- PXG has introduced its GEN4 driver lineup.
- The three models range from ultra-forgiving to specialized for high swing speed players.
- Retail price is $549.
The days of discounting the flagship lineup are over … at least for now. PXG’s new 0811 GEN4 drivers aren’t as spendy as their prior premium driver offerings but their release suggests they have designs on going toe-to-toe with the industry leaders on performance and price.
Toss in the 15 new player signings announced last week (the list includes Sung Kang, Danny Lee and Hudson Swafford) and every indication is that PXG is once again serious about becoming a significant player in the golf world.
PXG 0811 GEN4 Driver Lineup
As has become the custom, the 0811 GEN4 driver lineup includes three models. The X and XF models occupy the same roles in the lineup as their GEN2 equivalents. The XT is an entirely new model. It’s reasonably distinct in the market and should garner some attention within its admittedly narrow target demographic.
As we always do, we’ll break down the three models individually but, first, let’s look at what the 0811 GEN4 drivers have in common.
Hybrid Crown Construction
The lead story for PXG centers around crown construction. Specifically, hybrid crown construction with an AV carbon-fiber insert.
What does that mean?
The hybrid part refers to the fact that PXG is using a mix of titanium and carbon fiber in the crown of its GEN4 drivers. This part of the story is unchanged from the 0211 series that launched earlier this year.
While competitors typically use one material or the other in their crowns, PXG believes its approach provides the structural benefits of titanium with the weight-saving benefits of carbon fiber.
AV Carbon Fiber
Building on the 0211 design, the GEN4 series of drivers incorporates AV carbon fiber into the crown. AV is short for “aluminum vapor.” It’s a technology that involves applying vaporized aluminum to carbon fiber inside a vacuum-sealed chamber.
The AV composite material is sourced from Mitsubishi. While Mitsubishi uses the material in its AV series shafts, this is the first time aluminum vapor has been used in a golf club.
Beyond bragging rights, the actual benefit is that AV-treated carbon fiber allows for lighter and thinner weaves and effectively stiffens the material. The more rigid material makes for an overall stiffer structure, keeps the stress in the face and doesn’t absorb as much energy as untreated fiber. Ultimately, that means less energy lost to deformation and more returned to the ball at impact.
All that and you still get the weight savings from the carbon fiber.
You Can’t Miss It (Unfortunately)
PXG elected to showcase the AV crown insert by painting it light gray in contrast to the rest of the matte-black crown. Golfers typically love visible technology and the crown feature may provide some alignment help for some but my preference would be to take PXG’s word for the tech and keep the color reasonably consistent with the rest of the head.
I loved the look of the GEN2 crown. This? I’d wager it’s going to be polarizing. For some, it might even be a deal-breaker.
2021 has become the season of the face-material story so we shouldn’t expect PXG to be any different. In its GEN4 driver faces, PXG is using TI412. It describes the material as offering high-yield strength and low elastic modulus.
That’s the technical way of saying it’s strong and flexible.
The “flexible” part builds on the ball speed story and speaks to the reality that engineers need to pull every lever they can in the pursuit of more speed. That crawl space between the USGA’s old COR rules and the current CT rules is tight but it’s not without wiggle room (for now).
The “strong” part speaks to the material’s ability to return to and retain its shape no matter how many balls you hit.
Honeycomb TPE Insert
PXG’s honeycomb insert has become the signature unseen element of its metalwood design. The internally placed structure helps optimize CG location while improving sound and feel.
PXG believes it has the best-feeling irons in the game and is hoping golfers will have the same experience with its metalwoods. “We wanted to create that same utopia when you hit our woods,” says Brad Schweigert, PXG’s Chief Product Officer. “These feel and sound outstanding.”
The simplified weight system of the 0811 GEN4 driver series offers three weight ports. While each model is designed to serve a distinct player type, the functionality of the weights is consistent across the models.
When the heaviest of the three weights is in the front position, golfers should see the highest ball speed, lower launch, lower spin and a flatter trajectory.
When the heaviest weight is in the back, launch and spin should be higher. While peak ball speed may dip a bit, you’ll hold on to more of it when you miss the sweet spot.
