- PXG has announced 0311 GEN5 fairway woods and hybrids.
- The new lineup features two models (0311, 0311XF).
- Retail price is $379 for each.
As expected, the PXG 0311 GEN5 launch includes new fairway wood and hybrid models. With that said, part of the story revolves around requisite features and benefits. New materials, different weighting schemes and a revamped geometry. That sort of thing. But with PXG, there’s always something else.
Subtext. Nuance. Whatever you want to call it. Once upon a time, PXG founder Bob Parsons likened his upstart golf brand to that of luxury automaker Ferrari. But that was pre-pandemic.
Now we must consider whether PXG can exist as both a value-driven (the 0211 driver is $229) and premium-priced brand ($500 milled wedges). Naysayers and critics already have their answer. But they were wrong before. We will file this one under the “topic for another day” tab for now.
That aside, let’s dive into PXG’s 0311 GEN5 fairway woods and hybrids.
What’s In A Name?
We covered this in the PXG GEN5 driver article but PXG is simplifying product model numbers. The 0211 line remains as the entry-level class, focused on budget-conscious golfers. The top-shelf 0311 series is PXG’s crown jewel that houses its latest technology and newest materials.
PXG 0311 GEN5 – What’s new
“What’s different and why should I care?”
It’s the first question most of us ask when presented with a new piece of equipment. And it’s the first opportunity for any manufacturer to make its case that this new-fangled goody is demonstrably better than what you’re already playing.
With the PXG 0311 GEN5 fairway woods and hybrids, the tech story centers around two facets: perimeter weighting and sound/feel.
PXG 0311 Gen 5 Precision Weighting Technology
PXG calls it “Xtreme Perimeter Weighting.” What else would you expect? Moderate perimeter weighting? Regardless, the point is that PXG engineers worked to maximize the distance between the clubhead’s center of gravity and the location of three moveable weights. Like COBRA’s RADSPEED series that focused on the “radius of gyration,” pushing additional weight away from the center of gravity produces two primary benefits. First is a positive bump in MOI (forgiveness). Compared to GEN4 0341 X and XF models, the 0311 GEN5 fairway woods have 34 percent and 37 percent higher MOI respectively. The increase in MOI for the 0311 GEN5 hybrids is a more modest seven to 11 percent
If you read the GEN5 driver article, the following bit will sound familiar. In fact, rather than paraphrasing Tony’s text, I’m going to go ahead and directly quote the relevant portions.
“With GEN4, PXG introduced a three-weight system. GEN5 drivers also feature three weights. However, PXG has made significant changes to the positioning of those weights.
“While the rear weight is anchored as far back as current engineering allows, the forward center weight of the GEN4 driver has been pushed to an extreme toe position. The heel weight has also been pushed forward and to the extreme perimeter.
“Typically, heel (and toe) weight positions are appreciably lower MOI than rear positions. While that’s technically true here, the distance from the center of gravity in all positions is similar so MOI values in those positions are similar (and plenty high) as well.
“The stock build ships with two 10-gram weights and a single 2.5-gram weight. With the 10s and in the back and heel (as they are in the stock setup), 0311 fairway woods and hybrids provide a bit of draw bias.”
PXG 0311 Gen5 Modal Analysis
You’re thinking I forgot to mention the secondary benefit of perimeter weighting. Almost.
In previous generations, the structures PXG used to house its various moveable weights produced copious undesirable frequencies. This necessitated the use of TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) to dampen the vibrations and generate a reasonable sound/feel. However, the new weighting scheme doesn’t require the same support structures. This also means no more TPE.
The net result is a different sound and feel that is the result of PXG’s modal analysis. Simply, modal analysis is a study that uses mass and stiffness of a structure to find periods of vibration at which the structure naturally resonates. Based on this information, PXG engineers can alter the design and reasonably predict how it will feel before the club is manufactured.
Put differently, the GEN5 metalwoods should feel different than any previous generation. Exactly what that means is subject to interpretation. But in my brief experience, GEN5 feels less dense and a little more electric without coming off too bright or hollow.
PXG 0311 GEN5 Fairway Wood and Hybrid Construction
Generally, there are some small deviations in construction when comparing fairway woods and hybrids. That isn’t so much the case here.
Both the PXG 0311 and 0311 XF fairway woods and hybrids feature AM355 stainless steel bodies and HT1770 steel faces. The key bit about the face material is that it’s been around since the first generation of PXG clubs. As such, the engineers understand the benefits and limitations of the material. But more importantly, it seems to suggest PXG can’t find a better option for this application. We know PXG isn’t afraid to employ new materials, regardless of cost, if there’s a clear performance benefit.
