Jack Nicklaus, Miura Golf release iron set that reflect 120 years of experience of the companies' founders
If you think the latest set of irons from Miura Golf is just an over-the-fireplace replica confection, consider this: The set is the creation of two legends with a combined 120 years at the top of the game. And one of them is Jack Nicklaus.
The new limited edition Nicklaus-Miura Commemorative irons not only reflect the focus on classic precision of Miura Golf founder Katsuhiro Miura’s forged muscleback blade theories developed over the last 60 years, but also the six decades of club design thoughts from the best player the game has ever known. Nicklaus visited the Miura forging headquarters in Hemiji, Japan to consult on the design specs of the vintage design that looks almost like it might have been in his bag half a century ago. Throughout his career, Nicklaus has been associated with a number of leading golf designers, shapers and innovators, including his personal clubmaker Jack Wullkotte; Clay Long, who among other designs fashioned the oversized MacGregor Response putter Nicklaus used to win the 1986 Masters; veteran MacGregor club shaper Don White, and Tom Stites, who worked on designs for Nicklaus Golf drivers in the 1990s. An impressive list, to be sure, but now Nicklaus has partnered with the man whom the Japanese golf equipment media has labeled as having “the hands of God.”
“I’ve spent decades designing golf equipment, and I cherish the painstaking craftsmanship that goes into enhancing the tools of my trade,” Nicklaus said in a press release. “The Miura family and I share this passion for doing everything the right way and leaving no detail overlooked, and we have worked closely in this collaboration to highlight the superior subtleties of Miura forged steel.”
While the irons are built to Nicklaus’s current preferred specs (a 21-degree 3-iron and a five-degree gap between the 42-degree 9-iron and the 47-degree pitching wedge), the two men combined to fashion the classic blades with other Nicklaus particulars. Those include a flatter sole shape, more standard bounce angles and minimal, but uniform offset throughout the set. Miura produced a subtle grind to the neck of the club, which is designed to produce more effective offset without changing the appearance at address that Nicklaus favors. Miura took those traditional preferences but also managed to keep the center of gravity more centralized by microscopically trimming the hosel of each iron to reposition the weighting away from the heel and more toward the toe.
During Nicklaus’s visit to Miura’s headquarters, he sat in the legendary first chair on the grinding line, becoming only the second person to occupy that seat other than Miura-san himself. The unique partnership grew from the connection with both companies of billionaire entrepreneur Howard Milstein. Milstein has managed the Nicklaus Companies since 2007 and became a partner with Miura Golf in 2017 with a majority interest in the rights to distribute Miura equipment in the U.S. and around the world. The two companies are part of Milstein’s 8AM Golf brand.
“The day Jack visited the factory was the best day of my life,” Miura said. “My family is honored to produce this set of irons for golf’s greatest champion and see our family’s crest share a clubhead with his seal of approval.”
The Nicklaus Miura Commemorative set is forged from Japanese S20C soft carbon steel with a brushed chrome finish. While the set of irons (3-iron through pitching wedge) is offered in Nicklaus’s preferred specs, it can be custom ordered to any player's individual specs for delivery in the first quarter of next year, starting at $2,750 a set. For now, there is only one set in the world and you probably can guess who has it.