Visiting PXG Detroit
I recently had the opportunity to visit PXG’s Detroit location to test drive some of their latest clubs in their fitting simulators.
I apologize to the entire staff for my poor swing on that day. I have since fixed it.
PXG clubs have long intrigued me because while they have a high profile in tv and print ads, I rarely see them “in the wild.” I am certain they are out there; they are just not where I play. PXG Clubs would be hard to miss if one of my playing partners had a set because they are so visually distinctive.
For the afternoon, I worked with master clubfitter A.J. Partenio, PGA. He was thorough, understanding and enthusiastic.
PXG makes clubs for every type of swing and Parteno took me through a lot of different head and shaft combinations.
“We make clubs for everybody,” Partenio said.” We don’t just make them for men. Women, seniors, high and low handicappers. We make golf clubs for golfers. We just want golfers to play better golf.”
To dial in the proper club for each player, PXG has hitting bays equipped with the latest high-end Trackman launch monitors. I hit a few balls to get a baseline, and then Partenio started swapping out heads and shafts to find better results.
PXG has a lot of shafts and quite a few heads, creating an astounding number of potential combinations.
In my case, the best combination for irons turned out to be the GEN6 0311 XP irons with Accra iSeries 50i shafts.
The 0311 XP are game improvement irons, but they don’t really look or feel like them. The heads are forged and milled from soft carbon steel, and at address look smaller than I would expect. Other features are a variable “ultra-thin” face and a polymer material injected into the hollow core.
On the lightweight graphite shafts, the 0311 XPs felt very responsive.
I also tried the Sugar Daddy Wedges.
Partenio said that each of the wedges is CNC milled in a process that takes six hours. As with all of PXG’s clubs, during a fitting, they can
The story behind the name is that Lydia Ko — a PXG staff player — was practicing with them and said that PXG founder Bob Parsons was her “sugar daddy.” Parsons liked the reference so much, the wedges had a name.
Finally, I tested several of PXG’s putters in a separate putting lab. As with their other clubs, PXG can put together a various combinations of heads and shafts to find the perfect fit.
Studying the video and data from my practice putts, Partenio noted that my swing has a slight arc. That led him to suggest a Hercules Battle Ready II mallet, on an M-16 shaft.
The M-16 shaft is PXG’s version of the better known BGT Stability Shaft, with a carbon fiber upper section and steel lower section.
With irons, wedges, hyrids, fairways, drivers and putters, PXG can put together a full bag. Indeed, they have some good deals on full bag fittings and purchases.
They also have a line of golf balls.
Here’s the thing: you can only get PXG clubs through PXG. You won’t find them on the shelves at your local golf shop. In this direct-to-consumer model, Partenio said, PXG can put “a lot more technology into our clubs than anyone else can” and still keep the price reasonable.
PXG clubs are still more expensive than many you’ll find from the mass manufacturers, but with all the technology and customization may very well be the thing to improve your game.
Because Bob Parsons is a Marine, he offers discounts for active and retired military, first responders, EMTs, police and fire officers.
If you want to go all in on PXG, the store sells a full line of branded apparel and accessories. All of the soft goods are designed by Bob Parsons’ wife, Renee. For a Michigan connection, Renee Parsons is a graduate of Central Michigan University.
Much of the apparel, accessories and clubs use imagery and names that invoke military themes. Parsons served in Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines in Quang Nam Province in 1969. The number 26 with a skull feature on a lot of PXG material.
The origin story of PXG is interesting: After spending as much as $300,000 on clubs, Parsons reportedly became frustrated that none improved his game. His solution was to found PXG and throw lots of money into the development of clubs that met his expectations for improvement.
I admit that — although I have never met him — I am inclined to like Bob Parsons. Back in the 1980s, I was a very happy customer of his Parsons Technology software company. His personal accounting software remains the best I’ve used. It was easy for me to grasp and amazingly, found errors when balancing your checkbook. It was bought by Intuit, but I’ve never liked Quickbooks as much.
Parsons also founded GoDaddy, which has its detractors, but should be given some credit for bringing domain registration to the masses. I have domain names registered through GoDaddy.