OK, let's get the price out of the way first.
A set of eight PXG 0311 irons will set you back over £2000 and that is with a 'standard' True Temper Dynamic Gold shaft. You can only get them through an authorised custom fitter, so that is your base price and you could you end up with a more expensive shaft if that suits your game better.
This is the sort of number that you would usually expect for some high end import from Japan rather than the first iron from a new company founded in the USA. However that is PXG's mission. To build the best iron they can, money no object, which by the looks of the RRP, they have succeeded in.
Entrepreneur and founder Bob Parsons made his money outside of golf and as a self-confessed golf nut set about designing the best performing iron he could and called it the 0311 after the career code for a Rifleman in the US military.
As you can see from the dramatic looks, PXG has certainly made the product stand out visually by using 11 black tungsten screws to move weight to the perimeter of the S25C carbon steel head.
These are the opposite colour to the silver tungsten weights on the PXG 0811 driver and there is not an option to swap in the lighter titanium weights that the big dog has, but you get the feeling that this is something that could appear in the future, especially if you want to play around with the swing weight.
It is stark, but beautiful at the same time and combines a business-like, almost menacing design with a 'I have to hit this' feeling once you see it for the first time.
Whilst it looks like a blade it is in fact a hollow cavity back that sits behind a very thin face made from high strength HT1770 steel. This not only helps the MOI but also the ball speed generated by the face.
To support the face, and what makes the PXG 0311 revolutionary, is injecting the cavity with a Thermoplastic Elastomer that dampens vibrations and enables the ball to stay on the face a fraction longer so that more spin can be imparted.
On the range the feel was very good indeed, almost up there with an all-metal forged blade. The sound was very good too, even if its slightly hollow nature betrayed the cavity back construction.
At address there was a nice amount of offset and a generous mid-sized head that will appeal to golfers from low single figures right up to the mid-teen handicaps.
The trailing edge on the sole features a little relief and also a 'double offset' around the heel on the back of the head to help with the MOI whilst keeping those better player looks.
The flight was medium to high and the spin was a little higher than the equivalent lofted forged cavity back of some competitors. I say equivalent loft as the 6-iron was 27°, which was the same as the 5-iron in the comparative set, so these lofts are strong even by today's standards, but the flight and distance is more true to the number on the sole than the loft.
This implies the weighting and head composition is doing its job in terms of managing spin and launch to deliver a consistent flight with a good level of forgiveness for this size of head.
However if the head of the 0311 looks a little too large for you there is a more compact T version available too.
PXG 0311T Iron Review
The PXG 0311T model brings the same technology to the better player category, but you will have to open your wallet a couple of hundred pounds further.
The 0311T is a little shorter than the 0311 with a thinner top line, narrower sole and less offset in a head that is still filled with the same TPE material.
Forged from the same S25C carbon steel it features one less screw weight on the top edge and a muscle back design that moves the weight low and towards the toe to get the CG more centrally positioned.
Comparing with the standard model on SkyTrak, the 0311T launches slightly lower with less spin, so you will need a decent level of club head speed and no small amount of accuracy to get the best from them.
The lofts are one degree weaker than the standard 0311 irons, but they are still pretty strong as blades go.
As you would expect, the more compact faces are less forgiving and would probably suit low single figure handicappers or elite players.
PXG 0311 Iron Review Summary
It is really hard to fault anything about the PXG 0311 irons as you can see how much attention has been given to the design and the performance.
The standard PXG 0311 is the one to go for if you can find the readies, but if you have to ask the price with these types of products, then it probably means it is not for you.
Clearly spending time getting to one of the few PXG custom fitting centres, like the one I went to at Scott Gourlay Golf Technology, will be a very worthwhile investment as the 0311 is like a high performance car and will work at its optimum when finely tuned to the driver.
For those who can put the financial pedal to the metal, the PXG 0311 delivers an excellent level of performance and feel within a head turning design.
It's hard to shake up a category such as irons with something radically different, but the 0311 irons have done that. Well done PXG.