- The PXG 0311 GEN5 iron family includes three models (0311 T, 0311 P, 0311 XP).
- According to PXG, GEN5 irons are longer and more forgiving than their predecessors.
- An all-black “Black Label Elite” version is also available.
- Retail price is $349 each for chrome and $449 each for Black Label Elite.
Technically, PXG doesn’t have release cycles but that doesn’t mean the company has ever been content to sit on what it has. Its GEN4 lineup launched about a year and a half ago. By industry standards, more than enough time has passed to justify the release of the new PXG 0311 GEN5 irons.
Those close to the development of the new irons believe GEN5 represents the biggest model-to-model advancement in the company’s history. And while that’s the kind of bravado that accompanies nearly every product release, the jump from GEN4 to GEN5 is certainly the most intriguing I’ve seen from the company to date.
Let’s dig in.
PXG 0311 GEN5 Iron Construction
It’s not the most fascinating stuff. It’s also not likely to be the reason you buy (or don’t buy) the PXG 0311 GEN5 irons but I wanted to start with an overview of the construction of the PXG’s latest flagship irons.
As with other 0311 irons, the GEN5 irons are multi-piece, multi-material forgings. The summary version is that while the faces are forged from HT1770 (PXG’s face material of choice since 0311 GEN1), the bodies are forged from 8620. Sandwiched in between is a proprietary PXG-branded XCOR2 polymer. Tungsten screws and a swappable (not by you) precision weight complete the package.
If that’s all the detail you need, feel free to skip ahead. You won’t hurt my feelings.
Digging deeper into the details …
PXG uses a five-step forgiving forging process, with each step requiring a unique mold. Using multiple discrete molds allows PXG to create a precise final shape while also slowly forming the internal cavity of the GEN5 irons that holds the XCOR2 polymer.
It’s an extensive process that significantly increases manufacturing costs. If you find that hard to believe, I’ll simply point out that mold costs are cited industry-wide as the primary reason why a healthy number of forged clubs aren’t available for lefties.
Milled back surface
While it has been toned down quite a bit from the GEN4 irons, PXG 0311 GEN5 irons still feature a milled back surface. Whether it looks cool (PXG believes 0311 GEN5 are the “coolest-looking irons ever”) or not is subject to one’s personal tastes (I legit love them), the design isn’t strictly cosmetic. The milling process precisely removes m aterial beyond what’s possible with forging alone. The specific objective is to reduce wall thickness and steal weight from where it isn’t needed.
XCOR2 is the latest generation of PXG’s polymer iron filling. The key performance attribute of the new goo is that it’s lighter and faster than the original XCOR—and presumably PXG’s previous three iterations of filler materials.
The lighter part is simple enough and plenty familiar. The XCOR2 material used in PXG 0311 GEN5 irons is less dense than the original XCOR. A lighter polymer means a bit of extra mass that PXG engineers were able to reallocate elsewhere in the head. It’s boilerplate MOI/forgiveness stuff.
The faster part of the XCOR2 story stems from the fact that the material has a higher COR (coefficient of restitution). Simplified, it’s more responsive. That said, we’re really talking about a material that’s faster insomuch as it slows down the face less than the previous material.
It’s a classic give-and-take situation. Iron fillers like XCOR2 and SpeedFoam allow for thinner faces (and PXG still has the thinnest iron faces in golf) but they also give speed back by limiting the face’s ability to flex. The faces on the PXG 0311 GEN5 irons aren’t hurting for speed so I suppose it’s a reasonable trade for improved sound and feel.
The Power Channel in the PXG 0311 GEN5 irons isn’t so much a feature as it is a necessity.
When testing prototypes of the GEN5 irons, PXG engineers found the new irons launched lower than expected (or desired). Through a bit of trial and error, they found a strategically placed channel on the backside of the iron face increased the launch angle of the irons.
Loft for loft, the data suggests the 0311 GEN5 will launch marginally lower than GEN4 but they’re well within a workable trajectory window.
When PXG says “precision weighting,” it’s talking about the large centrally placed weights/screws. They provide a simple means for PXG fitters to experiment with head/swing weight as part of the fitting process. For many, the stock weight will work just fine but, for others, going a few points heavier or lighter will provide better results.
The weights aren’t intended to be user replicable and are fixed in place with a tamper-proof secure Torx screw.
Like that’s going to stop me.
The other five old-school-PXG-looking weights (three in the toe, two in the heel) are fixed tungsten screws. They serve as mass plugs to help improve performance on off-center strikes but they’re not part of the swing-weighting equation and aren’t intended to be removed and swapped.
Model to model, the heel and toe weights boost MOI by roughly five percent over GEN4.
