50 Words or Less
The PXG 0311 GEN5 fairway wood is an upgrade on GEN4 in every way. Looks good, feels great, and performs at the highest level.
GEN5 woods begin with a name change. Previous generations had confusing naming conventions (driver was 0811, fairway wood was 0341, hybrid 0317, etc). Now, everything in PXG’s flagship line bears the 0311 name, with the more forgiving versions having the XF moniker (full review of the 0311 XF GEN5 FW HERE). I think the woods are going to be the biggest surprise of the GEN5 lineup. If you haven’t read my review of the 0311 Driver (HERE) I’ll just spoil it and say it’s a pleasant surprise. Let’s go a little deeper and see what the fairway wood has to offer.
The 0311 GEN5 fairway wood represents an extension of the looks of GEN4. The AV carbon fiber has been expanded to cover the majority of the crown. The brightness of the material has also been toned down. Both of these changes are welcome to my eye as the silver of GEN4 was very bright and the shape it made on the crown was uncomfortable to look at. This looks unique and eye-catching but not over the top.
The 0311 GEN5 fairway wood has a traditional silhouette at address, with a nicely rounded head shape. The face appears more square, and the side walls are more vertical than sloped. The sole has been made flatter, helping keep mass low and push weight to the perimeter.
Flipping to the sole, the club looks sleek, minimal, and aerodynamic. You’ll also notice three weight ports. The locations of these have been shifted to the extreme perimeter of the clubhead in order to boost MOI and improve sound and feel.
Sound & Feel
Sound and feel are interesting because you experience them at the exact same moment. I suppose that’s why we group them together in our reviews. In the case of this club, the sound and feel at impact are harmonious. There’s softness and explosiveness, simultaneously. It’s loud but concise, more of a ‘crack’ than a ‘tink’, but ultimately somewhere in between.
Each of the products in the GEN5 line of woods has benefited from an R&D process called Modal Analysis. It’s a way to quantify sound and feel in a golf club, something that is usually very difficult to do. PXG’s engineers have clearly made good use of that data in the production of the 0311 GEN5 fairway wood.
Briefly, Modal Analysis is a study that uses the mass and stiffness of a structure to identify various frequencies vibrating throughout that object. This process is frequently used in industries where noise is paramount, such as automobiles and musical instruments. Through player testing, it became clear that most players preferred sounds created by higher modal frequencies. Thus, GEN5 woods have significantly higher frequencies than GEN4.
One thing that has remained the same is the HT1770 high strength steel face material. It’s been used in every club since PXG’s launch, including the irons, and it must be considered one of the reasons for this club’s explosive yet responsive feel.
I’ve discussed the improvements to the looks, sound, and feel of the new PXG fairway woods. Thankfully, the performance follows suit. The club is easy to launch and forgiving. Pure strikes are straight and long with plenty of height. Poor strikes are less inspiring but you have to get a lot wrong to produce a truly bad result.
The 0311 GEN5 fairway wood has 34% higher MOI than the 0341 X GEN4. This is a pretty big leap and it seems like most of it can be attributed to the shifting of the weights, increased carbon fiber on the crown, and a thinner club face. Compared to the previous iteration, the 0311 GEN5 carries about five yards longer and spins about 500 revs less, according to OEM testing.
The default setting for the weight ports is with 10 gram weights in the heel and back with a 2.5 gram weight in the toe. This can be adjusted to suit the player’s needs. For me, it’s a great setup because it provides just a touch of help keeping shots from going right (right-handed golfer here), especially off the deck.
As with all PXG woods, loft and lie can be adjusted +/- 1.5° via the adjustable hosel. Using the “PXG” setting flattens the lie angle. It’s worth mentioning that the 3 wood I tested was adjusted down to 13.5° of loft.
The PXG 0311 GEN5 fairway wood is exceptional on all fronts. I think the woods will be the big surprise of the GEN5 line. While those who love to hate PXG because of its brand image and marketing will probably stay that way, those who are open-minded or already fans of the brand will be rewarded with this club. It will be in my bag for the 2022 season.