PXG recently announced the 0811 X GEN2 driver, which is officially the second driver launch from the premium golf brand. Parsons Xtreme Golf has only been around for a few years, but the golf company founded by billionaire Bob Parsons has made a considerable impact in the equipment industry.
When PXG first came out, most people made fun of their sky-high prices and ridiculous claims that they made the best golf clubs in the industry (period). It became clear they did not want to play by the golf industry's conventional rules and were going to do things very differently with sales and marketing. However, people quickly found out their 0311 irons were quite good. The rest of the line wasn't too shabby either. I wrote this review back when they first came out, and am still playing their irons several years later. In my opinion, the irons offered something truly unique when they were released.
Their new 0811 X GEN2 driver hits the market touting several improvements, and interesting enough, a price decrease. The original 0811 driver could set you back anywhere between $850 to more than $1,000. Many scoffed at the idea of paying twice the going rate that companies like Callaway and TaylorMade were charging. The 0811 X GEN2 driver starts at $575, which puts it closer to the Callaway Epic Flash and TaylorMade M5.
The original PXG 0811 driver performed very well. I was able to play it for a season but to be honest, I didn't think there was a gap in performance to justify the enormous price tag. Recently, I got a chance to test the 0811 X GEN2 driver to see how it stacked up against the current driver releases.
Update: check out our review of the budget-friendly PXG 0211 clubs
What PXG Is Saying
Every single OEM is in a battle to do the same thing - deliver more ball speed and distance for golfers. You can make a case that Callaway's Jailbreak Technology on the original Epic driver set in motion a feverish arms race amongst the engineering teams at each equipment company.
So if you're reading the marketing claims from Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping, Cobra, or several others - you are likely to hear similar language.
PXG says that they have thinned out the face on the 0811 X GEN2 driver to deliver more ball speed across the board. The crown of the club is constructed of carbon fiber to help reinforce the face, and they have once again used a polymer inside of the head to help with weighting and feel. Additionally, their unique weighting structure using a series of screws is supposed to help with forgiveness and launch conditions.
Every new driver on the market is trying to launch the ball higher, with less spin, and more ball speed. The trio is the magic formula to increase your driver distance.
As usual, it all sounds great. PXG dumped a ton of time and money into designing this driver, but what tangible results can a golfer expect?
Testing the 0811 X GEN2
I took a trip to my friends at Pete's Golf to test out the PXG 0811 X GEN2 driver along with several other new models. Co-owner Woody Lashen helped me create as equivalent a test as possible to see how my current driver, a Titleist 917 D3, would perform against newer technology.
We used the same shaft, ball, and randomly switched drivers throughout the session to establish baseline readings on a Foresight GCQuad launch monitor.
My current driver is an excellent fit for my swing profile. However, Titleist took a lot of criticism for not being able to deliver as much distance as their competition in the 917 models (and earlier releases). They recently addressed the distance issue in their TS Driver, but I was interested to see what a few years of technology changes could deliver.
Here are the results from my session:
Looking at the data, there were noticeable differences were starting with my ball speed. The PXG driver was able to deliver almost 3mph extra across the board (especially on mishits). My launch conditions remained somewhat similar, but I gained just over 10 yards in carry distance. Additionally, the 0811 X GEN2 was more accurate as my drives traveled on a tighter dispersion around the target line.
These aren't earth-shattering differences, but that's to be expected. Every new driver is pushing the legal limits of the USGA's boundaries. However, for a player like myself that regularly competes in tournaments, being able to add 10 yards to my drives can lead to tangible improvements.
To be clear, these are only one golfer's results. It's possible some players might not see any improvement with this driver, and others could see gains of more than 20 yards. That's precisely why I always tell golfers to try before they buy.
PXG Is In The Market Now
The original PXG 0811 driver had a price that was not justified by its performance. It's clear that they woke up to the marketplace, and I would say now that the 0811 X GEN2 is a legitimate contender to the other big releases this year.
Don't get me wrong, spending more than $500 on a driver is a lot of money to invest. Whenever I write reviews on driver releases, I make a similar plea...
Listening blindly to the marketing claims from every OEM is a mistake. If you want to get a new driver, and want to make sure the investment is worth it, then you should test them out beforehand. I've learned a lot about clubfitting, and I know for a fact that there is no such thing as the best driver for all golfers. Golfers will have different results based on the unique characteristics of each design (most notably the center of gravity).
OK, rant over. Back to PXG.
The 0811 X GEN2 is a great driver. Many of you will get increased ball speed, more forgiveness, and improved launch conditions. You won't be a new golfer, but the 0811 X GEN2 is a nice step forward.
You can learn more about the driver and where to get fit for one on PXG's website here.