Almost three years after launching its first-generation 0311 irons (July 2015), Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG) has finally announced its new 0311 Gen2 irons. And as with its initial launch, the company is making BOLD claims about the new irons. Overall, according to PXG, the new irons are longer, faster, produce higher launch angles, less spin, higher peak heights, steeper landing angles, have improved accuracy — in terms of both distance and dispersion — and have better turf interaction. That leaves two important questions:
- What took so long?!
As part of the premise behind even starting the company, PXG founder and billionaire Bob Parsons doesn’t want quick product cycles; as he says, he doesn’t want cost constraints or time constraints, he simply wants to make the best products on the market. And he says he didn’t want to come out with new irons until they were better than the first generation irons. The problem is, just weeks before the launch of the Gen2 irons, Parsons called the first-generation irons the “best irons in golf, and they have been since they were launched.” So how do you improve on “the best?”
When the Gen1 0311 irons launched, Parsons says he immediately put his engineers — former Ping engineers — Mike Nicolette and Brad Schweigert to work on crafting irons that are better. Parsons says after two years, they “went down many rabbit holes” looking for improvements, and Nicolette says he crafted 13 different iterations of irons searching for something better. Even with the help of a PhD from Duke University “on retainer,” Schweigert says the process of finding something better took more than two years.
The turning point for Nicolette and Schweigert was discovering a new material… one that had a much higher rebound speed.
If you remember the original 0311 irons, PXG designed its irons differently than any iron that came before it, and using a different material. The iron bodies were forged from S25C soft carbon steel, and the face inserts were “as thin as a credit card” and forged HT1770 maraging steel; but it was the TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) injection mold between the face and the body that separated PXG from other irons on the market. This TPE material allowed PXG engineers to construct thinner faces — and thus faster — yet still enhancing overall feel without losing durability, according to PXG.
Again, three years later, the secret behind PXG’s Gen2 irons is the material that’s being used behind the faces (pictured above). Schweigert and Nicolette discovered a new polymer — they’re keeping the recipe close to the chest, obviously — that’s being injected into the irons; they call it “COR2” technology.
The name COR2 relates to C.O.R. (coefficient of restitution), which is a measure of energy transfer between two objects. In the case of golf clubs, you want the highest C.O.R. possible, although the USGA limits it to 0.83 (the lowest being 0 and the highest being 1). PXG claims COR2, versus the core material of the Gen1 irons, is 20 percent faster (according to a “drop test”), leading to 1-2 mph faster ball speed across the face. Additionally, due to the physics of the COR2 technology, according to PXG, the Gen2 irons also produce a 40 percent tighter dispersion. As Schweigert explains in our interview with him and Nicolette, this means the ellipse of average shots hit all over the face is 40 percent tighter than that of the Gen1 irons, thus, a 40 percent tighter dispersion (this is explained around the 6-minute mark in the interview above).
Core materials aren’t the only things that have changed since generation one, however.
For higher ball speeds across the face, and an increased “functional face area,” PXG engineers extended out the face area supported by the COR2 material with an internal perimeter cutout. That means there’s more space behind the face to fill with COR2 polymer, resulting in a 15 percent larger hitting area.
Also, PXG is using new 8620 steel bodies in its 0311 Gen2 irons versus the S25C steel that it used in the original 0311 irons. In its press materials, PXG says “the yield strength of 8620 is more than twice as strong as S25C.” The result, according to PXG, is greater durability, while still maintaining “the club head’s soft forged feel.” The face insert material and thickness, on the other hand, has remained the same; the faces are still made from HT1770 maraging steel and measure about 1.5 mm.
For higher MOI (moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness), PXG has angled the back surface of the clubs, tapering them from heel-to-toe. That means there is greater mass on the toe portion of the club. The topline, however, is also angled so that it appears to be parallel to the face. Ultimately, the result is a topline that looks a bit thinner, and a 3 percent increase of MOI overall, according to PXG. The camber on the soles of the clubs have also been reduced so that players can take slightly more turf at impact compared to the Gen1 irons, allowing them to hit it higher on the face, according to PXG. Nicolette and Schweigert explain how this works in our interview (around 5:40).