With the heavy weight in the heel, MOI won’t be as high as when the weight is in the back position but the draw bias should help golfers who struggle with a slice or make frequent heel-side contact.
Once the most (overly) complex weight system on the planet, PXG has gone out of its way to simplify and add consistency across its lineup. The 0811 GEN4 drivers use the same weights as the 0211 series and PXG’s putter lineup. Fitters not only have plenty of options to move weight around and optimize trajectory but also to mix and match weights to find the head weight that provides the best result.
PXG is emphasizing head weight as part of its fitting protocols and, while there are no hard and fast rules, part of the process is to have golfers try different head weights and see if something clicks.
With individual weights ranging from two grams to 20 grams, the range of potential head weights runs from roughly 194 grams to 248 grams. I’m not suggesting a 248-gram driver head is sensible or even viable but PXG’s fitters can comfortably work within the 195- to 210-gram range.
I should also mention that while PXG would prefer everyone get fitted, it knows not everyone will. So, to keep pace with the rest of the industry, it’s increased its stock build length to 45.5 inches. As a result, stock head weight is lighter than previous models.
Like the majority of the industry, PXG is offering three driver models. The idea is to offer something for nearly everybody and then leverage the adjustability features to further dial in golfers during the fitting experience. With a little bit of luck, those finely tuned details will translate to on-course performance.
PXG 0811 XF GEN4 Driver
As was the case with the GEN2 model, the 0811 XF GEN4 driver is PXG’s most forgiving. The previous XF flirted with USGA’s MOI limit and there’s no reason to expect the same isn’t true with the GEN4 version.
To be sure, on the marketing side of the conversation, “forgiveness” is one of those means whatever we want it to mean words but as far as the quantifiables go, PXG’s robot testing suggests the XF will produce the tightest dispersion of its three GEN4 driver models.
That’s what the math says should happen.
Data collected during Most Wanted Driver testing makes a compelling case that the 0811 XF should be among the very best on the market when it comes to preserving ball speed on mis-hits.
As you might expect, with the GEN4 series’ three-weight design, MOI is going to be highest with the heaviest weight in the back. All GEN4 models, however, retain the flexibility to introduce some draw bias (heavy weight in the heel position) or trade a little bit of MOI for some additional speed by moving the heavy weight to the front position.
What’s intriguing about the PXG XF offering is that, despite the high MOI, its low CG design helps fight excessive spin. It’s perhaps an underappreciated though purposeful and well-executed component of the XF franchise.
A Big, Forgiving Footprint
If you read our “first-look” articles, you’ve hopefully noticed that one element design often dictates another. To that end, maximum MOI is achieved, in part by the PXG 0811 XF GEN4 driver’s larger footprint.
Of the three GEN4 driver models, the XF is both the longest from front to back and broadest from heel to toe. Overall, that makes for the biggest-looking of the GEN4 drivers (they’re all 460cc) but it doesn’t look excessively large or unwieldy.
To my eyes, it only looks big when you set it next to something small. GEN2 SGI irons notwithstanding, making forgiving designs that don’t look excessively so is something PXG has done well since Day 1.
The PXG 0811 XF GEN4 Driver is available in 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees.
PXG 0811 X GEN4 Driver
In the GEN2 lineup, the X was PXG’s lowest-spinning model. PXG’s robot testing suggests the same will hold true for the 0811 X GEN4 driver, though PXG expects there will be cases where the XT model will provide lower spin.
The 0811 X GEN4 builds on the 0811 X GEN 2 and 0811 X PROTO drivers. The summary version is that it offers low spin with forgiveness. And while that’s become an increasingly common descriptor within the market as a whole, PXG’s previous X model’s center of gravity location was among the lowest while still offering reasonably high MOI.
Basically, they’re not lying.
The market comps in my mind are the PING G425 LST, Callaway Epic Max LS and the COBRA RADSPEED with the weight in the back.
The shape of the 0811 X GEN4 can be described as conventional by mass-market standards. From a profile perspective, it sits in the middle of the GEN4 lineup. It’s not nearly as long or wide as the XF but the face is noticeably taller than the XT’s (more on that below).
