During the August 31st episode of Capital Golf Weekly, the new co-anchor on the Grill Room segment each week, Whitney Wild, was outfitted in AUR women’s collection!!!
Antigua Golf was featured on the cover of the August 2012 issue of NEGM!
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By: Tony Dear, for BellinghamGolfer.com
As a golf writer/reporter/journalist/blogger/editor/freeloader, I am often sent golf-related products to review. Some don’t warrant a whole page to themselves necessarily while others might not fit neatly into a certain section. Yet they are all worthy of attention one way or another, and some of them even your money. If you’re tempted to purchase them, it’s nice to know if their sticker price represents good value or if what the marketing bods are saying is just shameless flimflam. Here, then, are some items I’ve been reading, watching and wearing recently that I think you might like.
‘Butch Harmon About Golf’ DVD
There is very little on this DVD that you haven’t heard or seen before. There are no variations or secret little tips on how to grip the club or stand to the ball that you are unaware of. The list of lessons (posture, fixing a slice, ball above feet, buried lie in bunker, etc) is much the same as you’ll see on pretty much every other instruction DVD in your collection (though there aren’t many others I’ve seen that include a section on how to hit the ‘stinger’).
But, and it is a very big ‘but’, it’s Butch Harmon giving the lessons here. When someone with Harmon’s knowledge, experience, and credibility is telling you how to play golf, you listen, assuming you want to improve. I’d happily take a driving (car) lesson from a talented young teacher who’s passed all the necessary exams, but I’d rather sit behind the wheel alongside a guy that’s steered (pun totally intended) 10,000 other students to success during his career.
Harmon isn’t re-inventing the wheel, but he is giving you a clear route to success and imparting a wisdom that an impressive list of players (Fred Couples, Ernie Els, Natalie Gulbis, Dustin Johnson, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Nick Watney, and Tiger Woods) has benefited from in the past. It would behoove you to do what the man says.
Price: $79.95 (plus s&h).
Worth it?: It’s not the cheapest DVD in the world, but it could very well turn out to be the most useful. Available here.
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Stephen Pizinger, a contributing writer for GolfWRX, posted his review of the Miura – KM-007 putter and included many great photos that he took of the putter for his feature.
GolfWRX is a major golf website that is read on a monthly basis by nearly 1 million golf enthusiasts. Click on the link below for the feature:
Product review: Miura Golf KM-007, by Stephen Pizinger
(Disclaimer: I have wanted this putter since “Pitbull’s review a while back!)
A few months ago, I discovered Miura Golf was set to release the KM-007 to retail. Shortly thereafter, I received a press release stating it was set to arrive this August. I have played this shape putter for the better part of the last three seasons. There is just something about this shape that suits my eye at address. Putt after putt, I believe I have played my best rounds with this shape putter in the bag. When I saw Miura was adopting this mallet design to add to their line, I knew I had to have it in the bag. If you have ever had the chance to play a Miura product, you know the feel of their forgings are very soft and consistent. This was one of my most anticipated pieces of equipment to date, and I was looking forward to giving the KM-007 a roll.
The KM-007 is the fourth addition to the Miura Golf putter line, designed by the company’s founder and chief designer, Katsuhiro Mirua. When I first held this putter out of the box, I said aloud, this is the most beautiful putter I have ever seen. A couple things that are readily apparent is what the putter does not have: stamping or distracting logos on the face or cavity. Rather, you are presented with a perfectly milled face and blank cavity, in the muted carbon steel with a nickel/chrome finish. It’s almost as if Mr. Miura wanted the shape and quality of the forging to speak for itself representing the Muira brand not with a logo, but in the totality of this forged piece of art. The Miura Golf 1957 series logo is discreetly placed with class on the sole of the putter.
According to Miura Golf, this offering begins with a “billet of the finest quality low carbon steel.” The head is forged into it’s proper raw shape, then CNC milled to perfection.
