“Nobody makes golf clubs the way we do. Period.”
– Bob Parsons, Parsons Extreme Golf (PXG)
Nobody does, and the reason for that is the company’s commitment to research and innovation. New and better is always at the heart of billionaire owner Bob Parsons’ product development efforts, and it shines through notable improvements from generation to generation of golf clubs.
The GEN5 line of 0311’s is no different, and is in fact the pinnacle of that statement. These clubs were built for speed, baby – and forgiveness, as the lineup’s technological advancements have boosted accuracy through the moment of inertia by 25%!
With perfect aerodynamics, optimal forgiveness and incredible distance, the GEN5 line is more than expensive golf clubs with great marketing… They’re superior golf clubs that promise to take players’ games to the next level.
The PXG fitting experience
PXG has a total of 20 stores in the US, including two in Chicago. Coming from the Milwaukee area, the nearest of these for me is their Chicago North location.
An easy hour and 20-minute drive south across the Wisconsin/Illinois border, I was really impressed and excited about the company’s setup in Northbrook. This store is brimming with cool golf gear: Drivers and fairways, hybrids, irons, putters, wedges, apparel (both golf and lifestyle), bags and headwear – this is an impressively sized golf shop with incredibly cool gear.
It wasn’t gear I was looking for on this day, though, but equipment to replace the longest clubs in my bag: My driver, 3- and 5-woods, and 3-hybrid.
These upgrades have been a long time coming, and I couldn’t be more excited to finally get my hands on “Technology that Performs.” Just eight years in, PXG is already legendary for just that.
Establishing a Baseline
It’s always important when testing new equipment to establish a baseline. For my driver, this was with my old 9.5-degree Ping G25 with a TFC 189 Tour stiff shaft (58 grams). I’ve had this driver in my bag for about five years and hit it reasonably well. While it’s not easy moving on from a club I’ve been pretty good with, its technology is nine years old in an industry that is constantly innovating and improving year after year. The promise of longer, faster, straighter is simply unavoidable, especially for a guy who reviews golf equipment!
The fairway woods I was looking to replace are Callaway Epics. These were stock, purchased off eBay in 2018, with a 15-degree 3-wood and 18-degree 5-wood. The 3-wood has a Rogue Max 65-gram stiff shaft, and the 5-wood has a Hzrdus 6.0 mid-spin 65-gram shaft. I’ve always hit these okay off the fairway, but could never hit them consistently off the tee.
My 3-hybrid was a 19-degree Adams Idea A7 with a ProForce AxivCore 85-gram stiff shaft that’s been in my bag since before Adams was purchased by TaylorMade. This is a very old club that used be the star of my golf bag. I hit it so well that I’ve had it regripped four times and even re-shafted once, but have somehow lost my consistent control with it over the past several seasons.
Listening in on a PXG new product release call earlier this year, and having swung their clubs a few times at past North Hills Country Club fitting days, I’ve always dreamt of playing PXG’s.
Having already made big changes to the rest of my bag earlier this year, upgrading from my old Mizuno JPX-850 forged irons to Argolf’s F22 musclebacks, my wedges from Vokeys to custom Argolf F18’s and my putter from a Scotty Cameron Newport 2.0 blade to the Argolf Perceval half-mallet (review coming soon), it was high time I addressed the rest of my setup to keep the great progress I’m making in my golf game going.
PXG 0311 GEN5 Driver
My biggest issues on the course (and I’ve still got plenty of them) have always been off the tee. About five years ago, when my old boss got the TaylorMade M1 when it was initially released, he asked me if I wanted his G25. I’d hit it a few times during rounds together, and it was clear the shaft and overall club were set up well for my game (while he’s a much better player than I am, we do have fairly similar swing metrics).
Every year since I’d check out the newest and greatest drivers on the market to see if it’s finally the year to upgrade, and every year the fitters would tell me there’s no reason to mess with what works. The numbers on simulators never supported a transition… Until now.
The driver I tested with PXG Chicago North’s lead club fitter, Mike Lum, is the PXG 0311 GEN5. Released earlier in 2022, the GEN5 is available in a standard or XF model. The XF model has a wider face with 6% more MOI than the standard and was developed with a mid-spin design meant to inspire ultimate confidence when standing over the ball. The standard version of the GEN5 still has 25% higher MOI than the company’s last release, the 0811 X GEN4, but has a more traditional head shape. After hitting both, it was clear the low-spin standard face was the right option for me.
I took hundreds of swings as Mike studied the numbers closely, repeatedly switching out shafts and driver heads, adjusting the offsets and having me fire more ProV1’s into the screen. We kept coming back to one setup that’s very similar to my old G25, though, and that’s the driver setup I can’t wait to start hitting in the Spring: The GEN5 with a Tensei AV series 55 Flex-S stiff shaft.
