individually build each putter to a golfer’s exact specifications.
Golfers can also choose their preferred alignment aid, with blank (no marking), line, and dot all offered with the new MEZZ.1 Proto.
The putter comes equipped with a headcover and is available to purchase now at LabGolf.com for $600.00.
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