PXG 0811 X Proto Driver Review

50 Words or Less

The PXG 0811 X Proto Driver is hyper adjustable.  Fantastic looks, very compact.  Spin can get extremely low – check out the X+ model if you need more spin.

Introduction

While much of the golf industry is biding its time and waiting for the global pandemic to pass, PXG surprised everyone by releasing a new driver.  Two new drivers, actually.  The PXG 0811 X Proto and 0811 X+ Proto drivers were a hit among PXG’s Tour staff, so they decided to do a limited release to the public.  Should you grab one before you hit the links in 2020?  I tested one to find out.

Looks

If you expected anything other than black and silver on the 0811 X Proto driver, you clearly haven’t been paying attention.  PXG keeps things understated and stealthy with a minimalist sole.  The main attractions on the underside of the club are the four movable weights, which are each much larger than the screws that PXG has used in the past.

From address, the 0811 X Proto is extremely compact.  The shape is round and symmetrical, and barely looks like a 460 cc club.  Compared to the 0811 Gen 2 drivers [review HERE], the Proto crown has less visible carbon fiber (only in the raised middle section) and the raised segment doesn’t appear to be as tall.  This is easily one of the best looking drivers of 2020.

Sound & Feel

The look has changed noticeably from the Gen 2 drivers to the new Proto, but the sound has carried forward.  The PXG 0811 X Proto driver is very quiet at impact with the same solid knock as its predecessors.

I found the feedback in the 0811 X Proto to be pronounced.  From the first swing, I could easily and precisely locate each strike.  Audio feedback is fairly minimal which allowed me to play off a couple mishits that ended up being quite good.

Performance

Before I dive in, it’s important to note that there are two versions of the new PXG driver.  The 0811 X Proto driver is the lower spin version with a low center of gravity.  This is designed to fit players with level or downward angles of attack, and it comes with 9 degrees of loft.  The 0811 X+ Proto driver has a mid center of gravity which will produce more spin for the player with an upward angle of attack.  The X+ has 10.5 degrees of loft.

Now, let’s check off a few of the fundamentals.  Despite the smaller-looking head, the 0811 X Proto does a great job at producing ball speed on both centered and non-centered impacts.  It also delivers exactly what it promises: low spin.  As a low spin player, it took no effort to dial in some knuckleball settings with the weights and loft (the hosel adjusts loft up or down 1.5 degrees).  I turned up the loft and moved the weight and the spin was still quite low.  If you’re a high spin player, this is a must-try.

In my testing, what stood out most about the 0811 X Proto driver is the massive adjustability and how much more usable the adjustability is compared to previous PXG drivers.  Older versions used small weight screws that allowed for very precise CoG changes but were very time consuming to change because they were so numerous.  In the new Proto driver, PXG is using the same weights that they use in their putters.  These weights range from 5 to 20 grams in 2.5 gram increments which allows for faster changes that can be huge or very small, depending on the weights you use.

I found that in simply shifting the 15 gram weight from the front to rear position, the head felt completely different.  For me, the spin went up a bit – a positive for me – and I gained more control of the club (I have a longstanding problem with forward CG drivers).  I can only imagine what a good fitter can do for a player with this head and a full complement of weights.  From dialing in spin and launch to fixing slices or hooks, this driver gives you a world of options.

Conclusion

When you clicked on this review, you probably added “PXG” to “Proto” and assumed that meant an enormous price tag.  However, PXG is offering dramatically reduced pricing (on almost all their clubs) because of the pandemic, so you can put the 0811 X Proto driver in your bag for under $500.  If you want a driver that allows you loads of adjustability and great ball speed, this is it.

PXG 0811 X Proto Driver Price & Specs

Matt Saternus
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38 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review Matt. Based off your past club delivery numbers and your positive review of the X Proto, the X Proto+ might be in your bag.

    • Matt Saternus

      Odie,

      Yeah, an X+ Proto with a full weight kit could probably get pretty dangerous for my PING G410.

      -Matt

    • Paul Korman

      The Pxg 0811 proto driver is solid. Great sound great feel and distance that’s equal to any driver on the market. If your a serious golfer I would highly recommend to try this driver out. Especially at the reduced price.