This club setup even feels a lot like swinging my G25, which makes perfect sense since many of PXG’s engineers got their start at Ping.
The difference, though, and why I’m excited to start playing the 0311 GEN5 over the G25, is in the speed. Developed with a high-grade, light-weight aluminum vapor carbon fiber crown, the GEN5 is ridiculously fast while delivering the ideal moment of inertia and center of gravity to promote a consistently forgiving performance.
As you can see from the Trackman screen shots, below, this new GEN5 setup adds ~ 5 mph of swing speed (110-112 mph) and ~ 6-10 mph (157-164 mph) ball speed to my driving game. Figuring each mile per hour adds ~ two yards of carry distance, these enhancements should lead to an extra 10 yards on my drives, minimum, and the club’s lower launch angle (7.5 degrees vs. 9.5) should yield better run-out on the missiles I look forward to firing off in the Spring.
The caveat: With it being Winter here in Wisconsin, I have yet to hit these outside and so have no real idea if I’ll be able to hit them as straight as I hope on the course. But, again, considering it feels so much like my old G25, I feel like my high expectations are well supported.
Retailing at $599 with standard stock shaft options, the 0311 GEN5 driver is one of the best-performing [and most expensive] drivers on the market today. It is available now, though, on sale for $299 – if you’ve had your eyes on PXG clubs, right now is the time to buy.
PXG 0311 GEN5 Fairway Woods
PXG’s line of GEN5 fairway woods feature the same incredible AV (aluminum vapor) fiber crown technology as the driver and hybrids, as well as all the other great advancements built into those including adjustable weighting (weights are available in 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5 and 20 grams), an adjustable hosel, ideal weight distribution, an accelerated moment of inertia, low spin and, of course, the beautiful and clean aesthetic you’d expect from a top-of-the-line golf club.
The full GEN5 line has precision weighting that comes standard with one light (2.5 grams) and two heavy (10 grams) sole weights to help disperse the mass low and to the perimeter. They also all have an adjustable hosel that can alter the club’s loft +/- 1.5 degrees. While I can’t see me taking the driver down to 6 degrees, I can see potentially taking it up to 9 or even adjusting the loft on the fairways or hybrid to optimize ball flight. Either way, it’s really nice having those options with these clubs.
I cannot emphasize enough how attractive these fairway woods are. Just peering down at them should give you all the confidence you need to pull off miraculous shots.
While I again saw significant improvements in swing and ball speed with the 0311 GEN5 3-and 5-woods, what I like most about their performance is the tighter shot dispersion. Face it, that’s what keeps fairways in my bag on long shots: The lack of confidence that if I hit it slightly off-center it will end up out-of-bounds or nowhere near my target.
I have never been good with fairway woods, so these are to me the biggest wild card in my upgraded bag. Will I find the freedom to hit 3-wood off the tee on tight holes? Will 2023 be the year I finally hit the 9th green at North Hills in two? We’ll see, but the Trackman numbers at PXG Chicago North were certainly promising!
0311 GEN5 fairway woods come in at an MSRP of $379/club, but – like previously mentioned with the driver – are on sale during the holidays at $299/club.
PXG 0311 GEN5 Hybrids
The 0311 GEN5 hybrids were designed for supreme handling, offering accuracy and distance in a low-spin setup. Constructed of AM355 steel, the club’s lightweight body features a high-speed, squared HT1770 stainless steel face and flat sole to position the mass low and toward the perimeter (all the same as the line’s fairway woods). This was done to optimize forgiveness while the AV carbon fiber crown lends it the same world-class speed [and, again, forgiveness on off-center shots] as players get with the driver.
These clubs were developed to provide players with the best of both worlds: Fast ball speeds/unbeatable distance and excellent shot dispersion/accuracy.
Almost two hours of swinging golf clubs hard admittedly took it out of me, but with this being the first proper fitting I’ve ever had for drivers, fairway woods and hybrids I already feel it was well worth the time and effort.
I’ve bought a lot of off-the-shelf drivers over the years – Srixon, three or four TaylorMades, [my first ever driver] Wilson Staff, Callaway and Nike – and they were all just that: Purchases. None of them were fit for my golf game, and I was never overly effective with any of them.
My fitting with Mike and trust in PXG’s superior technology give me confidence that these 0311 GEN5’s should keep me hitting fairways (at least as well as I did with my old G25) and adding unprecedented length to my long game going forward. To say I’m excited about the upgrade would be an understatement.
Have you always been interested in PXG, too, but haven’t been able to make the jump? Well, you’re in luck as PXG’s holiday sale is currently offering massive discounts including the all-new 0311 GEN5 driver for $299 ($599 regular price), and $299 apiece for fairway woods and hybrids (regularly $379).
Make this the year you upgrade your long game, too, and make the switch to the game’s most innovative, tech-forward manufacturer, PXG.