The Miura Story…
Miura has been around and producing quality products for quite some time (almost 50 years) out of Himeji Japan. Miura is a family-run golf company and makes clubs for both other manufacturers and under the Miura name. Katsuhiro Miura and his two sons have spent countless hours designing and crafting some of the most incredible clubs on the market. It’s also adds to the mystique of Miura that the factory is located in the same area that was once the hub of samurai sword craftsmanship.
If you talk to anyone who has hit a set of Miuras, chances are that they’ll go on-and-on about how great the clubs are. In my time playing golf I’ve never felt anything like them. The design, the aesthetic, the history, the craftsmanship, and the feel make these the best all-around product I’ve seen on the golf market. The bottom line is that the clubs are amazing. Katsuhiro Miura has said he’s on the quest to make the perfect golf club – and I think he’s getting pretty close.
Miura does a lot of things differently. They don’t release new clubs and new lines every season or retire lines after being on the market for a year. The company believes that good clubs aren’t confined to a season or a marketing timeline. They simply make excellent clubs and update or introduce new lines as new advances are made. When you’re dropping a lot of money on a set of premium golf clubs, it’s nice to know that they won’t be obsolete in 6 months.
Miura has multiple lines of clubs made with different players in mind. There are a variety of blades, cavity-backs, wedges, and even some woods and putters.
In this review we’re taking a look at the CB-501s.
Miura was very insistent that I needed to be fit for the CB-501s so that they were specifically tuned for my game. The company takes a very clear stance that selling off-the-rack clubs is a dis-service to their customers and is opinionated to the point that you need to be fitted by a Miura dealer before purchasing the clubs. This ended up resulting in my first real iron fitting and ended up being a true blessing.
The fitter that Miura sent me to was Joel Iacovelli at Golf Etc. in Cary, NC. Joel and his shop were both excellent and I couldn’t be any happier with the whole process of the fitting and the outcome of how my CB-501s turned out.
After the fitting it was unmistakable that I have been playing sub-optimal shafts with incorrect lie settings on all of my prior irons. While I’m sure fitters see this all the time – it was a large eye-opener for me. As Joel tweaked the shafts and lies with a CB-501 I was able to tell an immediate difference in impact. Joel explained more than I could ever fully absorb about the technicalities of the fitting – and I walked away much more knowledgeable and sold on the necessity of being fit for every new set of clubs.
My final results were that I needed a few degrees of lie adjustment with a much heavier shafts than I had previously been using. Joel ended up setting me up with the True Temper Dynamic Gold XP shaft to add some more weight to my shafts and get the desired ball flight .
With Miura requiring the fitting and the clubs being assembled to spec – the opportunity to customize various aspects like the grips, colors, and ferule design also end up being a possibility. I’ve been very happy with my Pure grips lately so we opted for the Miura Pure grips and since I’m a devout minimalist – we went with pure black for both the ferule and grips.
I was very pleased with the fitting process and expect that I’ll be making the trip back to down to Cary to visit Joel and Golf Etc in the future.
It only took a week or so for my clubs to show up and be fully assembled. When Joel called I was around the general area and despite being on my way out of town, decided to swing by and pick up the clubs. Although it had only been a week, I was dying with anticipation to see the finished product and to get the clubs out to start reviewing.
On picking up the clubs, it’s immediately noticeable that these clubs are simply a work of art. It’s rare that I can go to the extreme of describing a piece of golf equipment as beautiful – but these clubs don’t deserve anything less. The level of craftsmanship, the feel, and the minimalist nature of the clubs are all absolutely perfect. When I arrived and first saw the clubs, I had to walk around them a few times because it almost felt like I wasn’t worthy enough to touch the things – they simply look that good.
The CB-501 Aesthetic…
The CB-501s are a forged cavity-back design.
Although they are cavity backs, they have much more of a traditional blade aesthetic. The top line of the club at address feels identical to a pure blade.
The design and finish of the club is minimalist without any excessive features. The club is pure and without any unnecessary design elements. The craftsmanship is obvious and clear.
First Round Out…
My first trip to the club with the irons went as expected. I hit quite a few great shots on the range but still struggled a bit to get used to the new equipment. I only had a little bit of time on the range before taking them out to play for the first time. I ended up not playing so great that day, but I have to say that I still had a huge smile on my face and noticed myself taking about twice as long at address just looking down on how great the clubs look.
A few days later when I returned to my home club at Hasentree, I decided to forego the range and just go out and enjoy the walk around the course. Although I felt like I needed to spend a bit of time on the range, I often play better when I just head out to walk a round or two by myself in the seclusion of my home club.
The course and tee sheet were mostly empty, so it gave me a lot of time to really focus on getting acquainted with the new sticks and it ended up being a wonderful 27 holes of golf. Everything seemed to click throughout my game and the feel of making solid contact with the clubs was close to a transformative experience and unlike any other feel that I’ve ever noticed in another iron.
Reflections After A Month of Play…
It’s a little over a month since I’ve had these clubs out for play. On average, I’ve been playing between 36 and 54 holes a week and had an additional few hours every week at the range. Although I’m an equipment junky, I don’t believe that clubs are ever going to change a mid-handicapper into a scratch golfer. While I don’t know that I’ve shaved an excessive number of strokes off of my handicap – I do know that I love these clubs and I can’t remember another time that I’ve been so excited to get out on the course and play.
I rarely track my score (yes, I know it’s weird), but I do acknowledge a hole as a “good” hole or a “bad” hole after throughout the round. I can say that the “good” holes are on the rise and the smile on my face has grown by at least a 1/4″ on each side.
I loved these clubs for their aesthetic appeal before I ever took them out for play and I’m sure that plays a significant role in my reflection and overall satisfaction of the CB-501s. Regardless, the combination of the look, feel, and performance of the clubs results in a great on-course experience. I’ve since played enough rounds with these irons that I can tell you that these clubs have earned a permanent spot in my go-to bag when I’m not reviewing and just want to go out and play golf.
The key takeaway for me in playing the CB-501s is that you don’t have to be low handicapper to play these clubs. As a mid-handicapper, I feel right at home having these clubs in my bag and it’s nice to lose the weight in my bag that comes along with any game improvement irons. I also am starting to feel much more capable in my game with the Miuras. The increased feedback feels like it’s helping me improve my ball striking and it feels like I’m on my way to starting to shape some shots on demand.
If you’d like to see some more photos of the Miura CB-501s, take a look at our Facebook page.