Two Wedges Worth A Waggle: Feel and Miura
I shall take a break from the excellent Ryder Cup blogs posted by my esteemed colleagues and report on a pair of wedges that good-naturedly agreed to recent interviews. The wedges come from Feel Golf and Miura and define to a degree the variety and distinctiveness of club making in the 2000s.
Feel Golf introduced a 73 degree wedge last Fall. You might be thinking that 73 is a better number to write on a scorecard than on a wedge. I felt the same way when it arrived. As soon as I set the club to address, I saw each of the 73 degrees staring up at me like a horizontal plate. The club is not for the faint of heart nor for those who cannot swing fully to completion. Employing the Dave Pelz theory of the clock, my 1/3 swing sent the 73 Degree a whopping ten yards. My 2/3 swing might have reached 25 or 30 yards, and my full wedge swing arched beyond 49 yards (to 50). If horizontal distance is your goal for a wedge, this isn’t your club. What the 73 Degree does well is land softly on a green and stick. If you play at a club or course with notoriously firm/crusty putting surfaces, the 73D should be in your bag. If you play a course with deep greenside bunkers and elevated greens that require stick-em to stop the ball, see above. The 73D will make your ball dance like never before but be warned: If you don’t hit it hard, your shot will be doomed to brevity. Forget the bump and run with this one. It’s a specialty club for specialty situations. If you need the aforementioned shots more than five times a round, pick one up at Feel Wedges.
The second wedge to reach my bag originated in the fires of Middle Earth, sorry, of Katsuhiro Miura of Himeji, Japan. Miura is one of those mysterious names mentioned in upper echelons and quiet circles of the game. Like Mizuno before it, Miura does not operate with a grandiose marketing budget. Your eyes won’t bathe in the glow of Miura commercials nor ads on television, the web or magazines. Miura’s clubs do not come cheaply, because they are not made that way. Mass production is not the way of the Samurai, after all.
The 58 degree Miura wedge that currently occupies an honored place in my bag (next to a 53 degree Cleveland Classic) likely won’t leave any time soon. The weighting is balanced, like a sword, and gave me a sense of confidence before I struck the first shot. In all honesty, the first shot was nothing special, but the second was little better and so on and so on. If a club takes three or four swings to feel as though I’ve been hitting it all my life, wow. That happened with the Miura. Can I stop it? Yes. Can I flop it? Yes. Can I spin it or run it out of sand? Yes and Yes. If I ever stop loving my Mizuno irons, I might save up for a full set of Miura blades.
I can’t tell you anything about these clubs that you won’t find on their web sites (but this guy can.) After all, the research and development that brings any product to market represents years of intense and communal effort. I encourage you to visit the sites yourself if the spirit moves you. The Miura one is cool, with a video game-like appearance. The courses that I play don’t require what the Feel Wedge satisfies, so it’s out of my bag. The Miura wedge offers everything I currently need around the green, so it signed a long-term lease with no opt-out clause.
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