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|Miura Golf's SIT-460 driver is all titanium and delivers impressive power. (Courtesy of Miura Golf)|
Miura Golf, the best equipment company you may never have heard of, has expanded its offerings the past few years.
Originally, Miura Golf was known exclusively for its irons, which were individually forged by company founder and legendary club maker Katsuhiro Miura. The Miura family had been in the samurai sword-making business for centuries, and the players' blades that were handcrafted by Miura-san were nearly as sharp.
When it comes to longer clubs, Miura Golf had produced an all-titanium driver that was significantly smaller (390cc) than its competitors. This year Miura Golf has unveiled its SIT-460 driver, an all-titanium, two-piece driver head that stands head and shoulders above the competition.
Shaped and cast by Miura-san's son, Shinei Miura, the SIT-460 features a deeper (i.e., taller) clubface than other 460-cc drivers on the market. The effect is that the rest of the clubhead appears more compact at address.
The all-titanium head is cast in two pieces, and the face is then laser-welded onto the crown. Casting is preferred to forging in titanium clubs, as casting better maintains the structural integrity of the metal (opposite of stainless steel).
By centering more mass on the vertical axis, the clubhead feels and looks more compressed from heel to toe. This feature makes it extremely easy to square the clubface. The smaller the clubhead, the easier it is to return to square at contact.
Additionally, the all-titanium clubhead makes the SIT-460 feel a bit heavier than competing composite-headed drivers (usually titanium and carbon fiber). For players who may struggle with losing "contact" with the clubhead at the top of the backswing (i.e., sort of losing the feel for where the clubhead is), this extra weight is ideal, as it is easier to feel where the head is at all times. (At least it was to me. A trained Miura club fitter can adjust the swing weight to any player's preference.)
I took the Miura Golf SIT-460 (10.5 degrees, stiff Claymore shaft) on a tour of famous Michigan golf courses and was immediately impressed with the boring trajectory and extreme power. I can be inconsistent with my driver, but aside from a few smother-hooks, the SIT-460 was very consistent, even on mishits. In fact, on the final day of that Michigan trip, I was playing with a 3-handicapper known for his long drives, and with the SIT-460 I consistently outdrove him, sometimes by 30-40 yards.
When this low-handicapper tried the SIT-460 on one tee, he crushed a ball 20 yards past his own first drive and said, "I could get used to that!"
When he asked the retail price, however (listed at $595), he made the quick decision to stick with his old driver.
I test and review a lot of drivers in a year, and occasionally I find one that compels me to clean out my basement and get rid of all the other big sticks I'd been holding onto "just in case." The Miura Golf SIT-460 is one of these rare drivers.
Miura Golf clubs are often labeled as "players' clubs" because of their almost ethereal craftsmanship, stratospheric price points and because golfers like K. J. Choi use them. But the SIT-460 doesn't demand perfect contact on every drive; even my off-center hits traveled far and not terribly wide.
Besides the intimidating price, some players might find the lack of an alignment point on the matte-finished crown disconcerting. It shouldn't take a "player" to figure out where the center of the clubhead is, though.
Another limitation is that, at present, the SIT-460 is only offered in 9 and 10.5 degrees and in a right-handed version. (Samurais were also prohibited from fighting left-handed.)
The rest of the clubhead, especially the sole, is understated, lacking the splashy colors of many contemporary offerings from the big-name equipment brands. It is refreshing, however, to allow the performance of a handcrafted weapon like the Miura Golf SIT-460 to speak for itself.
For more information, visit www.miuragolf.com.
July 31, 2012
Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.
Paying $79.17 for a dozen golf balls may sound steep. But, Kiel Christianson writes, "there is absolutely no doubt that Clear Golf Balls occupy the upper echelon of premium golf balls."
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