PXG also addressed a small concern from Gen1; dirt would get stuck in the numbers on the sole and the paint would wear. According to Parsons, the PXG team tried to find wear-proof paint, but ultimately, they simply moved the numbers out toward the toe so that it wouldn’t interact with the turf as much. Problem solved.
Looking at the overall line of 0311 Gen2 clubs, you’ll notice an increase in the number of offerings; there are now five. The Gen2 line includes 0311 T (Tour), 0311 P (Players), 0311 XF (Xtreme Forgiveness), 0311 SGI (Super game-improvement) and 0311 X (driving irons, 1-5 irons). According to Nicolette and Schweigert, the models have been designed with mixed sets in mind.
Starting on April 19, the Gen2 irons will sell for $400 per club in the standard finish, and $500 per club for the Xtreme Dark finish, which uses a black, diamond-like carbon coating, according to PXG. Among all of the flexes and steel/graphite options, there are 105 shaft offerings available in the standard irons, and 14 in the driving irons.
Read on for more information and specs on each of the iron offerings, and click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about the 0311 Gen2 irons.
PXG0311 T Gen2 irons
The T iron is “best suited for the player interested in maximum workability,” according to PXG, and for the player who prefers a more compact size. Compared to Gen1, the Gen2 T irons are reported to have less offset, a straighter leading edge appearance, less sole camber, trailing edge relief, a more rounded head profile and 2 percent higher MOI.
Tour players who have already made the switch include Billy Horschel (3, 5-PW), Charles Howell III (5-PW), Ryan Moore (5-PW), Charl Schwartzel (5-PW) and Ryann O’Toole (4-PW).
PXG 0311 P Gen2 irons
The P irons have moderate blade lengths and offset to satisfy the needs of a wide range of golfers, according to PXG, offering an “ideal balance of playability and forgiveness.” Compared to the Gen1 0311 irons, the o311 P Gen2 irons are reported to have a thinner topline appearance, less offset, a straighter leading edge, less sole camber, and 3 percent higher MOI.
The Tour pros who have these in the bag now include James Hahn (3 and 4 irons), Lydia Ko (5-PW), Anna Nordqvist (4 and 5), Katherine Kirk (5-PW), Christina Kim (4-PW), Brittany Lang (5-PW) and Alison Lee (5-PW).
PXG 0311 XF Gen2 irons
The PXG 0311 XF Gen2 iron, according to PXG, is a “game improvement club that offers extreme forgiveness and a superior feel, while maintaining the sleek look of a blade.” Compared to the T and P models, the XF irons have larger head sizes. Compared to the Gen1 XF irons, the Gen2 XF irons are reported to have a thinner topline appearance, more offset, less sole camber, and 3 percent higher MOI.
PXG 0311 SGI Gen2 irons
PXG’s first ever Super Game-Improvement (SGI) iron has a thick topline, a low profile and a wide sole to help golfers launch it higher and achieve maximum forgiveness. It also has a longer blade length than the other models and more offset to effectively help golfers turn the golf ball over.
PXG 0311 X Gen2 driving irons
PXG’s new 0311 X Gen2 driving irons are advertised as “low-spin” clubs that are designed “to deliver a more penetrating ball flight.” They’re available in irons 1-5, and have lofts ranging from 15-24 degrees. The lengths throughout the 0311 X Gen2 offerings are progressive — shorter in the higher lofts and longer in the lower lofts.
- Parsons explains why Gen2 irons cost $400, but are “probably worth $1000”
- See what GolfWRX Members are saying about PXG’s new 0311 Gen2 irons
- Photos from the PXG Gen2 launch event and Scottsdale National Golf Club
All-new Srixon Q-Star: Spin where you want it!
If there is anything I have learned in the past year about golf balls, it’s that they are packed with more technology and chemical compounds than most people can comprehend. A lot of premium boundary-pushing technology is found in, as the name states, the premium ball category, BUT Srixon is bringing the same tech found is the Z-Star line to the masses with the fifth-generation Q-Star, priced at $26.99 a dozen.
So, what am I talking about when I say chemistry? How about Spin Skin with Slide-Ring Material (SeRM for Short). SeRM is a urethane coating with flexible molecular bonds (how many times do you think about molecular bonds when talking golf ball?). This flexible coating digs deep into grooves for more control and more stopping power.