The PXG 0811 X GEN4 driver with the weight in the front position should rightly be classified as a low-spin design but, like the XF, it offers the capability to put more weight in the heel (anti-slice/draw bias) or move heavy weight back, bump up the MOI a bit and add a bit more launch and spin into the equation.
The PXG 0811 X GEN 4 driver is available in 7.5, 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees.
PXG 0811 XT GEN4
In case you’re wondering, with the PXG 0811 XT GEN4 driver, the T stands for “Tour” and the X is probably for “Xtreme” and is definitely just a thing that PXG does.
PXG describes the XT as its “speed” model. That’s straightforward enough though a disclaimer is warranted.
Nearly every golf company’s technology package includes something about aerodynamics. PXG is no different in that regard but what stands out is the clarity with which PXG discuss the audience. The XT is designed for golfers with “Tour speed” or, more specifically, clubhead speeds above 105 mph.
For that reason alone, it should prove to be the most lightly fitted (and purchased) of the GEN4 lineup.
According to PXG, if you’re in that 105+ range, you could see a 1.5+ mph bump in head speed. That’s good for +/- 3 mph of ball speed which, in turn, means more yards off the tee.
That’s a sweet deal — if you swing at least 105 mph.
If you’re below 105, it’s not that there’s no potential benefit but, golf being a percentage game, the actual real-world benefits are likely less than a rounding error away from what you’d get without the XT’s aerodynamic shaping. For slow to moderate swing speed golfers, it almost certainly won’t be worth trading away the benefits of PXG’s other GEN4 models.
Looking at the profile of the PXG 0811 XT GEN4 driver, it’s reasonable to draw comparisons with TaylorMade’s SIM series or COBRA’s Speedback (now RADSPEED shapes). To improve aerodynamic performance, the crown is appreciably flatter. The face is shallower and smoothed along the leading edge of the crown and into the toe.
Like those TaylorMades, COBRAs and, to an extent, Titleists (TSi1), the rear portion of the sole has been pulled down to push the center of gravity lower.
As Anti-Hook as You Need it to Be
At address, PXG says XT has more of a classic teardrop shape than its other GEN4 offerings. That pushes the center of gravity a bit more towards the toe which should be appealing to golfers who struggle with a hook.
Those same golfers may benefit from leveraging the flat settings provided by the hosel to try and either coax a fade or reduce the amount of draw.
It’s not well-known but the logo setting (180 degrees from standard) of PXG’s adapter flattens the lie angle by three degrees while maintaining the stock loft. One click to the minus side of the logo flattens the lie angle by 2.5 degrees while reducing loft by one degree. One click to the plus side also flattens the lie angle by 2.5 degrees while increasing loft by one degree.
If you hook the ball, it’s on the short list of drivers that could offer some relief.
The PXG 0811 XT Driver is available in 7.5, 9 and 10.5 degrees.
PXG 0811 GEN4 Drivers – Stock Shafts
There are no stock shaft offerings for the GEN4 lineup. Instead, PXG is offering a selection of no upcharge options that include the Project X HZRDUS Smoke Series, Evenflow Riptide, Aldila NV and Diamana D+, among others. A significant catalog of additional options is available with upcharges ranging from $100 to $300.
PXG 0811 GEN4 Drivers – Pricing and Availability
The PXG GEN4 family of drivers is available for presale beginning March 9. Full retail availability begins March 30.
The retail price is $549. A scented candle is included with every purchase.
(I made up the candle part. It’s not true.)
For more information, visit PXG.com.
2 years ago
I was fitted for the 0811X. I play to a 8 handicap and at 73 swing speed it down to 89 – 91 mph. I was first fitted for the 0211x and it got me 8 more yards than my Epic Flash. With the eve flow shaft. Switched me to the 0811X with the Evenflow Riptide CB shaft with changing and increasing the weight and I got another 15 yards. I wasn’t expecting that kind of results as I always get fitted for my drivers. I was no expecting that kind of a difference. I have now played 5 rounds with the driver and am getting used to the lower lunch and the additional roll. I also bought it direct after the fitting for $367.00 including tax and shipping which too a week to arrive. They have a PXG fitting center here in Plano Texas. For the money it might be the best deal for the best driver I’ve owned.