Kevin O’Connell, Miura Golf’s vice president of sale, woke up to a text message on Tuesday morning from someone he wasn’t expecting to hear from — former Masters champion Adam Scott.
Unbeknownst to practically everyone on the planet, Scott has been working behind the scenes on a set of 1-of-1 irons with Miura that officially surfaced this week on the Aussie’s Instagram account. The irons are one of two prototype sets Miura made for Scott and took roughly 6 weeks to bring to life.
When the iron-maker shipped the custom sticks to his attention at Muirfield Village Golf Club — site of this week’s Memorial Tournament — they fully expected them to stay in the box.
But Scott had other ideas.
“The text said he was going to play them in a practice round [at the Memorial],” O’Connell told GOLF.com. “This totally surprised us. He spilled the bean a lot more than we expected him to. We’ve been working with him on these irons and sent them to Muirfield with the expectation that he’d not mess with them this week, play the Memorial and then test at home. That’s been his process. We’ve sent stuff to him in the past and he’s taken his time to test them. He’s a very precise player and knows what he’s looking for.”
One of the best ball-strikers in the history of the sport, Scott has rarely deviated from the script when it comes to his irons. Up until late last year when he used personalized Titleist 681.AS irons, his blade of choice for long stretches was a set of 681 Forged that debuted in 2003.
“I used them I guess when they came out, in about 2003,” Scott told GOLF.com. “I had some 681 irons, too, back then. Then I moved into AP2 irons for a while when they first came out, then I used the MB 710 blades – I actually won the Masters with the 710 blades. But as the MB irons progressed, they got a little further away from where my comfort level was, which is more in that 680 range. After the 710s, I fell back into the 680s. I guess I like offset, and they have a little more offset, a longer blade, a higher toe, they’re less boxy and less symmetrical.”
When Scott opted to go the free-agent route for his clubs — a ball, shoe and glove deal is still in place — he connected with Miura after a set of limited-edition Nicklaus x Miura blades caught his eye. The additional offset on the Nicklaus irons — a design preference Nicklaus and Scott both share — led the two sides to discuss the possibility of working together on a custom set built to Scott’s preferences.
“Adam would show us pictures of irons from the 90s and point out features he really liked,” O’Connell said. “I was taking a lot of that info and going back with the team at the Miura factory to match up what they could do with what he wanted — within the boundaries of our blade model.”
At first glance, Scott’s irons appear to have a lot of Miura’s MB-101 in them. But this wasn’t simply a situation where Miura took a 101 blank, slapped Scott’s logo on them and called it a day. (It should be noted Scott’s logo was added to the irons after he green-lit the idea at the WM Phoenix Open.)
“The ones he’s testing are definitely similar to our MB-101, but they still have some major differences,” O’Connell said. “They have some noticeable offset and that sharper, flatter Miura sole. The MB-101 didn’t have the offset — that’s something we added in — but the Nicklaus irons did.”
The initial prototype set Miura sent Scott checked the feel and turf interaction box, but the look at address needed to be refined. While the toe and flat sole profiles are decidedly Nicklaus x Miura, Scott wanted the overall blade length to look visually longer like 680 Forged, so Miura made subtle refinements to the par area to fit Scott’s eye at address. (The blade length on Scott’s Miura set and 680 Forged are identical.)
“We reshaped the topline into where it meets the hosel to match the look he was looking for,” O’Connell said. “It’s a small thing, but someone of Adam’s caliber notices things like that.”
The flat sole was also adjusted ever-so-slightly to match up to the firmer turf conditions he could see later this summer as the temperature starts to climb.
“[Adam] had mentioned the Open Championship where he thought the sole might benefit the most,” said O’Connell.
Instead of targeting the Open Championship, Scott has his eyes set on potentially putting them in play sooner at Jack’s place — a fitting spot to debut a set of blades that boast plenty of traits that can be found on the 18-time major winner’s own irons.
“He could have them in play today but not tomorrow,” O’Connell said. “Needless to say, we’re not sure where he’s going. For us, it was simply getting these irons in a good spot for him to test and if we need to go further and make adjustments down the road, we can do that. If he plays them this week and likes him, then we’re pretty close.”
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