The larger black portions surrounding the tungsten screws that look like large weights aren’t actually separate pieces. The aesthetic is the result of some clever milling and a couple splashes of PXG’s black DLC (diamond-like carbon) finish.
When developing the 0311 GEN5 irons, PXG made a few prototypes with what I guess can be described as separate weight chunks. Ultimately, they didn’t perform as well but the two-tone look stuck around for the final design.
Before we jump into the individual model breakdown, I wanted to touch on the mostly subjective concept of feel. Since GEN1, PXG has claimed its goo-filled hollow-body irons provide a single-piece forged iron feel. To be sure, it wasn’t the first to make the claim, it won’t be the last, and, frankly, plenty claim the same and deliver far worse.
With the allowance that there’s plenty of variety in forged iron feel, I’ve always found PXG irons to feel significantly better than most castings but a step below the best feeling forgings on the market and, yes, that is absolutely code for Mizuno.
With GEN5, my opinion is that PXG has narrowed the gap to the point that it may not even exist anymore. I hit the GEN5 side by side with the Mizuno Pro line (with real golf balls) and was shocked by how similar they were.
Am I saying that PXG 0311 GEN5 irons feel as good as Mizunos? Oooh … That’s dangerous. At the risk of stirring up an angry mob, I will say they’re close enough that most won’t notice and even more won’t notice enough to care.
Bottom line: PXG has been telling me for years that its irons offer a premium forged iron feel. This time around, I finally agree.
PXG 0311 GEN5 Irons – 3 Models
As has become its tradition, PXG is launching the 0311 GEN5 iron lineup with three models: 0311 T, 0311 P and 0311 XP. If history is any indication, we’ll eventually see a 0311 ST GEN5 blade but officially that’s TBD.
PXG 0311 T GEN5 Irons
The T is the Tour model in the GEN5 family. As the name suggests, it’s the most compact iron in the current 0311 GEN5 lineup. PXG describes the 0311 T as a forgiving, blade-style design. That’s a fair description, though I wouldn’t classify the T as one of the most compact player’s iron designs on the market.
A fair size comparison is probably the TaylorMade P770. It’s a small-ish iron but not necessarily to a frightening degree.
By comparison with the other irons in the PXG 0311 GEN5 family, the 0311 T has a thinner topline, narrower sole, less offset and a shorter blade length. All of that is to be expected with the blade length, in particular, being the reason why the T is described as workable.
It should go without saying that the 0311 T is the least forgiving of PXG’s GEN5 irons but I’d wager it’s among the more forgiving irons in its category.
Since GEN2, I’ve been fitted into combo sets. With GEN3 (and GEN4), I had a couple of Ts at the short end of the bag. With GEN5, I found my way into a full set of Ts and while that was surprising, I suppose, it also speaks to the value of fitting, making no concrete assumptions and making sure you have the opportunity to try everything before making your decision.
0311T GEN5 Performance
By the numbers, PXG says the 0311 T GEN5 is one mph faster than GEN4. In testing, it launched .4 degrees lower with an additional 100 rpm of spin. Total distance is only 1.3 yards longer than GEN5 but distance isn’t really the point of a Tour iron, is it?
The disclaimer for those and the other numbers I’ll share is that the data comes from PXG’s own robot testing.
0311 GEN5 T Specs
As you can see, 0311T GEN5 lofts are reasonably traditional. For everyone other than Tiger Woods, the 48-degree pitching wedge is all but dead. Given how much mass is being dumped into the soles of modern irons, a 32-degree 7-iron and 46-degree pitching wedge are sensible for the Tour/player’s iron category.
Having said that, I’d remind you that stock lofts should be treated as nothing more than a starting point—suggestions, perhaps. As with drivers, there’s no iron loft spec that’s right for everyone. I’m a classic example of that.
In trying the PXG 0311 GEN 5 irons, I was inarguably making better, more consistent contact with the Ts than the Ps and XPs but they were launching a bit high with too much spin (not an uncommon occurrence in my world). The solution? PXG built my set two degrees strong. That leaves me with a 30-degree 7-iron and a 44-degree pitching wedge. That’s typically a good place for me. I’m still making good contact but now I’m hitting ideal trajectory windows and adding distance as well.
It’s a classic win-win made possible through fitting.
To reiterate: When it comes to iron lofts, there is no right or wrong. There is only what works for you and what doesn’t. There’s no reason why a bending machine can’t be part of the iron fitting process.
PXG 0311 P GEN5 Irons
The 0311 P GEN5 occupies what I call the Goldilocks position in the PXG lineup. Sitting between the T and XP in nearly every way, it’s the model that the majority of golfers are likely to find just right. If PXG only made a single iron, the 0311 P GEN5 would be it.