  2. I ordered the X+ Proto and have one round under my belt. I am blown away by the performance – missed on fairway and the miss was in the first cut of rough. Everything else including less than great swings kept the ball in play. No ballooning with a nice mid high trajectory. Great feel, excellent looks and forgiveness. I did not have a launch monitor but can tell you that the performance was better than both PXG Gen 2 drivers which I have owned and gamed. Current price point is hard to beat when comparing with other offerings.

  3. Gary Benchich

    Can the driver be purchased through Plugged in Golf & can I get your input on shafts available.

    • Matt Saternus

      Gary,

      We don’t sell anything here on Plugged In Golf, you need to buy this through PXG or one of their distributors like Club Champion.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. Matt,

    Thanks for the review. I’m considering the purchasing a PXG driver, while I know that an in-person fitting would be ideal the pandemic has hampered this option. A few months back I used an online fitting tool which suggested the PXG Gen 2 X driver. Would you say that the Proto X has similar playability characteristics to the Gen 2 X, or are they two totally different animals? Is the Proto X+ a safer bet for dialing in the numbers than the Proto X? I currently game a Ping G400, and regret not purchasing the LST in this model.

    Also which shaft did you use in the Proto?

    • Matt Saternus

      Rudy,

      I tested this driver with the Ventus Blue.

      I can’t speak to the X+, but the X is much lower spin than I remember either of the Gen2 drivers being.

      Best,

      Matt

  5. Great review Matt! I’ve an index of 21.5 & a “senior” swing speed of 88. Would you recommend this new offering to me and, if so, which of the two (I was guessing the X Proto?)?

    • Matt Saternus

      Joe,

      There’s a lot more than swing speed that would go into a good recommendation, so I would recommend setting up a fitting with PXG to see if the X or X+ is a better fit for you.

      Best,

      Matt

  6. I can’t really tell (most performance information is centered on adjustability). Is this an upgrade in performance from the PXG Gen 2 models? And is performance at least on par with Mavrik, etc?

    • Matt Saternus

      Jim,

      The majority of the benefit of the Proto vs Gen 2 is lower spin and adjustability. Yes, the Proto is on par with other 2020 drivers.

      -Matt

  7. Hi Matt
    Another great review! I went to PXG fitting center in Minneapolis and worked with Derek. Wow!!! What a fantastic experience. I have been fitted for clubs before and all the past fitting sessions were great but PXG really raises the bar awhole new level. Phenomenal experience!
    I was fitted for the Proto head set at 9.75* loft. The shaft is the Mitsubishi Tensi CK Pro Orange 60s. This shaft carried a small up charge but significantly less thru PXG then buying any other head and getting the same shaft.
    I so wanted the Ventus Blue but wow what a difference between wanting and being correctly fitted.
    My new Driver will be here Monday.

    The ball speed and numbers were eye popping!!!

  8. Why would the X+ be for upward angles of attack be very only offered at 10.5 loft? Seems backwards.

  9. Matt,

    I’m torn between this and a new G410 Plus. What are your thoughts on the forgiveness of the PXG X driver? In your experience is it comparable to the G410 Plus?

    Thanks,

    Joe

    • Matt Saternus

      Joe,

      I think they’re similar, yes. Some might prefer one over the other based on their particular miss pattern or aesthetic preferences, but they’re both excellent.

      Best,

      Matt

  10. What differences do you see when comparing the Proto vs. G410?

    • Matt Saternus

      Greg,

      For me, the G410 Plus has more spin and the head feels slightly more stable on mishits.

      -Matt

  11. These are now $399 for the month of August, crazy low price tag. Will def be checking this out, no fitters in my area but will have to try and dial in myself at the range.

  12. I’m 69 years old with an 84 mph driver swing speed and a 12 handicap.I use a regular flex 50 to 56 gram shaft in my gen 1 PXG xf driver.If I purchase the new prototype PXG would you recommend the 0811 x or the 0811x+?

