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New 2020 PXG 0311 Gen 3 P, T, and XP irons

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2020 PXG 0311 Gen 3 irons: Real improvement

It’s been almost six years since Bob Parsons launched his passion project PXG, and it’s been as polarizing a golf equipment conversation as any out there. The only other company that generates that much conversation is when a TaylorMade driver hits the market, and from where I sit, it’s always a good time to see the reactions. I’ll be honest, PXG is progressing slowly but surely in the driver category, but one thing they have always done really well is irons.

Flashback to September of 2019 when I received an email from PXG inviting me down to see something new. I had no idea what to expect as their release cycles are a bit stretched out and the Gen 2 Irons had only been on the market for just over a year. Gen 2 Metal woods were out for an even shorter period of time, and besides putters and wedges, what else was there? Chief Product Officer Brad Schweigert had even mentioned earlier in the summer that he had no clue when a new iron would hit the market. And he’s the guy who makes ’em.

Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when I walked onto the back range at Scottsdale National and lead fitter Dave Cunningham unveiled what I now think is the best overall PXG iron line thus far: the PXG Gen 3 XP, P, and T irons.

New 2020 PXG Gen 3 Irons

2020 PXG 0311 Gen 3 P, T, and XP irons: The story

PXG has always utilized a high-end forging process in all of its lines, and with Gen 3 it’s cranked up a notch. Utilizing a 5x forging process (8620 Soft Carbon Steel), the team at PXG was able to create a face that is even thinner than the Gen 2. This process, in combination with their proprietary material to fill out the hollow body design (the foundation of PXG iron tech), creates an iron that is forgiving, feels amazing, and performs consistently.

These comments are a recurring theme with all high-end iron products, so overall it’s a familiar story. How does PXG add some honey to the pot to make ’em better and competitive? In this case, I can attest that the changes made to the Gen 3 legitimately made the PXG irons longer than previous models, and that’s across the board. So, to get this outta the way, yes, these irons are a step up as far as performance.

So what’s new and how did they do it?

It’s basically two main things:

  1. Impact Reactor Technolgy: PXG irons have always had an extremely thin hitting area. In the case of Gen 3, this has been ramped up with the addition of more mass behind the hitting area which equates to even higher launch across the line and significant distance gains. I saw this first hand in my testing, putting Gen 2 T against the Gen 3 T at the same specs. On average I gained 3 mph more ball speed, the launch went up a little and descent angle improved. After all that math, it equated to an increase in carry distance of six yards. That’s significant in the player’s irons category, and in my case, a welcome addition.
  2. New proprietary inner core material: It’s the PXG material inside the irons that has always been the secret sauce. This is where Bob and his team have excelled consistently. The simple way to explain what they did with Gen 3 is they added an even more elastic material to the core and added support for that material with the Impact Reactor. Obvious result: More distance, forgiveness, higher launch…you know how this goes.

The Looks

PXG 0311 Gen 3 P
The Gen 2 P was one of the best and most playable irons I had hit in years. It looked good, felt good, and it was an iron that had extreme forgiveness, all while giving better players all the playability they would want. In my opinion, the Gen 3 P took a step away from the player’s iron category and into a player’s distance iron, which is fine when you hear the report on the new T.

The new PXG Gen 3 P iron has a more robust look at address and a longer blade length. I noticed they launch even higher with even more forgiveness than the predecessor. What I really like about this change is the ability to create a serious combo for those players looking for easy to hit launch monsters in the long irons and something more precise in the short irons.

PXG 0311 Gen 3 T

The new 2020 PXG Gen 3 T iron was the highlight of this launch for me. It took the best things about the Gen 2 P and put it into a T package. Although these are a tour iron, players who were a bit nervous about the ease of use in this line will be presently surprised with Gen 3 T. These irons have the soft feel and workability of a forged blade all while providing plenty of forgiveness on off-center shots.

Case in point, I tend to hit a lot of shots center thin. With Gen 2 T, I would lose on average seven to eight yards of carry distance, with Gen 3 my center strike distance increased seven yards (on avg) and my thin shots flew the same distance as my center strikes with Gen 2…make sense? For a player like myself, that type of gain in a forged tour club is a unicorn scenario.

