Miura’s release of the CB-301, its first fully forged cavityback iron since the PP9003 in 2011, offers golfers something more than an updated look at an evolved design. It also hints at where Miura might be headed as the brand continues to find its footing in North America amidst the organizational restructuring, which started roughly two years ago.
The fear for some Miura loyalists was that by increasing exposure and working to make the brand more globally competitive, it would begin to stray from its roots as a small family run operation in Himeji, Japan where the message of Discover Perfection suggested something of an exclusive destination. Multi-piece constructions such as the PP-9005 (Genesis) didn’t do much to quell the nervous feelings.
That said, the CB-301 should offer some measure of solace as other than the design work (done by Shinei the son of founder Katsuhiro Miura) the story is relatively similar to that of previous players irons (CB-57, MB-001, MC-501). Each head is forged at the Miura facility in Himeji from soft 1025 carbon steel, and according to Miura “is individually handcrafted and will never be mass produced” – However, it’s reasonable to question where the line exists separating increased market share from mass production. Is it possible for Miura to access the former without running the risk of the latter?
In terms of performance, Miura claims the CB-301 to be the longest forged cavityback iron it’s ever produced, which is noteworthy as it’s rare to hear Miura leverage distance as a selling point for a forged iron. Given its construction, Miura hopes the CB-301 will appeal to a broader range of players, some which may look to combo the CB-301 with more workable MC-501 short irons. That said as a complete set, the basic structure (lower and deeper CG and scooped-out rear cavity), might remind golfers of the 2018 Players Distance Most Wanted winner (Fourteen TC 788).
The CB-301 is positioned as a bridge seeking to connect Miura’s next generation of designers with a more universal audience, though at $280/club it’s still by most measures a niche product.
Miura built a dedicated following on a foundation of high-quality forged player’s irons and wedges. No doubt, nearly a decade between releases is well beyond the industry norm.
So, did Miura get it right?
For more information, visit www.Miuragolf.com.