When we say “control” we mean friction. Friction is extremely important in golf is because the more you can create with your scoring clubs, the more control you are going to have around the greens. Where does all this chemistry come from, you might ask? In case you didn’t already, know Srixon is owned by Sumitomo Rubber Industries — a world leader in rubber technology including tires. Hmm…I think if a company can find ways to increase friction on a tire on a car going 100+ MPH, there must be some type of parallel there…
When you consider that most average golfers miss a LOT of greens, and often times in the wrong places, having a ball that offers a bit more control than the standard two-piece ball means you can (hopefully) stop it closer to the hole. And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1,000 times: The closer you golf ball end up to the intended target, the lower your scores are going to be.
Another way of getting the ball closer to the hole is distance, and the Q-Star isn’t lacking in that department either. By utilizing Fast Layer Core Technology, meaning the core is softer in the middle than around the outer layer [think of it like a symmetrical round muffin top (drool…mmm…muffins)], they can create a ball that is lower compression, feels great, and spins less off the driver without sacrificing the oh-so-important distance. Don’t forget that less spin off the driver ALSO means less axis tilt (often wrongly communicated as “side spin”) creating shots missed left and right.
All off this technology wrapped up in 338 dimples, available in both white and yellow.
Forum Thread of the Day: “What has made it into your bag so far in 2019?”
Today’s Forum Thread of the Day discusses new equipment that has made it into the bags of our members so far in 2019. From new club additions to shaft changes, our members share the tweaks they have made so far this year and divulge what has been successful as well as what has failed to work for them.
Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.
- Jackal66: “Went from 816 DBD Alpha driver to M3. Changed Odyssey Fang putter to Scotty Cameron Newport putter. Bought a 56° wedge and it is competing with my 53° Diadic.”
- ObiwanForAll: “Gone all in with TaylorMade clubs and UST shafts.”
- macedan: “Successes- Ping G400 9*, thought the smaller head size may hamper my confidence, but It has performed beautifully. Mizuno ST180 16*, No words, performs as needed and looks absolutely sharp. Middle of the road- Ping G Crossover 21*, unfortunately, I fell into a swing slump across the bag not long after buying it. When my swing is on, it is one of my absolute favorites in the bag. My biggest complaint is just the appearance of the massive amount of offset.”
- pollock21: “Been quite a year…TS3 knocked out my trusty G400 LST which was quite a feat. Now shafted with 130 Rogue Silver. I500 w/LZ 7.0 125’s experiment is on the way out. They’ve been excellent irons for me, but I just hit them obnoxiously long. Currently looking for my next set. Also dabbling with a hi-toe 60 to replace my trusty 60* Glide 2.0 stealth. So far, I’m loving it. Last change was putting in the copper spider x which knocked out my ketcsh and scotty newport 2.0. Failed experiment so far with the flash sz fairway. Putting the trusty 16M2 back in the bag. Definitely moving on from the flash, I’m just not as consistent with it.”
- shanx: “Took a lesson late spring and my ballstriking has improved. I ditched the Callaway X20 Pros, Cally X Forged ’07s, added Mizzy MP15s with C Taper Lites. Not sure if those shafts will work for me in the long run, but I am going to play them for a bit as I am still working on swing changes from the lesson. Rotating three drivers (2 Titleists and a Callaway Epic), thinking about going to get fit for my driver soon.”
Chez Reavie’s winning WITB: 2019 Travelers Championship
Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Silver 60 TX
3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue White 130
5-wood: TaylorMade M5 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue White 130
Irons: TaylorMade P-790 (4-iron), TaylorMade P-750 (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper Tour 120
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (50-08F, 54-08 M, 58-08 M)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper (50), KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 (54, 58)
Putter: Odyssey Works No. 7
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Grips: Golf Pride Z Grip cord
The Wedge Guy: The highest loft you should carry
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Gary Woodland’s winning WITB: 2019 U.S. Open
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Tiger Woods WITB: 2019 U.S. Open
New Titleist TS hybrids, U-Series utilities landing on Tour (updated with in-hand photos)
Kevin Na’s winning WITB: 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge
Patrick Cantlay’s winning WITB: 2019 Memorial Tournament
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