PXG 0317 ST Blades Iron Review

Is this the most playable blade on the market right now? Joel Tadman tests the latest offering from PXG

PXG 0317 ST Blades Iron Review
(Image credit: Future)
Golf Monthly Verdict

A soft yet springy bladed set that delivers above-average distance in a consistent manner. Visually stunning and a shot-maker’s dream, these irons deliver versatility in a compact, premium package.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Soft but lively feel

  • +

    Stunning looks

  • +

    Surprisingly playable for a blade

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Metal scuffs easily

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PXG 0317 ST Blades Iron Review

PXG’s pricing structure may be a little bemusing and it has its challenges competing in the premium driver market, but from my experience it makes some of the very best irons in the game and for the better player, the new 0317 ST Blade might be at the top of the pile.

VIDEO: Joel Tadman tests and compares the leading low handicap irons in 2023

Visually arresting, the shelf appeal of this iron is through the roof. Triple forged 8620 soft carbon steel, it features a milled pattern on the back that undoubtedly enhances the aesthetic appeal as well as a tungsten weight right behind the hitting area to optimize the swing and head weight during a fitting.

PXG 0317 ST Blade Iron at address

(Image credit: Future)

Down at address, this iron has a Ping S55 iron look about it based on the overall shape and size, the high toe and white bottom groove to help with alignment - which is no bad thing. In terms of the profile and how it sits, it’s hard to fault and I like the brushed satin finish too.

Having tested this iron indoors on a launch monitor and out on the golf course, where this iron really excels is feel. It produces the dream combination of the dense, compression at impact you expect from a muscleback but married with quite a springy, energetic sensation as the ball leaves the face. Often times, blades can feel quite dead, relatively speaking, especially when struck marginally off-centre but this clubhead clearly has a bit more liveliness to it from a wide area.

This was reflected in the numbers, too. The 7-iron has a loft of 33° yet regularly carried the ball in excess of 165 yards. It was as long as most other low handicap irons I’ve tried, including some with hollow-headed constructions like the TaylorMade P770, which really shocked me. The flight was on the low side, but with plenty of spin to get the ball to stop.

You could even say that those who’ve been put off from investing a blade set because of a perceived lack of distance or playability now have a reason to consider the category again. There are more forgiving better player irons out there, but the ST Blade has a surprising level of help on offer. This level of forgiveness combined with it's versatility earns this iron a place in our 2023 Editors Choice awards.

PXG 0317 ST Blade iron testing

(Image credit: Future)

As the irons got longer it became more difficult to maintain the speed and distance I experienced with the 7-iron, which is why the inclusion of cavity back 3- and 4-irons (pictured below) is a welcome relief on long approach shots. This provides that extra margin for error you need here without sacrificing the feel you grow to love from the rest of the set.

pxg 0317 ST Blade iron long iron

(Image credit: Future)

One thing I’ve noticed is in the few outings this irons have been on, the heads to scuff and dink quite easily, perhaps because of the softness of the metal. I never thought I’d say this, but perhaps it’s worth investing in a set of iron headcovers to preserve the integrity of the metal and keep them looking pristine for as long as possible. At $199 a stick, there's actually some decent value for money here. In the UK, you can get them for £169 a stick if you buy five or more, which you surely will do given the performance on offer.

Joel Tadman
Technical Editor

Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.

One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.2.

Joel's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9° 

Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15° 

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18° 

Irons: Ping i230 4-UW

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 54°. Titleist Vokey SM9 60° lob wedge, K Grind

Putter: Evnroll ER2V 

Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x