Miura’s plan for expansion in the U.S. included creating more opportunities to get its forged irons in the hands of more golfers.
To that end, the high-end Japanese club-maker has begun selling fully-assembled custom clubs direct to consumers for the first time through its new website. The innovative e-commerce platform allows golfers to create a custom-built set of clubs by matching Miura’s forged steel club heads with shafts and grips from some of the game’s top manufacturers.
Miura doubled its U.S. business in 2018 after Howard Milstein acquired North American distribution rights, but the brand, while continuing to expand, still has just 115 dealers spread across the country.
“A lot of people can’t find them,” Miura Golf President Hoyt McGarity said in an interview. “This wasn’t to cut out the dealers. It was more to say every company is e-commerce these days. We have a very solid dealer locator. And the prices on our website are at the top tier, so we’re not cheaper than our partners; we’re probably a bit more. We’re trying to keep it premium and high end.”
Golfers can now build an entire set of eight to 10 handcrafted driving irons, irons, wedges and putters, with the new website interface guiding golfers through the precise adjustments for loft, lie, weight and design. Since its inception, Miura traditionally only offered its individually-made forged steel club heads to select boutique dealers, who then assembled to clubs and sold them to the public.
The introduction of the direct-to-consumer website comes on the heels of the recently-released IC-601 series, an inner-cavity design that offers more forgiveness and a larger sweet spot for mid-range handicaps. Miura is set to release several new lines in 2019 and for the first time in company history will have a club in every category that’s brand new or within a year old.
“To experience Miura firsthand, we’re thrilled to offer more accessibility to our products,” says Jason Rutkoski, executive vice president of Miura Golf. “As we’ve continued to grow our dealer network and build our brand, we recognized that access to an authorized retailer isn’t always as convenient as we would like it to be for our customers.”
By the start of 2019, the Miura website will be even more refined – a worldwide site that changes in language depending on which country the consumer is in. It will also help locate the nearest dealers in every country.
“It’s about bringing more attention and access,” says McGarity. “We’re in the iron, wedge and putter business. We’re not in the driver, wood business. We try to stick with what we’re good at and that’s forged golf clubs. I think we’re the best at it. Our bread-and-butter is that forged golf club. That’s what everyone wants. We don’t have demo days. We don’t go to private clubs. And people just want to hit them.”
Now they’ll have more access through the Miura website. And that’s all part of the company’s plan to gain a better foothold in the U.S. market.