As with the GEN5 drivers, PXG opted for a full AV carbon crown construction. The aluminum vapor (hence AV) increases stiffness without adding weight. Also, the additional carbon saved a few grams which designers reallocated to the three moveable weights.
GEN5 SQUARE FACES
Beyond the revamped carbon crown, the most noticeable design update is a squared face alongside a more vertical perimeter skirt. From a face-on view, the blunted toe section is obvious. The benefits, however, are less clear.
The squared-off toe section creates more face surface area without increasing the total club volume. Basically, it enlarges the hitting area while the raised skirt allows for greater MOI (forgiveness).
PXG 0311 GEN5 Adjustable Hosel
If you have a bevy of shafts with existing PXG adapters, good news. GEN5 utilizes the same +/- 1.5-degree adapter as before. If you find most fairway woods and hybrids too upright, three “PXG” settings allow for flatter lie angles. The “PXG” setting maintains the stated loft but is three degrees flatter. Settings adjacent to the “PXG” setting are two degrees flatter and +/- one degree from the stated loft.
0311 GEN5 Two-Headed Monster
As with the PXG 0311 GEN5 driver, PXG has two fairway wood and hybrid heads: 0311 and 0311 XF. The standard 0311 is the more player-ish of the two but that doesn’t mean it’s reserved exclusively for better players.
In both the GEN5 fairway woods and hybrids, the 0311 XF has a slightly larger footprint and is a bit longer heel to toe. Of the two models, the XF is also more forgiving.
0311 GEN5 Fairway Performance
Citing PXG’s robot testing, the GEN5 0311 XF fairway launches roughly a degree higher with 400 to 500 more rpm than the standard 0311. However, the GEN5 0311 is marginally faster (0.6 mph) and five yards longer, primarily because of the lower spin numbers.
Comparing GEN4 0341X and GEN5 0311, the latter generates 1.2 mph more ball speed with 0.7° less launch and nearly 450 rpm less backspin, The net result is a total distance increase of 7.7 yards.
Looking at the GEN4 0341XF and GEN5 0311XF, PXG’s testing shows an increase in total distance of 5.7 yards. This is achieved through a bit more ball speed (1.3 mph) and launch (+0.9 degrees) with marginally less spin (-136 rpm).
The PXG 0311 GEN5 fairway wood is available in 2/13°, 3/15°, 5/18°, and 7/21° models.
The PXG 0311 GEN5 XF fairway wood is available in 3/16°, 4/17°, 5/19°, and 7/22° models.
0311 GEN5 Hybrid Performance
Again, referencing PXG’s robot testing, the GEN5 0311 and 0311 XF hybrids generate nearly identical launch (13.9 degrees versus 13.8) and ball speed (129.5 mph versus 129.4) numbers. The difference in the total distance—GEN5 0311 is 3.6 yards longer than GEN4 0311 XF—is primarily because the GEN5 0311 spins approximately 300 rpm less.
Comparing GEN4 0317X and GEN5 0311, the latter generates 1.0 mph more ball speed and 0.6 degrees more launch with 500+ rpm less backspin, The net result is a total distance increase of 8.4 yards.
Looking at the GEN4 0317XF and GEN5 0311XF, PXG’s testing shows an increase in total distance of 3.4 yards. This is achieved through a bit more ball speed (1.9 mph) and launch (+1.0 degrees) with marginally more spin (160 rpm).
Robot testing is not player testing. So TBD on all of that. On paper, the numbers are helpful as a place to start drawing comparisons. But ultimately what matters most is how any piece of equipment performs in the hands of real golfers.
The PXG 0311 GEN5 hybrid is available in 2/17°, 3/19°, 4/22°, and 5/25° models.
The PXG 0311 GEN5 XF hybrid is available in 3/19°, 4/22°, 5/25°, 6/28°, and 7/31° models.
Companies evolve. And Mr. Parsons is fond of the thinking that periodically every brand should reinvent itself. Market dynamics change. And though PXG isn’t a company built around sales targets, we’re witnessing the emergence of a new—dare I suggest?—predictable strategy.
PXG will continually support three generations of flagship equipment. In this case, that’s GEN3, GEN4 and GEN5. Expect to see deep discounts on previously released equipment. That said, the space between releases remains somewhat of a mystery. I didn’t expect to see GEN5 until late 2022, at the earliest, yet here we are.
Alongside 0311, the 0211 line will serve as a softer entry point, likely with below-market-average pricing.
PXG believes GEN5 is the largest generation-to-generation leap in performance since the brand entered the market.
Do you believe them?
Pricing and Availability
Retail price for the PXG 0311 fairway woods and hybrids is $379. They can be purchased individually or as part of a full bag package ($4,599 with chrome irons, $5,599 with Black Label Elite irons).
For more information, visit PXG.com.