With that comes moderate blade lengths and offset and a mid-width sole, topline and a midsized blade length. Your market comps are somewhere in the vicinity of the TaylorMade P790 and Callaway APEX.
The 0311 P is more forgiving than the T and not as hyper distance focused as the XP.
If you want to call it an iron capable of meeting the needs of a wide range of golfers, I wouldn’t disagree.
0311 P GEN5 Performance
According to PXG, compared to the 0311 P GEN4, the new irons are 1.4 mph faster. They launch half a degree lower with about 375 rpm less spin. That nets out to just a bit less than 4.5 yards of increased distance over GEN4. While the added distance may or may not be important to you, it’s worth mentioning that length and loft specifications haven’t changed from GEN4 to GEN5.
0311 P GEN5 Specs
With a 30-degree 7-iron and 44-degree pitching wedge, I’d describe the lofts as sensible for the category. Perhaps there’s a slight distance slant but they’re not outside the realm of playable for average golfers. The lower launch and spin may be of concern to some so, as always, I’d recommend keeping a close eye on descent angles and getting fitted if possible.
PXG 0311 XP GEN5 Irons
The 0311 XP GEN5 is the (E)xtreme performance iron in the 0311 GEN5 family. Simplified, it’s the longest and most forgiving.
As you’ve no doubt figured out, the 0311 XP GEN5 is the largest iron in the PXG GEN5 iron family. The topline is the thickest. The sole is the widest. Blade length is the longest and offset is the most generous.
Don’t let that turn you off. The XP isn’t a particularly clunky-looking iron. One of the things PXG has always done well is hide the bulk in its designs. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say it looks like a blade, the XP looks smaller than it plays which can be a desirable attribute in an iron.
On paper, the 0311 XP GEN5 reads a bit like an iron for higher handicap golfers but I’d wager there are more than a few mid-handicap golfers who could benefit from the XP.
If nothing else, golfers who struggle with long irons might want to consider the XP at the scary end of the bag.
0311 XP GEN5 Performance
Looking to PXG’s numbers one last time, the company says the 0311 XP GEN5 is 2.5 mph faster than its GEN4. It launches .7 degrees lower but spin only dips by 90 rpm or so. PXG puts the total distance gain at five yards (with tighter dispersion) and, again, that’s at the same length and loft as the GEN4.
0311 XP GEN5 Specs
With a 27-degree 7-iron and 41-degree pitching wedge, the 0311 XP GEN5 irons offer up the kind of loft (or lack thereof) that makes me nervous. On one hand, there’s a healthy amount of mass low and deep and that does mean higher launch (PXG’s XP irons have typically been among the highest launching in the category). On the other, it can take a little bit of speed to turn that low static loft into playable dynamic loft.
The reality is that some golfers are content with distance any way they can get it. For the rest of us, I will again defer to fitting and a bending machine.
PXG 0311 GEN5 Chrome irons retail for $349 per iron. They’re also included in PXG’s full bag deal (14 clubs) for $4,599.
PXG 0311 GEN5 Black Label Elite
All three 0311 GEN5 iron models will be available in what PXG is calling Black Label Elite. Black Label Elite irons feature PXG’s signature Xtreme Dark Finish. The black DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) is significantly more durable than PVD which means you’re not spending extra for an iron that’s going to look like crap after a dozen rounds.
As part of the Black Label Elite package, PXG is offering a blacked-out Steel Fiber Private Reserve shaft. It’s available in i110-S, i95-S, i70-R and i60-A. As fitting is an integral part of the PXG model, if the Steelfiber shafts don’t work for you, you’re free to choose anything else in the matrix. No upcharge.
PXG 0311 GEN5 Black Label Elite Irons retail for $449 per iron. They can also be included in a 14-club full bag purchase for $5,599.
PXG 0311 GEN5 Driving Iron
Rounding out the 0311 GEN5 iron family is the 0311 X GEN5 driving iron. PXG’s single-loft utility offers the same features as the rest of the GEN5 lineup in a slightly larger package.
The face is taller and the blade length is longer but, not to be trifled with, offset is minimal. We’re definitely not talking about a lower-lofted XP iron.
Use cases vary but PXG says the 0311 GEN5 driving iron is an alternative to a stronger lofted hybrid or as a specialty iron to meet the challenges of certain courses or conditions.
It’s available as an 18-degree 2-iron only. However, as with other GEN5 irons, it can easily be bent to meet your specific needs. Given that the bounce is only two degrees, I wouldn’t go nuts bending it stronger.
Retail price for the 0311 GEN5 driving iron is $349.
PXG 0311 GEN5 Irons are available now. For more information, visit PXG.com.
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