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Review: Miura Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, August 8th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
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Say hello to the Miura Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons.  I’ve been “working” on this review for a some time now.  It has been a rough go, playing one of the world’s best irons and such.  Yes, being at the top of the golf blog heap can be difficult.  I’m up to the task though.

Miura Series 1957 Small Blade Irons

Miura Series 1957 Small Blade Irons

About Miura

Before we look at the Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blades by Miura, we should talk about who Miura is for those who may be unfamiliar.  Miura is a family-owned Japanese club manufacturer, founded by Katsuhiro Miura.  Mr. Miura is a master club-maker who has been making clubs for over 50 years.  The company is located in Jimeji, central Japan.

Miura has made primarily forged irons and wedges, though they are now producing other clubs like drivers and hybrids.  Miura is known as one of the world’s best makers of irons.  Miura uses the highest quality Japanese steel, know for its performance and feel.

Many PGA Tour pros who are endorsed by some of the popular golf manufacturers actually play Miuras, despite being paid by their sponsors.  The pros simply tape over the Miura name so fans can’t easily see the real manufacturer.  Keen eyed golf club aficionados are not fooled.

Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons

The Miura 1957 Small Blade Irons are the highest performing irons made by Miura, according to the man himself, Katsuhiro Miura.

Miura_Series_1957_Small_Blade_Limited_Edition_02
When a company whose products are such high performance states that a particular product is their best, there’s nothing much on planet earth that will outperform it.  I concur.  Let’s look at the specs of the Small Blades.

Material

The Small Blades are made from low-carbon, premium Japanese steel. Japanese steel is widely known for its quality worldwide. The irons are specially forged in Miura’s own forge in Himeji, Japan.   These irons are not made in China.

Finish

My set is the satin nickel chrome. The satin finish is beautiful and does not produce distracting glare in the sun.

The irons are also available in Black Boron finish, limited quantities.

Technical Specifications (more on this later in the review)

#3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 PW
Loft (degrees) 21 24 27 30 34 38 42 47
Lie (degrees)
59.0
59.5
60.0
60.5
61.0
61.5
62.0
62.5
Offset (inches) 0.11 0.10 0.10 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.06
Finished Length (inches) 38.75 38.25 37.75 37.25 36.75 36.25 35.75 35.5

Size

The Small Blades are 15% smaller than Miura’s regular “tour” blades.  Blade irons are typically known as “hard to hit” by the average golfer.  Mr. Miura says, “I have a special pride in this club. That’s because it’s so easy to hit.” Once again, I concur.  More in my “on the course” commentary.

Blade-a-licious! Could you hit this?

Blade-a-licious! Could you hit this?

On The Course

I lit up the first time I hit one of these irons.  It was the 7-iron.  The feel was so amazing and the ball launched high and straight.  I just thought I got “lucky” and was sure the hard-to-hit nature of blades would catch up to me. I was sure I’d hit one of those mis-hits which would sting, or make my fingers numb, or hurt.  I’ve been waiting for that to happen for months.  There’s something about these blades which is different.  The feel is so buttery that even off-center shots feel good.  I have a lot of experience with those too.  A lot.

Miura_Series_1957_Small_Blade_Limited_Edition_04

I’ve found these irons to be very easy to hit, regardless of their blade nature.  In fact, they are easier to hit than several “game improvement” clubs which I’ve tried out.  I realize that sounds odd.  You’ll have to trust me on that.

With blades this incredible, the type of shots and ball flight a player wants to hit are all on him/her.  These irons respond tremendously when I have to manufacture some kind of shot or work the ball in a particular direction.  If I put the right swing on a shot, the iron will produce exactly what I’m asking it to.  I can hit them low (usually as a result of being in the trees off the tee), high (to go over the same trees), or fade/draw as needed.  Truly amazing.

Critique

The one critique I have is with the lofts of these irons.  Across the board these are more “standard” blade lofts from years ago.  These irons are not “strong” lofts.  Most of the irons are at least one degree weaker than most modern irons.  Many of the irons are two degrees weaker.

This can be a slight hit to the player’s confidence level as the irons will go shorter.  I’ve had to adjust my numbers to make up for the lofts.  Where I used to hit an 8-iron, I’m hitting 7-iron, and so on.

