President, Miura Golf Inc
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Adam Barr, President of Japanese golf-club manufacturer Miura Golf, known for high-quality forged irons. Miura Golf’s founder and namesake Katsuhiro Miura, founded the company when he was just 23 years old in Himeji, Japan. Adam Barr joins Miura Golf after 12 years as the Golf Channel’s expert on the equipment and business side of golf, as well as hosting “What’s In the Bag?”. Adam is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and brings with him a background in the legal profession having practiced as a lawyer in both Pittsburgh and Chicago before joining the Golf Channel. As President he will lead the executive team as it maps out the details of the Company’s strategy and moves towards its goals. The following are highlights of our discussion with Adam. The images featured within this article are Miura’s latest, the PP-9003 irons. A review of these irons is forthcoming.
E2G: How did you come to Miura Golf?
Adam Barr: I shot a story at Miura in Japan in 2003 when I was with Golf Channel. I was impressed, to say the least. I kept in touch with the Miura family over the years, and in 2010, when they were planning to take the company to the next level, they asked me to join.
E2G: Tell me about your company, what do you do as President?
Adam Barr: My duties include some of the basic company-running things presidents do. But mainly, my mission is to get the Miura story out to more people. One of the things I do is make videos of how we make clubs, such as the following one done recently. I’m pretty sure I’m the only company president in golf who gets to shoot and edit his own video.
E2G: What clubs are in your bag right now?
Adam Barr: Driver is our Precious Edition 10.5 degree. I also have our 3-wood (which I absolutely pummel), plus our HB3 and HB4 hybrids. Irons are Miura CB-501s, 5-PW, then our 51-degree Yoshitaka Grind wedge, our 56-degree K wedge, and our C-Grind 59-degree. Putter is a nice, hefty Miura KM-006 blade.
E2G: What did the win by K.J. Choi using the CB-501 irons and Classic Wedges do for Miura Golf?
Adam Barr: Got us some nice, eyebrow-raising attention. K.J. chose our clubs because he wanted to play them, not because he was paid. To win a tournament of that stature with Miuras; it’s a huge compliment to us. And it got people interested in the clubs and the company, which is Job No. 1 for us right now.
E2G: Is part of the strategy in marketing Miura letting people know that there is a real Mr. Miura?
Adam Barr: Absolutely it is, yes. Our parents’ generation might have been the last to understand the pleasure and solidity of knowing who makes the things you use. Time was when you knew the butcher, the guy who baked your bread, the car repair guy, the electrician. Our culture seems to prefer anonymity now, no matter how much we share on social media. Knowing who makes things, and makes them well, is a real way of connecting. It adds to the pleasure of whatever you use. Same is true for golf clubs.
E2G: How did you get started in the golf industry?
Adam Barr: I’m a recovering lawyer. When I had had enough of that, I started browbeating poor Steve Pike, business editor of GOLFWEEK at the time, to use my freelance golf writing. Being a good editor, he did, and I got my foothold. From there, I learned the golf business, moved on to TV, and have arrived (through great good fortune, hard work, and the help of many people) where I am today.
E2G: What is your company’s current focus?
Adam Barr: Continuing to make peerless golf clubs while increasing exponentially the number of people who know how marvelous they are.
E2G: Beyond the new PP-9003 irons, what’s next in the product line?
Adam Barr: A limited edition of our Tournament Blade, with a beautiful, sleek black finish, is ready. A mallet putter is coming too. The rest is still secret.
E2G: What sets Miura apart from your competition?
Adam Barr: The dedication to making perfect clubs in small batches, designed, forged and hand-finished by Mr. Miura and his sons. The insistence on forging the finest-grained steel heads in golf, with absolutely no voids, so that the purity of the strike comes through on every well-struck shot. The patience in design, so we introduce product when it’s ready, not because it happens to be February.
E2G: What is the main way that golfers will benefit from your product?
Adam Barr: They’ll get that magnificent, informative forged feel in their wrists, their forearms, all the way up into their hearts when they hit the ball with Miura clubs.
E2G: What is one thing that you want golfers to know about your company and product line?
Adam Barr: There is a Miura club for every kind of golfer. You do not need to be a certain skill level or a certain kind of player. Everyone is welcome, and everyone can enjoy their game more with our clubs.
E2G: Where can golfers find your product?
Adam Barr: At more than 100 independent expert dealer/fitters in the United States, plus many more around the world. Here’s a list: Miura Golf Delaers
E2G: Does your product help grow the game?
Adam Barr: Yes. Anything that pleases golfers and gets them playing more grows the game.
E2G: How do you see the game being played in ten years?
Adam Barr: Hard to say, but I hope as an integral part of more healthy lives. It needs to be part of the fabric of life wherever it is played — much like it is in Scotland. I would like to see more walking (although I realize that in some seasons, you just can’t…it was heat index 105 F here last week).
E2G: What are the biggest challenges Miura faces over the next five years?
Adam Barr: Simply to make sure enough people know what we have to offer. That job will never be complete. Good thing I like it so much.
E2G: What is the single ingredient in your product that attracts the golfer?
Adam Barr: The purity of the strike. One hit and you know.
E2G: Do the tours help or hurt everyday amateur players?
Adam Barr: The tours increase interest in the game, which is always good. Individual golfers, though, need to guard against letting the tours skew their own expectations about their games. The skill level on tour is otherworldly. None of those players need to worry about their jobs, the mortgage, picking up the kids at school, the whole list — because golf is not their recreation, it IS their job. So of course they’re good, and they can practice as much as they want. Conversely, those of us who play for fun, even serious fun, can’t afford to make it our life’s pursuit. So we do ourselves a disservice when we berate ourselves for a poorly struck shot or less-than-perfect result, simply because it may not match what we see on TV.
E2G: Parting thoughts?
Adam Barr: Be confident enough in your game, the present and future of it, to invest in the best equipment. Improvement is the greatest joy of a golf career, and Miura clubs will help get you there.