Equipment Q&A Miura Golf

Adam Barr, president of Miura Golf

1 For those who know of Miura, they likely know the name represents the utmost in high-end, precision-forged irons. What is it about the forging that makes Miura clubs so special? Is there a step in the process that Miura does that no one else is capable of?

It's the method and the patience. Miura-san determined some time ago that forging the entire L-shaped clubhead at once, including the hosel, risks yanking the grain upward into that part of the head. So, instead, he developed a way to forge the heel-to-toe portion alone, ensuring a small, fine, uniform grain structure, free of the little bubbles or voids that could create a "clanky" feel at impact. Then the hosel is attached by a process we call spin-forging: It's spun onto the head at a very high speed, and the friction creates a weld. We finish off the weld scarf, chrome the club, and it operates as if it were always one piece. We don't know of anyone else in the industry that does this. It takes time and patience, but that's the Japanese way. [To see the process demonstrated on video, go to youtu.be/Kdconj9Y_1Q.] The result is the otherworldly feel that generally leaves first-time hitters speechless, what I like to call "The Purity of the Strike."

2 Knowing that Miura clubs are exquisitely constructed, how does Miura ensure each golfer who owns a set plays to his or her highest potential? In other words, how is the fitting experience for Miura irons unique?

First of all, we only work with experienced, expert fitters. You have to have been in the business for a while and have earned your chops to become an authorized Miura dealer/fitter. These are people who know not only golf clubs, but golf games–that is, they know how to become partners in a golfer's game. Service after the sale, a listening ear, a fascination with getting better–it all translates to a relationship that covers everything from the initial fit to periodic check-ins to see that lofts and lies are right.

Anyone who really knows golf clubs already admits that we make the finest forged clubs in the world.

3 Let's talk wedges and putters for a moment. Knowing that the scoring clubs by Miura exude the same quality as the irons, why bother creating wedges and putters in a crowded market of niche companies who claim high standards of craftsmanship like Miura does? Do you see it as a chance to prove the company truly makes the finest forged clubs in the world?

Sure, that market is crowded, but we don't let the competition determine our ambitions and business practices. We offer wedges and putters because we know we can make them feel and perform as well as our irons. If we end up dominating the short game market, fine, but being the best is more important. As for showing the world–well, to our minds, mission accomplished. Anyone who really knows golf clubs already admits that we make the finest forged clubs in the world.

4 Miura creates blades in an era where you see fewer and fewer players using them. Do you think the blade design is misrepresented, to a certain degree? And, do you think there's any credence to the argument that some have made in reference to all players that even high-handicappers could benefit from using blade-style designs in their mid- to short irons? Are combo sets in Miura's future?

Combo sets are already available, and always have been–a Miura dealer/fitter will always mix models if it makes sense for the golfer. As for blades themselves, Miura-san believes that more of us can hit blades than believe we can. It may take an extra half-second of care before taking the club back, but we can do it. He made our Small Blades, the Series 1957 model, shorter so they would more easily square up at impact. The idea of mixing–using cavities for longer irons and blades for, say, 7-8-9-PW–is taking hold because most of us can hit blades well, at least in the short irons. And the shotmaking rewards are very satisfying.

5 How an iron should feel is something Miura takes very seriously, especially the sensation of the ball on the clubface at impact. But what about feel in terms of the entire club, i.e., how do different shafts and grips affect how each club feels?

Well, it's not only the shaft, but the golfer. A Dynamic Gold in your hands will feel different than in mine, and on and on. Length, stiffness, torque–all these and more play into the feel. It's the dealer/fitter's job to come up with the combination that works best for the golfer. Our dealer/fitters tend to work with the top shaft companies, so they're assured of two very important things: a wide menu of fitting choices and a very high degree of manufacturing reliability
and consistency.

6 How has Miura imparted its dedication to quality craftsmanship in the woods, utility clubs and drivers? Is this indicative of a possible cast iron design in the future?

Woods and hybrids have to be cast, of course, because it's impracticable to forge such designs. We work with a trusted casting house in Taiwan to make those clubs"_Óthe design is all Miura"_Óand we supervise the entire process. As for a cast iron, or a combination model, we would consider it if we could do it to the highest-quality standards and if it offered a real advantage to golfers. Can't discuss specific plans, of course.

7 And, lastly, how did you join the Miura family? We know your background as an attorney and on the Golf Channel's "What's In The Bag" series, but give us the skinny on how you joined the company.

While with Golf Channel, I shot a story at Miura for "What's In The Bag" in 2003. I kept in touch with the family because I was impressed with what they do, and lo and behold, when they wanted to staff up in 2010, they called me. Easiest choice I ever made. <br /

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