Once adjusted, the accuracy and confidence I have with these irons is the best of any iron I’ve played, and I’ve played far more than the average golfer ever will.

That said about the lofts…  I think no irons should have numbers on them, just lofts.

Hello Turf, Nice to Know You

The way the club interacts with the turf is tremendous.  Whether the lie is tight and hard or in long rough, the club’s grind and small head size produce very little resistance and interference from the turf.

Miura_Series_1957_Small_Blade_Limited_Edition_11

#love

The small design makes sense.  Less surface area produces less resistance.  Plus Mr. Miura has tweaked the edges and corners of the club ever so slightly.  Those slight grinds and angles help prevent unwanted interaction with the ground and keep the club’s path and angle of attack where the player is delivering it.

Simplicity

A look at the iron photo above tells a big story.  Part of what makes these Miura irons so great is their simplicity.  There are no funky patterns, paint jobs, dumb names, logos, or mysterious weight-looking “things” that don’t do really anything…

Shafts

Miura will shaft the irons with shafts from any of nine “recommended” shaft makers including Aerotech, KBS Tour, True Temper, Project X and more.

Final Thoughts

Miuras are not for everyone.  They are not inexpensive.  It’s sort of a “if you have to ask how much they are, they’re too expensive,” proposition.  The market for these clubs is not the mass-sales model of the big name brands, where you find their clubs in every pro shop and big box store on the planet.  The clubs are painstakingly forged in Japan, by hand.  These are not cheapo mass-produced Chinese-made clubs.

Playing these Miuras is a joy.  They’re tremendous.  Any player who wants the highest performance and feel a golf club can produce, should look strongly at the Miura Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons.


Puma D_Vent Golf Polo

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, July 6th, 2016
Categories: Golf ApparelGolf GearReviews
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If the lovely bride isn’t there to do my apparel scripting for me (set my day’s outfit out on the bed), I like to go the Gary Player route.  Black.  Black matches black. I can remember that. So this black Puma D_Vent golf polo is perfect for those days.  It’s also perfect for golf, even in the summer.  Here’s why.

This polo features Puma’s dryCELL technology with moisture wicking properties.  Moisture wicking is a process where the garment actually pulls moisture away from the wearer’s body.  This technology helps keep the player more dry, cool and comfortable.  The D_Vent also provides the wearer UV protection from the sun’s radiation.

The 100% polyester fabric is so much more flexible and comfortable than cotton.  This fabric feels great in the golf swing and doesn’t restrict, pull, or bind.  There’s even a slit or “vent” in the upper back which aids in comfort and provides a place for heat to exit, especially good when one needs to cool down after a 3-putt.
Puma_D_Vent_Golf_Polo

This polo is so comfortable I love wearing it for daily use, off the golf course.  Whether I’m at the office crafting incredible golf blog posts or out chasing little Seve around the neighborhood, I’m comfortable, cool, and stylish.

Sizes/Colors

Available colors: black, red, white, orange, “peacot” and blue.

Available sizes: small, medium, large, extra-large, double extra-large

I normally wear an XL and like a comfortable loose fit and Puma’s sizing is right on with that.   Accurate.  Not “skinny euro” sizing.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to crank out a 2000 word review on a shirt.  But since I picture is worth 1000 words, I came pretty close.  Seriously though, this very stylish and affordable ($65) Puma Golf shirt scores perfectly in all the areas I consider important for a golf polo: comfort, style, performance, durability, easy care.

And my color selection, black, matches everything in my wardrobe. No failed apparel scripts.


Golf Cigar Aficionado – Lobotomy by Asylum

Written by: Tony Korologos | Sunday, July 3rd, 2016
Categories: CigarsGolf LifestyleReviews
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The weekend grudge match today started out rough, pun intended.  I had a new partner and he pretty much carried me the whole front nine.  Despite his heroic efforts we were two-down starting the back.  I knew I had to pull out the big guns for us to have a chance at coming back.

20160703_135722

The latest in the cigar review queue is the Lobotomy by Asylum, courtesy of Famous Smoke shop.  I was playing so bad I felt like I’d had a lobotomy.  Could this stogie help bring my game back?  After analysis of the Lobotomy slogan I was liking my chances:

“With a strength profile that will shock your receptors back to normal, and a flavor as complex as a Rorshach Test, these cigars will ease your stress and help you relax like never before. Get your Lobotomy now. Er… Asylum Lobotomy that is.”

