During the heyday of his professional career, Jack Nicklaus rarely tinkered with equipment variables. He played iterations of the classic MacGregor Pro-81 iron for decades because it was what he knew and trusted on the course.
Even though Nicklaus’ iron specs remained static, he could still pick up on subtle differences between sets. His otherworldly feel and discerning eye made it possible to whittle down five sets of identical irons to two keepers each season. If anything wasn’t right in the design or playability, Nicklaus knew it wasn’t him.
Like Nicklaus, Katsuhiro Miura knows what it’s like to constantly strive for perfection. One of the most respected club-makers in the world, Miura and Nicklaus share a number of traits that make them two of the best in their professions, including meticulous attention to detail.
it only seems fitting that Miura and Nicklaus would collaborate on a Nicklaus-Miura commemorative iron that bears both of their fingerprints.
The project between the greatest golfer of all time and club-making legend was set in motion after Nicklaus made a trip to the Miura factory in Himeji, Japan, in 2014, to meet Miura. During the trip, Nicklaus toured the facility and had the opportunity to sit in the “one chair position” on the grinding line.
Other than Nicklaus, no one but Miura had ever occupied the chair up until that point. Miura would go on to call Nicklaus’ visit to the facility “the best day of my life.”
The respect shared between Nicklaus and Miura eventually led the two to collaborate on a new blade that blends some of Miura’s best iron traits with design aspects that served the 18-time major winner well during his career.
The limited-edition Nicklaus x Miura iron may look like the original MB-001 at first glance, but subtle differences exist, starting with a request from Nicklaus himself to flatten the sole. As the story goes, legendary clubmaker Don White, who worked on Nicklaus’ tools at MacGregor, used to keep a piece of slate next to the grinding wheel he was working on to ensure everything rested flat on the sole.
Nicklaus has always been sensitive to the way the club interacts with the turf. As someone who took thin divots, the flatter sole, straighter leading edge and reduced camber produced shallow divots and consistent interaction with the ground.
While the sole of the Nicklaus-Miura commemorative creation is relatively flat, the bounce throughout the set is fairly close to standard. This allowed Nicklaus, a shallow swinger, to maintain a degree of versatility through multiple turf conditions and prevent the head from rocking backward.
Another staple of Nicklaus’ irons was standard offset, something the original MB-001 lacked when it was first produced. Miura added in the “effective offset” to fit Jack’s eye by grinding the neck to deliver a confidence-inspiring look at address.
Each Nicklaus-Miura Commemorative head is made S20C carbon steel and finished in a satin chrome. The irons retail for $2,750 (3-PW) and are slated to be released in early 2021. Visit Miura’s site (https://miuragolf.com/Nicklaus) to be added to the pre-order list.
(Miura, Jack Nicklaus and GOLF are operated by the same holding company, 8AM Golf.)
Article originally appeared on: Golf.com