Miura ICL-601 Driving Iron -- Golf Evolution Guided by Tradition

By Jeffrey A. Rendall, Images Courtesy of Miura Golf

SCOTTSDALE, AZ -- “The Miuras believe golf equipment will continue to evolve and we as a company must have our finger on that pulse,” replied Hoyt McGarity, President of Miura Golf when I asked him if the future of golf manufacturing was moving towards making more specialty clubs like the company’s new ICL-601 driving iron.

McGarity continued, “That said, producing the best forged irons in the industry will always be our core competency. Miura-san believes that if we continue to produce the best possible products, to the highest standards, golfers will continue to discover Miura.”

After having “discovered” Miura about a decade ago I believe McGarity is correct. I’ve been fortunate enough to try products from all of the major manufacturers – and some not so major – and I can say without hesitation that Miura products are ranked high on the top tier for quality of manufacture and performance.

It’s been that way since the beginning for the company, founded by Japanese master craftsman Katsuhiro Miura in the late 1970’s. The elder Miura still holds the #1 seat on the grinding line, though McGarity says it isn’t occupied for as many hours as it used to be. Carrying on the family tradition are Katsuhiro’s sons, Shinei and Yoshitaka Miura, the latter having a club-finishing skill set similar to his father. Shinei has assumed the role as President of the company (following Japanese tradition, Katsuhiro is now Chairman).

The ICL-601 driving iron is a bit of a different turn for a company that’s prided itself on making very traditional looking golf clubs. But despite its name the “driving iron” isn’t just for tee shots.

“We see this as more of a ‘category’ as opposed to a club limited to a specific shot,” McGarity elaborated. “In this case, the ICL-601 is available in 3 lofts, including an 18, 20 and 23°. While the 18° might be best suited for tee shots, all three lofts will serve to fill the void at the top end of a golfer's set. Whether that is a set of MB-001 blades or the CB 200 8.”

McGarity said it’s no secret that the definition of a "set" of irons has changed in recent years. What was once a 3-PW standard set has evolved into a 4-P or 5-P configuration. This is a by-product of the difficulty in delivering a consistent ball strike with long irons.

“Many golfers have moved to a hybrid or utility club, of which Miura offers a couple of options. However, in this case, the ICL 601-23° will be used like a regular 4-iron.

“The way the clubhead sits at address, thanks in large part to the shape of the sole, will give the golfer ​ ​confidence not usually found when hitting a long iron. With a larger sweet spot comes more forgiveness, thus the ICL-601 will benefit golfers of all skill levels,” McGarity said.

That’s no joke. Glancing around at golf bags these days you’re seeing fewer and fewer long irons with hybrids seemingly having taken over, though the pros appear to have resisted the change. For the rest of us, being able to approach the ball with the knowledge it’s going somewhere productive is benefit enough.

The ICL-601 delivers on the promise too. Simply put, it’s one of the easiest hitting clubs I’ve ever tried and very confidence inspiring, especially from fluffy lies. Quite a bit thicker than a “regular” Miura iron, I wondered if a cavity-type design was new to the company.

It isn’t. “The inner cavity design is not new to Miura,” McGarity expounded. “It was used with our hugely popular IC 2003. (IC 600 1 in Japan). In fact, Miura first introduced the inner cavity with the MT 001 in the late 1990's. Modern technological advances have allowed us to improve on the original by optimizing ball speed and performance.

“This is accomplished by integrating a face of 455 Carpenter Steel ​(as found in our PP-9005 Genesis) and the use of a variable weighting system which allows for customization by your Miura dealer.”

Because of the sleek shape of the head it certainly appears as though computer design was involved, which McGarity confirmed.

Computers aren’t the enemy of craftsmanship if done in the “Miura way.”

As mentioned earlier, Mr. Miura doesn’t put in as much time at the factory as he used to. “But he is most proud of the fact that his two sons (Shinei and Yoshitaka) will champion the legacy of the company moving forward.”

Golf is huge in Japan as demonstrated by President Trump’s recent visit to the country when he played a round with Prime Minister Abe.

What might be slightly lesser known is the Japanese tradition in manufacturing golf clubs. Like nearly all of the country’s products, they’re first-rate and stem from the latest cutting edge technology and production methods.

Miura may not be as well-known as some other Japanese brands but that doesn’t mean it takes a back seat to any of them. As long as Mr. Miura and his sons have anything to say about it, the tradition will continue.

Miura products are not inexpensive, but if you’re in the market for the “best” golf clubs you can bring to the golf course you owe it to yourself to give them a try. Miura fitters are located throughout the United States – it’s worth the time to look them up.

Miura Golf’s North American headquarters is in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Consult the website for dealers near you.

Telephone: 604-708-4653.
FAX: 604-708-4663.

Toll Free: 1-866-GO-MIURA (466-4872)

Email: Ryan Burke ryan@miuragolf.com

Website: www.miuragolf.com

Find a dealer: http://www.miuragolf.com/find-dealers.asp

Follow Miura on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MiuraGolf , on Twitter @MiuraGolfInc and Instagram @MiuraGolf.

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