PXG vs. Haywood – Who Has The Best Irons?

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Louis Pringle
Jul 01, 2024
5 minutes

The golf market is dominated by US giants like TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist, and Ping. Through efficient marketing, PXG has emerged as a new competitor for the usual big brands over the last decade. PXG’s ultra-patriotic branding has helped them corner a segment of the market, to the point where they’re even showing up in many bags on pro tours.

On the topic of emerging brands, Canada also has an up-and-comer in the form of Haywood Golf from Vancouver. Haywood may not be as well established as PXG yet, but their clubs are gaining in popularity, and this tempted us to come up with a national rivalry test! Take a look at the results below.

The two iron sets we compared in our test of Canadian and American irons:

  1. Haywood Golf 100s Iron Set
  2. PXG 0311T Gen 5 Black Iron Set

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Parameters of The Test

For this comparison test, we opted to use the 2024 version of the TaylorMade TP5x golf ball. Additionally, we used an Aerotech Steelfiber i110 shaft with all of our clubs. The PXGs have a small difference in that they are fitted with a black version of the same shafts. Finally, we’ll be comparing the 5 and 7 irons as well as the pitching wedge from both sets.

1. Haywood Golf 100s Iron Set

We first took a look at the 100s set from our fellow Canucks at Haywood Golf. They showcase the typical profile of a set of blade irons with the usual thin top line at address and shorter club face in terms of width.

Haywood claims that each one of its 100s irons is milled for over 200 minutes from a single piece of 1020 carbon steel. This design is intended to maximize your feel for the ball, and based on their extremely sharp look, we expected the performance of true blades.

A profile like this one is usually more targeted to players with a higher skill level, specifically, golfers who have high swing speeds and can control the golf ball’s trajectory through the air. Regular and accurate ball striking is also key for this sort of blade irons.

Lou’s takeaways after testing the Haywood 100s golf irons:

  • Terrific feel for the ball, especially in the shorter clubs
  • Unmatched control over the golf ball’s trajectory
  • Requires very high swing speeds to generate a lot of distance on impact

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2. PXG 0311T Gen 5 Iron Set

Let’s start by addressing the fact that we’re aware that PXG also offers a set of milled irons, but unfortunately, we didn’t have any in stock for this test. Instead, we go with the next best thing, a set of muscle back irons in the black finish. More specifically, the 0311T Gen 5 irons.

PXG claims that these irons are designed to operate as “player distance” irons. Suggesting that they should cover plenty of ground in the air, but still provide you with all the feel you could need to be accurate. I was also looking forward to testing the forgiving attributes of this set and seeing how much of a difference there was between the types of irons.

Lou’s takeaways after testing the PXG 0311T Gen 5 Black golf irons:

  • Surprisingly forgiving on off-centered strikes, but not enough to make it in our list of the most forgiving irons in 2024
  • Incredibly soft feel off the club face at impact
  • Delivers on the side of accuracy and control, despite the more important forgiveness level

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Pitching Wedge Performance Review

The first clubs we tested were the pitching wedges from both sets. It didn’t take too long to realize that the difference in clubhead was going to have a massive impact on the differences between the entirety of these two sets. Just peek at the chart below to quickly realize that the discrepancy in terms of distance will be hard to miss.

As previously mentioned, based on the blade profile of the Haywoods and the muscle back clubheads of the PXGs, we expected a noticeable difference between the two sets’ performance, but the pitching wedge from the 0311T set performed even better than we expected in terms of distance. Despite slower club speeds on average, the PXG pitching wedge still managed to produce faster ball speeds, which also resulted in longer strikes.

On the other hand, the stopping power of the Haywood pitching wedge was certainly noteworthy. The difference between the carry and total distance is less than 2 yards, which is very encouraging from a Pitching Wedge since you’re most likely trying to hit accurate approach shots with.

Plus, that’s almost a full yard shorter than the PXG in terms of ball rollout. Pretty impressive considering their spin rates are almost on par. The condition of these irons can also be taken into consideration, but one of our previous tests with wedges showed that used clubs can measure up to brand-new models.

But will the same be true with longer irons? Let’s see.

7 Irons Performance Review

Moving onto the 7 irons, we expected the discrepancy between the two models to grow as it is usually the case, especially when putting up blade irons against a slightly more powerful or loaded model. However, we must commend the performance of the Haywood 7 iron.

Surprisingly enough, the difference in distance between the two 7 irons is much closer than we expected considering the results we got from testing the pitching wedges. The discrepancy between the two models is only 2 yards, which is less than the pitching wedges.

Once again, the stopping power of the Haywood is on full display to promote its accuracy properties. There are less than 7 yards between the carry and total distance. Plus, that’s the only knock we’d give to the PXG. Decent distance numbers, but the rollout is a bit too long for a 7 iron. Most likely due to the low spin rates of the club.

No doubt that the Haywood was able to hang in this thanks to the powerful swings it benefited from, but the fact that it managed to get the edge in the ball speed department is extremely impressive.

The choice between the two clubs seemed very obvious after testing the pitching wedges, but the results we got from the 7 irons had us doubting as to which option was the best between the two. Let’s move on to an even longer iron to make up our minds.

5 Irons Performance Review

While the results from the 7 irons were definitely surprising, there’s no doubt that we’ll see a wide difference between the PXG and the Haywood 5 iron. Muscle back irons are certainly easier to get in the air for longer ball flights, while blades like Haywood will require a lot of swing speed. Let’s see if we managed to put enough speed behind the ball.

Here again, the PXG shines, but the difference between the two models really shows itself here as there are more than 5 yards discrepancy between the carry distance of the two models. Also, there are almost 9 yards on the total yardage. That’s a full club difference when you’re out on the course.

The difference in clubhead profile has to be considered in this case, especially when you take into account the fact that the Haywood still got the fastest swing but couldn’t generate the highest ball speeds.

No doubt about it though, the Haywood irons were designed for accuracy, but at 10 yards behind its competitor, it would be hard to justify making the move to a blade profile for long irons.

Who takes the crown in this test?

Rounding out this test, it’s clear that the PXGs were better suited to us, and we would also argue that they felt generally better. On the other hand, we can easily imagine a skilled golfer putting the Haywood in the golf bag. On top of looking stunning, they’ll provide you with a great feel for the ball and ultimately allow you to be more accurate with your irons.

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While they’re still looking to catch up to more established brands, Haywood showed us that they’re already able to produce exquisite irons, like the 100s, that’ll provide all the feels and accuracy you could ever want.

At the same time, we got to witness just how far PXG has come since their first products launched. Now producing some incredibly soft and fast irons that’ll please highly skilled players and beginners alike.

If you need more help figuring out which set is best suited for you, you can always book a call with one of our in-house experts. They help you understand your needs on the course and point you to which model is best suited to your skill set.

Until next time,

The Golf Avenue team

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Further reading

Having trouble getting your iron shots in the air? We have the perfect game-improvement irons for beginners and less-experienced golfers looking to nail their approach shots, both in value and performance!

Looking for a new set of forgiving irons? Find out our list of the Top 10 most forgiving iron sets in 2024 for golfers with a mid to high handicap, picked by our in-house expert Danny!