With Thanksgiving just over a week away, many of golf’s elite players are looking forward to a break from competition and a chance to try some new gear that will be hitting store shelves next year.
PXG released the GEN6 family of drivers eight months ago, but it appears we got a sneak peek at the drivers PXG staffers like Zach Johnson, Joel Dahmen, and Celine Boutier may put into play in 2024. On Monday, the USGA added three new PXG drivers to its List of Conforming Driver Heads, making all of them legal for play in official rounds and in tournaments like this week’s PGA Tour event, the RSM Classic, along with LPGA and DP World Tour events.
PXG has not announced any details about the yet-to-be-released PXG 0311 Black Ops, PXG 0311 Black Ops Tour-1 and PXG 0311 Black Ops Tour-3 drivers, but based on the company’s history, along with notes and images released by the USGA, there are a few things we can infer about them already.
Lofts: According to the USGA’s notes, the PXG 0311 Black Ops driver will be available in 8-, 9-, 10.5- and 12-degree versions. That means the USGA has tested all four of those heads and found they conform to the Rules of Golf. The PXG 0311 Black Ops Tour-1 will be available in 8-, 9- and 10.5-degree models and the 0311 Black Ops Tour-3 will come in 8- and 9-degree heads.
PXG 0311 Black Ops driver. (USGA)
Shaping: In the past, PXG’s drivers have been smooth on the sole and aerodynamically shaped, but the sole geometry of all three 0311 Black Ops drivers is very different. All three clubs have raised heel and toe areas that flank a center keel section that gradually goes from wide in the center of the sole to narrow at the back of the head. The standard 0311 Black Ops also appears to be larger, from front to back, than the Tour-1 and Tour-3.
Moveable weights: In the USGA photos, the PXG 0311 Black Ops has three adjustable weights, with two in the extreme heel and toe area and a third designed into the sole portion of the keel in the back. The PXG 0311 GEN6 XF that was released in early 2023 also had three moveable weights set up in this configuration to boost its stability and increase the moment of inertia (MOI). The 0311 Black Ops Tour-1 has a weight in the forward-heel and forward-toe areas of the sole that could shift the center of gravity forward to lower spin and create a lower launch angle. Finally, the 0311 Black Ops Tour-3 appears to have the same weighting as the 0311 Black Ops Tour-1, with two forward weights in the sole.
PXG 0311 Black Ops Tour-1 driver. (USGA)
Carbon fiber: The USGA images do not show the top of the 0311 Black Ops drivers, but PXG has used carbon fiber in the crowns of its drivers for several generations. It would be very surprising if the three 0311 Black Ops drivers were not designed with carbon fiber on the top of each head.
PXG 0311 Black Ops Tour-3 driver. (USGA)
Release date: Historically, PXG has released drivers in February or March, after most manufacturers have dropped their drivers. The GEN6 drivers dropped on March 21. So, based on history, that makes this addition to the conforming list feel early for PXG. The Scottsdale, Arizona-based company has never had a booth or been a vendor at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida, so having new equipment to show off at that event in mid-January has never been a consideration. However, this might be the start of an earlier release cycle for PXG. Don’t be surprised if the 0311 Black Ops drivers are released to the public in January.