Equipment Reviews

PXG Black Ops 0311 Driver Review

The new PXG Black Ops 0311 driver caught our attention the moment it emerged from the shadows. With its glossy black carbon fiber crown and sleek shape, this driver radiates a stealthy confidence. We took it out for extensive testing with PXG Black Ops 0311 Driver Review to see if the performance lives up to the promise.

PXG Black Ops 0311 Driver Review – Overview of PXG’s Latest Black Ops Driver

As the “0311” model name hints, this new pxg driver draws design inspiration from military weapons. PXG intended to create their most stable and forgiving driver ever, optimizing launch conditions to help average golfers gain distance.

Several key technologies enable the BLACK Ops performance:

  • A high strength titanium face tuned to maximize ball speed and maintain fast speeds even on mishits.
  • Two adjustable sole weights to optimize spin and launch angle.
  • A glossy black carbon fiber crown that saves weight to reposition mass low and deep.

Visually, the matte black finish and angular carbon shaping create an imposing, technical aesthetic. The crown graphic has a limited edition look, enhancing the exotic appeal. PXG wants this driver to instill confidence at address.

Testing the Sound, Feel and Smash Factor

Before evaluating the performance data, we assess the quality of the acoustics and impact sensations – two underrated aspects of driver design. A pleasing, powerful sound gets the juices flowing and builds confidence. The feel needs to match the sound to provide assurance at impact.

A few center-face strikes with the 0311 produced loud, metallic “tings” with mid-to-high pitch. An authoritative auditory experience that aligns with the aesthetics. Across the face, the acoustics maintain volume and metal-like tone. Exactly what you hope for from a distance-focused driver.

Impact feel is similarly dialed in, imparting a responsive sensation with no harsh feedback. Some drivers in this category lean too far toward a muted, hollow feel. PXG found the right balance, providing feedback to confirm centeredness without being overly firm or clicky. Confidence inspiring without being punishing on mishits.

These subjective quality metrics indicate PXG designed the 0311 to deliver a premium driving experience from all angles. The stage is set for this beast to deliver on distance.

Smash Factor and Ball Speed Results

Optimizing smash factor – the ratio between ball speed and clubhead speed – is critical for distance. We tested the 0311 head to head against leading 2022 drivers using Foresight monitor data.

On center strikes, the 0311 placed mid-pack in our test. Ball speed averaged between 167-170 mph at a 110 mph swing speed. Very good but not earth-shattering. Other drivers eked out 1-2 mph more ball speed thanks to factors like face design, curvature and variable thickness.

However, ball speed only tells part of the story. The 0311 really shined on mishits across the face. Smash factor only dropped to 1.48-1.50 on heel and toe strikes. That’s better than most drivers which often dip below 1.45 on mishits. High totals were also retained on low heel and low toe impacts.

For mid to high handicap players prone to making less than perfect contact, the 0311 provides excellent real-world ball speed. Well optimized across the hitting area.

The trade-off of this forgiveness is that center face ball speeds are not as hot as other drivers strictly tuned for maximum output. But most players will happily surrender 1 mph of ball speed for 6-8 more yards downrange on mishits.

Evaluating Forgiveness and Stability

Using advanced doppler radar, we further analyzed forgiveness by looking at real-world carry distance on mishits.

The 0311 delivered excellent consistency. Compared to the center strikes, carry distance only dropped by 5-8 yards on heel and toe contact. Other drivers in testing saw up to 12 yard drops.

Dispersion was also impressive. At 15* loft, the total lateral carry deviation was under 25 yards on heel and toe. Some drivers had deviations exceeding 30 yards, indicating significant loss of precision on mishits.

Flight consistency numbers showed similar stability. Spin rate only increased by 200-400 rpm on mishits while launch angle was maintained within 2 degrees of optimal.

The 0311 provides some of the most shot-to-shot stability we have ever measured. PXG seems to have succeeded in their goal of making this their most forgiving driver. The combination of carbon crown, titanium face and adjustable sole weights keep ball speeds fast and optimize launch even when contact wanders from center.

Custom Fitting Details To Maximize Distance

Every golfer has unique needs when it comes to optimizing launch conditions. During our testing, professional fitters dialed in spin, height and direction using the adjustable sole weights and shafts. Here is what we learned:

The 7 gram and 1 gram weights are essential for matching spin. Moving the heavy weight toward the face lowers spin by 200-300 rpm while heel placement raises it. Toe bias helps minimize a slice.

Selecting the right shaft flex and weight is also key. The fitters tended to use mid-weight shafts in the 60-70 gram range. Regular flex was ideal for slower 100 mph swing speeds while stiff profiles matched up with faster 115+ mph players. High speed players above 120 mph may require an extra stiff profile.

After adjustment, our testers all saw improved launch angles, lower spin rates, tighter dispersions and ball speeds nearly maxed out. Proper custom fitting helps golfers get the most from the 0311 technology. Don’t settle for stock options only.

Final Verdict: Confidence and Playability Win Out

The PXG Black Ops 0311 driver showcases excellent construction quality with forgiving performance. The carbon fiber crown provides weight savings to lower CG while the titanium face delivers fast, consistent ball speeds. Tuned acoustics and feel give reassuring feedback on all strikes.

While the 0311 fell slightly short of distance leaders on perfectly struck shots, it made up significant ground on mishits. Stability on off-center contact prevents excessive loss of ball speed or wayward flight. Well optimized spin and launch keep drives in the fairway.

Golfers seeking maximum possible yardage may wish to consider other drivers narrowly tuned for center face speed. But most players will appreciate the 0311’s blend of confidence, playability and forgiveness. Mid and high handicap golfers still working on consistent ball striking deserve special consideration of this driver.

In the end, the 0311 lives up to its stealthy aesthetics by avoiding the penalty associated with mishits. This makes it one of the most playable pxg drivers yet. While distance demons exist, the BLACK Ops brings an ideal balance of speed, stability and forgiveness to the driver market.

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