50 Words or Less
The Miura CB-501 irons are a true players club that accommodates a wider range of golfers than most blades. If you have the game for them, the 501s are elite tools for ultimate performance.
If you’re an avid internet golf reader, I don’t need to introduce you to the Miura name. You already know the legend. For those that don’t, Miura Golf is highly regarded as one of the top, if not the top, forged iron makers in the world. Katsuhiro Miura began making golf clubs in 1957 and still hand-grinds clubs alongside his two sons in the Miura factory to this day. Miura Golf only operates out of one factory in Himeji, Japan which was long-known for its prestigious production of samurai swords. Maybe they aren’t making samurai swords, but the Miura family has certainly proven they know a thing or two about high-quality steelmaking.
After decades of making highly-acclaimed forged irons, Miura Golf has had a lot of hits. When designing the Miura CB-501 irons, Miura tried to take the best attributes from their favorite Miura irons and combine them into one refined package that would appeal to a wider range of players.
From address, you would never think the Miura CB-501 irons are a cavity-back. The thin toplines, minimal offset, and flatter toe absolutely scream old school classic blade, but that cavity shows there’s a little more forgiveness built into the face than your grandpa’s old blades from the 1950’s. Like the Miura CB57 we reviewed previously, you will notice the Miura CB-501 shares some similarities with a lot of mainstream brands’ players irons, but none of those big names will come close to looking as classic, clean, and smooth as the CB-501s. The flatter toe doesn’t have a squared look and the offset is hardly noticeable because of how smoothly Miura flows the hosel into the heel of the club. Rather than have jagged, sharp lines, Miura has managed to make the 501s very smooth and soft in their appearance.
I wanted to remain calm when I received these Miura CB-501s, but when I opened the box, it was pretty hard to ignore how perfect and beautiful these clubs are. There’s minimal branding and flash on these iron heads, and when they’re lined up in the bag like the picture above, you can tell they mean business. They almost make the statement, “If you’re wondering what perfect golf clubs are supposed to look like, this is it.” Pictures do not do the CB-501 justice. Seeing them in hand is nothing short of impressive.
Sound & Feel
As good looking as these irons are, the sound and feel are where the Miura CB-501s really demonstrate their perfection. As good as I thought the clubs looked, I’ll be honest and say I was pretty intimidated by them. I expected the shots to feel solid, the sweet spots to be small, and my imperfect swing to result in a lot of stings in my hands. Instead, my first shot felt like the best iron shot I’ve ever hit in my life. That’s the 100% honest truth, too. Do I think there are a lot of really good feeling golf clubs out there? Absolutely, and this is not meant to demean those clubs, but the feel and response of a Miura iron, especially the CB-501, is on a whole different level. The feel is extremely responsive so you know exactly where you hit every shot, but when you catch one pure on the sweet spot, you very much feel the ball and it’s so soft and crisp. It’s one of those things you’ll never fully understand until you try it yourself. Interestingly, the CB-501 is fairly forgiving on your hands toward the heel and toe of the face. Should you go too extreme either direction though, you will pay for it.
As far as sound goes, it follows suit with the feel. The sound is a muted “whip-crack” at impact that embodies perfection. It’s so crisp that you feel like if you can just repeat that sound a couple of times in a row, you’ll see strokes drop off your score. Of course, as you get further away from the sweet spot, the sound gets a little rockier. That said, the crack I described has a little grace area away from the sweet spot that I don’t think you’d expect from initial inspection of the clubs.
There are many ideas that went into the design of the Miura CB-501 that were intended to make a more appealing blade with more forgiveness. First, the added mass low and behind the face makes the face a little more forgiving and helps get the ball in the air. I mentioned earlier that you can deviate from the sweet spot a bit, but when you do, you do lose yardage and it’s easy for the shot to change shape. While I don’t think the 501s are the hardest blade in the world to hit, you are still going to want to be a solid ball striker. If you are a good iron player, these irons are second to none and should help you play better golf when fitted correctly. To steal a line from Matt’s CB57 review, “While many clubs only want to do one or two things, these irons are for the player who wants to hit every shot.”
One of Miura’s big points they try to sell is that their steel has a tight, void-free grain which results in better golf shots. The example I keep hearing Miura and others used to explain this is to think of a jar of marbles versus a jar of sand. The jar of sand is going to be more solid. I’ve also read about people claiming to pick up distance, specifically with the CB-501s. Again, I’ll be perfectly honest and say I didn’t believe any of that all and figured it had to be people were just excited to brag about their Miuras. Well turns out, I was wrong. I found I was hitting these Miuras about 10-12 yards longer per club, and they had excellent control. The only explanation I can think of here is the marbles versus sand analogy. I don’t know if the finer grain of steel does the trick, but whatever it is, I’m not arguing with it.
I hate to admit I’m drinking the proverbial Miura Kool-Aid, but I think I am. I’ve honestly had very few golf equipment experiences like my first exposure to Miura irons which came courtesy of this review. Matt said in his review that “Playing Miura irons is an experience that I wish every serious golfer could have.” The funny thing is, I sent Matt a very similar text this afternoon that said I feel like the review for the Miura CB-501s should just say, “If you’ve never hit a Miura iron before, stop reading this, and go hit one as soon as possible. You’ll see for yourself. If you have hit a Miura iron before, I don’t need to tell you anything.” If you’re looking to have a different perspective on what a good iron is, I strongly encourage you check out a Miura sometime soon.