Written by: Dave Wolfe
The last time I wrote about a Miura putter, the KM-007, I got a little caught up in the Kill Bill references. Sorry about that. I guess that I just have a fascination with Japanese steel, or more specifically, Japanese swords.
OK, that’ll be the last 80’s movie tangent for today (#unlikely). Lets get back to the putter. The Miura putter I have for your perusal today is the new KM-008 model. It replaces the KM 350 that was retired in 2014. That KM 350 was, according to Miura, “one of our most popular putters ever”.
While I did not ever roll the KM 350, that claim makes me very curious about this KM-008. To be frank, this head shape is not one that I would pick as being the “most popular”. Don’t get me wrong, I see the visual beauty. It’s just not one of the more common head shapes to which golfers gravitate. I would have guessed that the KM-005 or KM-006 would be more popular.
Again, it made me curious. Could there be a hidden complexity, some inner glow nestled inside the KM-008?
- Material: Forged Mild Carbon Steel
- Weight: 350g
- Loft: 4°
- Lie: 72°
- Toe Hang: 5:30
- Length Tested: 34″
- Finish: Satin Nickel
- Insert: None, CNC Milled Face
- Grip: Miura Logo PURE Grip
BALL USED: Bridgestone B330-RX
I didn’t really know what to expect feel-wise when I first took the KM-008 out for a roll. Carbon steel should make it soft, but the lack of cavity could push that expectation in the other direction. Forging influence?
Well, it’s soft, with a touch of firmness. I’d almost describe the feel off the face as thick. There is an inertia in the feedback when you roll the ball. No click, or squish. It gives some oomph to the ball.
Sweet spot exploration was quite fun with the KM-008. Though the head is small, you definitely get variable feedback as you strike the ball down the length of the face. The toe in particular is a dead zone. The ball comes off very flat. Heel strikes are similar.
The sweet spot is there, and you know when you hit or miss it. I definitely didn’t expect that to be the case with such a small, cavity-free head.
There is a beauty in the simplicity of the KM-008. Unlike the KM 350, this putter has no cavity or sight line. While that may be an issue with alignment and feedback, the removal of these components allows the smooth lines of the KM-008 to flow unencumbered.
Odds are though that after you marveled a bit at the shape, and the very precise face milling, you made one other observation…
That putter is really small!
You are correct. The KM-008 is a little guy. Heel to toe, it is the shortest putter that I have rolled in a long time. For reference, here is a shot of the KM-008 along side the new Wilson Staff milled 8802.
Shorter than an 8802 is pretty short. Oddly, though it is not much wider than the ball at address, it still frames the ball quite well when it sits behind it. The petite appearance also somehow disguises that this little putter has a big putter weight of 350 grams.
SET-UP & ALIGNMENT
As I just mentioned, the small head gives you a really different look at address. I thought that the size would make alignment more difficult, but instead it really allows the eye to focus on the ball and it’s spot of interaction on the putter face.
I am not a huge fan of alignment lines, so the lack of sight line was not an issue for me, but I could see how those of you who use one could struggle a bit more with the KM-008 than you would have with the KM-350.
I’m still OK ranking this putter as EASY to aim though, because it really was easy to aim. It just squats behind the ball and you let it rip. Nothing is distracting, and the ball really does go where you aim it. Yes, even without a line and with it’s small profile, you can aim the KM-008. The 350g head weight almost makes you forget that this is a compact head as it has the weight to stay steady through the stroke.
The KM-008 is easy to get on line and gives you enough feedback that you can control distance pretty well. It’s not as hard to putt with as I thought it would be. The only time when putting became a bit of a circus was from the fringe. Not sure why, but when the ball was in the longer grass, I found myself wishing that I had one of my other larger putters. Basically, I needed to hit better approach shots when I bagged the KM-008.
FIT FOR STROKE™
Don’t change your stroke. Change your putter.
The (FIT FOR STROKE™) concept was developed by PING, yet another genius fitting system they have developed for golfers. It works hand-in-hand with the iPING Putter App which is highly suggest everyone getting (IT’S FREE!). You might be surprised to find out that the stroke you think you have isn’t the stroke you actually have.
This addition to the MGS reviews will allow you to become a more consistent putter by matching you with models that better fit your stroke type. They will be broken down into three categories: (1) Straight – for face balance putters (2) Slight Arc – for mid toe hang putters (3) Strong Arc – for toe down putters
“Results from hundreds of player and robot tests at PING offer overwhelming scientific support for the effectiveness of fitting for stroke. In recent years more diagnostic tools and testing equipment have become available, and the results prove that a golfer’s consistency improves when their putter balance matches their stroke type. It was interesting to observe that golfers putt more consistently with stroke-appropriate models, but they also show a personal preference for these models, too. Prior to putting with them, golfers are drawn to models that fit their eye, even before they fit their stroke.” says PING.
The Miura KM-008 Putter is a: Strong Arc
Q & A with Bob Holowaty
While rolling the Miura KM-008, I had a couple of questions about the putter and about Miura putters in general. Thankfully, Bill Holowaty, the Executive Vice-President of Product Strategies agreed to supply some answers.
What separates the KM-008 from the other putters currently available to golfers?
Speaking only from the Miura Golf perspective, the KM 008 replaces are extremely popular KM 350 small blade putter. Since our last production run of the KM 350 in 2013, Mr. Miura had been busy working on the design of the KM 008. The KM 008, like its predecessor, is forged from a single billet of soft carbon steel. This insures the golfer will be able to experience the feel and performance associated with all Miura irons. And in the case of our Small Blade irons, the KM 008 has delivered a standard head weight in to a small package. The result is the tightest grain structure in the industry which delivers a feel that, although often described as “soft or buttery”, is really better characterized as “solid”.
Miura’s forging is legendary in the golf equipment realm. What are the advantages of a forged putter over one that is cast?
As mentioned above, a standard head weight packed in to a smaller package. I often use the visual of two glass jars. One, filled with marbles. The other, filled with sand. The one filled with sand represents the grain structure in a Miura head. That grain structure delivers a feel and performance which is difficult to achieve in any other form. Mr. Miura feels the putter becomes and extension of the golfers’ hands and results in better feel on both long and short putts.
Where does Miura see themselves in the overall putter marketplace?
Again, speaking from our point of view, our putters, the KM 005 (and 006), the KM 007 and the KM 008, give golfers 3 tried and true designs. Although putters are not our core competency, the Miura family has never attached their name to any product that did not live up to their extremely high standards. This means golfers who currently play Miura irons are able to fill out their set with a putter that meets their high standards. For others, it may be a chance to “dip their toe” in to the Miura waters and eventually lead the way to irons or wedges.
There was one more question that, although I saw it as a bit rude, I had to ask since one of you would ask it in the comments…
What makes this putter worth it’s $450 price tag?
I’m not sure what is being asked here. We have never apologized for price. The Miura manufacturing process does not lend itself to mass production and as such, each putter is crafted by hand to the highest standards. We have always asked golfers to #discoverperfection and that is what the Miura family delivers in every putter they produce.
The KM-008 is not really like any other putter that you will find out there today. The head shape is unique, and once again, the Miura quality is fantastic. I like how Mr. Holowaty described the putter as a “dip their toe” product. It works, as I am totally compelled to look at Miura irons and wedges after rolling the KM-008. I guess that speaks to the consistency of Miura quality, as I felt the same compulsion after rolling the KM-007.
Color me impressed. It’s a great little putter.
Website: Miura KM-008