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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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Equipment

GolfWRX Classifieds (08/05/20): Titleist TS4, Byron putter, Nike tour driver

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Golfr19 – Titleist TS4 almost new

Low Spin bomber… It’s shafted with a HZRDUS T1100 Prototype/Handcrafted 6.5 75g shaft and a genuine Titleist SureFit adapter. If you play in a lot of wind, this might really help!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Titleist TS4

Member ngjg21 – Byron Morgan DH89

Although he might not be a household name Byron Morgan has been producing great putters for a long time, and here is your chance to pick one up for a great price.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Byron DH89

Member joe2282 – Nike VR Tour driver head

One of the great classic fixed hosel Nike drivers, the VR Tour. This head is in great shape and ready for your mid-2000’s “retro” bag!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Nike VR Tour head

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

 

 

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All-new Titleist Tour Speed golf ball builds on EXP•01 lineage

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When you are the maker of the number 1 ball in golf, it could be easy to become complacent, but the engineers at Titleist aren’t known for resting on their laurels. Instead, they are constantly looking for ways to innovate and provide performance benefits to golfers across categories, and today Titleist introduces the all-new Titleist Tour Speed golf ball.

Titleist Tour Speed golf ball: The details

Although the Tour Speed is new, many golfers might be familiar with the prototype ball that lead to the Tour Speed becoming a full-blown release—the EXP•01. It was through that extensive testing process, conducted on a scale that Titleist had never done before, that the team—including designers and engineers—had the opportunity to get valuable feedback from golfers of all skill levels. It was that direct feedback, along with controlled player testing, conducted at Titleist’s Manchester Lane R&D facility that lead to the final product.

“Every new Titleist golf ball must exceed our stringent machine and player testing targets in order to advance from the R&D phase,”  -Scott Cooper, Titleist Golf Ball R&D’s lead implementation engineer for Tour Speed.

Although the EXP•01 was released only 10 months ago, the Tour Speed has been years on the making as Titleist worked on producing a new proprietary thermoplastic urethane cover to produce the fastest ball in its market segment.

Not only is the cover material different, but the process to create the new ball involved a 4,300 square foot expansion of the Titleist Ball Plant 2, which demonstrates a huge commitment to the new Retractable Pin injection molding process and a belief in the product.

“Our golf ball scientists and engineers have gone to extraordinary lengths in the development of Tour Speed – testing numerous core formulations and aerodynamic patterns, while formulating and analyzing hundreds of TPU cover blends – to deliver on that promise. We have made every investment necessary in these new technologies, including a significant expansion of our manufacturing facility and process.” – Michael Mahoney, Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball Marketing.

Let’s talk about that performance

The Titleist Tour Speed is a three-piece thermoplastic urethane (TPU) covered ball designed to deliver distance and greater green stopping power. Titleist still believes that a cast urethane cover like those found on the Pro-V1 series offers the absolute best short game control and performance, but TPU allows them to combine enhanced distance with precise scoring control. The TPU formula used in the cover is proprietary and was formulated from scratch by Titleist’s internal team of R&D chemists to enhance distance while still maintaining feel.

The last piece of the cover puzzle is the new 346 quadrilateral dipyramid dimple design that provides a lower, more penetrating flight, so the ball is less affected by the wind.

Underneath the TPU cover sits a what Titleist calls its fastest ionomer casing layer ever, designed to create maximum speed leading to more distance.

Availability and price

The Titleist Tour Speed will be available in the U.S. at Titleist accounts beginning Friday, August 7, and they will be priced at $39.99 a dozen.

 

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The Callaway ball plant: A legacy rooted in innovation

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A little over two years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Callaway golf ball plant in Chicopee, Massachusetts (GolfWRX behind the scenes at the Callaway ball plant). It gave me the chance to take a deep dive into the history of not just the physical structure that is the plant but a look into the people and the machines that work to produce Callaway’s tour line of golf balls.

The one thing that stood out during that visit beyond the massive scale of the operation was the people and the pride they have in producing something in the United States for golfers to enjoy.

