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SPOTTED: A PXG “XXF prototype” driver in Charles Howell III’s bag

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In December, we spotted a PXG XXF driver, along with two other PXG drivers, on the USGA conforming clubs list. Flash forward to Monday at the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge, we spotted an XXF prototype driver in person in the bag of PXG staffer and club-tinkerer Charles Howell III.

We are told the XXF driver in CHII’s bag is only a prototype, and that it may never actually be released to the public.

As we originally postulated, it seems from the layout of the weights, or screws, that the XXF prototype is a fade-biased driver; that’s because there are three screws out on the toe portion of the sole, but none on the heel portion. We also guessed that the PXG ZZ has a neutral bias and the PXG XX is a draw-biased driver.

The last official driver release from PXG was a line of 0811X drivers that introduced thermoplastic elastomer inserts into the soles of the drivers to help lower center of gravity — making the drivers more forgiving and spin less — and to dampen vibrations, enhancing sound and feel. Since we haven’t cut open the XXF prototype driver we spotted in CHIII’s bag, we don’t know whether it also has a TPE insert in the sole. But, if the material lowered CG in the 0811X drivers, it’s likely the material would make it’s way into the XXF prototype driver in some capacity to achieve similar results.

From the photos, CHIII is testing the XXF prototype driver with a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue shaft. We’ll keep an eye out to see whether he puts the driver into play this week, and we’ll update you with more information on the XXF driver if it becomes available.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the PXG XXF driver in our forums

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. SK

    Jan 18, 2018 at 1:17 am

    Hmmmm ….. back weighting, face weighting, toe weighting …. but NO HEEL WEIGHTING …!!!
    Wonder why!

  2. AllanG

    Jan 17, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Next PXG model will be “SXFK69″…. 😎

  3. Wondering

    Jan 17, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Why are some of the tungsten weighting skrews colored black and some silver? What’s the difference or is it just cosmetics?

    • stan

      Jan 18, 2018 at 6:42 pm

      Black skrews are ‘big’ and silver skrews are ‘white’…. so obvious

  4. Dot

    Jan 17, 2018 at 2:23 am

    Where do they find these utterly stupid model numbers because they sound like something that’s intended to bamboozle gullible golfer into thinking their clubs are special?
    In the advertising world they invent model numbers as acronyms for something exciting, like “SX” which everybody wants.

  5. Moderation

    Jan 16, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    😮

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Equipment

WRX Insider: Top 5 equipment stories at the PGA Championship

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This week at Harding Park had a few key stories to track from a WITB standpoint. Some were huge, some were subtle. All are interesting.

Here are the top five equipment stories from the PGA Championship.

#5. Fleetwood goes to Ventus

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 07: Tommy Fleetwood of England plays his shot from the 14th tee during the second round of the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park on August 07, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Tommy Fleetwood has one of the most eclectic bags on Tour. The Englishman is the epitome of finding the right 14 sticks no matter what. This week at Harding Park, he made what I would call a pretty substantial change to his driver set up. Being a player that has trusted the Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS 70 TX for a while now, Tommy not only switched shafts but switched companies going into the ever-popular Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X.

According to my source, Tommy was fighting a left miss with the normal setup and was searching for a way to stabilize the head a bit. The Ventus not only helped that but also kicked up the ball speed a touch. Obviously it helped, at the time this article was written he was two back of the leaders having put on a ballstriking display with a Friday 64.

#4. Fleetwood swaps in TM Proto 4 and 5-irons

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 07: Tommy Fleetwood of England plays a shot on the tenth hole during the second round of the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park on August 07, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Tommy also swapped out his Srixon Z765 4 and 5-irons for two TaylorMade prototypes. The switch was in an effort to bridge the gap between his 5-wood and 4-iron. In past weeks, he had tested a TaylorMade SIM Max 4 Rescue. The switch required him to strengthen his 5-iron to gap properly, but ultimately that recipe wasn’t the right fit.

#3. Koepka goes back to his M5

If anything has been holding Brooks Koepka back this year, it has been his driver. Notoriously an intimidating player off the tee (especially on tough golf courses), Koepka had been struggling in 2020.

He started the season with SIM Max and quickly swapped that for the Callaway Mavrik he used up until early this week. According to my source, BK liked the ball speed and feel from the Callaway but felt going back to the M5 he used in 2019 put him back in a comfortable pocket, and as you can see, he is right at the top of the leaderboard again.

Another interesting nugget is the M5 switch required no tweaks, straight into the bag. When no wrenching is needed, you know that club is dialed.

Koepka has also gone back to his trusty Nike Vapor Pro 3-iron. Previously, BK had the TaylorMade P790 UDI in play, but this return comes as no surprise—that particular club draws strong affections from certain players, namely Koepka and Tony Finau.

#2. DJ lands on a 7-wood

Height, spin, and gapping have become a huge theme in the past weeks—especially in that no man’s land between 3-wood and 5-iron. Dustin Johnson is a player who is not afraid to experiment, and he has checked off every possible box.

At any given point this year he has had a 3-iron, 4-hybrid, utility, and now a 7-wood. Although these changes will be course-specific, the trend I’m seeing is players are looking for spin and versatility wherever they can find it. Most clubs in that range tend to be low spin, so if there is a way to find 400-500 RPMs flying out of the same window, its a bonus.

#1. Tiger ditches the “Elder Wand” (it won’t last)

At this point, I think the story even made it to CNN. When Tiger switches anything its world news, especially his trusty Scotty Cameron. In this case, he moved into a Scotty Cameron “Timeless Prototype,” which is a lead into the 2020 Studio Select collection at retail.

Two things going on here

  1. Ability to manipulate head weight to match up with green speed. Tiger’s gamer is, by today’s standards light at 327 grams. This experiment allows him to add subtract weight out of the head via weight ports in the sole.
  2. Added length to take the pressure off his back. Not the first time a player has done this. Freddy Couples, Rocco Mediate, and many others have gone to longer putters to encourage more upright posture.

At posting time, Tiger putted it all over the place on Friday, so although this switch is newsworthy, it won’t last. He’s just putting the Elder Wand in the reflection chair as I do with my kids.

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Whats in the Bag

Jason Day WITB 2020 (August)

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  • Equipment accurate as of the PGA Championship.

Driver: TaylorMade SIM Max (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS 70 X

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15.0 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Chemical Kuro Kage XTS 80 X

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (18.0 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Chemical Kuro Kage XTS 80 X

Irons: TaylorMade P760 (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X Seven

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 Satin (50-09SB, 54-11SB, 60-10SB)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Taylor Made Itsy Bitsy Spider Limited Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

More photos of Jason Day’s WITB in the forums.

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Whats in the Bag

Paul Casey WITB 2020 (August)

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  • Equipment accurate as of the PGA Championship.

Driver: TaylorMade SIM Max (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Orange 75 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX

Irons: Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal Pro (3, 4), Mizuno MP-5 (5-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 120 TX

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52-08F, 56-10S), Vokey Proto 60-T (60T)
Shafts: Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 120 TX

(Pics c/o Titleist’s Aaron Dill)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Special Select Fastback

Grips: Golf Pride ZGrip Cord

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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