The PXG GEN1 woods series lacked the fire power off the tee but the latest GEN2 brings serious muscle at a price point to worry the main stream manufacturers
Even the PXG staff players were playing a wide variety of prototypes as their engineers worked tirelessly in addressing the performance issue and the battle against spin. The GEN2 has certainly addressed the spin issue and it’s long – very long. The performance boost though didn’t come from the R&D team but from the man himself. PXG owner and founder, Bob Parsons, is renowned for his love of all things fast and intimidating, especially American hot-rods and muscle cars. Alex Gallemore caught up with him at his home course, Scottsdale National, to find out if the rumours that he was the man behind the new-found performance of their latest GEN2 woods were true.
“I was the guy who came up with the idea. I said: ‘Hey, let’s make the crown of the driver look like a muscle car hood!’ So, we did it! I thought it’d be cool because it would look unique, which would help with the alignment.Where we got lucky and really hit the jackpot, is that it improved performance! That muscle hood channelled energy into the face and firmed it up where it was most needed. When we hit the first ones we all shouted: ‘WOW! WHAT IS THIS?!’ Stuff happens – and sometimes it’s good stuff! The hood is a feature on all muscle cars. They all have that same kind of shaped hood. So, we used the term and called it ‘Hot Rod’ technology.” – Bob Parsons, PXG Founder and CEO
As looks go, the GEN2 driver is a work of art but like any ‘hot-rod’ it’s what’s under the hood that counts. The lowest spin rate I was able to manage with the Gen1 was around 2,700 rpm but the Gen2 was a good 700 to 800 lower and we didn’t spend much time on the adjustments.
INCREASED BALL SPEED
To date, I’ve found the Callaway Epic and Rogue to be the longest on the market and the PXG GEN2 matched it for distance. The energy transfer in the face is very effective, as with a 2mph lower swing speed compared to the Callaway, it delivered a slightly higher ball speed. A 105 mph swing speed was delivering a ball speed of more than 165mph and the drop off on heel strikes was only 10 yards. Therefore, the energy transfer is pretty consistent across the face and not focusing on a ‘hot spot’ for a performance spike.
NEW HOT ROD TECHNOLOGY
PXG GEN2 Drivers, Fairways and Hybrids feature new Hot Rod Technology inspired by the look and extreme performance of American muscle cars. The innovative crown deign reflects the aggressive hood styling of a muscle car and serves as a distinctive alignment aid. It also has several performance enhancing features including supporting the face of the club where it’s needed most. This effectively helps focus the energy from the swing impact resulting in more control and longer distance. Additional Hot Rod Technology includes a high performance anti-glare finish, an enhanced aerodynamic design and advanced precision-weighting technology.
At 2,895 AED with a premium shaft option, PXG has put the cat among the pigeons. The fact that Bob Parsons has given the green light to play the volume game could be a concern for the likes of TaylorMade, Callaway and Titleist. PXG can hold their own against the current driver line-ups on performance but the build quality and standard shaft options could give them the edge in enticing golfers to the brand for the first time. The Gen2 drivers will be huge it but can PXG be able to maintain the elite levels of service once demands rockets?