What is it: Miura Golf’s Precious Edition utility club
Demo model: 23 degrees, extra-stiff Nippon NSPro 950 steel shaft
Upgrades: Graphite Design, Fujikura shafts, Iomic grips
Grip: Lamkin midsize
Retail: $239 US (steel)
Theyre known _ if at all, admittedly _ for producing some of the most refined, carefully crafted irons in the world. But in recent years, Miura Golf has broadened its horizons considerably into the ranks of the rest of the bag: drivers, fairway woods, wedges, putters _ and hybrids.
The rather richly named Precious Edition hybrid, as non-traditional a piece of golf equipment as one can find these days, might seem out of character for a company so closely aligned with old-school manufacturing traditions like mild steel, 14-step forgings and undersized blades.
But the Precious hybrid lives up to Miuras exacting standards, standing out as a club that performs exactly the way one might demand it to, and yet feels like no other utility on the market.
The clubhead consists of a carbon plate fused to the crown in order to produce a low centre of gravity, resulting in a ball flight that Miura bills as mid to high trajectory with minimal spin. The club sits square behind the ball, despite having a slight draw bias thats all but imperceptible at address.
As someone who suffers from a chronic problem hooking the ball with a hybrid, the 23-degree demo Precious offered no such trouble. In fact, the Precious proved more workable than any of the many utility clubs Ive tried in past years; a high, gentle fade was an easy shot to produce, and id probably one of the clubs
most valuable features, considering that its principal function is to hit high, soft-landing approach shots from 200 yards or more.
Interestingly, a gentle high draw wasnt much trouble to produce either, and the clubs distance control was bang-on: the 23-degree model makes a perfect replacement for a 4-iron, and is probably easier to hit, too.
Theres nothing thin or tinny about impact; the strike is solid and satisfying with a rich, dense sound, regardless of where on the face you make contact. Again, a hallmark of Miura craftsmanship.
Aesthetically, the Precious Edition is a thing of beauty, a traditional pear-shaped head in a rich metallic oxblood finish. The perfectly rounded sole is something you dont see on a lot of clubs, but no doubt functions to help the clubhead travel through the grass when gouging the ball out of the rough.
Shaft options for the Precious Edition include graphite shafts by Graphite Design or steel shafts from Nippon, while grip selection includes Lamkin or the multicoloured Iomic variety, which Y.E. Yang used to win the 2009 PGA Championship.
The club comes in lofts of 17, 20 and 23 degrees, which is essentially 2-iron through 4, and retails for a rather robust $239 with a standard Nippon NSPro 950 steel shaft (which, for the record, is an excellent shaft that rivals any of the premium steel shafts on the market). But the folks at Miura will work with anyone to make sure the club they order is perfectly fit to their swing and their game.
Bottom line: you need to experience Miura before laying out the cash that it takes to get into a set. But as vice-president Bill Holowaty will tell you from the company’s North American headquarters in Vancouver, they’re hard to resist once you’ve experienced them for yourself.