At address, looking down upon this head, there is a single sight line in the cavity behind the face. This sightline is framed within a carved out portion of the cavity aiding in alignment as well. The blade, graduated step pattern into the mallet, and neck, feature distinct and precise squared off lines. The face seemed to be slightly deeper and measured 1” from the sole to top line, and 3 3/4” from toe to heel. The neck is positioned with minimal offset and is set with a seamless transition into the shaft. As previously mentioned, the low-carbon steel head with a nickel/chrome finish gives off a non-glare, dark grey appearance. The head weighs 360g and is set to a 72 degree lie with 4 degrees of loft. The putter is 34” long and has a Lamkin 3GEN red/black grip with the Miura Golf logo.
On course, the legendary feel of a Miura forging was readily apparent. When solidly struck in the center of this face, the buttery soft feel Miura is known for is felt, yet the sound remains remarkably crisp. There is a definite distinction in feel on off center contact which will quickly gravitate your stroke back to center in search of that “purity of the strike.” This head inspires a great deal of confidence with it’s weight and mass behind the ball. The unique combination of the precise CNC milling, low-carbon steel, and the feel of close-grain forging, reveal a special putter that quickly earned a spot in my bag. If you prefer this shape, you have to give the KM-007 a roll.
Below are some photographs and a brief video I took of the putter…enjoy!
The Miura PP-9003 irons looked so good I didn’t even realize that they were the “game improvement” model!
Those in the know quietly whisper that there are a mere handful of club manufacturers in the world that are a cut above the rest. Call it craftsmanship, quality control, or whatever; Katsuhiro Miura has been crafting some of the best-forged blades for nearly fifty years. As the chief designer and patriarch of Miura Giken Co. Ltd, he is still active and has passed this tradition to his two sons as well as several dozen other skilled craftsman that make one of the finest families of irons in the world.
It is literally a secret, but the Miura Company currently manufactures forged heads on an OEM basis for many of the world’s major equipment companies. The secret is that they are bound by confidentiality agreements not to disclose whom. Mr. Miura comes from a family of Samurai sword makers and is himself a certified Samurai sword maker. And because they don’t pay professionals to play their clubs, you won’t find Miura touted on the “billboards” of any pro’s golf bags. It is no secret that K.J. Choi plays Miura even though he is not paid to do so.
The former practicing attorney turned golf equipment and business reporter for The Golf Channel, Adam Barr, is another interesting story. He first met the Miura family when on assignment to cover them in 2003. He was instantly so very impressed with not only the equipment, but also the Miura family that he developed a dear friendship. Barr was so impressed with the quality and potential for Miura in North America that when the situation was right, he joined them as the President of Miura in 2011. In fact, the Vancouver-based company was named 2011’s Canadian Golf Company of the Year” by “Score Golf Magazine.” (Their production and design is based in Japan.)
So where does this unique quality come from? First, Miura utilizes a proprietary 14-step process to forge its irons as the Miura line also takes great care to meld the size, weight, balance, bounce, center of gravity, and “sweet spot” into a most attractive tool. Then there is a second part to the equation; there must be a smooth transition from one iron to the next. These are components that insiders admire about Mr. Miura and his crafted products. Not only does each iron look like a piece of art, they play like ones too, seamlessly as you progress through the set. Thirdly, the clubs are formed in a unique two-piece spin forging process where the grooves are pressed and not struck. This manufacturing process enables the metal particles to bond more securely as opposed to other’s (picture a bowl of marbles versus a bowl of sand; there is less space between the particles of sand <Miura> than there is between the marbles <other’s>).
Hearing so much positive feedback from my friends, I became interested. The initial choice of which Miura irons was easy. What surprised me was that I changed my mind on which model to play. Let me explain.
I was initially attracted to the CB-501. It is a forgiving “player’s club” with perimeter weighting and a muscle back weight directly behind the ball. Having been a decent ball-striker in the past, I like to work the ball from side to side, and I could never really get past the awkward (for me) look of the modern game improvement clubs.
The CB-501 Model is another fantastic iron and the one I initially wanted, but I succumbed to improving my faltering game with a playable “game improvement” club. No, make that a “game enhancement” club.
