50 Words or Less
The PXG 0311 Black Ops fairway wood combines the forgiveness of the 0311 XF with distance even better than the standard 0311. Compact look at address. Great impact sound. Extremely versatile.
I’ve written dozens of times that I am not a strong fairway wood player. When I visited PXG this past December to test their new Black Ops line, I communicated this to my fitter when he asked why my current bag skips from driver to hybrid. But during the fitting, after we sorted the driver, he asked if I wanted to give this one a try. I said yes, if only in the interest of being thorough. I’m glad that I did. The PXG 0311 Black Ops fairway wood is a winner.
My first reaction when I was handed the PXG 0311 Black Ops fairway wood was, “That looks good.” At address, the Black Ops FW is similar in size to the 0311 GEN6 FW [review HERE], which I would rate as being a bit smaller than average. There is a subtle shape difference: the Black Ops is more full in the heel, leaning into the round shape.
Like its big brother, Black Ops FW has traded the matte black crown for a gloss finish. To my eye, this makes the crown graphics on the back edge even less noticeable. The X alignment aid has been toned down from solid white to a white outline.
Sound & Feel
My first experience with the PXG 0311 Black Ops fairway wood gave me a perfect chance to focus on the sound and feel. I was hitting balls directly into the sun, so I had no other feedback outside of waiting for my fitter’s response to the Trackman data.
Surprisingly, my very first swing found the center of the face and produced a mid-pitch, medium volume “tink.” It’s the prototypical fairway wood sound, but tuned down a couple steps. The feel is more solid than hot, but there’s a little pop in the hands.
As I hit more shots, what impressed me was the feedback through the hands. The sound on mishits definitely isn’t as sweet, but that’s almost irrelevant compared to how clearly my hands told me where the ball met the face. Even though it was my first session with this club, I only needed the Trackman to confirm what I already knew about the quality of each shot.
In GEN6, PXG offered two fairway woods. For Black Ops, there is just one because PXG believes they were able to put the best of both worlds into one club.
As with the Black Ops driver [review HERE], a new face material headlines the technology driving the PXG 0311 Black Ops fairway wood. This proprietary high strength stainless steel is much stronger than other versions, allowing PXG to make the face 12.5% thinner (0.07″ vs 0.08″ in GEN6). This allows for higher ball speed, higher launch angles, and lower spin. The Blacks Ops FW is longer than both GEN6 FWs – 2 yards over the 0311, 13 yards longer than 0311 XF [review HERE].
Not only is the PXG 0311 Black Ops fairway wood longer, it’s also more forgiving. PXG’s engineers were able to give the Black Ops significantly higher MOI than the 0311 GEN6 in a similar footprint. The MOI is nearly equal to the 0311 XF GEN6 despite being noticeably smaller. The ultimate result is a total dispersion that betters both 0311 XF (19 sq. yds.) and 0311 GEN6 (110 sq. yds).
I didn’t know any of this when my fitter put it into my hand. To be honest, I was just humoring him. Then the first shot carried 250 yards. I heard some whispering, looked back with a sheepish smile, then hit a shot five yards past the first. The whispering turned into a mock-exasperated shout from my fitter, “This guy doesn’t carry fairway woods?!” After a few more swings, my fitter had me try the 4W. It has two degrees more loft but plays to the same stock length. The result: same distance with softer landings.
I’m excited to give the PXG 0311 Black Ops fairway wood a shot at my bag in 2024. The fairway wood provides more forgiveness than my hybrid, but it’s still compact enough that I’m comfortable swinging it. I also found a little more distance without sacrificing any landing angle.
Finally, the 0311 Black Ops fairway gives players more weighting flexibility than any other fairway wood on the market. Just like the Black Ops driver, there are three weight ports that house weights ranging from 2.5 grams to 20 grams. This allows the fitter or player to make this club anti-hook, anti-slice, massively forgiving, or lower launching and spinning.
Find this same weighting tech in the new PXG 0311 Black Ops Hybrid HERE
After breaking my long streak of PING drivers in 2023, PXG is aiming to do something even more unlikely in 2024: getting me to game a fairway wood. That’s how good the PXG 0311 Black Ops fairway wood is. PXG has managed to put the forgiveness of the XF into a smaller profile while making it longer than ever. Whether you’re a strong FW player or not, this is a club worth testing in 2024.