PXG 0311 Gen 3 XP

The two letters on the club say it XP: Xtreme Performance. These things are basically the T and “P” on steroids. The new 2020 PXG Gen 3 XP is a high-launch, high-MOI, distance machine in a very PXG package. This is the PXG iron for the slower speed player who wants to have 6 or 7 extra drivers in the bag. I will say that typically irons in this category tend to lose themselves from a looks category, but the OEMs seem to be slowly figuring this equation out. Gone are the days when the combination of distance and forgiveness had to live in a design that resembled a shovel.

The Feel/Sound

Solid. PXG irons have always felt and sounded amazing. The new 2020 PXG Gen 3 irons do feel and sound a little different. It’s a heavier hit now, especially in the T and P. In my experience with PXG, the hit with previous lines felt great but always lacked that sledgehammer feel that I look for. With the new inner core and Impact Reactor technology, PXG now has an iron that feels soft off the face and has that nice crunch at impact.

Overall

Very impressed with this launch. The new 2020 PXG Gen 3 irons offer everything Bob claims they do: quality, performance and most importantly they are fun to play.  As I mentioned, the standout for me in this line is the T. That iron will catch a lot of attention in the player’s iron category due to how easy it is to hit—all while being a legit “tour” iron.

So how do the new 2020 PXG Gen 3 irons stack up against the market? Honestly, it’s hard to say. All the OEMs are bringing the heat this year in the iron category. I will say PXG has the iron thing dialed—like TaylorMade with drivers and Titleist with balls. Some companies just do certain things better than most. My normal advice, get fit, hit ’em all, and decide for yourself. The Gen 3 will be in every conversation, I can say that, and it’s hard to deny what PXG has done. The new 2020 PXG Gen 3 are the best overall lineup the company has offered, and that’s saying a lot.

Well done, PXG crew.

PXG 0311 Gen 3 P, T, and XP irons: Pricing/availability

Pricing: $425 per club

Available: January 9

Specs per PXG below

 

 

 

 

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Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for GolfWRX.com. He was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. John is also a partner with The Traveling Picture Show Company having most recently produced JOSIE with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In 1997 Johnny had the rare opportunity of being a clubhouse attendant for the Anaheim Angels. He now resides in Toronto, On with his wife and two sons. @johnny_wunder on IG

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. doesnotno

    Jan 14, 2020 at 9:02 am

    “With Gen 2 T, I would lose on average seven to eight yards of carry distance, with Gen 3 my center strike distance increased seven yards (on avg) and my thin shots flew the same distance as my center strikes with Gen 2”

    So a Gen 2 thin strike cost you 7 or 8 yards, and.a Gen 3 thin strike cost you 7 yards.

    I’m not seeing that as worth shouting about.

  2. Clutch Putman

    Jan 10, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    G3 PXG = Perfection. No long iron picks the ball up as well from a tight lie.

  3. WS

    Jan 10, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    Sorry but not worth $425/, plus they don’t look good – look cheap to me – yes they feel nice and the seem go far – strong lofts, I know i’ve been down this road before I sure wouldn’t go down it again

    • Clutch Putman

      Jan 10, 2020 at 6:40 pm

      G3 PXG is a dollar well spent

    • 19_Majors

      Jan 28, 2020 at 10:05 am

      Actually the Gen 3 0311T are not really strong lofted compared to most iron sets. Maybe a degree or 2 from traditional. Also, go see the 0311 in person. Photos don’t do them justice. I don’t own a set but hit them at a fitter last week. In person they look ultra premium.

  4. Pelling

    Jan 10, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    So $425 per iron for a Taylormade RACMB TP knockoff!

  5. Cay

    Jan 9, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    they released the t zoid true MP. MP means moron preferred.

  6. Shawn

    Jan 9, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    So ugly.

  7. Speedy

    Jan 9, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    Anyone buying this brand?

  8. Karsten's Ghost

    Jan 9, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    They’ve even “borrowed” Ping’s 5/8″ lengths. Do these guys have no shame? They should just call themselves Samsung Golf.