Lobotomy Info

Strength: Medium-full
Filler: Aged cuban seed tobaccos
Wrapper: Nicaraguan

As usual, I gave my opponents the opportunity to surrender before I powered up the Lobotomy.  Their mistake was not accepting the offer.  Upon my enjoyment of the Lobotomy, my game improved greatly and my partner and I scratched out a tie when it had looked like we were dead and buried.

Lobotomy isn’t one for the weak.  It’s a bold cigar.

Bold is what just what the neurosurgeon ordered.


Review: Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, June 28th, 2016
Categories: Course ReviewsGolf Course ArchitectureGolf CoursesGolf For WomenHOG World TourReviewsTravel
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Dornoch, Scotland born Donald Ross began his golf career as an apprentice to Old Tom Morris at the Old Course in St Andrews. Old Tom was the greenskeeper for the Old Course in St Andrews and had designed many of the most famous courses in Scotland and the UK including Carnoustie, Prestwick, Muirfield, Machrihanish, Jubilee, and Balcomie Links. I’ve played a few of those.

Ross moved to the United States in 1899 where he began arguably the most successful architectural career in the history of golf. Ross is credited for designing 600 golf courses. Amongst those 600 are some of the world’s most famous and respected courses, which still stand the test of time. A few of Ross’s most notable courses include Pinehurst No. 2, Seminole, Oak Hill and Oakland Hills. A couple of others I like to add to the list are ones I’ve had the pleasure of playing, Burning Tree and Aronimink Golf Club. Ross’s courses are known for being natural and taking advantage of the lay of the land, not the “earth mover” type of golf architecture.

Donald_Ross_Course_French_Lick

The Ross Course at French Lick opened for play in 1917 and has recently undergone a $5 million renovation to bring it back to Ross’s original design. Golf courses, like living beings, grow and change over time. In the renovation, bunkers which lost their nearly 100 year battle with the elements and nature were restored to their original specifications.

Overview

The Donald Ross course at French Lick is a par-70. Don’t let that fool you into thinking it is short or easy. In fact, the course clocks in at 7,030 yards which is long even for a par-72 course. The rating from the tips (the Gold Tees) is a strong 72.3 with a slope of 135. A solid test of golf. To accommodate players of all abilities and ages, there are four total sets of tees, the shortest measuring 5,050 yards.

Tee

The way each hole presents itself from the tee of the Ross course is so visually appealing.  The landscape is hilly and features some very large elevation changes.  The tees challenge the golfer to execute an accurate shot or find strategically placed penal areas including bunkers, hazards, long native grassy areas, and trees.  Some tee shots are blind and the help of some course knowledge or at the least, a local caddy is a great thing to have.

French_Lick_Donald_Ross_Course_05

The numerous sets of tees are not boringly arranged on one flat piece of ground a few yards apart.  Rather, each tee set offers the golfer different yardages, elevations, and angles to the target.  Regular golfers could create a very different playing experience by simply changing tees from round to round, or even making up their own combo set.

Fairway

The fairways at the Ross course are welcomingly wide.  That said, there are very few flat areas on the property.  The golfer will be challenged to hit a straight from the fairway due to the undulations and uneven lies.

French_Lick_Donald_Ross_Course_08

Strategically placed bunkers can and will penalize shots which are not placed in the fairway.

Green

Donald Ross is well known for his amazing greens at courses like Pinehurst, Oakland Hills, Aronimink.  Ross’s greens at French Lick are truly amazing; the prime feature of the golf course.  Many of the greens feature the Ross trademark “upside down soup bowl” design, where any shot or even putts too close to the edge are rejected and end up rolling off into collection areas or false fronts.  Those upside down bowl greens (photo below) present some very difficult challenges in the short game.  The player can try hitting a high soft shot, bumping a low shot into the hill and onto the green, or my default choice which is putting.    Getting up and down from greenside at the Ross Course is an accomplishment.

Donald_Ross_Course_French_Lick_05

In fact, getting in the hole in two putts is an accomplishment.  Due to the undulations, slopes, tiers and bowl edges, putting the Ross greens is the biggest challenge of the entire golf course.  A two-putt on any green feels like a birdie.  3-putts can actually be a solid play.

