Gear: PXG Black Ops, Black Ops Tour-1 drivers
Price: $599.99 (Black Ops), $649.99 (Black Ops Tour-1)
Specs: Carbon fiber crown and sole panel with titanium alloy face, moveable weights and adjustable hosel.
Available: Jan. 11
Who They’re For: Golfers who seek more distance and forgiveness (Black Ops), along with players who want a low-spin driver that allows players to shape shots (Black Ops Tour-1)
The Skinny: PXG is using a new titanium alloy that allows designers to make the variable-thickness faces hotter, while the combination of moveable weights boosts forgiveness and lets players tweak the launch angle and spin rate.
The Deep Dive: PXG has consistently named its clubs after military designations and equipment, and its newest driver family, the Black Ops, is no exception.
There are two Black Ops drivers: the standard and the Tour-1. Both are 460 cubic centimeters in volume, but the standard version looks larger from front to back in the address position. The Tour-1 has a taller face, a higher crown and a keel in the back of the sole. While they are made for different types of golfers, the two drivers share several core technologies and features.
Both Black Ops drivers feature variable-thickness faces made with a proprietary titanium alloy that PXG calls AMF. That stands for advanced material face, but the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company is not divulging precisely what is in the material. It does say, however, that AMF is extremely strong but flexes, so it bends without breaking. That allowed engineers to make the Black Ops faces thinner and lighter while maintaining durability.
In testing, PXG built a previous-model GEN6 driver with an AMF face, and the club produced an increase of 0.5 degrees in launch angle with 200 rpm less spin without changing any other parts of the club.
Both Black Ops drivers also feature faces that have been polished by robots instead of people, and that allows PXG to manufacture faces that have non-uniform bulge (curvature from heel to toe) and roll (curvature from top to bottom) very precisely. PXG said that adjusting the curvature reduces spin on low-struck shots that would typically spin more, and the Black Ops drivers can add spin on high-hit shots that ordinarily lack spin, resulting in more spin consistency from shot to shot.