It’s been one hell of a ride for PXG of late.
In the parlance of the stock market, it basically shorted COVID-19, staked a strong inventory position and fundamentally changed its business, shifting from a premium-priced brand to a high-volume, low-price model that changed perceptions of the brand both inside and outside of the equipment industry.
While the result what likely a net positive—the company has more (and more vocal) supporters than ever—PXG appears to have hit a few bumps.
Being the most nimble brand in golf isn’t all upside. The company just had a round of layoffs (at least partially the result of its direct-to-consumer model and transitioning its brick-and-mortar locations to five-day work weeks). Given the volatility in its pricing model (which might be described as chaotic), golfers have come to expect that, even if a PXG product doesn’t launch at a discount price, it will get there pretty quickly.
Given all of that, it’s reasonable to expect some misguided takes (“PXG is going out of business!”) and a reasonable cohort of golfers who will respond to this story with, “I’ll just wait until they’re $200.”
PXG Gen 6 Drivers – A Fresh Start (maybe)
Based on recent history, that last bit is probably fair but when I caught up with PXG Owner and CEO Bob Parsons last month, he told me PXG’s blowout pricing days are over.
If things go as Parsons laid out, PXG prices will normalize and stabilize. And if everything else goes according to plan, you’ll see “chaos pricing” replaced with a sensible cascading model where the new stuff carries higher “premium” prices while the prior-generation stuff remains available at a reduced price.
For what it’s worth, this was the industry model, and a successful one at that, before “churn and burn” took over with new drivers replacing “old” ones almost as quickly as they hit shelves.
How long it lasts, I can’t say, but you should expect the revised strategy to start with the latest iteration of PXG Drivers: 0311 GEN6.
About PXG 0311 GEN6 Drivers
As was the case a little less than a year ago, PXG’s 0311 driver family will launch with two models: a standard 0311 and the forgiveness-centric 0311 XF.
The low-spinning X and Tour-centric XT drivers remain on hiatus though, with last season’s introduction of the better player’s 0317 lineup, it’s at least possible one of the two might make a comeback.
That’s all speculation.
What is certain is that the models introduced today bring an interesting mix of the familiar and the updated.
The familiar includes a robotically polished T1412 face. The material is proprietary to PXG but similarities can be drawn to materials used by other manufacturers such as Mizuno’s SAT 2041 or Titleist’s ATI.
TI412 is a high-yield, low-elastic-modulus material which means it’s strong but flexible. Not only is that great for ball speed but it also helps prevent flat spots and reduces CT creep over time.
The robotically polished part helps ensure consistency (we’re talking about things like CT and bulge and roll radii) from one part to the next. It’s part of what allows PXG to push its CT targets a bit closer to the limit though we’re admittedly in an area where the tangible benefits are typically fractions of miles per hour.
Precision Sole Weighting
It wouldn’t be PXG without movable sole weights. While the 0311 GEN6 weight system functions the same as the previous generation, each of the three weights has been pushed a bit further to the perimeter.
The default setting places a 7.5-gram weight in both the heel and rear weight ports with a 2.5-gram weight in the toe. The default setting creates more draw bias with improved MOI.
Moving both 7.5-gram weights to the front ports (heel and toe) will reduce launch and spin and while you will lose some forgiveness, because the weights are pushed out to the perimeter, you’ll still be in the ballpark of forgiving.
If you get fitted at a PXG retail location or demo experience, your fitter will handle the weight for you. If you’re more of a DIYer, weights are available from 2.5 to 20 grams.
Adjustable Hosel (with flat settings)
Worth a mention: PXG’s adjustable hosel adapter is unchanged. Your refresher is that the + and – settings allow for 1- (little + or little -) and 1.5-degrees (big + or big -) in either direction while the “PXG” settings introduce flatter lie angles.
The PXG+ setting is two degrees flat with one degree of added loft. The PXG- setting is two degrees flat with one degree less loft. The standard PXG setting is three degrees flatter with no loft change, making it one of the most effective tools for battling a hook or introducing a fade.
With the familiar covered, here’s a look at what’s new.
New Carbon Fiber Crown Design
Gone is PXG’s Aluminum Vapor impregnated crown. This time around, the company will rely on a more standard use of carbon fiber. The layering is a bit different which results in a stiffer crown without resorting to Aluminum Vapor.
With that, PXG has transitioned to a matte black carbon crown instead of the dark gray that served, in part, as a visual reminder of AV technology.
Improved Sound and Taller Faces
Finally, both models promise improved sound and feel by way of improvements to the internal rib structures. As we’ve said before, sound and feel are largely subjective but, for what it’s worth, they feel better than GEN5. Of course, that’s just one guy’s opinion.
Both models feature a taller, deeper face (about 12-percent larger) which helps preserve a bit more ball speed on mis-hits.
PXG 0311 GEN6 Drivers – Two Models
As noted, the 0311 GEN6 driver lineup will consist of two models. Both have stated MOIs of 5,000 which, I suppose, makes both reasonably forgiving by some measure. We’ll dig more into the specifics in just a bit.
PXG 0311 GEN6 Driver (Standard Model)
The standard GEN6 driver model is built for the masses and should prove to be the more popular of the two.
PXG describes the shape as “tear drop”, which is probably similar to pear shape but either way the blanket “more traditional” (at least in comparison to the XF) description applies.
