PXG 0311 Black Ops Driver Review

50 Words or Less

The PXG 0311 Black Ops driver improves on GEN6 with more forgiveness.  New face material powers higher launch and lower spin.  Remains the most adjustable driver in golf.

Introduction

No one does media events quite like PXG.  To give us the true Black Ops experience, we didn’t take commercial flights into Phoenix and shuttles to Scottsdale National, we parachuted from a decommissioned military plane onto the range at SNGC in the middle of the night.

Ok, that’s obviously not true (have you seen most golf writers?), but I don’t know that it wasn’t considered.

Parachute or not, I did travel to Scottsdale this past December to examine the latest release from PXG.  After their driver took the #1 spot in my bag in 2023, I was eager to see if the new PXG 0311 Black Ops driver could help this still-young OEM keep that spot for a second straight year.

Looks

The most obvious change to the PXG 0311 Black Ops driver is the look.  After several generations of matte finished crowns, PXG has switched to a gloss finish for Black Ops.  Still present are the light graphics around the trailing edge and the X alignment aid.  Another change you’ll notice in the bag is the carbon fiber plate on the sole.

At address, the 0311 Black Ops driver has a large footprint with a slightly triangular shape.  The look is a little more “stretched” than the 0311 GEN6 drivers, but it’s well proportioned.  PXG reports that most of their Tour staff is opting for this driver over the Tour-1, so it’s clearly fitting the eye of the best players in the world.

Check out the PXG 0311 Black Ops fairway wood HERE

Sound & Feel

From talking to PXG’s club design team, I knew they were extremely proud of the sound of the new PXG 0311 Black Ops driver.  Compared to the 0311 XF GEN6 driver [review HERE], the first four primary natural frequency modes were raised by as much as 1,000 Hz.

What does that translate to?  An impact sound that’s staccato and punchy, a mid-pitch “crack.”  The Black Ops driver may be a little quieter than GEN6, but it’s close.

The feel of the 0311 Black Ops driver marries well with the sound.  Impact feels very solid with a moderate pop off the face.  There’s excellent feedback through the hands.  During my fitting, I was able to identify my impact locations – verified by Trackman – from the first few swings.

Performance

PXG claims that their new 0311 Black Ops driver is more forgiving, longer, and more consistent than GEN6.  This would be an outrageous claim if they didn’t bring the data to back it up.  They did.

The two changes that drive this improved performance are the new face material and the use of composite in the sole.  Dubbed “AMF* Technology,” the proprietary titanium alloy in the face is stronger and creates higher launch (0.5*) and lower spin (200 RPM) compared to GEN6’s T-412.  PXG’s engineers stated that they’ve “never seen face material have this much change in performance.”  This change helps the 0311 Black Ops to be the highest launching driver while keeping its spin in the lower half of all drivers tested, per PXG’s data.  It was also the second longest (one foot short of first) in that testing, which included every significant driver on the market.

*AMF stands for Advanced Material Face in the official press materials.  The NSFW military acronym (look it up yourself) is equally fitting but funnier.

While that’s incredibly impressive, it’s the forgiveness that has players on Tour making the switch.  Comparing the PXG 0311 Black Ops driver to the 0311 GEN6 XF (the more forgiving version), the horizontal MOI (heel to toe) is up 3% and the vertical MOI is up 25%!  You’re going to hear a lot about 10K MOI this year, and this driver can hit that number with a small tweak to the stock weighting.  That translates to the tightest dispersion among all tested drivers – 400 sq. yds. (35%) better than the next closest OEM in total dispersion and 3 yards better in left-to-right dispersion.

My fitting and testing experience bore out both the enhanced forgiveness and the lower spin of the PXG 0311 Black Ops driver.  I trekked to Scottsdale with my December (read: worse than normal) golf swing.  The Black Ops driver didn’t turn every swing into gold, but not one ball was unplayable.  Most impressive to me was how off-center shots performed.  Toe and heel shots didn’t curve wildly.  Low and high impacts all flew on similar trajectories – no low, ballooning shots or high knuckleballs.  And, as eagle-eyed readers will have noticed, the spin of the Black Ops was so low that my fitter lofted me up to the 10.5 degree model.

