Those familiar with PXG understand the poignant link between founder Bob Parson’s experience in the US Marine Çorps and the MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) inspired model names of each club in the PXG equipment arsenal. It started with the original 0311 irons (MOS Rifleman). This time, it’s the Spitfire putter – named to venerate the WWII era, single-seat fighter aircraft used primarily by the Royal Air Force.
The Spitfire is 100% milled from 303 Stainless Steel and features a head shape, which is a bit more than a traditional blade, but something less than a mid-mallet. In a segment of the putter market where consumers have become resigned to new releases, which are often minimal deviations on Karsten’s original Anser blueprint, the Spitfire might be different-enough to encourage golfers to take both a first and second look.
ELEMENTS OF CHOICE
Though technically there wasn’t a Spitfire GEN1, the Spitfire GEN2 is the 9th addition to the GEN2 putter family and provides golfers with a choice of three hosel-designs and four interchangeable sole weights.
The hosel options (double bend, plumbers’ neck, heel-shafted) fit a wide range of putting strokes, though golfers should note each comes with a different stock head weight. The face-balanced double-bend sits at 360 grams, whereas the heel-shafted (370 grams) and plumbers’ neck (380 grams) are heavier.
That said, with four sole weights (and an available weight kit with 5, 10, 15- and 20-gram weights), consumers can achieve a head weight 10 grams lighter or 50 grams heavier than the stock weight. There are also no rules against swapping out lighter weights for heavier ones in the toe or heel – or vice versa.
I mean, if we can have draw and fade biased drivers, why not putters?
In terms of face technology, the Spitfire features an arrangement of small pyramid structures that are denser in the middle of the face and more spaced toward the heel and toe. PXG states these “bite into the golf ball cover to create more consistent launch and roll characteristics.” Also, consider surface area has a direct impact on ball speed. By varying the amount of material which comes in contact with the ball, speeds will be marginally different based upon impact location. Designs such as PXG’s pyramid arrangement utilize an approach that decreases ball speeds on center hits and increases it on both toe/heelside misses. The net result is more normalized ball speeds regardless of point of impact. Irrespective of the specifics, the goal with this type of technology is always improved distance consistency.
At address, the Spitfire presents the golfer with several parallel and converging lines, both of which serve slightly different purposes. According to PXG, the parallel lines (square topline) aid in helping the golfer square the face to the intended line, whereas the perimeter of the flared wings points the golfer toward a fixed point just in front of the ball. The thinking here is akin to something which was possibly an unintended consequence of the GEN2 metalwood launch.
The crown of the GEN2 driver, fairway wood, and hybrid drew inspiration from the hoods of muscle cars. The most prominent feature is a pair of angled ridges, which, if extended, also form a point of convergence somewhere shortly past where the ball would sit at address. It wasn’t discussed much at the time, but several PXG staffers – most notably Billy Horschel – felt the “hood scoop” served as an alignment aid, which resulted in more consistent contact. At a minimum, it’s an entirely plausible explanation, and if nothing else might spark a conversation on visual acuity and lines of convergence at the next cocktail hour.
Each release from PXG gives some indication as to how the brand is working to straddle the line of availability and exclusivity while maintaining a luxury ethos. It’s a delicate dance, no doubt, but one PXG so far appears to be navigating without any significant missteps.
PRICING & AVAILABILITY
Spitfire is currently available at an MSRP of $425. An additional weight kit can be purchased for $75.
For more information, visit pxg.com.