  9. Fredo

    Jan 9, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    Ugly? That’s debatable, but who cares if they rock your world! It will be hard to give up my Gen 1 irons, but I might give these a spin.

  10. Connor

    Jan 9, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    The T’s look pretty good I can’t lie. Probably will test these to see if anything has changed but price tag is still just not in my price range

  11. Rich Douglas

    Jan 9, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    Would you play them if money was no object? Are they objectively better than other irons, with their cost being the only barrier to universal acceptance?

    I doubt it.

    The cost will knock out most players from even considering them, but there are other considerations, too (for those who can pay). Other irons might be better for you.

    Now, if they come out with a single-length set….

  12. Cody Reeder

    Jan 9, 2020 at 10:46 am

    I would love to try their blades, but they are just too far out of my price range.

  13. Kenny

    Jan 9, 2020 at 10:39 am

    Go practice and dig it out of the dirt….

  14. Chris

    Jan 9, 2020 at 9:54 am

    Those look awesome! My game has improved dramatically with the Gen2s. I look forward to trying these.

  15. Dyson Bochambeau

    Jan 9, 2020 at 9:53 am

    Ugly

  16. Will

    Jan 9, 2020 at 9:33 am

    Would buy them if I could, but for now will stick with my i200’s. Don’t understand the hate that PXG gets sometimes. I actually like the looks of them.

  17. dat

    Jan 9, 2020 at 9:21 am

    How can you make a product better when it was already the best in golf, PERIOD? lol. $3500+ a set?Oh well, a sucker born every minute – although very few suckers can afford these.

    • Tyler Durden

      Jan 9, 2020 at 6:41 pm

      Look at this pathetic person, whining about how someone else spends their own money

      • dat

        Jan 9, 2020 at 9:10 pm

        Nice comment, ad hominem as well.

        • Travisty

          Jan 11, 2020 at 1:19 pm

          @dat You can say the same thing about your original comment.

  18. Anthony

    Jan 9, 2020 at 9:05 am

    Those irons are so pretty.
    I hit them and you are correct John, +3mph ball speed, +6yards

  19. Rob

    Jan 9, 2020 at 7:36 am

    Yikes! Those are hideous.

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What GolfWRXers are saying about the best “5-woods under $125”

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@golfexchangeapp

In our forums, our members have been discussing 5-woods, with WRXer ‘gary3aces’ looking for a 5-wood for between $100 and $125. He’s looking to replace his current “M2 5 wood with something a little easier to hit”, and our members have been discussing the best options in our forum.

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.

  • C6 Snowboarder: “Take a look at a used Callaway Heavenwood in the Epic Flash model = pretty Friggen sweet. It is Heaven!”
  • Golf64: “Bang for the buck, hard to beat Cobra, but find Ping one of the easiest to hit off the deck. Since you are limited in the funds dept., maybe an older model Ping 5W would do the trick?!”
  • tilasan1: “G400 7 wood turned down or just use it as is.”
  • jbandalo: “Fusion fairways. Highly underrated, cheap, easy to hit and go for miles.”
  • RyanBarathWRX: “PING G fairway would be hard to beat and easily in price range:
  • Nelson.br.1515: “Another vote for the Callaway Big Bertha Fusion. Great stick!”

Entire Thread: Best 5-woods under $125″

 

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What GolfWRXers are saying about “blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

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In our forums, WRXer ‘ballywho27’ has asked for thoughts on combining his current Ping i500 irons with the brand’s Blueprint irons. ‘Ballywho27’ is considering going “i500 in 3-4 iron and blueprint 5-W” and has asked for fellow member’s thoughts on the idea – who have been sharing their takes in our forum.

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.