    • Matt Saternus

      Terry,

      I would suggest getting a fitting, but my blind recommendation is that you would benefit from more spin and thus the + model.

      -Matt

  13. When it comes to new drivers I always think of the song sung by the band ” The Who ” Meet the new boss same as the old boss. The COR standers is at it’s limits for many years, so how can a new driver by any company go farther then a 4 year old driver ? I understand a fitting will help you fine tune your driver but if your driver isn’t broke why fix it by buying a new one. Still rocking my Callaway XR Speed for many years to come and save my money for green fees

    • Because COR Limits measure center contact. There are several factors that can improve performance. Distance wise, many of the newer Drivers tout the gains made for off-center hits. Improved stability, changes to the depth of the face, etc., can certainly produce distance gains for some, relative to older (4 & 5 year old) drivers.
      That being said, I do believe that much of the year to year tech marketing is more hype than substance. Unfortunately I don’t see that changing….if anything it will get worse because as you stated, most OEM offerings are maxed out. So As it pertains to better Players, I agree with your thoughts. Good Players that regularly make center contact probably aren’t going to benefit all that much from new technology. However, I’m willing to bet that the OEMs R&D will come up with something to improve performance & keep us buying. I think a lot of new Driver purchases are based upon the looks of the club, moreso than any substantial performance gains. I saw a Rick Shiels head-to-head-to-head review of the last 3 Driver offerings from Cobra (RAD/SZ/F9). All 3 performed great, but there was little to know change in performance. The difference between the Oldest (’19 F9) & the Newest (’21 Rad) was negligible. I can’t recall offhand, but I believe it was 6 yards. Surprisingly I think the older F9 was actually 2 yards longer than the ’20 Speedzone.
      I have a ’19 M5 Tour, ’18 M3 440, & a ’16 Alpha 816 DBD and my Alpha is still my goto Driver. It’s as long as any new Driver, and on slight toe misses (my usual miss), it’s 10-20 yards longer than anything I have or have Demo’d.
      Let’s just hope the R&D teams come up with something tangible, because the Marketing teams Gimmicks (¿speedfoam?) are nauseating.

  14. Ken Collins

    Looking for a replacement for my epic flash sub
    Is this an upgrade?

  15. Thanks your helpful review. It’s too hard to get fitting in my country. My driver carry is about 280, but missing a lot. I’m chasing the forgiving performance. In your opinion. Shoud I choose x+ ? Thanks for your time.

    • Matt Saternus

      Derek,

      If you’re committed to getting a PXG driver, I would recommend the X+ as being the more forgiving option.

      Best,

      Matt

  16. Chuck Vogt

    Just got my 0811x Proto today and beyond excited to go get it. Went with the Speeder Motore VC 6.2. 2 weights on the way too. Will report back if anyone wants info!

  17. This is a bit late as the driver has been out for a while but I just played my first round with my Proto 0811x and this is the best driver I’ve ever hit. Haven’t been out on the course in 2 years and only went to the driving range once before playing and was still able to hit the driver dead straight and had a few drives over 300 (neither of which is particularly normal for me).

    The balance and feel is phenomenal and I do love how you can customize just about every aspect of the driver with pxg for no extra charge (certain shafts will be more expensive but there are still a few great stock choices). This definitely made a big difference for me and the results showed on the course without even practicing.

    By no means is it magic, but I found it forgiving but yet not compromising on distance. Felt great and a lot of options for customization and weight balance. It’s currently $295 on PXG and I think you would be hard pressed to find a better driver at that price.

  18. Hi, nice review. I am a little confused with the prototype and the + version. I normally hit up on the ball bit why would I want more loft and more spin. If I hit up I am basically adding dynamic loft, so if I hit a 10.5 degrees then I would hit it to the clouds. Can you explain this?

    • Matt Saternus

      Paul,

      Having a positive angle of attack reduces spin, all else equal, so most players with a positive AoA need more loft and/or a higher spinning head to get to optimal numbers.

      -Matt

  19. What is swing weight of PXG Proto X+ In terms of D0, D1, D2, etc.? And the same question for PXG Gen 4 XF?

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