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Harmony And Simplicity: An Interview With Katsuhiro Miura

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Miura Golf is known for the beauty of its clubs and the fervor of its cult following. Recently Golf Style spoke with Katsuhiro Miura, the man behind the brand, about what drives this master craftsman.

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GS: What makes a man want to perfect the art of forging golf clubs, and launch a company to compete with so many larger ones?

KM: It’s not so much about competition, although we welcome any competition that sharpens our efforts and makes us perform at the highest level. The main goal is to always seek perfection in design and forging. We may not reach absolute perfection, but the effort itself is important so that we can do our very best for golfers.

GS: Japanese design has always given utmost importance to simplicity and harmony. How is your national character reflected in your approach to club making?

KM: The design principles I have learned over the decades are based mostly on what will best serve the golfer in his enjoyment of the game and his quest to constantly improve. Simplicity, harmony symmetry — all these elements flow naturally from those primary considerations.

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GS: Most average golfers think blade-style clubs are too difficult to hit, but you disagree.

KM: It takes only a brief moment of extra care to make solid contact using a blade club. The effort to do so leads to a more satisfying stroke. The player who wants to do this is capable — he need only take that extra half-second of consideration before each stroke and then allow his body to work in concert with the club. This does not mean that other technologies, such as perimeter weighting and cavity backs, are somehow sub-standard. It only means that the conscientious player should not talk himself out of a blade simply because others consider them difficult to hit.

GS: Will Miura golf grow from a cult brand into something larger? Or by its very nature must it remain a small company aimed at the connoisseur?

KM: Within the requirements of our goals in serving golfers, we certainly plan to grow at a wise pace. We’re not particularly concerned with being big or small, cult or mainstream. We figure that if we do business wisely and keep our primary focus in mind, good results will follow.

GS: There is a tremendous sense of beauty to your clubs. Is there a psychological and playing benefit to the golfer to have clubs that look pleasing to the eye?

KM: Yes. What the player sees, especially at address, connects strongly to the confidence needed to make a worthwhile stroke. And as we all know as golfers, this confidence tends to build on itself, stroke after stroke. It also matters what the club looks like in the bag, how its design displays its potential as a trusted golf tool. But again, the beauty is not the main objective. We are glad golfers find beauty in our clubs, but we believe any such beauty flows directly from the design that enables the club to work as one with the golfer.

GS: Does your refined taste in clubs extend to other aspects of golf? Do you see beauty in the flight of balls and the layout of courses?

KM: I like to think so, yes. Golf may well be the most beautiful sport. Its connection to nature is a great benefit. And what golfer doesn’t appreciate the thrill of seeing a well-struck shot fly through a pristine sky? All these things are wonderful to be connected to.

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The Footwear Hybrid

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Part trendy colorful sneaker, part traditional golf shoe. From Ashworth.

Ah, but file it under Birdies or Bogeys?

Schlepping The Course With Schweppes

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After a long hiatus I’m back, and looking rather like Commander Whitehead of the famous Schweppes ad campaign.

The commander was a genuine veteran of the Royal Navy and was an executive at Schweppes. He oozed mojo through his luxuriant beard at a time when they were highly unfashionable. The campaign was headed by “Mad Men” inspiration David Ogilvy, and Whitehead was a kind of “world’s most interesting man” long before that campaign launched.

He looks like he’d be fun to play with. And no about what he’d be drinking at the 19th hole.

Bad Taste In Golf, Email Edition

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This is uglier than a shank.

On Hiatus

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Golf Style is on hiatus until November while I work on a book project. The good news is that it’s on golf and style. Stay tuned.

JFK Style

Wonder how old he was at the time. And that’s one casual outfit.

Balancing Light And Dark

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Shortly after I first got interested in clothing as a young man, I realized I had a pretty strict personal rule about balancing light and dark. Part of the reason TV talking heads look so bad is because they wear dark suits with white shirts, and then throw in a random, brightly colored tie. But with such a formula I always feel that the tie should be equally as dark as the suit.

One golfing legend who knew how to contrast and balance light and dark was Ben Hogan. Recently I read the classic “Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book” and found this passage:

Hogan dressed in light and dark and always looked good in photographs.

The opposite of skillfully balancing light and dark is tipping the scale entirely to one side, as seen in the all-white and all-black outfits below.

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In golf you need to combine a long game and a short game, just as you need to combine light-colored clothing with dark.