Need lower spin? Check out the PXG Black Ops Tour-1 driver HERE

Finally, an important thing that has carried forward from GEN6 is PXG’s Precision Weighting Technology.  This is one of the reasons why I had the 0311 GEN6 driver [review HERE] in my bag last year.  PXG gives their fitters and players more flexibility than any other OEM.  With three weight ports and individual weights ranging from 2.5 to 20 grams, you can tune the 0311 Black Ops driver to be anti-hook, anti-slice, and find any swing weight you deem comfortable.

Conclusion

Every OEM claims that they make drivers without compromise, but the PXG 0311 Black Ops driver really does check all the boxes.  It’s more forgiving than GEN6 while also being longer.  The “standard” version is so impressive that PXG Tour pros are eschewing the Tour models to game it.  If you want to hit your tee shots farther and straighter, book a fitting for Black Ops today.

Visit PXG HERE

PXG 0311 Black Ops Driver Price & Specs

Matt Saternus
Latest posts by Matt Saternus (see all)

31 Comments

  1. John Gyorfy

    Excellent review, thank you. There is so much hype on all of the newly released drivers that makes things very confusing. Your reviews are informative, concise and unbiased.

  2. Matt, I noticed you reviewed both this new PXG offering and Callaway’s new Paradym AI Smoke Max. I’m curious, which one goes in your bag if you HAD to choose and briefly why?

    Excellent reviews as always!

    • Matt Saternus

      Ryan,

      Thank you.
      I’d bag the Black Ops, largely because I’ve had more time with it, and I’ve gotten it dialed in to what I want/need. Objectively, both are excellent.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. Great review (as always), I have the Gen 4 driver from PXG and I need to try this, looks like they have a winner here

  4. Jory Ingram

    Matt, this is my first time leaving a comment. I am excited to test this new PXG driver. How would it stack up to the new Taylormade lineup ?

    • Matt Saternus

      Jory,

      I haven’t hit the new TM drivers yet, but I have no reason to believe that the PXG won’t be their equal in objective terms.

      Best,

      Matt

  5. Mark Kuyawa

    Wow !!! Great review. I will need to check this out soon. Thank you Matt !

  6. Another great review Matt. You and your site have turned into my go-to for product reviews. You’re easy to relate to as you seem like the casual golfer as 99% of us are. Did you test this driver around the same time you tested Callaway’s new smoke driver and did you find your “miss” hits very similar? Manufacturers are touting how straighter and father your miss hits will be with their drivers this year. I was set on buying Callaway’s new Smoke AI, but after reading your review, PXG seems a viable option.

    • Matt Saternus

      Todd,

      Thank you.
      Opening caveat: both drivers are excellent, and I could happily game either. That said, I’ll get into the weeds. My experience – and it’s 1/1, so take it for what it’s worth – is that the Black Ops did a better job keeping my misses in play AND long. The Paradym Ai Smoke MAX is exceptional when it comes to preserving ball speed, but I had more ability to hit hooks with it. Will that change as I spend more time with them and experiment with shafts? Maybe, but I also give the PXG an edge for having more weighting flexibility.

      Best,

      Matt

  7. Thanks so much for this review. I have 5 PXG clubs in my bag and plan on completing the set this spring. I just had a total knee replacement and am currently in rehab. Once that is completed I will go to a fitting and add more irons, hybrids and a new driver. The PXG Hero Program will help with the price.

  8. Another great review, Matt. High praise. I always want to know what you think. Thank you.

  9. What is the weight adjustment required to reach the 10k MOI mark?

    • Matt Saternus

      Pete,

      I believe you need to add about 5 grams to the head weight, probably 2.5 in the heel and toe.