  • jblough99: “I had a combo set for a minute, 3-5 I500 and 6-PW Blueprint. I could not get used to the transition, HUGE difference in looks at address. If I had it to do over I would just go 4-PW Blueprint and maybe a 3 I500 with graphite shaft as a driving, iron.”
  • animalgolfs: “iBlade{5i} – BP{6i-pw}. That’s my combo.”
  • Chunky: “I have i500 4-5 and Blueprints 6-PW. As mentioned above, there is a significantly different look at address. More importantly for me, the i500s are 1/2 to 1 club longer than the BPs (they fly much higher, too). Make sure you account for that added i500 distance when blending lofts or you’ll have a large gap.”
  • howeber: “I’ve done that exact set — 3 and 4 i500 and 5-PW Blueprint. It’s perfect for me since the 3 and 4 are more like a traditional 2 and 3.5. 4 is usually the longest iron I carry, so I like a little extra oomph out of it. At the end of the day though, when I finally tested them vs my MP4s, the Blueprints performed identically, while the i500 launched a little higher (same specs same shafts). Mizzys are still in the bag.”

Entire Thread: “Blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

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GolfWRX Vault: Avoid these 5 club building disasters

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It’s never too late to go back to basics, especially when it comes to club building.

Even with modern new club release cycles the do’s and don’ts of building clubs haven’t changed much in the last few decades except for clubs with adapter sleeves and greater amounts of multi-materials incorporated into the design.

With that in mind its time to revisit an article from the GolfWRX Vault from June 2016.

——————

I’ve been fitting and building golf clubs for more than 15 years, and in that time I’ve seen a lot of really poor workmanship—stuff that would make most GolfWRXers cringe. But like anyone who ever did anything new, I didn’t start being naturally good at putting together clubs. It took a lot of time, ruined components, and trial and error to get where I am today.

I believe my attention to detail now stems from the fact that my dad was a machinist by trade, and anytime we ever worked on something together his attitude was to take your time and do it right the first time. My dad’s approach always had an impact on me, because I feel that if you do something right — even when it takes a bit longer — the job is not only more satisfying but also makes things work better and last longer.

The goal with this article is to help WRXers avoid the most common mistakes and assumptions in club building that lead to broken or ruined clubs, as well as real danger.

Over-prepping a graphite shaft

The shaft on the left has been prepped properly. The one of the right, which has noticeable taper, shows signs that layers of graphite have been removed.

This happens far more than it should, and can ruin an expensive new shaft purchase. To prepare a shaft properly for installation, you only need to remove enough of the paint to make sure that the epoxy adheres to the graphite. This is also true for the inside of the hosel.

Be careful to remove residual epoxy, dirt or rust (common with forged carbon steel club heads that have been sitting around for a while), or some type or solvent like the one used to put on grips, as it can cause of bond to break down very quickly. A proper reaming tool, a wire brush and some compressed air (either a small can or a large air compressor) can make cleaning simple, and prevent a golf club from falling apart.

UPDATE: Over prepping specifically applies to shafts that are designed to go into parallel heads and is especially important for 335 shafts with less material at the tip going into drivers and fairway woods. For information on how to properly taper a shaft to go into a tapered head, check out the video below:

Overheating a Shaft When Pulling it

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated.

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated, and the resin holding the graphite sheets together breaks down. It’s not always as noticeable, but if the shaft starts to fray it means the bonds have been compromised and it’s more likely to fail. 

Overheating a shaft when pulling it is another common mistake that can result in ruining a golf shaft. It also highly increases the chance of breakage. There are quite a few methods I’ve learned over the years to remove a shaft from a club head, from heat guns to large propane torches, but personally I find that using a small butane torch with a regulator for graphite offers the best results. It allows a club builder to easily control and focus the heat only where it’s needed. Bigger torches are fine for iron heads, as long as you don’t damage any plastic badges in the cavity or materials in slots around the head.

One of the best advances in club technology has been the invention and mass adoption of adjustable hosels. They not only help golfers adjust the loft, lie and face angle of club heads, but have also greatly decreased the need to pull shafts. So as long as a golfer is staying with the same metal wood manufacturer, they can usually test several different clubs heads with the same shaft, or vice versa — several different shafts with the same clubhead.