Whew, what a surprise! First I learned that these very game-improvement clubs were Terry’s own clubs – and he is a PGA member. If they were good enough for him, they should be good enough for me, right? Second, I marveled at how much these looked like “player’s clubs” as I gazed down at the blades. They possess a nice thin top line and the look of the offset is artfully blended to not appear as such. Next I hit them. They have a bit stronger loft so I expected a slightly lower ball flight, but boy did they jump off the clubface yet with a soft buttery feel and penetrating ball flight. I was sold and ordered my first-ever set of “game-improvement” irons.
Adam Barr explained to me that the PP-9003s rather than being called “game-improvement” clubs would be more aptly termed “game-enhancement” ones. It’s a bit like comparing the purr of a powerful Ferrari to the pinging of assembly-built economy car. These clubs are not only made for hitting, but those who truly relish the joy of doing so.
Now the next part of the process is just as important as the Miura clubs themselves and is part and parcel of why Miura succeeds so well – that the clubs are properly fit for you. The best clubs that are ill-fit mean absolutely nothing. (The only way you can purchase new Miura golf clubs is through a certified dealer/clubfitter.) As a senior golfer albeit still with pretty good clubhead speed, I have been beginning to feel that I need something a little lighter and just a hair softer in the shaft. Terry and I took turns experimenting with different Miura clubs in conjunction with my present set. If I were to get a stock Dynamic Golf True Temper shaft, it would weight around 130 grams. I picked a NipponNS Pro hybrid graphite-steel combination shaft that weighs only 75 grams. Terry also suggested a way of producing a tad more flexible shaft than the standard stiff without resorting to a “Regular Shaft.” Those factors had me hitting it like a knife through butter. I was hooked.
I chose a bright orange NO1 rubber grip that plays exceptionally tacky and my order was placed.
Quickly the clubs arrived. No, I did not pick them up and rush to the practice tee or course to hit them. Rather Terry placed tape on the bottoms of each of them to verify that the lie angles were all correct and appropriate to me. Each was right on target. I ordered a 56-degree 1957 Miura Model sand wedge to complement the set. That was the only club Terry made an ever so slight lie adjustment to, and I was ready. The point is that it is always important for the seller to check that the instructions to the manufacturer are ahhered to and more importantly actually do work as planned for the buyer. And as any reputable club-fitter, Terry Kim invites all his customers to return to see him once they begin playing with them if they have any problems or dissatisfaction.
This “1957 Model” sand wedge is worth a review of its own. With 56 degrees of loft and 12 degrees of bounce, it is ideal for use out of the sand. The soft forged steel provides exceptional feedback and control from rough and fairway alike, as well.
As you can see in the photo to the left, the most striking feature of this sand wedge is the “fluted” bounce. Three slightly narrower than finger-width indentations adorn the back of the ridge providing the bounce angle. Between the indentations are bumps that look a bit like knuckles, which maintain the bounce angle.
According to the Miura Golf description, the motivation for this unique design is to allow the clubhead to travel through sand or rough with less resistance. In some sense, the design concept is related to the “rake iron” of a century ago, the entire clubhead of which was slotted to allow sand to slide through, but still make contact with the ball. At address, the K Grind feels a bit heavier than most sand wedges, but it swings incredibly easily, and most importantly moves effortlessly through sand or rough. By the way, 1957 is the year that Mr. Miura started his golf equipment company.
The verdict for my new Miura irons was a “pass with flying colors” – a big “two thumbs up!” By moving to shorter, lighter clubs, I was able to control them a bit easier more readily transferring my weight toward the target rather than hanging back. My ball trajectory now holds its line and never balloons while my dispersion pattern tightened. Pleasantly I have recovered a good portion of the distance loss that everyone was telling me was due to my age!
