In a way this article is sort of ironic. Ironic in a sense that the products that I use for my blog and website are offered through Go Daddy. The creation of multi-billionaire and avid golfer Bob Parsons. It has been reported that Parsons has spent in upwards of $300,000 USD over the course of the year on golf equipment. Never being fully satisfied in his purchases Parsons set out to create the best golf equipment the world has ever seen.
I remember when I first learned of Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG) and it was at some point before the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show. Having followed them on Twitter (nearly religiously) I watched the wares develop and the announcements one-by-one of various Tour players joining what would be billed as #PXGTroops. On the LPGA Tour there was Cristie Kerr, Gerina Piller and U.S. Women’s Open Championship winner Brittany Lang. Meanwhile, on the PGA Tour side of things there were names like Ryan Moore (the first one as far as I know), Billy Horschel, James Hahn and Zach Johnson. The latter was the one that I was totally blown away with at the time only because he was a “Titleist Guy” since basically it seems… forever. But then 2017 occurs and we see the stable grown even larger. 2011 Master’s Champion Charl Schwartzel, the recently signed Pat Perez and women’s number one ranked golfer Lydia Ko. Going back to an article on Parsons some time ago, he stated that he never approached any players about playing his clubs that all of the players had heard through word of mouth how good the equipment was. To that end, I found that information almost outrageous especially considering how deep Parsons’ pockets are. Especially when looking at Zach Johnson and his previous brand. All I thought was that he was offered a huge sum of cash to leave Titleist behind.
Speaking of deep pockets Parsons hired some of the best of the best in golf club design most notably some former employees of PING. As pictures started to surface on social media I became more intrigued. I think the reason for this is simple… the clubs are adorned with several weight screws that allow for perimeter weighting. As I looked at the numerous pictures that came out I had one adjective that came to mind… “gaudy” and loud. Loud and gaudy. Of course I realize that these in fact are two adjectives. Either way… I didn’t like them. Then I heard the estimated cost per set and as I recollect I became nauseated at the suggestion. Could a set of irons be worth this much? Oh did I mention in the ball park of $3000 USD for an 8-piece set? Up here that’s $4000 CAD ($500 per club). In order for me to order a set I would have to sell a kidney illegally to afford them. Two… no maybe three things came to my mind right away. The first was a resounding NO… no set was worth a kidney. Secondly, there was a saying that my dad used to use. “If you have to ask… then you can’t afford it”. Which pretty much meant in this case there was a niche market for PXG golf clubs. As far as I see it PXG are clubs truly intended for the affluent and elite. Lastly I thought “one way or another I have to swing them”. So leading up to the 2016 PGA Show I asked PXG on Twitter if they would have a presence at the show. Their response was (and I quote) “PXG will have no presence as our founder feels that it is not necessary and the average consumer can’t afford them anyways”. Alright then, a new company with confidence and “brass cojones” to spare. Now I have to swing them. I’ll be totally candid… I hated them and everything that they stood for. “Make golf elitist again” was a fourth thought that I had.
My friends, I have waited a long time to swing these. I watched a calendar turn from 2016 to 2017. I e-mailed the powers that be at PXG with hopes of setting something up for my blog. Not once did I see a response. After all… who am I? A “Nobody Golf Blogger”? While I am no “nobody” I will admit to being a small (yet fearless) fish in a vast golf blog ocean. Having not yet seen PXG in hand yet something borderline miraculous happened. I was at Orange Tree Golf Club in Orlando, FL fora meeting. When I just happened to run into all-around great person and PXG staffer Christina Kim (signed this year). So I approached her as she was headed out to a cart loaded with PXG clubs. I asked her about the clubs (and if I could take a picture of the clubs and a selfie with her) and she told me that “PXG are the best clubs that I have swung in my life” so she told me to feel free about pulling one out. Nervously, I accepted the generous offer. As I held her 5 iron, I immediately liked the feel in hand and observed that they weren’t as gaudy as I originally thought. Pictures didn’t do them justice. If only I could have made a swing or two on a ball.
Still determined to hit PXG clubs for the first time I kept my eyes open. Watching their feed and then a second minor miracle happened. Do you know the saying about finding something in unexpected places? This is actually something that happened today. This weekend was the Niagara Golf Show and Sale here in Niagara Falls. Of course, the usual suspects were in attendance like every other year but there was one addition. A custom golf shop (Power Golf Custom Club Fitting) from nearby St. Catharines, Ontario was present. Located in the demo area they had a booth set up and they happened to have PXG present. I was absolutely astonished. The owner (Brian Morrissey) and I talked about PXG for a little and he said that if I wanted to I could swing them. I informed Mr. Morrissey that I was a golf blogger and that I had wanted to swing them since their inception. So we looked at the three different models (0311, 0311XF and the 0311T). I didn’t realize it at the time but Mr. Morrissey noted that my eyes had widened when we looked at the 0311T. He asked me about my handicap and I explained that it was lower but I hadn’t played much golf in two years (later divulging that I gave a shot at Mini-Tours). Before continuing let’s take a look at what makes these irons tick using some literature from the PXG website.
“Engineered for golfers at every level of the game, PXG 0311’s are the world’s sexiest, most forgiving irons that launch higher, go farther, feel softer and have a sweet spot the size of Texas. PXG irons are made with the finest alloys and are manufactured using a sophisticated process that only we would use.
PXG has developed a sophisticated manufacturing process that integrates high-performance alloys and elastomers to produce its groundbreaking irons. The process begins with a forged open-face body. The internal cavity of the forging is then precision CNC milled and an ultra-thin maraging steel face is plasma welded to create a hollow core. A thermoplastic elastomer is then injection molded into the cavity. High-density tungsten alloy weights strategically positioned around the perimeter of the club head add mass and create PXG’s signature look.”
Upon reading this information the team at PXG really do paint a pretty convincing picture about their product. Reading the propaganda I would be inclined to look at them and based on my desire to swing them they had me sold. But sometimes, you just “have to put the money where the mouth is”. I made my first pass and I could not believe how the 0311T (Tour Performance Collection) felt. Perhaps there is something to the thermoplastic elastomer inside of the head that softened the vibration. Or maybe it’s the S25C Carbon Steel they used in the manufacturing. Either way, the 7 iron felt great. (I did warm up with an 0311 Gap Wedge) I really hate to admit this but it might be the best feeling iron that I have felt. Looking at the overall profile of the head I could “the PING influence” as far as the shape goes but all of the little screws quickly averted those thoughts. The perimeter weight screws as far as I’m concerned did their job and as I made more swings I never felt twisting in the hands. More to the point the Foresight Sports GCQuad proved that… as data collected demonstrated that the strikes were center of the face. So let’s talk numbers. Data showed that my 7 iron Clubhead Speed was 105 mph, Launch Angle was 17.2*, Smash Factor was a little low at 1.22 and a Carry Distance of 202 yds. Overall, my numbers (other than Smash Factor) were higher than the PGA Tour average. I should note that it was paired with an Aerotech SteelFiber i95 shaft.
In conclusion, I hate to say this but if you can afford them… the PXG 0311T irons might very well be worth the money. The looks are pretty slick (the Xtreme Dark finish is mezmorizing). Based on my limited time with them, the 0311T irons might be the best feeling iron that I have swung to date. Not only that but they perform as advertised. Perhaps, it was the very basic fitting and fitting system provided by Mr. Morrissey but I have never seen an iron perform like this. The numbers looked great and to be 45 years-old hitting 202 yard 7 irons??? Unreal. It might be time to sell organs on the “black market”.
I will be doing a second piece based on the metalwoods from PXG. Stay tuned.
Until The Next Tee!!