Club Review: Miura MB-001 irons

Miura golf

February 5, 2014 8:39:13 AM PST
It's that time of year, again, when manufacturers urge golfers to gear up with the latest, greatest and hottest advancements in ball and club technology. In magazines and television advertisements, they peddle stuff you begin to feel you must have and can't live without -- at least until next year, when the cycle begins anew.

Ever wonder if, in trying to play the game better, it's the consumers who are being played? Average scores remain pretty much the same, even with all of this so-called advancement. Can manufacturers really make quantum leaps every year?

Not most of them, certainly, which explains why the relatively rare developments from Miura Golf seem more credible. I play their irons, their wedges, use their putters, and still pound a 390cc driver that they brought to market several years ago. The clubs become more timeless as they age, not obsolete. Miura's buttery iron forgings are so efficient that the company doesn't cheat their lofts. Golfed balls just feel more solid and go farther. I'm a fan of their equipment, maybe more like a true believer.

This year, Miura has come out with a new iron, the MB-001, its first new blade design in six years. That's right. Six years. Makes you pay attention, yes?

The company allowed me to try a six-iron, but only after a thorough fitting by Carson Joens at Butler Golf in Half Moon Bay, where they carefully build every club to exact specifications. The MB-001 replaces Miura's venerable Tournament Blades, which the company will be retiring. Even a golf club aficionado must look closely to notice the new iron's subtle changes, but they add up.

The MB-001 has freshened graphics, a slimmer grind in the topline, and a more upright appearance. The sole of the MB-001 has a rounded leading edge, which lends itself more to sweepers of the ball than diggers. This also allows the club to cut through rough more smoothly.

The MB-001 looks large for a blade, especially to someone like me who plays and loves the more diminutive Series 1957's. If you know Miura's line, the MB-001 fills a gap between my small 'baby' blades and the slightly larger, perimeter-weighted and muscle-backed MB-501's. Find the center of the clubface, and this new club gets balls up in a hurry. Perfect swings yield perfect bliss. Mishits convey subtle messages of disapproval as blades are wont to do, but these are forgiving for their type. Beginners may assume that these clubs are too good for them. Nothing could be further from the truth. The MB-001's are likely to make newbies better, faster, because they force a player to concentrate and provide tactile feedback.

So yes, it's that time of year, again, when companies tempt us with their latest, greatest, and hottest. It's enough to make a guy check his piggy bank and contemplate a visit to a club fitter.

In the case of Miura's new MB-001's, such a notion might very well be worth the trip.