Chicopee & Spalding Manufacturing History

The ball plant and surrounding area where it is located is rich in manufacturing history dating back to the American revolutionary war, and the facade of the historical red brick building in Chicopee has remained mostly unchanged since it was the original Spalding manufacturing plant dating all the way back to the late 1800s. It was during this time in history when the plant produced baseballs, gloves, footballs, basketballs, tennis rackets, persimmon woods, irons—and of course golf balls, starting in 1896.

A lot of innovations relating to various sports have occurred inside of these walls and the funny thing is, Callaway’s marketing slogan for Chrome Soft— “The ball that changed the ball” could apply to a multitude of sports including:

  • Baseball – since Spalding developed the first Major League ball to become the official baseball of the National League in 1876.
  • Football – with Spalding creating the first American football with a material and workmanship guarantee in 1887.
  • Basketball – since Dr. James Naismith (Canadian—just wanted to get that in there—Go Raptors!) had the Spalding company develop the official basketball in 1894.

It is now 2020, and in the same building where all of these sporting innovations have taken place, an innovation of a new kind is underway because the ball plant has undergone multiple renovations and upgrades since 2018. Callaway has invested over $50 million in capital upgrades in order to increase quality control—and the ability to manufacture the newest Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X balls to the highest level.

Investment in innovation

Although the plant has always operated to the highest possible level of quality control when it comes to balls, Callaway has admitted that, before 2018, there were some small holes in the production process that prevented them from reaching their potential as far as production standards go. The biggest consistency issues revolved around polymer compound mixing and the centeredness of the cores in dual-core golf balls. These weren’t wide-sweeping issues but they were enough of a problem, Callaway knew they needed to be addressed as quickly as possible, especially if they wanted to continue to innovate in the competitive golf ball market.

In an effort to not just be equal to the competition but to surpass them, the initial investment was in state-of-the-art machines that could take and process 3D X-Ray to measure ball construction and the core centeredness of every single ball. It is during this automated process, that if any ball shows an issue, then it is removed from the final stages of production and will never find its way into a golfer’s bag.

The biggest investment though came in the form of an all-new synthetic polymer mixer allowing Callaway engineers and plant staff to monitor parts of the process with a level of precision that they never could before. Now, if it wasn’t obvious by the pictures, this is not the type of machine that you can just pick up at a local “golf ball plant supply store”— these types of mixers are multiple stories high and offer the same type of precision you would find in the medical industry.

When it comes to the unassuming red brick building, it’s what’s inside that counts. And speaking of “inside,” Callaway engineers are now able to precisely control all of the compounds that go into producing golf ball cores. With the state-of-the-art mixer now in place on the factory floor, from the very start of production through to the final packaging, every Callaway ball is manufactured to the highest level of quality available in the industry.

The state of the art mixer now in place on the factory floor means that from the very start of production through to the final packaging, every Callaway ball is manufactured to the highest level of quality available in the industry.

Technology on the inside and outside

The other part of the plant that continues to see large investments is the Truvis and Triple Track printing area. As we touched on in the original piece, what was perceived by many to at first be a bit of a gimmick, including some of Callaway’s own employees, has proven to be an absolute slam dunk. The pentagon pattern provides a tangible benefit by creating an optical illusion that makes the ball look bigger and also gives visual feedback for short game shots and putting. If you haven’t tried chipping around a green with a Truvis ball, I highly suggest it—you can actually see how much difference in spin you create hitting various shots.

What started as a toe-dip with one machine has turned into an area of the plant with more than a dozen, with Callaway also producing Truvis balls with custom colors and logos.

What followed Truvis was the development of Callaway Triple Track, which is three high-resolution parallel lines printed onto the golf ball to help with alignment. It would not have been possible to print this alignment tool without the machines that were developed to precisely print the Truvis patterns. Triple Track has been so popular and effective for golfers that this year, Callaway even introduced the alignment tool onto a number of their Stroke Lab putter models.

Odyssey Stroke Lab 2-Ball with Triple Track

If history is any indication, this investment will continue to push golf ball innovation for Callaway, as well as continue to build on the strong legacy of proud American manufacturing in Chicopee, Massachusetts. To take an inside look inside of the newly renovated plant, as well as get a deeper understanding of the history and the people behind Callaway golf balls, check out their mini-documentary below.

The Ball that Changed a Town

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