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Equipment

What you need to know: PXG 0211 XCOR2 irons

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: PXG’s new affordable irons, the 0211 XCOR2, again feature the cast body construction of past models with a thin high-strength steel face. But just like their latest forged predecessors (the 0311 GEN5 line introduced earlier this year), the hollow-body 0211 XCOR2 will feature the same lighter, faster polymer core filling to improve distance and save weight.

PRICE: $129 for Chrome, $149 for Xtreme Dark finish (introductory discount prices).

THE DEEP DIVE: In their previous generations, PXG’s 0211 irons have existed as the more affordable alternative option in the company’s iron lineup. Largely that’s because of the cast body construction as opposed to the more expensive forged designs in the 0311 lineup, including the GEN5 sets introduced earlier this year.

That said, the latest 0211 XCOR2 irons offer all the key technologies seen in its bigger brothers. That includes the ultra-thin maraging steel face. Measuring at less than 1.5 millimeters (and thinner in some areas where the grooves are and surrounding a perimeter channel), the face is the thinnest in golf, according to PXG’s Brad Schweigert, chief product officer.

Just as importantly, these hollow designs, just like the 0311 GEN5 irons, incorporate a new polymer filling known as XCOR2, also the same used in the 0311 GEN5 irons.

“The two big benefits are it’s lighter and faster,” Schweigert said. “It has a lighter density that allows us to save more mass from the core of the iron and we can redistribute that mass to the perimeter and make it more forgiving. It’s faster, a higher COR material that helps us generate higher ballspeeds and more distance gains.”

Cut into the back of the face is a U-shaped groove, which wraps around the heel, toe and top of the face plate. It also improves distance, just like on the GEN5 irons.

“It’s really a trough that weakens that area, allowing the face to deflect during impact that creates an opposite reaction in the golf ball so it launches higher with less spin,” he said. “It works like a trampoline to allow the face to flex in a non-traditional way.”

All that makes for a pretty compelling comparison between the 0311 GEN5 sets and the 0211 XCOR2 irons, but Schweigert wasn’t going to get into those comparisons, other than saying the 0311 XP GEN5 “is going to outperform these from a distance perspective.” Of course, the XP is the most aggressive lofts on the 0311 lineup. The 0211 XCOR2 irons feature lofts a tad weaker than the XP.

Because it’s designed to serve a wide audience, the 0211 set features a progressive design in terms of lofts, blade lengths and offsets. It features longer blades with more offset for the longer irons and progressively less offset and more compact size in the short irons. The 4-iron is 19 degrees, the 7-iron is 28 degrees and the pitching wedge is 42 degrees.

“The long irons here are built more forgiving where you need it and the short irons are a bit more optimized for scoring,” Schweigert said. “It’s almost like a blended set between a P and an XP all in one category.” But, he said, “Even though these irons look like a players style of iron, they actually deliver a a high level of game improvement.”

Again, the primary differences are the 0211 XCOR2’s cast construction from soft 431 stainless steel, and the 0311 GEN5’s forged construction including tungsten that lowers the center of gravity and provides more perimeter weighting. The 0211 XCOR2 does save 5-7 grams with the use of the XCOR2 polymer that is distributed around the head to improve forgiveness, and the lighter face, made of high-strength HT1770 maraging steel (also used in the GEN5 irons) also helps in that regard. Overall the 0211 XCOR2 achieves a moment of inertia measurement (stability on off-center hits) that Schweigert said is two percent higher than its 0211 predecessor.

“If you take an iron that’s basically the same size as one of our irons and optimize it from a cavity back perspective, our iron technology with our hollow body generates an MOI that’s approximately 10 percent higher than that cavity back,” Schweigert said. “Our hollow back approach is a much more efficient design to create the highest level of forgiveness.”

Another improvement is the angled design of the toprail. It’s wider the further out to the toe you go. That extra weight toward the toe helps to better line up the center of gravity with the center of face for the most efficient energy transfer. But Schweigert and his team didn’t let the physics get in the way of the aesthetic.

“If you just made the top rail wider as it went toward the toe, that wouldn’t look very good,” he said. “So we hide that change in thickness in how we angle that back surface and give the golfer from the setup view that parallel topline perspective.”

The 0211 XCOR2 irons will be offered in 4-iron through lob wedge (60 degrees). They come in two finishes, chrome and Xtreme Dark, for introductory discount prices of $129 and $149 a club, respectively.