SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Bob Parsons promised PXG would never release a new product unless it was significantly better in every aspect than the current version on the market.
More than two years after the original 0311 iron was introduced, the CEO and founder of PXG believes they have the next big creation in iron design in the 0311 Gen2.
"We're constantly pushing the technology boundaries," Parsons said. "This was the first iron that checked all the boxes since the Gen1. It's better in every regard and the numbers back that claim up."
Similar to the original 0311, the big story with 0311 Gen2 is what's underneath the hood. Instead of filling the empty cavity behind the ultra-thin HT1770 steel face — 0.058 inches thick — with a thermoplastic elastomer, PXG engineers came up with a new proprietary material called COR2.
The high-speed polymer is 20 percent faster than TPE and works in conjunction with the face insert to create one-to-two mph more ball speed and a 40 percent tighter dispersion.
A new internal face perimeter cut-out design also made it possible to increase the amount of COR2 material in the cavity, and the overall functional face area by 15 percent, for improved ball speed protection on mishits and a larger overall sweet spot.
To handle a change in core material, the head material was switched to an 8620 carbon steel that yields twice the strength as the previous S25C while still maintaining a soft forged feel. Increased material strength and hardness will reduce the number of dings and scratches that typically show up on carbon steel heads due to standard wear and tear.
The company's trademark tungsten weights screws continue to run along the perimeter of the head and help pull the center of gravity down and away from the hitting area to produce a higher launch with additional forgiveness.
Instead of sticking with three models in the lineup, PXG will offer four distinct head shapes with Gen2.
The 0311T Gen2 is the Tour version in the lineup with a shape that should appeal to the better player who prefers a thin topline and sole for maximum workability. Compared to the previous T version, the Gen2 has less offset, a straighter leading edge and less camber in the sole.
To give the head a slimmed-down appearance, the back surface behind the topline was angled down to soften the overall profile. The geometry allows more mass to be positioned to the toe side of the club, resulting in an average MOI increase around three percent. The lofts remain fairly traditional with the T, with a 7-iron at 32 degrees and the pitching wedge at 46 degrees.
The 0311P Gen2 replaces the standard 0311 and offers a slightly longer blade length than the T version. Compared to the 0311 Gen1, the Gen2 has slightly less offset, a straighter leading edge and less sole camber. The shape was also made less boxy by angling the back surface for a more rounded appearance.
With a longer blade length than the T, the club is geared for the player who's seeking forgiveness but doesn't necessarily want (or need) all the characteristics of a game-improvement iron. The 0311P 7-iron is 31 degrees and the pitching wedge is 45 degrees.
For the player who needs a game-improvement profile, the 0311XF Gen2 features a longer blade length than 0311P, thicker topline, sole and higher launch angle. The amount offset in each head was also increased when compared to its predecessor. The 0311XF 7-iron is 30 degrees and pitching wedge is 44 degrees.
While the XF was initially designed with the mid-to-high-handicapper in mind, PXG opted to add a maximum forgiveness and distance iron to the lineup in 0311SGI. The super game-improvement (SGI) model offers a noticeably thicker topline and sole than the other three offerings. Extra offset ensures the club has a better chance of coming back square at impact. The 0311SGI 7-iron is 29 degrees and the pitching wedge is 43 degrees.
"The great thing about having four distinct models is that you can mix and match throughout the set," said Mike Nicolette, PXG's senior designer. "So if you're a better player who wants a bit more forgiveness in the long irons, you might go with 0311P and 0311T. That's the beauty of having so many options to choose from."
The new 0311 Gen2 lineup will be available April 19 in a chrome finish and retails for $400 per club with 105 available steel and graphite shaft options. The Xtreme Dark finish is another option at $500 per club.
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