By Rick Young, senior writer for Score Golf Magazine
For 55 years Katsuhiro Miura has been forging some of the world’s most beautiful irons with an uncompromising blend of quality, detail and craftsmanship.
Don’t expect that to change.
The Vancouver-based company still produces its exceptional wares in the traditional samurai sword-making capital of Himeji, Japan; still does so in one factory with one forge under the watchful eye of the company’s skilled master craftsman and founder.
What has changed for Miura in recent times is product expansion. Though irons, then wedges, provided the upscale golf brand its foundation, gaining traction in the retail marketplace requires a much more assertive business plan often involving multiple equipment categories. That means rolling out drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges and putters.
Last month Miura Golf showed again its capabilities as a producer of high-end golf equipment is not limited even when it comes to non-forged golf clubs. President Adam Barr sent along test samples of the company’s two most recent products, the new SIT-460 driver and KM-007 putter. Both are a showcase for the Miura philosophy of handmade over mass production.
Admittedly the new driver at first glance was not an immediate slam dunk for me. In a crammed market of adjustability function, sightline alignment aids and bold new finishes, the SIT-460 — Miura’s second driver offering — seemed a bit staid out of the box. Further visual analysis shows there is more going on here.
Short for Strong & Ideal Trajectory (SIT), the titanium driver head in the hitting position looks anything but 460-cubic centimetres (cc). Much smaller in appearance, some golfers might even construe it as just slightly bigger than one of the larger model three-woods found in the industry now. This however is every cubic centimetre a driver.
Use of a flat-black matte finish and a deeper, tall face behind the golf ball streamlines the head size while a softer ‘gear effect’ visual on top of the club behind the face provides not only a sightline for square alignment but also creates a sense of workability. Barr told me earlier this year in a brief discussion about the SIT-460 driver that the design, overseen by Katsuhiro’s son Shinei, is an extension of Miura’s success with last year’s MG hybrids. Those clubs faces were exactly as tall as a golf ball providing what the company calls “ball coverage” at impact. There is also plenty going on in the sole. Highlighted by two distinct tiers each one contributes weighting functionality to the lighter-weight 196-gram head design while also assisting the end user to sit the club square at address. By the way that lighter-weight head provides Miura fitters with the opportunity for more shaft options. The one sent to me came with one of Aerotech’s Claymore MX-60 shafts.
As for performance the club is admirable. What I most liked on the range and on the golf course was the consistent trajectory of the SIT-460. Even when I teed it lower or higher or when I tried to work the ball either way the ball flight was remarkably similar. In a retail driver market dominated by top names and advanced technology this club might easily be passed over. Golfing traditionalists and players seeking something simple but unique should give this club some attention. It’s a sleeper.
Miura’s new KM-007 putter extends the brand’s blade putter capabilities to the mid-mallet category. Similar to Scotty Cameron design beliefs for the vast majority of his products, Miura is not about face inserts with its putters.
Made of softer, mild steel, forged and CNC (computer-numeric controlled) milled, the KM-007 provides exceptional feel at impact with a shape and design that harkens a golfer to Cameron’s current Del Mar line or Odyssey’s Rossi product.
You won’t find bells and whistles here either. About the most distinctive individual aspect of this putter is the black/red Lamkin-produced Miura-inscribed putter grip. The 360-gram KM-007 comes in a nickel (satin) and chrome non-glare finish to keep a golfer’s eyes focused on the single, white top sightline.
What I like most about this club is how it comes off the face. That feel equates to great responsiveness which I found no different on a 40-foot putt or a four-foot putt. To me that’s a sign of a great putter product.
Wayne Freedman, a great writer for the San Francisco Chronicle and TV personality on ABC & in the Bay Area, has posted a very nice review of the Miura Golf KM-007 putter:
Miura Launches 007 Putter
By John Ehle
Adam Barr has been the president of Miura golf for nearly two years. During that time Miura has introduced a number of golf clubs to the Japanese-based Miura product line, including putters, wedges, drivers, hybrids and several additions/revisions to their line of world-famous forged irons.
Mr. Barr is reluctant to claim credit for these new products and, rather, suggests that new products come from Katsuhiro Miura (Miura-san) the patriarch of the Miura family or from one of his sons. Himeji, Japan is the steel-producing area of that country and it is said to have been the source of the craftsmen who were responsible for producing the swords of the samurai. Miura-san is a literally hands-on owner and observers in the industry say that his are “the hands of God”.
Mr. Miura was with Mr. Barron a five day visit to the U.S. and was asked if he missed doing the final grinding during the production of their clubs. His response was, “Yes, very much. In fact it takes me a few days to re-establish my comfort with the process when I get back”.
Miura forged golf clubs are crafted from high quality, low carbon steel. Billets are cut and heated to a very high temperature then hammered into the shape of the club by a machine which is the size of a Volkswagen stood on end. If you go to the Miura website you can witness this process. The massive force of the hammer pushes the grain of the steel close together, making it very dense and, of course, heavier. The process and product can be visualized by imaging two identical glass jars, one filled with marbles and one with sand.
Miura’s goal is to create golf clubs which result in the “purity of the strike” which when experienced travels from the clubhead and through the shaft into the hands and arms of the person wielding the golf club. This is when the buttery feel of quality forged clubs is created.
Miura’s most recent project was to create the world’s finest forged and milled mallet putter. The KM-007 is the result. Made from the same low carbon steel, the 007 weighs in at 360 grams. With a 72 degree lie and a 4 degree loft, this putter is an inspiration when you stand over it. Not only is it an aesthetically pleasing work of art, the artisanal workmanship and engineering which has gone into its production affords the golfer the opportunity to experience the aforementioned “purity of the strike” with each stroke.
It resists twisting and builds confidence as the ball seems to glide away from the exquisitely milled clubface. The quality of this putter is difficult to describe other than to say that it is a matter of aesthetics lending form to function. Whether lagging a 40′ putt or knocking in a pesky 4 footer, the KM-007 will inspire confidence and fire your passion to use this extraordinary putter again and again.
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!