PXG’s Black Ops drivers, fairway woods and hybrids: Everything you need to know
Realizing not everyone has the time to consume endless content on club-launch day, we’re offering a fresh version of our detailed tech write-ups that hit the high points. Here’s what you need to know about PXG’s newest Black Ops line of drivers and metal woods being released today, Jan. 11.
Pulling out all the stops
Engineers never stop looking at ways to enhance performance gains, and when it comes to the Black Ops woods from PXG, what started as a goal of adding ball speed and distance with the driver quickly transformed into an overhaul of the design process. The results? Longer and faster driver designs with limit-pushing forgiveness and improved feel.
It didn’t stop with the driver, either. Thanks to constant communication and feedback from its Tour players — including Joel Dahmen and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Eric Cole — the fairway woods and hybrids have also evolved to deliver more performance in a package with refined looks and feel.
Cole was so impressed with the Black Ops driver after initial testing that he immediately put it in the bag at the RSM Classic and finished T3.’
“The new Black Ops Driver is a great blend of forgiveness and speed,” he said. “Switching to it, I’ve noticed more speed with solid shots, as well as with off-center strikes. It also looks great over the ball, which makes it easy to have confidence in it on Tour.”
PXG Black Ops Collection
Driver technology and design
The breakthrough advantage the Black Ops drivers have over the previous generation comes down to one simple thing — advanced material science, specifically when it comes to the driver’s face. The stronger yet more flexible titanium used in the face allows for greater compliance (fun engineering term for flex) which helps to generate more ball speed and less spin.
To test what PXG calls Advanced Material Face (AMF for short), they used it in the Gen6 driver instead of the stock T-412 titanium usually used in the face. The result was .5 mph faster ball speeds and 200 less RPM from the same head. That was the sign they were onto something.
When combined with the new geometry of the Black Ops and Black Ops Tour-1 head, the robotic face polishing for precision control of the non-uniform bulge and roll face design (not to mention COR), and finally the weight-saving carbon composite panels, you get two drivers that are faster, lower spinning, more forgiving and powerful sounding to boot.
Driver head separation
There are two Black Ops driver head designs, the first being the standard Black Ops model, and the second being the aptly named Tour-1.
The standard Black Ops offers a large front-to-back profile, and the largest heel-to-toe measurement allowed under the Rules of Golf to maximize MOI. With the larger shape, the crown is more aggressively angled to allow the face to be larger to boost up and down and side to side MOI, which gets very close to the 10K g-cm2 total MOI in the standard weight configuration. Add a few grams of weight to the rear weight port and the Black Ops easily surpasses the 10k g-cm2 number currently being touted by other OEMs.
As for the Black Ops Tour-1, its compact shape helps to create a more low and forward center of gravity to lower spin for faster players, but even with the smaller shape it maintains a large face profile equal to the standard model to help with forgiveness. Robot testing shows that the Tour-1 is the lowest-spinning driver PXG has ever created and spins on average close to 20 percent less than the standard Black Ops model, which when compared to the Gen6 models is already low spin.
Fairway woods and hybrids
When it comes to the Black Ops fairway woods and hybrids, the story remains much the same as the drivers thanks to a new proprietary high-strength steel face material that allows for a 12.5 percent thinner face construction to help boost ball speeds, increase launch, lower spin and save precious grams to help increase forgiveness.
Now when speaking to the level of forgiveness built into the new Black Ops fairway woods (only one model option unlike the drivers), they have an MOI that is almost comparable to the previous game improvement Gen6 XF design while also being more compact.
Finally, it’s time to talk about the hybrids. This is where PXG engineers got creative with the design since hybrids have to fit such a wide variety of golfers and the Black Ops goes from a 17-degree 2-iron replacement down to a 31-degree. The profile shifts through the lofts to help blend through the bag and can be custom-built to fit any player.
“I’m enjoying the new Black Ops hybrids, and my initial reaction is that they have a softer feel and are nice and forgiving,” said major champ Celine Boutier. “The heads are a little bigger than the previous model, which gives me that extra bit of confidence.”
Price and availability
The PXG Black Ops line of woods are all available now for fittings and purchase at PXG stores and online at PXG.com. The Black Ops driver is priced at $599, while the Black Ops Tour-1 is priced at $650. The fairway woods are $349 each, and the hybrids are $299.
Want to overhaul your bag for 2024? Find a fitting location near you at True Spec Golf.