Stay below the hole at all costs.  Because of the speed of the greens and the incredible slopes and undulations, shots which end up above the hole are most often dead.  Stay below the hole, even if that means missing the green short.

Clubhouse

The clubhouse at the Ross Course oozes history and class.  The pro-shop is full of great equipment and apparel and a great staff who are extremely helpful and pleasant to interact with.

French_Lick_Donald_Ross_Course_12

Hagen’s Restaurant has a large indoor and outdoor seating area (right side of above photo).  I enjoyed great food and great service between rounds on a 36-hole day.  Hagen’s is named after Walter Hagen, who won the PGA Championship there in 1924.

Practice Area

The Ross course has an adequate putting/chipping area with a fantastic view (first photo), and very close to Hagen’s to insure the frosty beverages are topped off.

One drawback to the Ross and my only critique: there is no driving range.

Conclusion

The Ross Course is a pristine gem, full of history and personality.  It will challenge golfers of all abilities and especially those like me, who consider themselves good putters.  Be sure to plan a trip to French Lick to experience this historic golf course.  The French Lick Pete Dye course (review coming soon), the Ross Course, and the French Lick Resort and Casino make for a tremendous golf buddy trip.


Review: Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf For WomenGolf GearProduct of the YearReviews
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At the end of the 2016 golf season here in northern Utah I received the Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition for a review.  I was excited to match it up with the 2014 HOG Product of the Year, the Exotics XCG7 Beta Fairway 3-metalwood, my current and awesome gamer 3-metal.  I posted a quick first look article for the CB PRO U right away.  Unfortunately I suffered a severe back injury shortly after receiving this beauty.  Then as I was recovering and feeling better, winter snows hit here.  A six month “frost delay” kept me off the course. Looking at this club in my office for six months was almost as painful as the back spasms.

Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition

Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition – click for more photos

Let’s take a look at the specs and features of the CB PRO U Hybrid.  The unit in this review is a 19 degree.

Specifications/Features

The most noticeable feature of this hybrid is the strange looking sole (bottom) of the club head pictured below.  This shiny section of “metallic waves” is called a Slip Stream Sole (SSS). Unlike other golf clubs which have non functional features which look cool but do nothing, the SSS reduces friction and interaction with the ground, regardless of what that ground is.  The SSS helps the golfer keep club head speed at its maximum for more consistency and distance.

Tour Edge CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition

Tour Edge CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition – click for more photos

The forged face of the club is welded to the steel body of the head.  Forged metals provide the best feel and performance, along with maximum distance.

The heel and toe are “cut out” to provide forgiveness and playability.

Finally the shaft of the club is the very popular Second Generation KURO KAGE Silver series.

Kuro Kage Shaft

Kuro Kage Shaft

Tour Edge CB PRO U Hybrid Video

On The Course

Prior to receiving this hybrid for review I was very happy with my previous gamer hybrid, a 19 degree Cobra Baffler.  For any hybrid to dethrone that hybrid would be a tall task.  When I first starting testing the CB PRO U, I A/B’d back and forth between the two.  Both were fantastic.  Knowing both clubs were solid, I put the Exotics in the gamer bag for about a two month testing period.  If it didn’t work out, no big deal.

See the waves?

Over the course of now dozens of rounds I’ve completely fallen for the CB PRO U.  The slightly smaller head and sole design shines in all sorts of situations.  I can hit amazing shots with this hybrid even from rough which looks like it calls for an iron bail-out shot.  From lies in the rough to tight lies on hard ground, I have 100% confidence when I address the ball with the CP PRO U.  I have numerous heroic shots I could recount, most resulting in eagle putts on par-5’s.

CB PRO U Hybrid Topline

CB PRO U Hybrid Topline – No strange patterns or graphics. No distractions.

On short par-4’s or long par-3’s the CB PRO U is fantastic off the tee.  I can’t wait to take this baby to Scotland in a few weeks.  I know it will shine on some of those shorter holes where driver isn’t the club.

Conclusion

Tour Edge could be in the running to be the first golf club manufacturer to win the coveted Hooked on Golf Blog Product of the Year twice.  The CP PRO U is fantastic.


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