Ultra premium manufacturer PXG really set the cat amongst the pigeons with the 0311 iron both on tour and at your local specialist PXG fitter, like ours at Scott Gourlay Golf Technology.
This is because of the investment required and the specialist fitting that helps you get the most from one of the most innovative irons to hit the market in years in the PXG 0311.
The PXG 0311XF iron brings another option to the range because it has a deeper CG from a larger trailing edge on the sole in order to make it an easier to launch club.
The body is still made from S25C carbon steel with a high strength HT1770 steel face insert in order to maximise ball speeds.
What make PXG irons stand out is that the body of the head is hollow and filled with a Thermoplastic Elastomer that supports the thinner face to improve energy transfer and also dampens vibrations to improve the feel.
Compared to the other PXG irons, the 0311XF has a longer head with a little more offset and a thicker top line to improve the forgiveness.
The back of the head features the same number of high density tungsten alloy screws to position the CG in the right place and it adds some visual grit to create a dramatic look.
However it is really the wider sole and the resulting extra 'booty' in the toe of the club that differentiates the 0311XF.
The weight in the toe combined with the double offset on the trailing edge by the heel helps square the face up at impact and provide that deeper CG for the extra launch.
It does change the feel a bit compared to the 0311, as it is not as sharp and with a slightly heavier feel at impact. For me the launch was still pretty close to the 0311 with a similar peak trajectory and not as high as I thought it would be.
There are several premium game improvement irons out there that launch it the same or higher, so it would be worth checking that the 0311XF will give you the flight you need.
The standard 0311 was pretty good for flight and launch already and by comparison it's not clear what the XF version is bringing to the party apart from a little more forgiveness from that larger head.
Some of the PXG tour players have put the 0311XF long irons in the bag and visually it blends in very well, so if you don't want to advertise the fact you have a game improvement iron then that is another benefit.
For me the original PXG 0311 is currently the standard by which all other irons are judged and almost exist in a category of their own.
The sister 0311T and 0311XF are variations available for those you want to fine tune that set by having a more compact or a larger head respectively. However they feel a little bit of a compromise on the original design and this then puts them in more direct competition with other brands.
You also have to factor in the not inconsiderable price, which then puts the 0311XF as a standalone set in a tough fight with other premium game improvement irons that are forgiving, high launching and do the job to a similar high standard.