      Best,

      Matt

  10. Just curious what shaft was in the Black Ops? We have very similar swing speeds and angle…so just wondering. Sorry if I missed it in the review.

  11. Was fit today and ordered. 8 degree but with all the weight adjustments and shaft the club launches more like a 9. Super clean at address. Feel is incredible. Very forgiving and consistent finding fairways. My biggest take away after being dialed in at my local PXG store was how low the spin got compared to my current gamer. Pretty interesting, my current Driver which I’ve loved (I thought) I was averaging around 240-249 yds off the tee. Spin was well over 3300. PXG brought the spin down to around 2100-2200 pushing it and average yards got up to close to 260. Ball speeds increased significantly as well. Cant wait to get this in my hand on course. Well done article here. Accurate as usual.

    • Matt Saternus

      Kyle,

      Great to hear! I hope people read more stories like this and realize they could have another 10 yards available to them if they’d get fit.

      Best,

      Matt

  12. bookmarked!!, I like your site!

    • Matt,
      Are these going in your bag (fairways also)?
      I owned some earlier versions of PXG. Drivers and thought they were good . I didn’t understand all the hate. I’m goona get fitted next week for black opps. I haven’t made up my mind yet what I’ll ultimately buy. I have tge Paradym tripe D but honestly don’t find it to be that forgiving. It’s either bomb s or low flying miss hits. Btw the Callaway UW 2021 have made it into the bag 17,21. They probably won’t be leaving anytime soon. Only complaint is I can’t get the 17 to launch very high even with a GD ad di . It would be the perfect windy links club .
      Thanks again
      Highly respect your opinions and taste!!!

      • Matt Saternus

        Ben,

        It will definitely be in the running. The FW is a virtual lock. The driver will have a tough fight with GEN6 and probably the new PING.

        Best,

        Matt

  13. Thanks for the great review. I just got fit for the Black Ops – current gamer is Ping G430 Max and the Black Ops was both longer and straighter. My misses carried 15 yards further in the air and were still on the fairway. Great club that brings out the best in miss hits and goes forever when you strike it.

  14. Matt, I know you have more drivers to test and we’re in the middle of release season … but if you had to play a round tomorrow (given the weather, maybe a simulator round!), would this make the bag?

    These Black Ops drivers look great. I love reading about the improved vertical MOI — my miss is more up and down the face than heel/toe, so that’s an important note for my game. I have some golf shop credit to burn, so my plan this year — during these stir-crazy winter months in the Chicago area — is to do a fitting at a brand-agnostic place for a “best of the rest” driver, and then book one at PXG to see if theirs beats that one. Since PXG’s been doing $25 fittings lately, there’s really nothing to lose.

    • Matt Saternus

      Eric,

      I agree, PXG’s $25 fittings are impossible to beat.

      If I were to play right now, I’d stay with my 0311 GEN6. I need to know my driver, and I haven’t had enough time with any 2024 club to know it. That said, the Black Ops will get a good chance when spring comes.

      Best,

      Matt

  15. Ron Krauser

    Based on your review I have booked a fitting . Your reviews always give me the information I need to be able to consider scheduling a fitting . Thanks for your input .

  16. Hi Matt
    We connected on the Big Bertha review and as you suggested I’ve arranged for a fitting in Toronto. Our weather is pretty much the same as yours in Chicago so you know there’s no hurry – but I’m really keen on seeing if I can find that elusive distance!! And I almost fell for your opening line about parachuting into Scottsdale:). Cheers

  17. Ron Krauser

    I was fitted for the Black Op driver today. The fitting was one of the most thorough I ever experienced. The ability to move head weights a rough gave me the exact line and trajectory I needed. Compared to my 2023 driver I gained 12-15 yards of distance. I probably will return for a fairway wood and hybrid fitting.

  18. Would be curious what your early take is on this relative to G430 10k and the TSR2?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *