If we asked you to name 10 golf manufacturers, Parsons Xtreme Golf probably wouldn't make the list. Unless you're seriously into your golf gear, it's likely you've never heard of Parsons Xtreme Golf, often known simply as 'PXG'. But you can expect that to change during the course of 2016.
In a world where the likes of Ping, Callaway, Titleist and TaylorMade dominate the market, it takes a pretty brave man to step up and say, "Actually, I'm going to launch a golf brand and try to compete".
Who is behind PXG?
One man brave enough is Bob Parsons.
Parsons, who made his millions (and a lot of millions, at that; he's one of the world's 400 richest individuals) by founding and later selling domain name registrar Go Daddy, is an absolute golf nut.
"I hit as many balls in a week as most pros – possibly more – and average three rounds per week," says Parsons.
"I am absolutely obsessed with golf equipment and how the right clubs can help improve my game," he adds. "Before launching PXG (Parsons Xtreme Golf), I spent a quarter of a million dollars a year on golf equipment, trying all the latest equipment. Irons, drivers, shafts, grips – you name it, I've played it!"
Parsons combined his passion for golf gear with his serious financial power to create his own golf brand, Parsons Xtreme Golf.
Who designs PXG golf clubs?
Parsons founded PXG 18 months ago and immediately lured two of golf’s most respected club designers – Mike Nicolette and Brad Schweigert, both from Ping – in order to develop golf's ultimate gear.
PXG's philosophy is to create the best equipment possible, regardless of cost.
Parsons demanded sexy-looking irons that performed like cavity-backs; he wanted clubs to look like blades while also launching higher, flying further, feeling softer and "boasting a sweet spot the size of Texas".
What is PXG trying to achieve?
"PXG clubs have to feel like butter and the difference has to be noticeable," says Parsons.
Nicolette and Schweigert had an interesting task: use any materials you want, use any process you want, and spend as much money as you want… just make sure the clubs you create are categorically better than anything else on the market.
After months of exploring alloys and technologies, and after a few false starts (including a 3-wood that produced one sensational shot before the face fell apart), and 61 patents later, PXG introduced a full line of clubs.
How much do PXG clubs cost?
That 'nothing but the best' approach does have a knock-on effect on price.
"There is a segment of the market that has been starved for something new and innovative – something that really performs," says Parsons. "I had absolutely no doubt that PXG equipment would appeal to those golfers with means who value performance above everything else."
PXG don't publicise their prices freely, but a full set will likely set you back around £4,000.
If you do stump up the cash, you can rest assured that they won't be replaced by a new set a week later.
"We have no plans to release a new generation of equipment until we are absolutely certain that the look, feel and performance is significantly better than what we currently offer," says Parsons. "That should take quite a while."
What makes PXG clubs so special?
The PXG 0811 driver, which features 16 moveable weights and an adjustable hosel, offers players fine-tuning options never before seen. The various combinations enable the golfer to hone their launch conditions for optimal ball flight while retaining a high MOI.
The patented technology of an ultra-thin face coupled with a structural thermoplastic elastomer material (TPE) produces a more efficient energy transfer, resulting in higher ball speeds.
The ultra-thin face is formed from HT1770 high-strength steel and the weight saved by the thin face allows more mass to be positioned in areas of the clubhead to optimise launch conditions and MOI.
By removing a significant amount of mass from the centre of the club head through CNC milling and strategically repositioning it around the perimeter with tungsten weighting, the forgiveness of the PXG 0311 irons out-performs game-improvement irons.
High-density tungsten alloy weights — which create the irons' signature look — are positioned around the edges to provide extreme perimeter weighting and maximum forgiveness.
The body is forged from S25C soft carbon steel. Forged materials, having a tight grain structure, resonate differently than cast materials which adds to an outstanding impact experience.
The PXG 0341 fairway woods also feature the adjustable Precision Weighting System. Eleven strategically-placed interchangeable weights on the sole allow optimisation of trajectory to achieve both maximum distance and accuracy.
Which Tour pros will use PXG clubs?
PXG has already signed 12 leading Tour pros to use PXG gear during the 2016 system, including the current Open champion, Zach Johnson, and four-time PGA Tour winner, Ryan Moore.
"Ryan Moore wouldn’t send back the prototype clubs as he liked them so muc," laughs Parsons. "His enthusiasm for the technology actually forced us to get a move on obtaining our USGA approvals so that he could put the clubs in play at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions."
Here's what a few other big names who will have PXG in the bag have to say:
"The decision to put PXG clubs in play was not one I took lightly. My entire team, from caddie to coach, was part of the discernment process. We all agree that PXG is undeniably the best equipment to help me achieve my goals on the course.”
“Being part of PXG is like being part of a very special movement in golf. What the company has accomplished in its first generation of equipment is mind-blowing. I’ve been playing some really incredible golf with PXG clubs and I feel very confident that great things are to come.”
“The playability of PXG’s clubs is unmatched. Even though the irons have a blade profile they are incredibly forgiving, which is exactly the combination I want from my clubs. Every shot on the PGA Tour is critical and PXG gives me an advantage every week as I compete against the best players in the world.”
Charles Howell III
“PXG has taken moveable weight technology to an extreme, especially for the driver. I love that I have the ability to easily change spin and launch conditions to meet my needs during any given round.”
“PXG clubs aren’t just innovative, they’re unbelievable. The first time I swung the clubs it was clear that they are engineered to perform.”
“I can’t remember ever being this excited about putting new equipment into play. Winning the CME Tour Championship with PXG clubs in my bag for the very first time was the ultimate confirmation that I made a great decision signing with the company.”
“With PXG clubs in my bag I’m playing better than ever. I’ve gained both distance and control. I’m ready to bring home a win this season.”
“PXG clubs are built like no other. On first impression PXG clubs look gorgeous. On first swing they feel incredible.”