If an old dog can learn new tricks, at least with regard to the Miura irons, we should all resist the myth that a forged blade is only for better players – it is not. As I grasped the PP-9003s that I ended up deciding upon, I also discovered that “useful can also be beautiful,” because these PP-9003s are, and I sensed the feedback in my hands that a better ball-striker appreciates getting from forged irons. We might agree that beauty is not everything if it is not accompanied by performance. Miura clubs are truly a functional work of art – where Mr. Miura and his sons (who design and hand build every set) really distinguish themselves. When I finally took them out to play, the transition from club to club was seamless in trajectory, feel, and again, dispersion.
Are Miura clubs expensive? Yes, quite frankly they are on the higher end, but as President Adam Barr states, “Any objection to price evaporates once someone hits them.” If you enjoy the sensation of a well-struck shot, any of the Miura models will more than delight you. I predict you will be hooked on them!
Now I am not going to tell you that you need to copy my investment in the game-enhancement PP-9003 irons for Miura also features several other outstanding models – those same ones that every else is so enthusiastic about. What I am recommending is that you give Miura a very careful look – you just might not need to check anyone else.
In Japan, Mr. Miura is referred to having “the hands of God.” Intimately involved with over ten series of golf clubs, it is no wonder why golfers so admire his irons. Now that I know the background and I have hit these remarkable clubs, it is no mystery to me why Miura irons are so coveted among those in the know. As Adam Barr has said, “Miura has forged a more enjoyable game for you!”
I recommend you check out www.miuragolf.com for further information.
For an informative video on the Miura forging process, check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kdconj9Y_1Q&feature=related.
Tony Korologos, the editor for a very nice golf web site – Hookedongolf.com – has published a very positive review on the Butch Harmon About Golf DVD, and included a couple of nice photos:
This story was also published on one more golf website – thegolfspace.com
Today I’m reviewing a great instructional DVD. I’ve now watched the entire two disc set “About Golf” by Butch Harmon three times. I’ve watched the short game section (4) at least five times, the area I need the most work in. Let’s take a look at the product and what it covers.
About Golf DVD Overview
This DVD set covers literally every aspect of the golf swing and the game imaginable. There’s even a section on anger management.
The lessons Butch gives in this two disc set are very well done and very educational. Butch covers everything from the very basics that all golfers need, to the fine details of shot making and dealing with trouble on the course. Harmon is very clear and descriptive in his concepts, setup and execution. He really stresses the basics, which are so obvious but so often overlooked.
Before turning golf web geek, I worked as an engineer in the audio/video field for 25 years. I know good and bad production. This DVD is produced, filmed, edited and packaged with the highest quality and attention to detail. The audio is great, the video quality is fantastic and so are the supporting graphics and materials. This is a top notch production.
My favorite section other than the short game section is “From Good To Great.” In that section big name stars like Ernie Els, Fred Couples, Dustin Johnson etc., talk about their game and how Butch helped them. Very interesting to know that even Ernie Els was aligning some 15 yards right of target with a 7-iron and had to make all sorts of other manipulations in his swing to compensate. Once again, going back to the basics and checking alignment, helped Ernie.
Putting It Together
There’s so much material in this DVD. I’ve developed a couple of ideas on how to best take advantage. First I might pick one lesson inside a section, like hitting the stinger for instance, and work on that for a range session. I’ll pick another section or subject for the next range session.
Butch’s DVD in my computer this morning…
The other way I use the DVD is running a section over and over on my home computer, like pitching or chipping, to pound the concepts into my cranium.
This DVD is fantastic for golfers of all ability levels. At $89 retail, this program costs as much as one or two lessons, but there are 100′s of lessons and tips one could learn from. Whether you are a pro, low single digit like me, or a beginner, this DVD is a great resource for learning and improving your golf game.
About Tony Korologos a.k.a. mediaguru
Tony Korologos is one of golf’s original bloggers, covering golf since 2004. Also known as “MediaGuru,” Tony is one of the internet’s top experts in golf social media and golf social networking. Tony is also apparently very good at writing about himself in the third person… 🙂
Great review written by fashion writer Ellen Christian for her blog “The Socialite’s Closet”!!!