The dead of Canadian winter might not be the best time to receive golf clubs for testing I didn’t put up much fuss when a spanking new demo 6-iron of the Miura Golf MB-0o1 showed up on my doorstep. No golf geek can resist the lure of the blade.
To those not familiar, Miura is a legendary brand among golf equipment aficionados. Known for their forging prowess the clubs made by this Japanese manufacturer have reached mythical proportions in some circles. Only available through dealers that ensure the perfect fit, buying a set of Miura irons is not a casual occasion, it takes a commitment to the time for a proper fitting and a hefty chunk of cash to carry out the deed. The payoff, though, comes when you put them into play.
Not only will you be the envy of your golf buddies (that is, if they are a golf geek like you and understand the significance of your new tools) but in your hands you’ll have the proper tools to get the most out of your game. The rest will be up to you and your golf swing.
It’s been more than a few years since Miura Golf introduced a blade iron. Six, in fact. But that does not seem to be a concern for President Adam Barr, who, while excited about the introduction of the MB-001, is casual about the “need” for Miura to get another club to market.
Barr asserts that their “development schedule” is basically non-existent. He say that over a period of time they hear feedback from golfers about trends in the market or the needs of customers from their fitters, leading to some exploration into model and design changes. It’s only after these new products “check out” as being an improvement that they move them along in the development process.
“In that kind of a start/stop, steady way an idea gets good enough to produce and release and that is what happened with the MB-001,” Barr shares by phone. “The main difference in it, and you’d have to have a very keen eye to spot it, is in the shaping of the sole. The whole club is a combination of six years of developments.”
With an older set of their Tournament Blades (their last major blade iron introduction) for comparison, over a period of a couple months we spent some time with the MB-001, getting our own feel for it while also seeking the input of avid golfers. We spent a bunch of time hitting the MB-001 in simulators and during forays to Arizona and Nevada. After all, there is no better test than one conducted on real grass.
Many people will say “a blade is a blade” when it comes to iron designs and, in many ways, they are right. Changes in the basic configuration tend to be subtle and this is the case when transitioning from the Tournament Blade to the MB-001. Even so, some of those little differences can make for a much better fit depending on your personal preferences and swing characteristics.
This is always an area where Miura stands out. Centred contact on Miura irons has a silky feel and the MB-001 is no different. It is what you expect from a Miura iron and it delivers. Off centre hits are not overly harsh although you certainly know when it happens.
From the back of the club the MB-001 does not vary a lot from other blade designs with a low muscle back and thinner top half. The graphics are subtle with badging to match.
The critical contrasts from the Tournament Blade come at address. In this position a higher toe is apparent. Players we asked to test the iron noted this as something that made the head appear larger. Some said that this instilled more confidence in them making them feel that they would be more successful in hitting the iron. This also lends to the club head appearing more upright (even with the same lie angle) which helps the golfer feel they are more over the ball.
Also notable at address is the appearance of less offset, a product of a new blending of the head and hosel. Testers says this made the leading edge easier to align with a target – another confidence booster.
With a muscle back design you sort of know what you are in for before you swing it. You need to hit the centre of gravity on the face or expect to pay the price. I can’t say this was any different with the MB-001. The refined looks don’t make this any less of a precision instrument. There is some help at hand though.
The subtle re-shaping of the sole includes an increased camber on the leading edge which exposes a little more bounce. The result is a club head that works through the turf much easier. In doing so, it helps it to stay online at impact.
Testers with a steep angle of attack noted that turf interaction was still smooth for them.
The most notable of the other characteristics of the MB-001 discovered during testing was the trajectory. With one degree slightly strong lofts than the tournament blades the trajectory was consistently 5% lower on the 6 iron, in-line with the spec change. It was be interesting to see how this plays out with the longer and short irons and their effective trajectory.
Our time with the 6-iron was limited to a few indoor and outdoor sessions – we hope to get some time with the complete set at some point to expand our thoughts on their performance. We’d be curious to test a longer iron and get a sense for both the look and playability of the short irons.
The MB-001 is best described as an iron without compromises. From the finely tuned and bang-on specs to the fitter-only policy of sellers, like their other Miura blade family members (the Baby Blade ,aka the Series 57 Little Blade, and the Tournament Blade) they simply continue an esteemed tradition. They’ll take a bite out of your wallet at more than $200 a club (depending on shaft, etc) but if you want the blade to end all blades you can’t go wrong with these beauties as your selection.