The crown is noticeably more curved than the XF’s which suggests it’s the more aerodynamic of the two PXG shapes.
By design, the PXG 0311 GEN6 driver is a mid-spin offering. It’s a bit lower-spinning than GEN5 but in no way is it designed to be a spin killer. Instead, the 0311 GEN6 tries to balance moderate spin with forgiveness. And while that’s the kind of thing every manufacturer says it’s doing, PXG is more willing than most to put numbers to it.
The company says the MOI of the standard 0311 is a bit over 5,200 in the stock configuration. By tweaking the stock weight configuration (adding more weight to the back), it’s possible to bump up MOI a bit.
The standard PXG 0311 GEN6 driver won’t be the most forgiving driver on the market (it’s not supposed to be) but it’s far from the least.
The PXG 0311 GEN6 (standard) driver is available in 7.5, 9 and 10.5 degrees. The stock lie angle is 59 degrees, one degree flatter than the XF.
PXG 0311 XF GEN6 Driver
With a stated MOI above 5,500, the 0311 XF remains the most forgiving of PXG’s driver offerings by a reasonable amount.
With the stock weight configuration, it doesn’t push quite as close to the USGA limit as PXG’s previous XF offerings but with some clever tuning (more weight in back), the XF can be configured to come close to the maximum allowable MOI.
As you’d expect, the 0311 XF GEN6 has the bigger overall footprint. It’s larger heel to toe, the shape is more symmetrical (I’d describe it as round) and the crown is flatter, which generally means less aerodynamic, which is fine for the target golfer.
The PXG 0311 XF GEN6 is designed to be forgiving without introducing excessive spin into the equation. Despite the deeper center of gravity, PXG describes the 0311 XF GEN6 as a mid-spin offering.
PXG’s test data suggests the GEN6 XF should spin about 200 rpm more than the standard model (based on 100 mph swing speed).
With a 60-degree lie angle, it’s more upright than the standard 0311 GEN6 driver.
The PXG 0311 XF GEN6 driver is available in 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees.
PXG GEN6 Drivers by the Numbers
Behind the scenes, PXG’s engineering team doesn’t get the credit it deserves for the volume of data it shares. That’s my opinion and, to an extent, the lack of credit might be partially my fault.
I’ve come to expect the company showing me the data will come out on top so it’s refreshing that PXG doesn’t always hide the areas where its previous products perhaps perform a bit better than the new stuff. For sure, this is absolutely home-team stuff but it’s rare a company shares the volume of data PXG does to illustrate the differentiation and specific areas of improvement relative to its previous models.
With that said, PXG’s testing shows that both 0311 GEN6 drivers are about one mph faster (100 mph – center strikes) than the equivalent GEN5 offerings. Paired with a combination of similar launch angles and lower spin, that works out to about six yards of additional carry distance.
To reiterate, that’s on center strikes and, while that’s good, it’s not entirely the point.
GEN 6 Drivers – More Forgiving Depending on Your Miss
Looking at off-center strikes from the standard nine-point test, PXG’s data shows that the standard 0311 GEN6 gives up little ball speed and distance on high-face impacts but does a better job preserving speed and distance when contact is in one of the low-face regions.
Again, it’s faster in the center and if you tend to be a low-face kinda guy, the GEN6 design could work to your advantage.
By comparison, XF GEN6 is more forgiving (as it relates to preserving speed and distance) than the GEN5 XF basically across all of the face.
It’s a Club Fitting 101 question: What can you optimize for and what do you need to optimize against?
Finally, while it’s often difficult to explain how you got there, in robot testing, both PXG 0311 GEN6 drivers produced significantly improved dispersion over the previous models. The likely factors are changes to GEN6 drivers’ CG locations and modifications to the bulge and roll of the club face.
Ultimately, what you’re getting should prove to be, for most golfers, a bit better than what came before. That’s all you can reasonably ask for.
PXG 0311 GEN6 Drivers – Pricing and Availability
Retail price for the PXG 0311 GEN6 is $499 with the stock shaft. Alternative shafts (both no-upcharge and lots of upcharge shafts) are also available.
For more information or to schedule your fitting, visit PXG.com.
2 months ago
WHY IS IT THAT ANY DRIVER OR CLUB WITH AN ADJUSTABLE HOSEL LIKE PXG AND PING THAT CAN HAVE A SETTING THAT CAN ADJUST TO BEING FLAT ALWAYS HAVE THE MONIKER OF “making it one of the most effective tools for battling a hook or introducing a fade” .
IT MAKES THE OTHER CLUB OEMs THAT DONT GO FLAT (BECAUSE ITS ALREADY AT ITS FLATTEST SETTING) SEEM LIKE THAT THESE CLUBS ARE SUPER UPRIGHT AND CANT GO FLAT.
EX. TAYLORMADE DRIVERS LIE ANGLE 56 DEGREES
PXG LIE ANGLE 59 DEGREES AND MAKE IT ITS FLATTEST IS 56 DEGREES THE SAME AS TAYLORMADE BUT READING THIS AND OTHER REVIEWS FROM OTHERS MAKE IT SOUND LIKE HAVING A FLAT SETTING MAKES IT MAGICALLY MORE FLAT THAN ONES THAT DONT