When it comes to golf, Japan is one of the leading nations in the Asia region as reflected in the country’s local adoration for the sport, trailing behind only two other western sports in terms of overall popularity across the nation. Given that Golf is a somewhat more exclusive-feeling sport and not all that cheap to get into, this is not a real surprise – what is, however, surprising, is the amount of Golfers throughout Japan, populating the nation’s thousands of courses, given that it is a time consuming sport played by those that normally don’t have all that much time.
When one lives in Japan and wants to engage in the outdoor activity of hitting the greens and teeing off on the regular, one needs equipment. Golf equipment, ranging from balls to clubs to bags to clothes comes in a huge variety of selections, most of which is carefully manufactured by the industry leaders across the world. Japan has a reputation of being some of the best the world has to offer in the fields of engineering and construction, and this is also seen by their care in manufacturing golf equipment – in particular, golf clubs, the most essential part of a golfer’s arsenal.
Miura Golf is one of the leading Japanese manufacturers of clubs. They are significantly less known than, say, Nike or Nixon, but produced some of the highest quality products a golfer living in Japan can get their hands on. The company is lead by the Miura family – Katsuhiro Miura and his sons, Yoshitaka and Shinei, both of whom he trained from an early age.
They manufacture a specific subset of clubs, namely fairway irons, wedges and putters, all of which have the same base component of steel – also the reason why the company does not manufacture drivers which are generally made from a mix of carbon fiber and other lightweight materials. Every single club the Miura family sells are forged in their one factory and forge, located in the city of Himeji, which also has a historical reputation of being the home of the best sword crafters in the world, giving the city a significant background in steel working.
The manufacturing process is a team effort as Katsuhiro Miura grinds newly ordered clubs by hand in his factory each and every day, a true statement of his passion given that he has done so since 1957. Every single club is hand-crafted and will never be mass-produced, making them a speciality product that is rather high in demand among those who have been lucky enough to try them out at some point – however, the only reliable way of getting them is to make one’s way to Japan and order them in person.
Images from miuragolf.com