That being said, one of the most important tools that any hobbyist club builder should have or have access to is a high-quality shaft puller. It’s a necessary tool for anyone who wants to do repairs and helps prevent damage to a shaft while pulling it. The more linear pressure that can be applied to the clubhead, and the less heat used to break down the epoxy, the better. It makes sure both the shaft and the head are reusable in the future. For steel shafts, you can use a bit more heat, and twisting isn’t a problem. Again, with increased heat, be careful not to damage any of the badging, or permanently discolor an iron head.

Botching a Grip Installation

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

This one seems simple, but when really getting down to professional level detail, it is quite important. We ALL have a preference and different opinion of what feels good in a golf grip, as well as different sensitivities. For example, we all have the ability to figure out what apple is bigger, even if blindfolded because over time we all develop brain function to understand shapes and sizes. This also applies to grips. If you use the same grips on your 13 clubs, you could potentially have 4-5 different final sizes depending on how many different types of shafts you use, because many shafts have different butt diameters.

Some shafts have larger butt diameters, while others taper faster than others. That’s why it’s very important to own a quality set of vernier calipers, and know how to properly use them. It’s also the same for putters, since many putter shafts are smaller in diameter. I have lost count of how many times I’ve had people bring me, putters, where the bottom half of the grip is twisting and turning because the installer never paid attention to the interior diameter of the grip, the exterior diameter of the shaft, and how it changed from top to bottom.

Using epoxy that’s doomed to fail

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

I’m a bit of a physics nerd and garage engineer, so this is one of those topics that goes beyond just the physical aspects of club building and into the realm of chemistry.

Here comes my nerd-out moment: In the simplest of explanations for a 0.335-inch driver hosel with an insertion depth of 1.25 inches, the amount of calculated surface area the epoxy can bond between the shaft and the head using the internal dimensions of the head is 1.49 square inches. That’s not a whole lot of area when you consider the centrifugal force being applied to a driver head traveling at 100 mph, and then the forces of torque that also come into play when a shot is struck.

In a PERFECT world, almost zero torque is applied to a shaft when a shot is hit on the center of gravity (CG) of the club head, perfectly aligned with the center mass of the ball, while traveling in the intended direction. This is vectors 101 of physics. Unfortunately, almost every single shot is NOT hit like that, and this is where the epoxy bond is put under the most amount of stress. Lap shear strength of epoxy goes beyond me, but it proves that building a golf club is not just cut and glue after all.

Note: For those of you curious, the most popular epoxies are rated for 4500 psi. 

As far are actually working with epoxy, first things first. Always check to see if the epoxy has a best-before date (yep, just like milk). Also, never store epoxy in direct sunlight. If you are using epoxy from a tube in a dispensing gun, you are using what is an almost foolproof method. Plunge out the necessary amount, mix for about a minute (mix! don’t whip), and remember, the less air that gets into the epoxy the better. If air gets in and the epoxy cures with bubbles in it, then you end up with a club that will often “creak.”

For those using two parts in larger bottles, the best way to ensure proper ratios is to pay attention to the weight ratio rather than volume. This isn’t arts and crafts; it’s chemistry, so by using the weight to calculate the ratio you will get the right amount of each part every time, and help decrease the risk of failure down the road. If you have mixed a larger batch and plan on building quite a few clubs at a time, you really have to pay attention to the consistency and viscosity as time goes on. You don’t want to glue a club head with epoxy that has started to set.

Turning an Extension into a Shank

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

This is one of those subjects I don’t even like to talk about. I very much dislike using extensions when building clubs, especially clubs with graphite shafts. Going back to my “do-it-right-the-first-time” mentality, extensions are a Band-Aid fix to a problem that requires surgery. They also counter-balance the club, and by their very nature create a weak point because of the small wall thickness at the butt end of a shaft. The only clubs I don’t mind extending on a regular basis are putters since they are never put under the same level of stress as a club being swung at full speed. I also never extend a club more than 1 inch, because I have been witness to horror stories of clubs that have been overextended that not only break but rip through the grip and cut people’s hands very badly.

If you are going to extend a club, it’s important to make sure the fit is very snug and doesn’t cause the extension to lean in any direction. It’s also best to have the epoxied extension cure with the club on its side to avoid an excess epoxy from running down the shaft and breaking off and causing a rattle.

 

 

 

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